With the plethora of amazing television and movie options out there, it’s all too easy to put down a book and pick up a remote...However, the wonderful books listed below deserve their chance. The stories are rich and nuanced, the imagery is arresting, and they offer the ultimate escapism. 

From the latest memoirs to fascinating fiction, these selections are all beautifully told and varied to keep you engrossed throughout quarantine and beyond.

Love In The Blitz - Eileen Alexander  |  Historical Fiction

Through the rescued letters of Eileen Alexander, a Jewish woman in her 20s, we sink into the reality of wartime London – and her remarkable love story. In 1939, Eileen begins writing to fellow Cambridge student Gershon Ellenbogen. As their relationship flourishes over five years, the tensions between Germany, Russia and the rest of Europe reach a crescendo. A truely touching tale.

A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles  |  Historical Fiction

Fall head over heels in love with the whimsical, gentle, humorous exploits of a Russian aristocrat quarantined in the faded splendour of a Moscow hotel during the Revolution. It’s a concept we can all connect to right now, but to say it’s topical would diminish the uniqueness of the story and the depth of character development in this novel. 

Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times - edited by Neil Astley  |  Poetry

Could there be a selection more apt than this? As we all face a completely unfamiliar world, this collection of poetry has a selection for every mood(swing) you may be experiencing and can offer humour, understanding, and inspiration in trying times. 

Lisboeta - Nuno Mendes  |  Food & Travel

There’s nothing better than a weighty, thick book – this one celebrates the food and culture of Lisbon in a brilliant travelogue format. Vibrant pictures and portraits accompany Nuno’s recipes and diary observations from ‘Portugal’s City of Light’.

French Exit - Patrick Dewitt  |  Fiction

Sink into this absurd comedy about a 65-year-old New York socialite and her grown-up son who move to Paris. They are attempting to escape catastrophe, but readers get to escape the bonds of geography temporarily and dream of a future trip to the French capital.

Ishmael - Daniel Quinn  |  Fiction

Though written in 1992, this philosophical novel by Daniel Quinn examines the hidden cultural biases driving modern civilization and explores themes of ethics, sustainability, and global catastrophe – all exceedingly relevant issues. Though it contains weighty subject matter, the method of storytelling (through a talking gorilla found in a newspaper ad) has made it a charming classic with thought-provoking ideology. 

Catch and Kill - Ronan Farrow  |  Memoir/Non-Fiction

No one could have been oblivious to the saga of allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein as they dominated the headlines in 2017. This memoir from Ronan Farrow, a journalist who helped uncover the bombshell story, charts his investigation into Harvey Weinstein, for which he shared a Pulitzer Prize with two reporters at the New York Times.