The 12 Best Books To Read If You’re Looking For Escape

As recommended by HuffPost readers.
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Louise/HuffPost UK
HuffPost UK
Louise/HuffPost UK

We could all do with escaping reality for a while, and what better way of doing that then getting stuck into a good book?

We’ve all got a growing list of books we want to get through that work, social plans and general life always seemed to get in the way of, but now with ample time on our hands, it’s time to get comfortable and dive into a new story.

It doesn’t necessarily have be a solo activity either, why not create a virtual book club over Facetime with friends and family, with a regular chat to discuss books you’ve been reading? It’s inevitable that you will go off on a tangent and end up chatting about other things, but it’s a lovely way to build a small community around you at a trying time.

To help you get started, we asked HuffPost readers to recommend books to get stuck into.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Recommended by Lucille Whiting

"It’s a wonderful book to read if you need inspiration or clarity. Great for anyone creative, but especially writers or those who work in a creative field who are feeling stuck. It gives you a much-needed kick up the backside when you’ve got a creative block (in a good way).”

A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen
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A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen

Recommended by Kirsty Hall

I’ve just finished reading A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen - turned into a movie last year but the book is so lovely! Well worth a read! It’s based on James’ memoirs about living on the streets, and it’s just very honest and full of hope.”

Where the Magic Happens by Caspar Craven
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Where the Magic Happens by Caspar Craven

Recommended by Corinne Card

“For adventure and escapism, I love Where the Magic Happens by Caspar Craven - it’s all about how he sailed around the world for two years with his young family.” As for what a reader can expect from the real life story, Corinne says, “It’s realising you can dream up a different way of life for your family and make that dream a reality. The stories of life at sea, visiting quirky islands, being caught in a storm far from home. The joys of complete freedom and boundless adventure, all with loved ones in tow.”

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Amazon, £6.20
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Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Amazon, £6.20

Recommended by Francesca Baker

In uncertain times such as these, Franscesca recommends Mrs Dalloway, which captures the delicate balancing act between our interior narrative and the outside world. In it, London “fizzes off the page”, she says, adding: “it’s a reminder that we will go out and have fun at parties again!”

The Book of Eating by Adam Platt
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The Book of Eating by Adam Platt

Recommended by Lee Chambers

“I’d recommend The Book of Eating by Adam Platt, it makes you fall into a world where you actually feel like a food critic and what the reality of that is like. It’s a book about journey highlighting an unpublished side of the industry, and looks at culture, travel and psychology wrapped in a story.”

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
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Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Recommended by Jean Hatchet

“A few years old now, but wow. Just wow,” says Jean. If you haven’t come across Madeline Miller’s best-selling book already, now’s the time. A refreshing take on the Trojan War, it’s a must-read for any Greek mythology fans.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
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The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Recommended by Jo Smith

“This is truly beautiful. It’s uplifting, funny and heartbreaking all at the same time. A story about knowing too much about everyone else and holding their secrets close to you. One of my rereads every year!”

No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
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No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Recommended by Mars El Brogy

“Alexander McCall Smith’s No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series offers a nice bit of escapism. Set in Botswana, the main character Mma Ramotswe is lovable and the book really puts you in the heart of Botswana.”

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Recommended by Mollie Mollington

Seeing as we don’t know when we’ll be heading to the cinema again, pick up the book instead. Mollie credits Little Women for the practical skills it’s encouraged her to learn. “It has inspired me to learn to darn socks, cook from scratch, enjoy outdoors etc” she tells HuffPost.

Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden
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Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden

Recommended by Pippa Jones

“Memoirs Of A Geisha is a beautiful read!” says Pippa. It’s a historical fiction novel that unravels the story of a geisha working in Kyoto, Japan, and her life before, during and after the second World War.

Philip Pullman
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Philip Pullman

Recommended by Sara Spary

Philip Pullman details the coming of age of characters Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry as they wander through a series of parallel universes. Sara described the series as “pure escapism and beautifully written”.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
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Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Recommended by Tom Bourlet

“The greatest book I’ve ever read,” says Bourlet. “It was inspirational, I’ve always loved travel but this one made me want to get on a plane immediately. Some you wonder how true it can be, as it’s based on a real person’s life, but if all true it’s remarkable.”

Circe by Madeline Miller
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Circe by Madeline Miller

Recommended by Kate Leaver -

Appearing for the second time in our list, Kate tells HuffPost why Madeline Miller’s Circe is top of her list.Just truly epic scope, good old fashioned storytelling, beautiful prose, rethinking myths we think we know, couldn’t put them down.”

Educated by Tara Westover
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Educated by Tara Westover

Recommended by Jasmin Gray

Growing up in a mormon family, Tara Westover shares her experience growing up in an isolated childhood. “Some dark moments, but is one of the most incredible pieces of autobiography I’ve ever read. Read it in about a day!”

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
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Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Recommend by Tony Onodi

“It’s a beautifully written collection of short stories which immerse you in different worlds. The stories are mostly, but not entirely, science fiction. Most have a moral component while others just paint a picture of a world that is vividly different from our own. They’re all thought provoking and cover topics ranging from epistemology to attractiveness so there’s something for everyone. I think Ted Chiang stands out from a lot of other sci-fi writers because his stories are very human.” Sounds just like what we need, and will leave you with a lot of discussion points for your book club.

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