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7 New Books To Enjoy While In Self Isolation

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published March 22nd 2020
Reading recommendations while in quarantine
Staying at home during the threat of coronavirus is giving many people the opportunity to read more.

Reading, books, self isolation
Plenty of time to read while self-isolating

Whether it's self-help books, a chance to learn something new, biography or fiction, there's something for everyone amongst new book releases from local book shops, libraries or online.

Here's a round-up of new books that can be delivered to your doorstep or read on your kindle while self-isolating.

Learn Something

I Can't Draw - by Lydia Crook (12.99); Ivy Press.

i can't draw, lydia crook
Learn to draw with help from this book

Ever watched TV show Portrait Artist Of The Year wishing you could create the same magic on paper but not known how? Don't give up hope as this new book features 60 creative activities to teach beginners how to draw.

Helping you get to grips with simple drawing techniques, there's a focus on everything from shade to perspective and movement.

What's more, this sturdy book comes in large, hardback format with space on the pages to draw, as shown in the photo below.

i can't draw, Lydia Crook, learn something books
Inside I Can't Draw by Lydia Crook

Created by Lydia Crook, she has used her experience of drawing as an illustrator and paper engineer to make things easy for those not so acquainted by art.

This is ideal if you want to use your time in self-isolation to learning something new or develop further as an artist.

Understand Your Environment

The Urban Forager - by Wross Lawrence. Photography by Marco Kesseler (12.95); Hoxton Mini Press.

the urban forager, hoxton mini press, wross lawrence
Learn how to forage for food

With supermarket shelves bare, it could be useful to learn how to forage for food.

This beautifully-presented pocket-sized hardback book is a guide on how to find and cook wild food in the city from Wross Lawrence, a professional forager.

Featuring 32 recipes to try out, this book it a lovely read with useful background reading for when you are allowed out of your home to try foraging for yourself.

the urban forager, wross lawrence, new books, hoxton mini press
Wross Lawrence is a professional forager

The Urban Forager includes the kind of tools you'll need, explanations on what is available by season and stunning photos that make this a joy to look at. It will surprise you on the extent of what you can find and make - from elderflower fritters to cherry blossom shortbread.

Lawrence has over 10 years' experience in foraging and has even supplied wild food to royalty, Michelin-starred restaurants and breweries.

If you order direct from Hoxton Mini Press, it turns up beautifully-wrapped in quirky Hoxton wrapping paper, which has an illustrated map of parts of Hackney and London.

Self Help

Where's My Happy Ending? - by Mother Pukka Anna Whitehouse and Papa Pukka Matt Farquharson (14.99); Bluebird books for life.

where's my happy ending?, anna whitehouse, matt farquharson, book reviews, bluebird books
The latest book from Mother Pukka and Papa Pukka

Authors and couple Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson have a dedication at the start saying "this book is for all the people wondering what's next".

Although it's a joint book, they wrote separately, focusing on nine topics related to life, love and family in a frank fashion; interviewing people from celibate monks to porn-makers.

The result is a journey that's funny and bittersweet into finding happiness.

Where's My Happy Ending is full of humour and honesty from the couple known for their bestseller Parenting the Sh*t Out of Life and podcast Dirty Mother Pukka.


The Adventures of Maud West Lady Detective - by Susannah Stapleton (9.99); Picador.

the adventures of maud west lady detective, susannah stapleton, biography
Secrets and lies from the golden age of crime

This fascinating book tells the true story about one of Britain's first female detectives, who opened a detective agency in London in 1905.

With a life and cases as gripping as any fictional crime thriller, this is a book that has mass appeal for its humour, crime stories and about the lengths a woman had to go to in order to thrive in a male-dominated world.

Historical researcher Susannah Stapleton is behind The Adventures of Maud West Lady Detective, which interweaves Maud's own casebook with social history and the detective's own life in a thrilling way.

Crime Thriller

The Long Call - by Ann Cleeves (8.99); Pan Macmillan.

ann cleves, the long call, panmacmillan, books, reviews
A new thriller from the author behind Vera

From the author behind crime hits Vera and Shetland comes a new thrilling series set in Devon with a new detective - Matthew Venn.

Ann Cleeves moves to the south coast for her latest crime novel The Long Call, introducing a new investigator with their own past for the Two Rivers series.

Expect the usual easy-read that you won't want to put down as the story winds you around many clues and red herrings in another beautiful British setting.

A page-turner to settle down to with a cup of tea and bar of chocolate while stuck indoors. Bliss.


Aura - by R.J Wade (11.03);

Aura, RJ Wade, sci fi , YA books, reviews
Aura is an action-packed adventure

This sci-fi novel, also classed as a YA novel, is an action-packed adventure in a dystopian world following 16-year-old heroine Aura, who discovers she has deadly powers.

Aura is the debut novel from author R.J Wade and features a strong heroine in a troubled futuristic world, similar to The Hunger Games.

Introducing Aura as she is separated from her parents, the reader follows her as she is taken in by a mentor and harnesses her true potential.

This gripping sci-fi adventure enthrals with a new type of hero that you'll wish we had in these troubled times.

An ideal book to escape to another world.


The Sun Sister by Lucinda Riley (18.99); Pan Macmillan

Sun sister, Lucinda riley, books to read, reviews
The Sun Sister by Lucinda Riley

Available in hardback and soon to be released on paperback, The Sun Sister is the latest in Lucinda Riley's hugely successful Seven Sisters Series.

The popular Irish author combines modern romance with historical fiction in this series following seven adopted sisters. If you're new to Riley, catch up on the series so far that includes The Storm Sister and Moon Sister.

Each novel concentrates on a different sister after their adoptive father an elusive billionaire called Pa Salt dies. Each woman is given a tantalising clue to their past, which sets them on a journey about their heritage, complete with loss and love.

The Sun Sister is the latest release about supermodel ​Electra D'Aplise - from her seeking solace in alcohol and drugs in Manhattan to finding herself and her family background in the beauty of Kenya.

Although the novels can be read in any order, the first book in the series is The Seven Sisters; followed by The Storm Sister which has been nominated for the prestigious Premio Bancarella literary prize in Italy, The Shadow Sister, The Pearl Sister, The Moon Sister, and The Sun Sister, with another book to follow.
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Why? Read more while having to be quarantined at home
When: Anytime
Where: At home
Your Comment
Nice choices Alison.
by May Cross (score: 3|8202) 878 days ago
One thing is for sure - I will not run out of books.
Thanks Alison for your images and book suggestions.
I do like real books - have been reading some study books online and my eyes go funny after a while!
by Jenny Esots (score: 3|1783) 877 days ago
What a great list of books. I already have five books on my TBR pile. I’ll look at these when I’m done.
by Maria-MPG Narratives (score: 2|972) 875 days ago
I loved the fact that you catered for all tastes Alison. Marina
by Marina Marangos (score: 3|1165) 875 days ago
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