Many of us have a bit of time on our hands at home during the coronavirus lockdown, and getting lost in a good book is the ideal way to escape and unwind. However, it can be tricky deciding what to read in the first place. We caught up with best-selling author Sophie Kinsella, whose novels have sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, for some of her top book recommendations – and we want to read them all!
Sophie is currently headlining the Schoolreaders’ Online Book Club Quiz for 2020 – a charity that aims to give every child the chance to read well. The quiz is a chance for book clubs or groups of friends to connect for a bit of virtual fun together.
Sophie says: "At this strange time, reading is even more of a solace, an education and a way into the world. I’m so glad that the Schoolreaders Book Club Quiz will still be running, virtually. We are all adjusting to new ways of communication and we can still connect, and have fun with our shared love of books. Good luck!"
Author Sophie Kinsella
Sophie Kinsella's 10 book recommendations for lockdown Britain
The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak
Sophie says: "If you have any children or indeed any children-at-heart in your family, then I recommend The Book with No Pictures. I defy anyone to read this book aloud to a child or even a group of adults and not have fun. It’s witty and subversive and has become a family favourite in our house."
The Book with No Pictures, £6.99, Waterstones
My Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
"We may not be able to travel to Denmark during lockdown, but we can read My Year of Living Danishly, by Helen Russell, who moved to Denmark when her husband was employed there. It’s a fascinating, very insightful read about how they do things differently in Denmark and why Danes are so happy. When I read this memoir, I became fixated with all things Danish, especially the idea of hygge, which seems to involve many candles, Scandi throws and cosiness. I think we all need a bit more Danish attitude in our life, especially right now."
My Year of Living Danishly, £7.37, Amazon
MORE: These are the UK’s favourite children’s books
The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan
"Jenny Colgan is the queen of sweet, uplifting books and they quite often have recipes in the back for your lockdown baking, as an added bonus! I would turn to any of them for a feel-good read, and especially the most recent, The Bookshop on the Shore, which is witty and poignant, set in a fabulous picturesque location on the edge of a loch."
The Bookshop on the Shore, £7.37, WHSmith
Frederica by Georgette Heyer
"If you want to escape lockdown completely, then I recommend any novel by Georgette Heyer, or indeed, all her novels. They are absolutely delicious tales of Regency heroes, winsome heroines, fops, dandies, dastardly baddies and lots of sumptuous descriptions of silk-lined bonnets, cravats and breeches. Utter, immersive escapism. Try starting off with Frederica."
Frederica, from £15.35, Amazon
Only You by Kate Eberlen
"I loved Miss You by this author and am greatly looking forward to reading this new novel, which is about a couple brought together in Italy by a love of dance. It sounds exactly the kind of sweeping romance we all need right now."
Only You, £7.99, Waterstones
Middlemarch by George Eliot
"Lockdown is the time to read that classic you’ve never had time for, and Middlemarch is an absolute gem. I put off reading it for many years because (shamefully) I thought the title sounded, um, boring. But what a treat! It’s a wise and witty read about life in a nineteenth-century Midlands town, with wonderfully drawn characters."
Middlemarch, £2.25, Amazon
MORE: 8 book series to get you through lockdown
Emma by Jane Austen
"For another classic novel, turn to Jane Austen. Her writing is witty, elegant and timeless and Emma is one of her most flawed yet endearing heroines. I've read this book over and over again and with the new film out, now is the chance to read the book first."
Emma, £5.98, Amazon
The Mapp and Lucia series by E.F Benson
"The Mapp and Lucia series is another great escape from current times, into a hilarious world of rivalry and social sparring in a small town between the wars, where battles rage over such vital issues as a stolen recipe for lobster. Mapp and Lucia are the most perfectly matched rivals, the whole series is supremely witty, barbed and stylish and the best news is, there are six books to enjoy."
Mapp and Lucia, £7.19, Amazon
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
"Maybe you want to escape lockdown into a gripping, heart-thumping read. I adored The Kind Worth Killing, which is a fantastic psychological thriller. It starts with two strangers chatting at an airport and turns into a riveting page-turner with a brilliant twist."
The Kind Worth Killing, £7.62, Amazon
A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics by Daniel Levitin
“We’re all obsessed with statistics at the moment and that’s why everyone should read A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics. It tells you all the ways in which data and information are manipulated, and it’s changed the way I perceive things like percentages and graphs. It’s fascinating, very anecdotal and easy to read. There are lots of jaw-dropping real-life examples of misinformation and it leaves you feeling slightly more determined to check sources.” To enter the book club quiz, teams should go to at schoolreaders.org for more information"
A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics, £11.99, Amazon
To enter the book club quiz, teams should go to at schoolreaders.org for more information
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