So what did I do during the quarantine?
I did puzzles
I drank some more
I read books
Reading in quarantine helped get me through it.
I believe a love of books is something you are born with. It has been a part of me for as long as I can remember.
I picked up “Are You There God…It’s Me Margaret?” and I didn’t put it down until I devoured every last page. I then read every Judy Blume book I could get my hands on, “Deenie” being my absolute favorite.
My mom began taking me to the library, where I would check out a pile of books every time, opening the first one on the car ride home. I believe I inherited this love of reading from her, as she would check out her own pile on our library trips.
My teen years took me through the entire “Flowers in the Attic” series. Although quite disturbing, I was fully invested in the lives of Cathy and Christopher.
During my “NYC years”, I always had a Danielle Steele paperback ready on the subway and read to and from work. Oh the romance!
My husband had the same love for reading that I do, although our taste in books was quite different. You could always find the two of us on the beach, each engrossed in the pages in front of us.
Being a busy working single mom, I have not always had the time I would like to devote to my love of books. At the end of the day, it is easier to turn on the television. My reading would mostly take place on vacations, where I would load my Kindle with book after book, and challenge myself to read as many as I could.
It did take me a long time to get used to reading on an electronic device. I love the feeling of a book in my hands and turning the pages. When my luggage was weighed down with books and I was charged a fee, I finally gave in and made the switch.
Six months ago, we were all quarantined. In the beginning I was productive, cleaning out closets and drawers like a madwoman. I spent quality time with my college-age daughters, who moved back home with me. I binge-watched, I baked, I took walks, and yes, I drank a lot of wine.
Then I picked up my Kindle. I read my first book in two days, and then couldn’t stop.
My mom and some friends were also reading in quarantine so I asked them for recommendations. I checked Reese Witherspoon’s book club, I joined a Facebook love of reading group, and even downloaded the books that my Kindle recommended for me.
When the weather got warm, I spent a lot of time on the beach with my boyfriend, who does not read. I made it clear that I do not talk on the beach. It is my reading time and he needs to keep busy with other things while we relax. I think he gets it.
I would never try to convince a non-reader to read. You either love it or you don’t. I love being taken away to another world for a while. To me, it is relaxing and calming and one of my favorite things in the world.
This is the list of books I have read over the last six months. I liked all of them, but of course loved some more than others. I also love discussing books, so feel free to comment if you have read any of the following:
The Lies That Bind – Emily Giffin
Big Summer: A Novel – Jennifer Weiner
When We Believed in Mermaids – Barbara O’Neal
The Last Flight – Julie Clark
The Last Bathing Beauty – Amy Sue Nathan
All Adults Here – Emma Straub
Verity – Colleen Hoover
28 Summers – Elin Hilderbrand
In Five Years: A Novel – Rebecca Serle
Big Lies in a Small Town – Diane Chamberlain
The Last Mrs. Parrish – Liv Constantine
The Jetsetters – Amanda Eyre Ward
Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid
Mrs. Everything: A Novel – Jennifer Weiner
The Silent Wife – A.S.A. Harrison
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, now ages 18 and 20, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.