Just because you're cooped up at home doesn't mean your mind can't travel the globe, outer space and even time itself. With this in mind, the staff at The Tylt put our heads together to come up with the ultimate reading list—from fantasy series to mystery novels and everything in between—for our own readers to turn to in uncertain times. Check out some of our favorite books below and cast your vote for your own!
And if you're looking for a way to help those in need during the Coronavirus outbreak, check out the Center for Disease Philanthropy's COVID-19 Response Fund.
If you’re looking for a whirlwind romance complete with diplomacy, princes and late-night texting, look no further than Casey McQuiston’s "Red, White & Royal Blue." These characters will be your best friends in moments. Meanwhile, Sonali Dev’s "Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors" is a glorious new take on the Jane Austen classic (think: flipped gender roles, neurosurgeon-meets-chef dynamic, a search for belonging, all the while a life hangs in the balance). What could be better?
T. H. White’s "The Once and Future King" is an excellent modernization of King Arthur and his knights. If you’re looking for a Disney “The Sword and the Stone,” vibe, look no further for a lengthy dose of grandeur and adventure. But perhaps you’re more in the mood to see the dragons and fighting. In that case, go with "Nimona," a graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson. This masterpiece is sure to keep you engaged with a cast of villains aimed at revealing who the true heroes really are.
If you haven’t read Ursula K. Le Guin’s "The Earthsea Cycle," now is the time. Le Guin’s contributions to the genre are nearly unmatched, and the "Earthsea" books will show you why. But Douglas Adams’s "The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" is never a bad choice. Pick up this series if you’re in need of an absurdist, comedic trip through space.
Now is the time for honesty. Dare I say it, now is the time for bravery. Now is the time to admit whether or not you’ve actually read either of these two childhood classics. I’ll start. I haven’t finished either. Nevertheless, I can say with confidence that both would be excellent choices for fast-paced, meaningful reads. Now is the time!
Tana French’s "The Secret Place" is a salve to all needs for detective novels, reopened cold cases, and—what else—an Irish backdrop. Justine Larbalestier’s "My Sister Rosa" is a little less well-known, but a potentially psychopathic younger sister is just the thing any reader needs to keep turning the page.
Kenneth Grahame’s "The Wind in the Willows" is the perfect classic to pick up when you want your brain to be outdoors; you need not look further than a classic whose main characters are a badger, a toad and a mole. Otherwise, opt for Oscar Wilde’s "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and prepare for some introspective, soul-searching moments, as well as a timeless twist of how beauty (and ugliness) is skin deep.
David Sedaris’ "Theft by Finding" is a brilliant collection of observations, wit and curiosity. If you’re wondering how to make the mundane, magical, pick up Sedaris’ book. Otherwise, you can opt for the addictive dark humor of Kevin Wilson’s "Nothing to See Here," which is sure to leave you with a full heart and wanting more.
Fair warning, neither of these books are exactly “feel-good” reads, but both are engrossing stories about two completely different times. Khaled Hosseini’s "The Kite Runner" focuses on the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy and the rise of the Taliban, while Min Jin Lee’s "Pachinko" takes place in Korea in the early 1900s.
You know you’ve got the books lying around. Whether you head to Hogwarts once a year, or you’re ashamed by how obsessed you once were with the "Twilight" love triangle, now is the time to head back into one of these worlds. Which one is it going to be?
Last, but certainly not least, the best pandemic read. For some, the best way to cope is to read about the fictionalized experiences of others, and these two books are sure to send your mind in a thousand different directions. Emily St. John Mandel’s "Station Eleven" and Ling Ma’s "Severance" are here for you.