On Day #3 of my family’s quarantine, I read Archie comics before I fell asleep. That was all I could handle. Today marks Day #29 of staying home, and I’m back to my regular bookish self. Time to jump back into reading about how to create a cozy home and how to live life to its fullest, with a few recipes thrown in for good measure. Here is a list of 14 home and self-help books (and a new online magazine) to get you through the pandemic.
If you can, please consider supporting your local independent bookstore when you purchase a book or buy the item through Barnes & Noble. Amazon.com is focusing its efforts on household items during the pandemic, so please support other bookstores at this time. We want our favorite bookstores to remain open after this is all over. Also, a shout-out to all the authors who had book releases during the pandemic. Authors are naturally averse to self-promotion and they especially don’t want to promote their books right now with everything else going on in the world. So, let’s show them our support.
by Ronda Kaysen and Michelle Higgins
New York Times Real Estate columnists and home experts Ronda Kaysen and Michelle Higgins share their insider knowledge about how to buy, decorate, organize and maintain your space. They will guide you through what to do with those stuffed cabinets or what home maintenance you should be doing to keep your home in order. May as well check some of those items off your list while you’re at home now.
The Art of Happy Moving: How to Declutter, Pack, and Start Over While Maintaining Your Sanity and Finding Happiness
by Ali Wenzke
Even if you don’t plan on moving any time soon, The Art of Happy Moving provides tips on how to create a happy home, how to declutter, and how to find gratitude wherever you call home. There are fun quizzes to help you evaluate what you need in your space to make it perfect for you. The happily-ever-after checklist at the end of the book is just what we need during a pandemic.
by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin
What better time to organize your closet and laundry room than when we are under stay-at-home orders? The Home Edit walks you through room by room, so you can start decluttering and start labeling. Your house will look organized and stunning. Just wait until you can invite your friends over again.
by Rebecca Winn
Rebecca Winn’s husband asked for a divorce after twenty-five years of marriage. She felt fear, hopelessness, and dread. Eventually, she turned to her garden for guidance, sanctuary, and inspiration. Winn transformed heartbreak into wholeness by turning to nature. During these difficult times, many of us are turning to gardening or a walk through the neighborhood as a respite. Maybe, like Winn, we will also find ourselves on a path of self-discovery.
by Marlee Grace
Part workbook, part advice manual, part love letter, How to Not Always Be Working helps readers evaluate what they need to do to recharge. As many of us are figuring out new ways to work from home, Grace offers suggestions for how to make the best use of our time. The book includes practical suggestions to avoid burn out. It’s a manifesto for living better.
by Emily Fletcher
If you’ve never tried meditation before, during a pandemic seems like a good time to start. Emily Fletcher is a leading expert in meditation for high performance, having taught meditation at companies such as Google, Barclays Bank, and Viacom. She developed the Z Technique for working people with busy lives. In Stress Less, Accomplish More, Emily provides a 15-minute twice-daily plan to help you recharge whenever you need it. I think we all need it right now.
by Megan Reid & Nick Greene
We’re all trying to find creative self-help solutions at the moment, and $9 Therapy provides the answers. Now more than ever, we can appreciate how delicious a $9 treat can be – from making your bath into a spa or finding ways to design your space on a budget. These mini-upgrades will make quarantining at home almost as good as that spring break vacation you canceled. Almost.
by Jenny Block
Anyone else feel like we’re embracing our inner unicorns right now – wearing what we want at home, being our authentic selves? Be That Unicorn gives you the confidence to be original in every aspect of your life. Jenny Block talks about playing and loving with a full heart, as well as parenting and taking care of loved ones. Be That Unicorn is about celebrating you and celebrating life. If you’re not going to celebrate life during a pandemic, when else are you going to do it? Let’s be the unicorn.
by Jennifer Ahston, M.D., M.S.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC’s chief medical correspondent, focuses on a month by month challenge to help readers achieve a more active and healthy lifestyle. Since we’re safe at home during the quarantine, maybe we could speed up the process and do a weekly challenge. Dr. Ashton explains the scientific benefits of the monthly challenges such as an earlier bedtime, a technology detox, and doing more push-ups. Just think how sculpted and refreshed we’ll look when we emerge from our quarantined cocoons.
by Rachael Wolff
The format of Wolff’s book is through the author’s letters to herself, encouraging readers to pursue positive change. At the end of each chapter, there are guides for readers to write their own letters to themselves. If you find solace in writing, Wolff’s book can provide prompts to help you focus more on love and compassion, and less on the fear we may feel during the pandemic.
by DJ Lee
When DJ Lee’s friend vanished in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Lee traveled there to seek answers. This memoir describes the author’s fight with surviving the wilderness, both physically and emotionally. As we find ourselves battling our own remote living situations, readers will appreciate Remote’s tribute to the connection between people and nature.
by Melissa Burch
A filmmaker, producer, and former war journalist for the BBC, Burch’s debut memoir describes how she braved a war zone as a young woman. In her second book, Yearning for Magic, Burch discovers meaning and joy in surprising places. Yearning for Magic is a book about miracles and healing.
by Cal Peternell
Winner of the 2015 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook Award, Twelve Recipes is the ultimate introduction to the kitchen from Cal Peternell, the chef of San Francisco’s Chez Panisse. When his oldest son left for college, Peternell realized that he’d never taught his kids the basics of cooking. Based on the instructions Peternell honed through many phone calls with his college son, Twelve Recipes will give you the basics you need to cook some excellent meals during the pandemic.
I love all of the America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks. This one offers more than 750 recipes that can be ready in 45 minutes or less. Most only require a handful of ingredients, which is helpful when you need to make that Instacart grocery delivery last you a while.
by Zibby Owens
Maybe you don’t want to read an entire book now. Maybe you just want a few words to soothe you or make you laugh. To help us through these difficult times, Zibby Owens, the creator of the “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books” podcast, started the online magazine We Found Time. Authors share five original essays each week. We Found Time is a literary retreat for those of us who crave connection and find comfort in sharing stories. This new magazine couldn’t have launched at a better time.