Best books about isolation,
Need to escape the monotony of a quarantine?
In case you’ve got extra time on your hands and are looking something to read during your quarantined life, how about book in which the characters are predominately isolated? Like you. Only without a pandemic.
Lonely characters provide readers with surprising interest and suspense. Often in an isolation story, you find crazy people, hidden secrets, inner grief, and dangerous enemies. Often, someone dies. It’s both a good escape from your own isolation and a great connection point. You are not alone. Not completely.
All my book recommendations feature lonely characters who struggle to some degree with emotional, physical, and cognitive challenges during periods of isolation. They face fear and self-doubt. They learn courage and how to conquer their enemies. (Well, except for the occasional characters who don’t–hence, the death part.) Whether real or fictional, they inspire you to believe and move forward.
Isolation is never boring with a good book. (Or inside a good book.)
Yes, you’ve seen some of these recommendations on other of my book lists. I’m sorry. Isolated characters are riveting, and I’m a loyal fan to my favorites. Plus, the lonely real and fictional characters below might inspire you to embrace your quarantined existence. (At least until June 10 in Virginia). So I guess I’m not truly sorry about any recommendation overlap. A good book is always worth reading again.
Here were go. They’re linked to Amazon, so you can order away during your quarantine. I think those Amazon people are considered essential personnel.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Britt-Marie Was Here by Frederik Backman
The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Uninvited by Lysa TerKuerst
It’s Not Supposed to be This Way by Lysa TerKuerst
Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D.
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Helen Keller: The Story of my Life by Helen Keller
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Soulspeak by Sue Schlesman (the Kindle version is on sale for .99 right now!)
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Stowaway by Karen Hess
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Most of these books come in audio version, so that’s a fun way to read while you’re cleaning out the garage or pulling weeds. And you can always watch the film adaptation afterwards because most of these are also movies, and you’re looking for some good films to watch in the evenings.) Here’s a plus–many of these books are award-winners because that’s super-important to me. (It’s a book snob kind of thing.)
Please share your own book suggestions in the comments section. I tend toward the classics and literary fiction, but you might have read something brand-new you could share that we’d all like to dive into on a quiet evening. Remember, your characters must be isolated! That’s how we feel okay about being isolated ourselves.
My to-read shelf is full already, but there’s always room for another few books on it! And I should be able to find the time.
And I’d love to get some messages. It’s a little quiet over here in my she-shed.