Book Recommendations to Delight and Distract You (COVID-19 Edition)


I am still reeling from the fact that I should not be going anywhere. Like you, we are doing our best to self seclude so that we lessen the impact of COVID-19 in our community. I don’t know what I’m going to do while I’m stuck in my house with my children for untold days at a time. Fortunately, we do reading time every day, and I will do my best to sit down and read too. I asked for book recommendations to keep my mind occupied, and my friends came through for me. 

Obviously we can’t read all day, but we can make a lot of progress in short stints.  Nap time, quiet time, Sustained Silent Reading time, when they’re engaged with an audiobook, or while you’re letting Storybook Nanny read to them on Youtube, are all great times to snuggle up and read too.

The libraries are closing in other parts of the country so I recommend stocking up now. If you’re too late however, there are lots of other ways to get books. Most of these book recommendations have been on the market long enough that they are readily available. Libby through your local library, E-books, borrowing/trading books with friends, Little Free Libraries, or purchasing locally on-line are all going to be your best friend. The Book Rack in Davenport offers great deals and shipping!  You can find on-line bargains from national second-hand sellers if finding the book locally doesn’t work out.

Reading has a lot of benefits for you and your kids. Maybe start a new hobby with one of these book recommendations or delve in like an old friend!

These recommendations are from local parents, just like you. Some of the text is from Goodreads Reviews. 

Historical Fiction Book Recommendations

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

I may have recommended it before. You. Will. Love. It. Historical fiction that takes place in three different eras. It’s War and Peace-ish in length but it flies by! ~ Nicole

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book recommenadations
photo @Persuading Daisies

I think what I loved most about this book was people’s ability to find laughter and love in the midst of tragedy. Even though the book is set in WW2 and shortly after, the characters had me laughing often through this book. It’s a beautiful read of resiliency, community, and the way that literature can bind us together. And as a heads up – definitely don’t watch the movie! The book will give you much more “all the feels”. ~ Laura, QC Mom

Contemporary Fiction Book Recommendations

Big Little Lies

I laughed the entire time I read this book. 

I loved the entire plot of the book with flashbacks as the school parents spoke to the police as the story was told. I did not foresee what was going to happen and when I read it, BAM! It hit me like a ton of bricks! ~Mandy, Goodreads

A Man Called Ove 

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and fall in love with a grumpy old man. ~Brooke, QC Mom

I love the reminder that were all going through life the best we can and no one truly knows all the things that shape us. A great mystery. Ove is one of those people I think of frequently. Without giving any spoilers, he’s not the man he seems. It’s also written so beautifully.  ~ Sarah, QC Mom

We’ll Fly Away

fiction book recommendations
photo @popthebutterfly

A powerful story about friendship and tough circumstances. What resonates is that this is a story about male friendship, about the choices (good and bad) that teens can make, and the way those choices ultimate seal or break those relationships. ~ Keith, QC Dad

 Fragile Things

Fragile Things is a collection of oddities, retellings, poetry, spin-offs, and queer creations of Neil Gaiman’s colorful imagination. If I were to use the word ”unputdownable” to describe a book, this is the one. No one in the world, I think, has a more vivid and odd imagination like Neil does. Plus, he writes just beautifully: simple words, straightforward language, languid construction. He is the best storyteller there is, period. And I am just itching to read more of his works! ~ Monique, Goodreads

The Unteachables

This one is funny and heartwarming at the same time. It was short and told through many different perspectives. A book that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of readers. ~ Vicki, Goodreads

About a burned out teacher in a troublesome classroom~Keith, QC Dad

Children of Blood and Bone

Photo @ hin_zur_sonne

Read this on audiobook and it was incredible. The book itself is amazing, but Bahni Turpin’s voice made it that much better. ~ Darah, QC Mom

An epic adventure with African vibe~Keith, QC Dad

Far from the Tree

What an absolutely amazing contemporary novel. I am truly BLOWN AWAY by how fantastic this story is. I would recommend it to absolutely everyone.

