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10 Book to get your mind off work, insurance, and COVID

Let’s face it: we are living in stressful times. From the pandemic itself to its economic and social repercussions, there are countless reasons why we may be feeling anxious or melancholy. Finding a healthy way to take our mind off of our work and escape from the stress of reality is a crucial part of caring for our mental wellbeing. Reading is a stress-relieving pastime for many, with the simple act of turning a page allowing a reader to forget their real-world anxieties. Lose yourself in these enthralling reads.

The Devil in the White City: Murder Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

Set in 1890s Chicago, Larson’s novel follows two men: the architect behind the legendary 1893 World’s Fair and the serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their deaths. The Devil in the White City combines historical research with storytelling, creating a narrative with all the truth of history and the thrills of fiction.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone is autistic. He knows all the countries of the world and their capitals, yet has no understanding of human emotion. This modern classic chronicles Christopher’s journey to solve the murder of a neighbor’s dog and the unexpected truths he discovers in the process.

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

This bestselling book tells the tale of a twelfth-century monk driven to do the impossible: build the greatest cathedral the world has ever known. Set in feudal England, Follet recreates the Middle Ages in great detail, the vast forest, the castles, the monasteries. The building of the cathedral is the center of the drama, but interwoven are stories of betrayal, revenge, love, and greed.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Behind resident curmudgeon Ove’s cranky exterior, there is a story and a sadness. After a chatty young couple with chatty young daughters move in next door, an unlikely, yet heartwarming friendship forms. Backman’s novel is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Rooney’s Normal People tells the story of two young adults who find themselves irresistibly drawn back together. Connell and Marianne met in high school and years later, they circle one another once more while studying at Trinity College in Dublin. This story explores the complex entanglements of relationships and the electricity of first love. If you are a fan of binge-watching, there is also a Hulu miniseries adaptation of the novel to watch when you finish reading.

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

Beginning during the Spanish Civil War, this story spans decades and oceans as it follows two young people searching for a home in the wake of the Spanish Civil War. Roser and Victor, two Catalonian Republicans fleeing Franco’s regime, end up in Chile, where the trials and tribulations fail to cease, but they ultimately make a home for themselves. In a world of political turmoil, this masterful work serves as a reminder of the power of hope and love.

The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

This book is about loneliness, something many of us are experiencing in our own lives. Laing studies artists, such as Edward Hopper and Klaus Nomi, who made loneliness their subject and turned it into art. The Lonely City is thoughtful and interesting and offers a brighter picture of solitude that may change your attitude on your own life.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Now a Hulu original series, Little Fires Everywhere is a page-turner that explores the weight of secrets, the dynamics of motherhood, and issues of identity. Two mothers with diametrically opposed worldviews are the center of the story and their conflict is the basis of the conflict.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The Dutch House is a story of the unbreakable bond between two siblings, the gilded age house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them move forward. A story of paradise lost, this story digs into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, and who we really are. 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This instant bestseller is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II. All the Light We Cannot See is full of stunningly beautiful language, and is a deeply moving novel.