What I’m Reading (and Doing) During Social Distancing

In light of everything that is happening, I hope that everyone is staying safe and staying inside as much as possible. I feel lucky to be in good health, and I hope it stays that way.

Now, I know some people think that this might be silly and that some of us need to go on and live our lives. But the thing is that, if we use this time now to stay safe and determine who actually has Corona, the sooner that we can reduce the number of cases. Hopefully, the sooner that this all happens, the sooner that life can go back to normal.

Now, I’m self-quarantining with family, and being the way I am, I have a lot of things that I can do. The thing that I am most excited for, beyond spending more time with my dog and my grandmother, is that I get to make a serious dent in my New Year’s resolution to read 50 books this year.

Today, I thought I would take the time and share what’s on my reading list during this self-quarantine. I’ll also be sharing other things you can do to fill your time, and how these things could be a little less lonely in a time when we’re trying to isolate ourselves.

The first thing is that reading, while done in isolation, can be a shared experience. There’s a reason that books are assigned in English class, and book clubs exist. Books and perspectives on the material can be discussed, and in that way, you’re experiencing that book with another person.

Now is not the time to be gathering in places, but we live in a time of technology. You can start a book discussion group with your friends and arrange a time for a Skype session to discuss the book. There are also groups that you can join online. I know that one of the books on this list I picked up so that I could join in on the podcast. It’s called The Readheads Book Club, and I’m working my way through it before I listen and join the Facebook group that’s attached to it. There are experiences like that.

Moving on, here are the books that I plan on reading…

1. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

For me, Cassandra Clare is my equivalent of J.K. Rowling, because I read her books while everyone I knew read Harry Potter. It’s funny I say that, because I found out recently that Cassandra Clare’s books started as Harry Potter fanfiction. It was shocking to me, but I don’t necessarily this it’s taboo in this case. Clare’s characters and world have taken on a life of their own, and Clare obviously has a mastery of her writing skills. She might’ve used fanfiction as her training wheels to get where she is, but the wheels are off and she’s doing it on her own now.

Anyway, I always look forward to getting my hand on a new Cassandra Clare book. It’s no different now. I’m so excited, and it’s great to have something to be excited about.

2. The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Marie Lu is one of my favorite authors, and this novel was released right before I started spring break. I’ve read the synopsis, and I think it’s interesting because she’s dipping her toe into new territory. This one is a historical fiction story that circles around the idea of Mozart. While I don’t know much about classical music, I’m interested in seeing what kind of story Lu has developed here.

3. Darling Magazine

I know this isn’t a book, but I saw it in the store as I was checking out. I saw the words “modern women” and “Joanna Gaines,” I knew I had to give it a peak. Currently, I think it was very worth it. In addition to the reading material, it also seems to be workbook that forces me to really think of who I am and the ways that I can be better. This is a good time for self-improvement.

4. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This is the book I’m reading as part of The Readheads Book Club. I’d seen it in the store and I was interested in it, but I couldn’t find an excuse to buy it. When I heard it was chosen for the book club, I found my excuse. So far, it’s not a terrible read. It actually would’ve made a good beach read, if we could go.

Other Things You Can Do During Social Distancing (While Still Being Social)

  • Binge Watch a New Series or Watch a Movie: I have so much on my watch list that I’m excited that I might be able to get through some of it. You can loop your friends in by scheduling a watch time together and starting a video chat while watching. That way you’re experiencing the same thing simultaneously and you’re getting all the real time discussion. My boyfriend and I have been watching McMillions on HBO. My little and I are going to start Love Is Blind on Netflix. I’ve also been ploughing through Desperate Housewives on Hulu for the first time because I’ve been so hooked. Not to mention that Frozen 2 is now on Disney+. There’s a plethora of things in the world.
  • Game Night: I love board games and video games alike. While board games is a bit harder if you aren’t quarantined with other people, technology has also made this possible. Words with Friends is a great one, and I remember I used to play games with friends on Yahoo! Messenger. The options exist, you just have to find them.
  • Cooking/Share a Meal: I love to cook as a way of de-stressing, and these are stressful times. Eating dinner along might not be fun, but you can always schedule a dinner time with someone and video chat them during that time as well.
  • Be Crafty: Do you remember loving art class in grade school? I do, because I felt like I always learned something new. I still remember how to paint a turkey and design a comic. I also love painting to de-stress, because the process is therapeutic for me.
  • Self-Care: Speaking of therapeutic, we should really take care of ourselves all the time. In the rush of normal life, it can be really hard to remember to care for ourselves in the rush of everyday life. Now that we’re confined to our homes, maybe enjoy a candle lit bubble bath or a face mask. Give yourself what you need, so that when life goes back to normal, you can come back better than ever.
  • Learn Something New: Have you ever wanted to expand your range of skills? Interested in becoming more knowledgeable? Now is the time, and there are so many ways to learn something new. I might brush up on my French skills on Duolingo. Over Christmas, I got access to MasterClass, so I might look into getting business advice from Bob Iger, Disney’s former CEO. I’m also looking into Skillshare to expand on my graphic design knowledge, as well as workout classes online.
  • Be Productive: Many of us are probably working from home. I know that college here in Florida have completely transitioned online for the duration of spring semester, so I have plenty of work to do. But even if I didn’t, now is the time to tidy up what I need, and invest time towards achieving my goals and passion projects. There’s no reason for me not to work out, or to update this website like I’ve been telling myself I would. Now is the time.

What are you during while you self-quarantine? Is there a book you think I should read? How are you staying healthy in these turbulent times?

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe as you take the necessary precautions. Hopefully, things get better sooner rather than later. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read my blog. If you like what you see, feel free to share, like, and leave me a comment below of what you would like to see. Also feel free to subscribe to my email list.

Love Always,

Kristi My