Two weeks ago, Herr Husband and I decided to distance ourselves as a safety precaution. We cancelled all social engagements and apart from getting out in the fields for some exercise, we’re staying in. 

This is not as dramatic as it might be for some as we both work from home anyway, so we’re used to spending time together. We get up early, walk the dog/go jogging/practise yoga, have breakfast and go to our respective work stations. So far, neither of us is feeling homicidal.

In the evenings, instead of meeting friends and family, we spend an hour shouting at the TV while the news is on, then we read. I’m finding myself drawn to rereading, perhaps due to the safety blanket of knowing what’s going to happen (in fiction, at least).

Here are a half a dozen hiding-places from reality:

Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons. A comic novel of English country life in which Flora Poste visits some distant relatives, upending their lives and changing her own.

Le Grand Meaulnes, by Alain-Fournier. This sweeping story of love and the transition from child to adult is deeply touching in the romantic tradition.

Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, by Marian Keyes. Any novel by Keyes does the trick. On the surface, this is frothy romance but has serious undertones as well as laughs.

Not Forgetting the Whale, by John Ironmonger. Perfect for when it feels the world is going wrong, this book reaffirms your faith in human nature.

Peace Like A River, by Leif Enger. A mixture of a cowboy tale and religious fable would not be my usual fare, but this book always works its magic.

To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. I don’t know how many times I’ve read this classic, but it never gets old.

Which worlds do you escape to when this one gets scary?

    11 replies to "Not Going Out"

    • Jyoti Wind

      Right now the Louise Penny ‘Armand Ganache’ mysteries.
      Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs
      And Beatrice’s adventures as well.

    • Diana

      Thanks for the heads up on reading material! I can’t read as fast as I can buy but enjoy the challenge. I’m currently enjoying re-reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. An old story about the strength of women and the value of stories passed on to the next generation.

    • Lyn Hohmann

      People who read are especially blessed in that solitude is not a frightening thing! I am also isolating in the same way you folks are, but so looking forward to no interruptions in my reading. Stay safe!

    • Jean Menzies-Newton

      I go to “In This House of Brede” by Rumar Goddin. An old book but one that draws me back time and again.

    • Linda Madeo

      Thank you so much for sending these titles. I will be looking into all of them, I’m sure. I especially enjoy the European mysteries … like Beatrice!

      I’m an avid reader, and I, too, have found myself in the “re-reading” mode. I’m currently ensconced in Hawaii by James Michener. I read that one long ago when I was a teenager, but I’m enjoying it again. And at 1000+ pages, you can really get buried in it. Nothing like a book to transport you to a different place and time!

      Eagerly awaiting your next two Beatrice books! Thanks again.

    • Mary Anne

      Thank you for your concern for all of us. Being a healthy & much older person, I’m enjoying solitude, chocolate & reading. Stay safe. Blessings.

    • Beverly Stiles

      I am not a religious person, but I so enjoy and find a real measure of comfort in Jan Karon’s Father Tim books. They are lovely! I have read all of them more than once.

    • Beverly Stiles

      I am not a religious person, but I so enjoy and find a real measure of comfort in Jan Karon

    • Martha Bellew-Smith

      We are not going out either except for mandatory medical appointments. I am spending a lot of time in our privacy fenced back yard with the dogs or on the roofed deck. It is cold, but I bundle up. I have a lot of books. I am rereading all of Daniel Silva before his new one comes out. I am such an introvert that it seems I have waited my whole life to be told I must stay home and not see people. I am feeling guilty because I know so many people are dying.

    • Rilke

      I have promised myself to use this time to clean out THAT cupboard during these quiet times, THEN I can treat myself to a read. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

    • Judy Haas

      It’s so comforting to know how many like minded people are out there. I’m caught short a bit on reading material since I donate so many books to the public library once I’ve read them. So not many books around the house and the libraries are closed. Thanks for the recommendation for Jan Karon and Father Tim. Will have a good look to see if I kept one of them.

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