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18 books you should consider reading this weekend

3 Apr 2020

Wondering what you should read this weekend? Here are some diverse suggestions from the team at Silicon Republic.

We’re about to spend another weekend physically distancing ourselves from others. If you’re anything like us, you’ll know how hard it can be to pull yourself away from screens, between laptops, TVs and phones, to name a few.

To help you take a break, we’ve been talking about the books we love and what we’re currently reading. Here’s 18 book recommendations for some escapism-filled recreation.

Baby by Annaleese Jochems

Our tech journalist Kelly brought this up as a good choice if you want to read about somebody else stuck inside for a long period of time. Written by New Zealand author Jochems, it’s a psychological thriller of obsession and escape, according to Goodreads.


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah follows the story of Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman who moves to the US, as she navigates social life, academia and more, adjusting to life away from her friend, Obinze.

Personally, I recommend anything by Adichie. Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun are two of my all-time favourites.


High School by Tegan and Sara

Musicians and LGBTQ icons Tegan and Sara Quin recount their adventures of youth in High School, their autobiography. Having grown up in Calgary, the twins take turns in alternating chapters to give what Goodreads calls a “raw account” of their formative years.

High School

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Murata encapsulates life in one of Japan’s most everyday settings – the convenience store. Her novel tells the story of Keiko, a “strange” girl who encounters all walks of life in her new job.

Convenience Store Woman

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

In Kitchen, Yoshimoto explores mothers, love, tragedy and just how much the kitchen of a family home impacts the lives of women in modern Japan.


The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking looks at marriage, motherhood and death as she reflects on two life-altering tragedies she experienced. Kelly suggested this, she said, because it might be relevant to anyone feeling the toll of getting to grips with the new world around us.

The Year of Magical Thinking

The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton

Kelly’s last suggestion was The Shepherd’s Hut, which she listened to using BorrowBox. Winton’s novel follows a young man who flees a violent scene in rural Australia, bringing him deep into the country’s wilderness.

The Shepherd's Hut

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Our sub-editor Sarah suggested Normal People, a tale of two young people who move to Dublin for college. It follows them as their relationship changes and shines a light on how we connect as humans.

The BBC is also gearing up to release a TV series inspired by the book in the next few weeks.

Normal People

With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E Grant

Our editor Elaine is currently reading this one. She praised many of its elements, from “90s nostalgia and name-dropping” to “behind the scenes on films – good and bad”.

“I’d never heard of Bruce Willis’s Hudson Hawk before this book, but I absolutely want to see it now, to see just how bad it is!” she said.

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

Elaine also said she has been dipping in and out of Wolf’s essays, through which the author looks at the relationship between beauty and identity.

Elaine felt these were particularly poignant given our current context, in which “our beauty expeditions are so limited”.

Targeted by Brittany Kaiser

Brittany Kaiser, the woman famous for revealing unnerving truths about Cambridge Analytica and the multibillion-dollar big data industry, tells her story in this book.

Targeted: My Inside Story of Cambridge Analytica and How Trump and Facebook Broke Democracy

Girls will be Girls by Emer O’Toole

Elaine recommended Girls will be Girls, which she listened to recently and flew through. O’Toole draws on her writing to explore what it means to “act like a girl” in the context of performance, dressing up and more.

Girls Will Be Girls: Dressing Up, Playing Parts and Daring to Act Differently

Just My Type by Simon Garfield

If you’re intrigued by how fonts impact history and society, from defining particular eras in films to getting a health worker in New Zealand fired, this one could be for you.

Along with Science and the City by Laurie Winkless, Elaine said that these are two books likely to change your perspective on the everyday world.

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

I’ve already discussed my love for Matt Haig and his wisdom and experience when it comes to mental wellbeing. One of his most popular books, Notes on a Nervous Planet, is currently on our deputy editor Jenny’s reading list.

Notes on a Nervous Planet

The Importance of Being Aisling

Jenny also just finished the second instalment in the Oh My God What a Complete Aisling series, which follows Aisling having to travel “down home” and live with her mammy again.

According to Jenny, reading it was “just like a big warm hug”.

The Importance of Being Aisling: Country Roads, Take Her Home

The Answers by Catherine Lacey

This is a book Jenny recently got in her Books Upstairs bundle. Lacey’s second novel is described by Goodreads as “an urgent, propulsive novel” about a woman finding out how to navigate her illness.

Speaking about her choices, Jenny said: “I seem to be jumping between dystopian escapism and warm hugs escapism.”

The Answers

Coping with Coronavirus by Dr Brendan Kelly

She’s also planning to get stuck into Coping with Coronavirus, a brand-new book from a psychiatrist who wants to help readers “understand and cope with the unique mental stresses of today”.

Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

I have read some of the books above, and as for the rest, I can’t wait to add them to my ever-growing list.

At the moment, I’m reading (and absolutely loving) Lives of Girls and Women. It’s a fascinating insight into the life of a family living in Canada during wartime and I’m definitely going to finish it far too soon for my liking.

Lives of Girls and Women

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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