• rachel langan

Covid Crisis: What is Essential?

Back in March when Quarantine/Lockdown was announced, we were told not to leave our homes unless it was essential. Only essential workers could continue to work outside the home.

I thought: "Ok, I can do this for two weeks."

But two weeks turned into four, and then four turned into eight.

And here we are, 102 days later, still living a life in lockdown.

What I deemed essential back in March has changed a bit over the past 100+ days. Because at first, things like food and toilet paper were at the top of my list of essentials. But as time moved like sand through an hourglass, I realized that I wasn't going to make it through this without books. (FUN FACT: I used to be a school librarian.)

For a while, I was fine reading books on my Kindle, because fiction was a nice distraction from all the stress and strife created by being locked in my home 24/7 with my husband, five kids, and two dogs.

But after a month or so, I needed some non-fiction books. Like ACTUAL BOOKS, so that I could read, smell--am I the only one who loves the smell of books?!--highlight, underline, and take notes in the margins.

So while our overall household spending has been way down (since we seem to never leave the house!) my book budget has gone way up.

Here's what I've been reading over the past 3 months, I'd love to hear what you've been reading!

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

So SO good. When I first picked this up, I couldn't read it because it was too intense. This was when Covid was stressing me out, so I needed a fun read instead. (See Crazy Rich Asians)

Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan++

A WW2 story based on the life of a 17 year old boy living in Milan during the Nazi occupation. So many plot twists and turns that I kept shouting out loud while reading.

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris

This is the sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, which I haven't read. This book was just ok.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan++

A really fun read with a solid plot. I thought it would be trashy and a waste of my time, but it's actually quite enjoyable.

Educated by Tara Westover

I avoided this book for a while because I didn't feel up to an emotional read. While I liked it, it felt similar to The Glass Castle, which I enjoyed a whole lot more.

Essentials by Lindsey Elmore+

Everything you need to know about essential oils.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Set in the 1970s, this book is part mystery, part social commentary that explores race and feminism. A good read.

Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky (I'm pre-ordering the cards that go with the book!)

This book is going to change my life. I am living in a house with 3 other adults, 2 almost adults (ages 15 & 17), plus 1 kid. Yet I am doing almost all the work. This is a problem that has surfaced since Covid started, when all 7 of us had to learn to work and school from home. This book is going to help me reclaim my sanity.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls

A powerful and poignant read about an unconventional childhood.

Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls

The prequel to The Glass Castle, Half Broke Horses is a look at life in the West in the first part of the 20th century. I really enjoyed both of these books by Jeannette Walls.

Plague of Corruption by Judy Mikovits and Kent Heckenlively+

A look at the history of viruses as they relate to the Coronavirus. Timely, interesting, not too science-y.

Unknown Valor: A Story of Family, Courage, and Sacrifice from Pearl Harbor to Iwo Jima by Martha MacCallum+

MacCallum does a great job of weaving personal stories with historically accurate data that paints a picture of America at war. Most WW2 books focus on the war in Europe; this one focuses on the war with Japan. A solid read.

+ currently reading

++ second time time reading this book

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