10 Great Reads to Pass the Time During the Pandemic

by | May 21, 2020 | Entertainment, Arts, Headlines

Besides catching up on your next TV show or movie, you can always pick up a new book.  

Below we’ve listed 10 great reads — including novels, poems, memoirs, mysteries, short stories, and more —  to fill your time while staying at home.  

Some classics and new releases on this list were written by Massachusetts authors. Other books on this list will open your mind into looking at things differently. Imagery, hidden meanings and layers found in each of these books will keep you turning each page.  

For your convenience, we’ve linked where to purchase these books online, but we encourage you to find these titles at your local bookstore.


Books Written by Mass Authors:  


Boston, MA: Sylvia Plath: The Colossus and Other Poems (1960) 

First published in 1960, Sylvia Plath’s book features as “The Beekeeper’s Daughter,” “The Disquieting Muses,” “I Want, I Want,” and “Full Fathom Five,”. Plath writes about sows and skeletons, fathers, and suicides, about life and death. The forty poems are full of imagery and presents layer after layer of meaning. 

Purchase on Amazon: Kindle, Hardcover, or Paperback

Purchase at Barnes & Noble: Paperback or NOOK Book


Boston, MA: Louisa May Alcott: Little Women (1868)  

The story follows the lives of the four March sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy in which details their passage from childhood to womanhood. It is loosely based on the lives of the author and her three sisters.   

Purchase on Amazon: Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback, Audio CD

Purchase at Barnes & Noble: Hardcover, Paperback, NOOK Book 


Salem, MA: Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter (1850)  

Published in 1850, in Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony during the years 1642 to 1649, the novel tells the story of Hester Prynne who conceives a daughter through an affair and then struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. 

Purchase on Amazon: Kindle, Audiobook, Paperback 


Marshfield, MA: Erin Morgenstern: The Night Circus (2011)  

Fairy tale set near Victorian London in a wandering magical circus that is open only from sunset to sunrise, showcases two star-crossed magicians. 

Purchase on Amazon: Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback

Purchase at Barnes & Noble: Hardcover, Paperback, NOOK Book, Audio CD 


Boston, MA: Dennis Lehane: Shutter Island (2003)  

From Amazon.com: “The basis for the blockbuster motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island by New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane is a gripping and atmospheric psychological thriller where nothing is quite what it seems.”

Purchase on Amazon: Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback


Other Books to check out:  


Carmen Maria Machado: Her Body and Other Parties (2017)  

Machado demolishes borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy. This short story book won the Shirley Jackson Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction.  

Purchase on Amazon: Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback  

Purchase at Barnes & Noble: Paperback, NOOK Book, Audio CD 


Jhumpa Lahiri: Interpreter of Maladies (1999) 

Collection of short stories about the lives of Indians and Indian Americans who are caught between their roots and the “New World”. 

Purchase on Amazon: Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback


Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) 

Presented in the first person, the story is a collection of journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband (John) has rented an old mansion for the summer. Forgoing other rooms in the house, the couple moves into the upstairs nursery. Gilman explores issues such as the lack of a life outside the home and the oppressive forces of women dealing with society. 

Purchase on Amazon: Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback  


Tara Westover: Educated – A Memoir (2018) 

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling her home. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties.

Purchase on Amazon: Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback  

Purchase at Target: Hardcover


Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men (2007) 

The story occurs in Mexico–United States border in 1980 and concerns an illegal drug deal gone awry in the Texas desert back country. 

Purchase on Amazon: Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback 

Purchase at Target: Paperback


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