Recommended books for sequestered reading
We read to be informed, entertained, comforted, distracted – or just to escape from the stay-at-home rule while remaining safe at home.
This month, I’ve compiled a list of books for all sorts of readers in your house. Some I’ve reviewed for the Pioneer, others for my website and others I’ve read but never reviewed. Some are new, some old, some you may even have on your shelves or as eBooks in your computers or eBook devices.
If you feel like buying from an independent bookstore, many are taking phone orders that can be mailed to you or can be safely brought to your car when ready to pick up.
“Bibliophile, an Illustrated Miscellany,” by Jane Mount. The best book ever about the books you’ve read or wished you’ve read, about bookstores, authors and illustrations that you won’t believe. This book is a treasure chest to go through at your own pace.
“Accidentals,” by Susan M. Gaines. I’ll be reviewing this book soon. It’s a story of a divorced California mother who returns to her native Uruguay along with her grown son. The novel is filled with family secrets, wildlife discoveries, science, politics, romance and, ultimately, endurance and survival. I loved this novel.
“Just Because,” by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. My favorite new picture book. Be sure and read it a couple of times, paying close attention to the illustrations, before you read it to a youngster. How many questions can a kid ask? And when does the harried parent respond with “Just Because?” Not the parent in this book.
“Overground Railroad, The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America,” by Candacy Taylor. A fascinating look at what travel in America was like for black families and businessmen from 1936 until 1966. The Green Book was for black families what the AAA Travel Guide was for the white population. “The Overground Railroad” takes readers on a road trip like no other.
“Penitentiary Tales, A Love Story,” by EA Luetkemeyer. From a cottage in Sausalito to a state penitentiary in Illinois, Luetkemeyer takes the reader into the world of Dean Davis, a white, college-educated expectant father whose past finally catches up with him. He was not prepared for his five-year sentence. The diverse population, both ethnic and sexual, challenge Davis in ways he could not have imagined. The language is as coarse as some of the exploits that take place behind bars. But the lives of the inmates he befriends and those who befriend him are remarkable, as are the lives of those inmates who only wish him harm. I never tired of their stories or of how Davis managed to survive those five years.
“The Book on the Book Shelf,” by Henry Petroski. Only Petroski could write a history of the bookshelf. Readers who shelve their books, whether on proper shelving or boards supported by concrete blocks, I promise you, you will love this book. After reading this book, you will look more closely at library shelving (when libraries are again open to the public), grocery store shelves, warehouse shelves and even the cardboard display shelving found in bookstores. A fun read.
Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at
bookinwithsunny.com for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’
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