We all have a bit more time on our hands than usual, so it stands to reason that we should at least make the most of it. If you’ve been meaning to catch up on your reading, there’s no better time than in lockdown.

Dune by Frank Herbert

With new film coming out starring Timothee Chalamet, there’s no better way to prepare for it than reading the source material. Dune is a classic sci-fi/fantasy that has influenced the genre a great deal. You can see elements similar to Game of Thrones with the house warfare and elements like that. It’s a great story full of political intrigue and adventure but for those not really into sci-fi, it may be a bit of a struggle. However, the writing does transcend the genre and you should read it for no other reason than its status as a sci-fi classic.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

If you need something to cheer you up during lockdown then Good Omens is the way to go. It’s a surprisingly hilarious tale of an angel and demon working together to prevent the apocalypse. If you don’t think a book can be funny, then this is the one that might change your mind. If you’re not convinced, then give the Amazon series based on the book a go.

The Plague by Albert Camus

Many people have been jumping to read this book ever since the pandemic began. It isn’t just because of the title either, the book details an epidemic in Oran, French-Algeria. The novel shows how different people react to such a devastating and life changing event with some performing small acts of heroism and others acts of cowardice. It’s comforting in a depressing kind of way, but it does help us realise that we will get through this, no matter how difficult.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is a great book that puts the slightest bit of optimism into the dystopian world the book inhabits. If you have read the first, then this will be a delightful exploration of how the fictional nation of Gilead actually functions. If you haven’t read the first one, you absolutely should, as while it isn’t completely necessary to enjoy the sequel, it does add a lot to it.

The Witcher Saga by Andrej Sapkowski

If you want to get into a series, then why not the Witcher Saga? With the second season of the Netflix series coming in November, now is the time to catch up on the source material and get lost in another world. Getting into a series like this will certainly help pass the time and the best part is that you won’t have to think about the pandemic outside. This series isn’t exactly all sunshine and rainbows, however. It is a darker fantasy with many violent events and terrible situations but that just makes the series a gripping read. If you’ve watched the first season of the show and liked it, then give the books a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Any Classic Novel

If you’ve been meaning to read one of many classics in the Western canon, then now is the time. Simply look through Penguin’s classics selection and pick any of them that spark your interest. Always wanted to read a tome like War & Peace by Tolstoy but never had the time, well, now you have no excuse. But not all the classics are incredibly long, some, like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, are quite short. Find anything that suits you best and finally be able to say, “yes, I have read that classic you referenced, not just seen the movie.”