CW: teen pregnancy, adoption, foster care system, alcoholism

I don’t feel I even have the words to express how fantastic this book is. It is touching, emotional, heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the exact same time. Far From The Tree is one of those books that causes you to have a weight on your chest the entire time you are reading. ~Emma, Goodreads

 About a broken family in foster/adoption~Keith, QC Dad

Something Like Happy.

I really enjoyed this book, and the message it has. We have to do deal with life, but life is what we make it. Even the worst experiences in life you can choose to be the victim or rise above and deal with the sadness and heartache. This book has taught me to look at every situation from all sides. Good and bad…and to live a more positive life. Will you see the glass half empty or half full? ~ Anne Marie

Science Fiction, Mysteries, and Thrillers 

14 by Peter Clines.

Science Fiction thriller page turner. Has a great cast of characters, one of whom is an old building with where subtly strange things happen! I did the audio book on this, and the narrator does a phenomenal job! It was like listening to a radio-serial. ~ Nicole

 Left Behind Series…Based on the book of Revelations …about 13 books. You can get them on Amazon. ~Laura, QC Mom

The Power by Naomi Alderman

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time and it came completely out of the blue. The real genius of it is the way that Alderman turns society so perfectly on its head. ~Kylie, QC Mom

Bird Box


I’m one of those who hadn’t heard of the book until everyone started talking about the movie. I devoured both in short order. Both are powerful. Changes are made. I honestly won’t say “the book was better.”

I loved the style of writing. Sometimes it was lyrical. Sometimes short choppy sentences. Always got my heart racing. You never knew who the narrator would be. Usually Malorie, but sometimes a housemate or the omniscient narrator. The simplest act of drinking a glass of water was terrifying. Highly recommended if you like to be scared. Watch the movie too! ~Jessica, QC Mom

World War Z

science fiction thriller book recommendations
Photo @sunnyassumes


Some R rated language, but overall good book–fascinating premise ~Nathan, QC Dad

My son recommended this book to me and I have to admit that I enjoyed it. Max Brooks is a talented author. On several occasions, I had to remind myself that this is a fiction, not a non-fiction book (non-fiction is my favorite genre, so that is a compliment). Now that I have finished the book, I can truly say I will have some good knowledge on how to survive a Zombie War, if we ever have one :). ~ Valerie, QC Mom

The Other Typist 

Suspenseful and kept me wanting to read. ~Abbi, QC Mom

The Stephanie Plum  series by Janet Evanovich 

Fahrenheit 451

This is one of the best books ever written. This is one of my favorite books of all time. ALL TIME. 

Every line of Fahrenheit 451 is beautifully written. Poetic. Metaphoric. Transcendent. Awesome. The beginning, middle, and ending… all amazing. ~ Justin, Goodreads

Nonfiction Book Recommendations

You Are a Badass Everyday by Jen Sincero

It’s a great read to give you something to think about or work on everyday to make yourself more of a badass. Jen is great at telling it like it is and in bite size chapters, you can get one in while trying to give your kids the 500th snack of the day. Also, who doesn’t need to feel more like a badass in their lives? ~Brooke QC Mom

The Glass Castle

book recommendations non fiction
photo @slowprose

Beautifully written. I was engaged at every stage of this story. ~ Heather, QC Mom

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

This blew my mind. It’s a nonfiction book about staying emotionally healthy in our chaotic modern world. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author, and he did a wonderful job. ~ Aubrey,  QC Mom

MamaBear Apologetics by Hillary Morgan Ferrer.

Amazing resource for Christian parents raising children in today’s culture and encourages everyone to think critically about everything. ❤️ ~Angie, QC Mom

Mere Christianity

CS Lewis’s radio broadcast during London bombings in WWII ~ Keith, QC Dad

Honest Toddler

You need to read this because lots of us moms are experiencing a new approach to family time. We need a laugh and a chance to see how it’s best not to compete but build each other up. ~Anne Marie




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