The Quarantine Wall. It’s a thing. You’re going about your “new normal”. Everything is fine. You’re making it. Then, all of a sudden, you’re completely down in the dumps. Blue as hell. Yes, you’re in the middle of a pandemic, but there isn’t any obvious reason for your sudden lowness.
This is the Quarantine Wall. It comes suddenly and feels like…well, it feels like you’ve run into a brick wall and there’s no way to get past it.
My suggestion? Books. Lots and lots of books.
Here are 9 Books to Read When you Hit the Dreaded Quarantine Wall.
These books aren’t necessarily the happiest, but they’re super captivating and engrossing. If you’re stuck on that Quarantine Wall, grab a good book while you’re up there!
Just a heads up, this post contains affiliate links—that means I get a small commission of any sales made from the links below, but the price is the same for you whether you purchase via my link or directly from Amazon 🙂
AUTHORS: Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin, Jac Vanek
GENRE: Nonfiction | Memoir | Humor | Self-Help (kinda)
WHY THIS WILL HELP YOU GET PAST THE QUARANTINE WALL: If you’re missing wine nights with your girls, this is the book for you. I felt like I was gathered around with my best friends, listening to their horror stories from past hookups, jobs, and just life in general. While this book is technically classified as self-help, what really pulled me in were the extremely candid stories from the three authors (who are also the creators and head bitches of The Ladygang podcast). This is probably my favorite book I’ve read all year. It will definitely pull you out of any funk you’re in and also make you feel like you’re just hanging out with your best friends.
SUMMARY: Irreverant, hilarious, and cringe-inducing, Act Like a Lady is the perfect read if you’re longing for the comfort of your best friends. Throughout the book, Becca, Keltie, and Jac give their best advice, share their humiliating stories, and offer their authentic support to all women just trying to get through this life thing.
As they recount their horrifying Tinder dates, their stressful climbs up the corporate ladder, and their journeys to finally feeling comfortable in their own skin, you’ll fall in love with the 3 leaders of The Ladygang. Highly recommend this book to all girls (and guys too!) who need to know they’re not alone.
AUTHOR: Sally Thorne
GENRE: Women’s Fiction | Romance | Chick Lit
WHY THIS WILL HELP YOU GET PAST THE QUARANTINE WALL: Ahhh, the suspense! Will they? Won’t they? Sally Thorne does a really great job of creating unique characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. If you want an engrossing and steamy read, this is the one!
SUMMARY: A faulty heart, a twin brother who’s barely speaking to her, a washed-up photography career, and a drinking habit that is starting to border on problem are not the worst things in Darcy Barrett’s life—the very, very worst thing is that she’s in love with a man she only has 1% of.
Darcy’s been in love with the Wolverine-esque Tom Valeska ever since he moved into the house across from hers when they were just 8 years old. But Darcy and Tom have always been kept apart by territorial brothers, annoying fiances, or something or another.
But now…now, Darcy has Tom all to herself. He’s moved into her late grandma’s crumbling cottage in order to fix it up. Despite the massive mess that is her love life, career, and general outlook on life, she’s determined to make Tom Valeska 99% hers.
AUTHOR: Lemony Snicket
GENRE: Middle-Grade Fiction | Magical Realism | Series
WHY THIS WILL HELP YOU GET PAST THE QUARANTINE WALL: Even though this is a children’s series, it’s extremely witty and makes you think. Fun, hilarious, and surprisingly dark, A Series of Unfortunate Events will keep you super entertained. 13 total books in the series and each one so compelling. You’ll probably be able to knock each one out in a few hours. Plus, there’s a really great adaption of the series on Netflix that is amazing as well. I always recommend reading the book first for ANYTHING, but I definitely recommend watching the Netflix series once you finish the books.
SUMMARY: A Series of Unfortunate Events follows Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire from The Bad Beginning (Book #1) all the way to The End (Book #13) as the children try to make their way in their newly upside-down world.
At the beginning of this miserable story, the children receive news that their parents have perished in a terrible fire and everything they knew is now burned to the ground. They’re whisked off to go live with their “nearest living relative”—a treacherous and horrible man named Count Olaf who’s hell-bent on getting the orphans’ massive fortune.
Throughout the series, the orphans are moved from home to home as they try to flee from Count Olaf’s relentless pursuit. And while their descent into this scary and confusing world stirs up more and more secrets, it also reveals strength, shrewdness, and resourcefulness the children didn’t realize they were capable of.
AUTHOR: Emily Henry
GENRE: Women’s Fiction | Romance | Chick Lit
WHY THIS WILL HELP YOU GET PAST THE QUARANTINE WALL: Oh man, what a great book! This book is written so cleverly. It’s almost a bend between genres which leaves you wondering, will it have an expected happy ending or will it end in tragedy? This book will literally have you flipping through the pages, dying to know what happens.
SUMMARY: January Adams can barely set foot in the beach house she just inherited from her late father who had shared it with the OTHER WOMAN he was spending half his time with, unbeknownst by January.
But with her own life falling apart—her boyfriend of seven years now her ex, her publisher hounding her for a book she’s not yet written, and her bank account in the double digits—she has no choice but to move into the tainted beach house.
And, on top of all the haunting memories the house holds re: her lying father and his hidden life, her neighbor turns out to be none other than Gus Everett—her archnemesis from college whose angsty, high-brow books just happen to always be ahead of her cheesy, low-brow ones on the bestsellers list.
