12 great reads… that have nothing to do with COVID19

A flatlay image of a desk with the caption '12 great reads that have nothing to do with COVID19'

I’ll start this blog post in the same way that I have started almost every email in recent weeks: “How are you going? I hope you’re keeping well in these strange days.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it essential at the moment to take time away from the news cycle. Although it’s important to stay up date with what’s happening, it’s all too easy to get sucked into endless scrolling of updated figures and bad news stories from around the world – and that’s not good for anyone’s wellbeing!

There have been days during the lockdown when I’ve really enjoyed getting stuck into a good book. But there have been other days when I’ve only had the attention span for essays and features. I’ve been keeping track of the best ones so that I can share them with you.

I hope some of these keep you engaged and entertained.

1. Catapult – How the Literature of Empire Shaped My View of the Natural World

2. Serious Eats – The Kid is Alright: in defence of picky eating

3. The Island Review – The Isle of Rust: a portrait of Lewis and Harris

4. Buzzfeed – The 2010s have broken our sense of time

5. Electric Literature – The sweet revenge of finding my ex-boyfriend’s poetry at a used bookstore

6. Orion Magazine – A Window As Wide as the World

7. New Yorker – A photographer’s parents wave farewell

8. Conde Nast Traveller – Leslie Jamison loves everything about travel – even hotel coffee and the Newark Airtrain

9. Lit Hub – How Ramona Quimby Taught a Generation of Girls to Embrace Brashness

10. Brevity – Love in the time of ourselves, reflections from a memoir teacher

11. Guardian – Monopoly Houses, toy soldiers and Lego: the museum of plastic lost at sea

12. Kill Your Darlings – The Personal Essay is Dead, Long Live the Personal Essay


I’m also going to include four bonus reads. These are – either directly or tangentially – connected to COVID19, but I’m hoping that they are interesting enough and/or well enough written that you can enjoy them without inviting in that sense of dread.

1. Overland – the luxury of going home in an age of uncertainty

2. Vox – What plants can teach us about surviving a pandemic

3. Longreads – How to tell your husband you’re a witch

4. Citylab – Your Maps of Life Under Lockdown


I’ll finish with a plug for my own recent posts on my ‘other’ blog DorkyMum. In the past few weeks I’ve written about my son turning 11, the meals that tell the story of my marriage, and the ways our family is coping during lockdown. Pop on over and say hello.

If you’ve read anything online recently that you’ve loved – coronavirus related or not – I’d love you to leave a link in the comments below!

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

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