With the madness swirling around 2020, escapism is more alluring than ever. We all need something to get our mind off of the pandemic and quarantine fatigue.

Woman reading a book during quarantine, books to read during quarantine
photo by Lisa Fotios on pexels

Maybe you need a more upbeat book to read, and your Poe collection just isn’t cutting it. Maybe you need something to get your serotonin pumping (if so, good news—every time you read a book, your brain grows stronger!)

So, if you’re sick of constantly watching the news and stashing your hand sanitizer, here are two books to satisfy your quarantine imagination withdrawals. Maybe you’ll even add them to your to-read list!

Going Bovine – Libba Bray (Quarantine Book #1)

Book cover for "Going Bovine" by Libba Bray, a book to read during quarantine
Is this book on your quarantine to-read list?
photo from Amazon

Punk-rock fairies, a dwarf with a grudge, and one heck of an adventure. Nothing spells “escapism” like Libba Bray’s Going Bovine. The book kicks off with a confession: Cameron’s suffering from mad cow disease. He must then set off on a quest to discover life’s intricacies and wonders, knowing that his time on Earth is completely out of his hands. 

The novel is as crazy as the cover suggests (with a cow clutching a gnome to its chest). It’s still a quick read, thanks to a kicked-back, casual style and humorous tone.

Cameron’s tale couldn’t be more appropriate for our 2020 world as we deal with the repercussions of illness, quarantine, and existentialism. But fear not! Bray handles these topics with her usual charisma and wit (as fans who have read A Great and Terrible Beauty and The Diviners know).

Though you might reach for the tissues a few times, you’ll turn the last page feeling inspired. And, perhaps, you’ll occasionally peer out the window at your neighbor’s yard, waiting to see if their lawn gnome will burst into a fit of expletives.

Looking for an even stranger book to peruse? Keep reading!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (Quarantine Book #2)

Book cover for "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams, in books to read during quarantine
Is this book on your quarantine to-read list?
photo from Penguin Random House

Are you dreaming about escaping quarantine and hightailing it to a neighboring cosmos? If so, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the book for you.  

Hitchhiker is escapism in its purest form: adventure, sci-fi, and comedy all at once. Instead of Bovine’s man vs. self, Douglas Adams evokes man vs. alien, man vs. android, and… Earth vs. an incoming destructive blast. I’m not lying when I say it is the strangest book I’ve ever read.

If Bray’s novel doesn’t quite fill the crazy-story hole in your heart, Hitchhiker delivers with its fast-paced plot. You’ll have plenty to talk about during your next quarantine social distancing book club!

So, if you’re wanting to check Frogstar World B off your travel list, Hitchhiker might be your next read.

I know I’ve been needing an “excuse” to cuddle up with a book and read. What better way to spend your time during quarantine than by diving into escapism for a while?

We’re facing unprecedented times, and it’s no joke that quarantine can make you feel isolated and alone. Sometimes, it’s hard to think of what to read next, especially if your mind is on other things. But if you need a mental break, these books might help!

What book will you read first? Will you start with aliens or an epic adventure?

What other books should I read and review during quarantine? Let me know in the comments!