I mentioned briefly that part of the reason I’ve been reading so much lately is because it’s a comfort to me during the pandemic. When this all started up back in March, I had VERY severe anxiety. Like, crippling anxiety. Sometimes I just had to go lie in bed and nap during the day. I barely slept at night, and that became the only way I felt safe. When I did go to bed, the only thing that would comfort me was reading until I fell asleep. I’ve continued to do it pretty much every night since then. Sometimes I get so into a book, that I just keep reading. Some nights I wake up multiple times in the middle of the night, and I’ll even continue to read then until my eyes won’t stay open anymore.
I’m actually doing a LOT better now, and I haven’t suffered from that crippling anxiety for quite a while. But I am still reading a lot, obviously. Rediscovering NetGalley has definitely helped that along. I love getting ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of books before they are even available to purchase. And I’ve discovered the challenge of trying to keep up with my reading list and write reviews. It helps that all of the books from NetGalley are ebooks, since I really like how handy it is to have my Kindle Paperwhite and be able to get books in just a few seconds.
My Top Pandemic-Era Books
Given how much I’ve posted about books lately, a friend reached out to ask about my top three right now. I have read a lot lately, and I thought about it a bit. Most of what I’ve been reading is crime thrillers. I normally like those, but I’ve been inspired lately by @crimebythebook on Instagram. She always has great recommendations and posts great photos too! So, in light of my crime thriller fascination, I think these are my top books at the moment.
The First Mistake was one of those that I read late into the night and had a hard time putting down. If you like a good, twisty, mystery novel, this should be right up your alley. Sandie Jones is also the author of The Other Woman, which was a Reese’s Book Club pick and another one I’d recommend. I read The Half Sister by her recently too, another good one. But I think The First Mistake was my favorite of the three.
I think Lisa Jewell might be one of my new favorite authors. I read her book The Family Upstairs last year, which is a huge hit and I’ve heard about a lot. One thing I loved about Watching You is that it takes place in my favorite place – England! This one had a lot of interesting characters, and by the end you’ll definitely be trying to guess how they all fit together. Definitely worth checking out.
The Choice was actually one that I got from NetGalley. I wrote a review of it just recently. What I might have loved the most about this one was how much it made me think. It was classified as a “sliding door” story, meaning that it went back and forth between two different possible scenarios. I thought this was actually a really fascinating concept and something I’d never seen before. It left me with a lot to think about, and I really enjoyed that.
Home Before Dark is another one that has been much talked about during this pandemic time. It wasn’t one from NetGalley, but I just had to pause my NetGalley list to read it anyway. Riley Sager has written three other novels (at least with that pseudonym), and I read and greatly enjoyed all of them. Home Before Dark was no different. This was a fun haunted house story, not even something I usually enjoy. But it had enough of a mystery and twists to it that it ended up being right up my alley. I even participated in a book club discussion of it. It’s a great summer read!
So there you have it. My current top four during the pandemic. Note that these aren’t my top four of all time, but definitely the ones I’ve enjoyed reading the most while trying to stay home and safe. Books like this have kept me sane lately. If you’re into crime fiction, definitely check them all out. I think you’ll like them too!