The other day, I asked friends on Facebook what they’re reading in these days of “home confinement.” After all, we do have a bit more time to read, and it’s great to get some good recommendations. 

I heard from a lot of people, including leading journalists who plied their craft at places like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Providence Journal, the Newport Daily News, and various radio stations. Recommendations came from authors and doctors, and people from a wide variety of backgrounds. And they’re still coming in. 

Originally, I thought I’d do this in one column, then two, and now three. There are some great recommendations. I’ve read a few. Among them, my favorite, Half of a Yellow Sun. I also loved the Underground Railroad, Mayflower, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and former Journal colleague Bruce DeSilva’s Mulligan Series, and friend Barbara Roberts’ Doctor Broad (coming in part three).

I’ll keep this going as long as I get recommendations. I know I have a lot of reading ahead. So, here’s part 2 of what is now 3 parts. You can find the original list under Just My Opinion. Feel free to add your recommendation here, or if we’re friends on Facebook do it there.

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Here’s the next several recommendations. Happy reading. 

  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and #1 New York Times bestseller. A magnificent book that chronicles a young slaves flight to freedom. 
  • The Night Fire by Michael Connelly. Another of Connelly’s Harry Bosch series. This time he is reunited with his mentor, the LAPD detective who trained him to be a homicide detective.
  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. A New York Times Bestseller, National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, one of Time Magazine’s 10 best fiction books of the decade, winner of the Kirkus Award. Follow up to The Underground Railroad tells the story of two boys sentenced to what is described as a “hellish reform school” in Jim Crow-era Florida.
  • Long Bright River by Liz Moore. A New York Times bestseller. Times said: “[Moore’s] careful balance of the hard-bitten with the heartfelt is what elevates Long Bright River from entertaining page-turner to a book that makes you want to call someone you love.” This novel, by the author of The Girl on the Train, is about two sisters who travel the same streets, though their lives couldn’t be more different. Then one of them goes missing.”
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Richardson. Set in the 1930s, one feels the extreme poverty of mountain folk, learns about the federal government’s efforts to support women willing to deliver books and other forms of writing, including old newspapers, to the poor, and one discovers the existence of a group of people who are not white, not black, but blue. It’s true.
  • The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer.
  • Educated by Tara Westover, a memoir of her upbringing, and one in which critics have questioned its veracity.
  • The Guarded Gate by Daniel Okrent. ”the powerful, definitive, and timely account of how the rise of eugenics helped America close the immigration door to ‘inferiors’ in the 1920s.” – Amazon
  • The Island of Sea Women and The Huntress by Michael Connelly. Bosch series.
  • Writers and Lovers by Lily King. “Writers & Lovers follows Casey–a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist–in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.” – Goodreads
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Ken Follett is known worldwide as the master of split-second suspense, but his most beloved and bestselling book tells the magnificent tale of a twelfth-century monk driven to do the seemingly impossible: build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known. – Goodreads

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