One night, sad, alone, and drunk on purse wine, January makes a bet with Gus—she can write a whiney, “literary” book just as well as he can. He counters her by taking on the mission of writing a romance with a happy-ending that sells before hers does.
As they spend the summer learning how to master the other’s genre, they start to develop more than just their writing skills.
AUTHOR: Jennifer Egan
GENRE: Literary Fiction | Pulitzer Prize Winner
WHY THIS WILL HELP YOU GET PAST THE QUARANTINE WALL: This book isn’t super fast-paced, but the story is so beautifully written and told. You’ll be thinking about this book, the characters in it, and their stories for long after you finish it. This is one of those books that has the potential to change you if you let it.
SUMMARY: A Visit From the Goon Squad starts with Sasha, a troubled young woman who can’t help but steal small, seemingly insignificant items from everyone she meets. As we see just a glimpse into Sasha’s life, the book juts off to Bennie Salazar, a record producer who’d been a hard-rocking musician back in the day. Each chapter of the book presents a different character’s perspective and story, each one weaving seamlessly into the other stories throughout the book.
While it’s a novel, it reads almost like a collection of vignettes. This book is so ingeniously constructed you’ll be thinking about it for days, probably weeks, after you finish, making connections you didn’t notice the first time around.
AUTHOR: Glendy Vanderah
WHY THIS WILL HELP YOU GET PAST THE QUARANTINE WALL: Heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. Suspenseful and hopeful. Where the Forest Meets the Stars isn’t on my list of best-written books ever, but the story and the main characters’ connection with each other are what make it so delightful.
SUMMARY: Joanna Teale starts her summer with plans of finding and observing birds as she works on her PhD. But what she discovers instead is a dirty, hungry, and scared little girl.
This little girl calls herself Ursa and says she’s from the planet Hetrayeh, which is part of the Pinwheel galaxy. She’s been sent to Earth to witness five miracles and can only return home once she’s accomplished her mission.
Joanna, her heart broken for the lost child, agrees to let her stay, expecting someone to show up looking for her.
But when no one shows up, Joanna gets more and more uncertain of how made up Ursa’s story really is. How does this little girl understand advanced topics like Shakespeare and biology? How come no one is looking for her? And how come she seems to possess an almost ethereal energy?
As the summer goes on, Joanna, and her reclusive neighbor Gabriel, grow closer and closer to this mysterious child in hopes of learning who she really is and where she came from.
AUTHOR: Katherine Center
GENRE: Women’s Fiction | Romance | Chick Lit
WHY THIS WILL HELP YOU GET PAST THE QUARANTINE WALL: Katherine Center is the queen of the lighthearted romance. What You Wish For deals with some heavy topics, like death and regret, but it’s a fast and easy read. Perfect for reading by the pool or binging late into the night.
SUMMARY: Samantha Casey wears a lot of polka dots. She rocks bright red lipstick. She stands out amongst the crowd. She lives by the belief that life should be lived.
But when her beloved friend, surrogate father, and principal of the school she works for passes away suddenly, her happy-go-lucky world is shaken to its core.
Despite the tragedy, life must go on. A new principal is brought in to lead the beloved elementary school Samantha has finally found her place in. But this new guy is not what this fun-loving school is expecting. He’ss rigid. He’s stern. And he wants to cover all hand-painted walls with institutional grey.
If this weren’t bad enough, Samantha knows this guy. She used to be in love with him. The old him. The guy who wore silly ties and ran around barefoot.
As Samantha tries to stop him from ruining the school she loves so much, she also tries to figure out, what the hell happened to him??
AUTHOR: Simone St. James
GENRE: Fiction | Psychological Thriller
WHY THIS WILL HELP YOU GET PAST THE QUARANTINE WALL: Yikes, serial killers and ghosts. It doesn’t get creepier than that. The Sun Down Motel is a thriller that will pull you in from the very beginning as you try to figure out what happened and who’s behind it all.
SUMMARY: Thirty-five years ago, Carly Kirk’s aunt disappeared from The Sun Down Motel, and no one ever figured out what happened to her.
Now, hellbent on unearthing the long buried secret, Carly moves to the small town of Fell, New York, and takes up a job as night clerk at the Sun Down, the exact job her aunt had before she went missing.
As Carly investigates the unsolved mystery from decades before, she discovers other ghosts lurking, literal and figurative. The Sun Down is ripe with murder, hauntings, and secrets that won’t be kept hidden for much longer.
9. Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, From Someone Who’s Been There
AUTHOR: Tara Schuster
GENRE: Nonfiction | Self-Help | Self-Care
WHY THIS WILL HELP YOU GET PAST THE QUARANTINE WALL: This is the perfect book to read when you’re feeling down in the dumps. If you want practical advice on how to feel better, well, the title tells you everything. When your world feels dark and upside down, buy yourself the lilies. It helps. It really does.
SUMMARY: By all intents and purposes, Tara Schuster had made it. She was successful. She was known. She was climbing the ladder as fast as she could.
Yet, she was miserable. The more she got and achieved, the more miserable she became. Wrought with depression, anxiety, and regret, Tara’s only solace was self-medication.
After realizing she’d finally hit rock bottom, Tara made a move to take back her life. This book is her recount of finding peace in her tormented past, laying a foundation built on trust and self-love, and figuring out how to move forward, despite the pain.