• Erin Zaranec

Kindle and Chill

I've been in the house practically nonstop during quarantine, but I've also been to what seems like a million different worlds. I've been reading SO much during quarantine and, for me, it's a great release and way to feel like I'm exploring a whole new world from the comfort of my couch.

Every single book I've read so far has been great and they've all been so different.

Here are my 2020 quarantine reads (so far!):

The Pelican Brief by John Grisham

An intense mystery / thriller novel, The Pelican Brief follows the story of a legal briefing written by a law student after two Supreme Court Justices end up assassinated. Student Darby Shaw wrote the briefing on a whim but it ended up in the wrong hands. This story has quite a few twists and turns and, for me, was such a quick read!

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

What starts as an investigation of a suspicious package sent to the world's top neurologists leads Jon Ronson to the heart of the madness industry - writing about the scientists, doctors, and patients within in. From studying the traits of psychopaths to visiting a mental institution, Ronson's journey is of interest to anyone whose interest is peaked by an industry that usually goes without much discussion.

Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality by Debbie Cenziper and Jim Obergfell

Even after same-sex marriage was legalized, states were still allowed to have their own rules and regulations involving some of the more administrative (but valuable) parts of a marriage - names on birth certificates, insurance claims, and more. Two men from Cincinatti, Ohio found themselves in the legal battle of a lifetime to ensure that every single aspect of their union was recognized, no matter where they were in the country. What follows is a story of inspiration, love, and hope that has impacted the lives of countless couples.

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

How do we create our own happily ever after? Sisters Jo and Bethie Kaufmann are born into a world that makes it seem as though 'happy' is the only path their lives can take, but after overcoming trauma and tragedy both women's lives look different than anyone could imagine. This book is an amazing read that reflects on the pressures women face from themselves, from society, and from family. It showcases that happily ever after is possible, but only if you're honest with yourself along the way.

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

When Nikole Patterson's boyfriend of a few months decides to publicly propose to her on a Jumbotron, her life takes a turn to the public eye. While the Internet goes crazy over her story, Nikole finds comfort in a fellow fan who attempted to save her from the public eye before any more of her life could be put on display. This is NOT my typical read, I wouldn't say I'm one for the 'cutesy' stuff. It's a bit predictable of a plot, but a quick page turner that gives a bit of summertime romance.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore

While radium was making headlines in America, it was also slowly killing the women using it to create luminous watches and clock faces. The Radium Girls follows the true stories of women who worked in various radium factories, sometimes exposing themselves to the substance for years with no protection. It's an eye-opening read about the women who died on other people's expense as the factory owners put greed over all else.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky, this novel tells the story of Cussy Carter - the last surviving blue-skinned woman. Cussy is strong-willed and determined to have a life she loves, not a life that someone else has written for her. She is lovingly referred to as the Book Woman as she works as a traveling librarian to ensure that even the most isolated households in the Kentucky hills have access to books. Not everyone appreciates her work - or her skin tone - though and Cussy finds herself in various fights for her life.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks

Jessica Farris is an underpaid twenty-something looking to make some extra cash when she rushes into a research study on ethics and morality. Little does she know, with each answer she provides she becomes more and more entwined in the researcher's life. This book had me RUSHING to find out what happened next - I was so intrigued! The chapter's alternate narrators so the book goes by really quickly and will leave you at the edge of your seat.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Jenna Metcalf misses her mother. Deepy. When she was just three years old, her mother was involved in an elephant related accident (yep, you read that right) at the sanctuary she worked at and suddenly went missing. Jenna's whole life has been a quest for answers about her mother. She finds herself turning to a private investigator and a medium to look for answers and WOW the ending is not what you'd expect. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this read but I quickly came to love all of the characters and was invested in the outcome. Jenna's story was unexpected but shows that true love never dies.

Run Away by Harlan Coben

Imagine going viral for punching a homeless man in a park. Well, that's where Simon found himself - but he knew the truth: the man he punched wasn't homeless, he was the man who got his daughter, Paige, addicted to drugs. He was the man in the way of Simon finding his daughter. Run Away follows a family's journey through discovering the truth about their drug addicted daughter's story - how did this happen? where did she go? how can they help? For me, this was a quick read and one I'd recommend.


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