The great escape: Books to read while social distancing

What's on your list? How are you coping? The great escape: Social distancing book list, explore authors and stories.

Ketaki Agtey-Sathe
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Books I Read In 2022

The last two weeks has seen Life as we know it flip 180 deg from daily routines to self-containment and almost lockdown! COVID19, among other things, seems to be testing our juggling and innovation skills as well.  Working from Home, organizing never ending meals and snack boxes, conducting creative indoor activities and so much more, is the order of the day! But any booklover knows that there is always a way to create time for a quick read; the mini getaway that puts a smile on your face and centers your chi. And for those of you, who might need this, here is my round up of 10 books across different genres that would make for easy, quick and engaging reading. 

  • Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby

This is a witty and easy read; talks about three main characters, their lives, and relationship dynamics. You might find yourself smiling at some points. And don’t let the title of the book throw you!

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  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

This graphic novel is a memoir by the Iranian born author. Very vivid both literally and figuratively, this novel is about her early life in Iran during the revolution. It is poignant and insightful from a personal and political perspective. Heartbreaking at times too and then there is some dry humour as well!

  • What I talk about when I talk about running by Haruki Murakami

Runners and non-runners, this one might be for you! Again, don’t be fooled by the title. This is an easy read in Murakami’s inimitable style. Talks about running, and writing and what running means to him. And it is not about trying to convince the reader to run. Could be an inspiring read for some.

  • Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

This memoir by the founder and CEO of Nike is an honest and compelling read. Tells the story of how Nike was born. Inspiring read.

  • ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life by Stacy T. Sims, PhD

For all of you women athletes out there, women in endurance sport, this is a great book to have. Even if you do not read it at a go, it’s a great go-to book every now and again. A bible of sorts with information on meal plans, recipes, strengthening and exercises; this is one for keeps.


In times of coronavirus, books can be that much needed escape. Here's the social distancing book list


  • White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht 

Set in Korea, this is a riveting story about two sisters separated during World War II. With a fascinating history of the community that they come from , Haenyeo (female divers), this is a tale of love and longing, strength and courage. Beautifully written, this is a lovely book that is hard to put down although it is heart wrenching and sad in places. 

  • We are Water by Wally lamb

 After more than two decades of being the wife, mother and keeper of the family, Annie, decides to live her life. She falls in love and marries a woman. This book is about human emotions, reactions and hope. An easy read, this is one of my favourites.

  • Americanah by Chimamandi Ngozi Adiche

A nice quick read from the perspective of a Nigerian origin immigrant in America. Her life and experience in America and then the life she moves back to, many years later in Nigeria. Woven into it, is the long lost flame. A nice engaging read.

  • Men without Women by Haruki Murakami (collection of Short Stories)

As you can tell, I am a Murakami fan. A good book to have round when, you can manage, only a few pages at a time.  Seven stories, written in typical Murakami style, where you’re not quite sure how the story is going to play out. 

Quick and good read. The storyline is one that most Indian women would understand if not relate to on a personal level. Speaks of our cultural conditioning and strength & Courage.  

Hope these books are a good getaway in these trying times. Be safe, be smart and  #flattenthecurve.

authors books Preeti Shenoy social distancing Ketaki agte