Pandemic Reads | Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library 

Pandemic Reads

Pandemic Reads

Even though many restaurants and stores have reopened, people are still home more than usual as the pandemic continues.  During this extra time at home, you may be looking for reading to keep you occupied and entertained.  Here are some popular trends that may give you some ideas.

Fiction that Allows an Escape from Day-to-day Reality

Many people are choosing works that allow them to think about other things and to put thoughts of the pandemic aside temporarily.  Some examples of works that might provide an escape are:

If these ideas sound appealing, you might want to take a look at our staff picks and recommended reads in these areas, which are linked above.

Book about Race

People are also focusing on social issues, and in particular reading books on race, as this topic has come to the forefront of national discussions.  Some informative and popular books on this topic written by African American authors are:

Books about Pandemics

A final popular, and possibly surprising, trend is reading fiction and nonfiction books about pandemics.  Here are the types of books about pandemics that people are reading and why.

Nonfiction for Adults:

These nonfiction books let us know that humans have been through pandemics a surprising number of times and have surmounted the crisis during historical periods when we were much less scientifically advanced than we are today.  In a sense, these historical books are often both gripping and encouraging, as they demonstrate our ability to survive.  Warning: some do offer grim predictions of future outbreaks.  Click on a title for availability and more detailed descriptions of the work.

Nonfiction to help children and teens understand:

Adults often want to help children and teens understand what is happening and reassure them by providing background and context.  Here are some books that can help children and teens understand the current situation.

Fiction books for adults:

Finally, there are many fiction books for adults about pandemics, and these titles often include gripping and moving stories that reveal the courage and endurance of human beings. Warning: choose carefully and read the descriptions by clicking on the titles, as some of these books are darker than others!

  • Station Eleven (fiction/dystopian; fictional virus called Georgia flu): 
  • The Stand (horror; manmade virus)
  • Wanderers (science fiction/dystopian; sleepwalking people being lead to an unknown destination)
  • Cold Storage (horror; “highly mutative organism”)
  • The Dreamers (science fiction; sleeping virus in a college town)
  • The Dog Stars (fiction/dytopian; future flu pandemic)
  • Great Believers (realistic historical fiction; AIDS epidemic)
  • Severance (fiction/dystopian; fictional Shen Fever)
  • Book of M (eBook only, fantasy fiction; people’s shadows disappear, and then they lose their memories)
  • Bird Box (horror; people see “something” and become violent, an epidemic referred to as “The Problem”)
  • The Decameron (classic fiction; written shortly after the plague of 1348, realistic story of 10 people who hide out in a countryside villa and tell stories until the plague has passed)
  • A Journal of the Plague Year (historical novel; the bubonic plague in London in 1665)
  • The Andromeda Strain (eBook only, fiction/horror; extraterrestrial organism in New Mexico)
  • Zone One (horror fiction/dystopian; virus causes zombies)
  • The Girl with all the Gifts (horror; fungal infection creates “hungries” or zombies)

Whatever type of reading you choose, please enjoy, take care and be well!

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