Books & Literature

Novel Ideas for Social Distancing

Our book review team will help you travel the world with these recommended books, audiobooks, and a list of bookstores that deliver!

As more people begin to practice social distancing or go into isolation, it means that many of those who aren’t are still going to find their time freed up considerably. Whatever your situation, it begs the question:

What to do?!

There’s always Netflix and knitting, but don’t forget the good old-fashioned art of reading to your kids, reading for yourself, or sitting around telling stories. There may be a travel ban, but you can travel the universe with a good book and if you can’t get to a library, most bookstores deliver (some for free). There are also digital download options with eBooks and audiobooks.

To help you through these quieter times, our wonderful book review team has been busy compiling two lists for you. First up, their top picks of books or audiobooks that they recommend if you’re looking to pass time at home. Some of the recommendations are entire serials which will keep you entertained for a long time.

Below that list is also a handful of booksellers that offer online ordering and will either post your purchases or offer a digital download option.

Neither list is comprehensive, of course, so we also recommend you skim through our full recent history of book reviews and check your own local bookseller to see if they can deliver.

And don’t forget that your local library offers an online catalogue nowadays, with lots of eBooks and eMagazines that you can download without having to go into the branch. Give them a call if you need help.

Stay safe, and happy reading (or listening) from the book review team at Glam Adelaide.

Science Fiction

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
Thought-provoking and enthralling, this title will fill many hours with science, space and the stuff that makes you human. One of my favourite reads from 2019.

Big Finish Audiobooks
An enormous catalogue of science fiction audiobooks and full cast audio adventures, primarily based on classic TV shows like Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Survivors, Dark Shadows, Space 1999, Terrahawks and more.

HG Wells: The Science Fiction Collection, by HG Wells
This Audible exclusive is an exceptional audiobook collection of HG Wells’ five most popular novels, introduced by Eli Roth and each story read by a well-known actor: David Tennant, Alexander Vlahos, Hugh Bonneville, Sophie Okonedo and Jason Isaacs. It runs more than 27 hours, so is value for money and will keep you entertained for many days!

Fantasy

Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, by Sarah J Maas
An action-packed contemporary fantasy with a kick-arse female protagonists who must unravel the mystery surrounding her best friends murder.

Mystery/Thriller

The Roadhouse, by Kerry McGinnis
An outback mystery paired with a sweet romance. Which proves moving on from the past allows for a much brighter future.

The Secrets of Strangers, by Charity Norman
A gripping novel about six people stuck inside all day…

Historical Fiction

The German Girl, by Armando Lucas Correa, translated by Nick Caistor
A lot of food for thought here and interesting parallels to be drawn.  While it is a work of fiction, it is based on fact where, during World War 2, the US and Cuba turned away boatloads of German refugees.

A Dangerous Language, by Sulari Gentill
You’ll have time to read the whole terrific series about this Australian amateur detective, and his friends, as they battle crime in the shadow of WWII.

Contemporary Fiction

Those Pleasant Girls, by Lia Weston
For when you need a bit of light entertainment with a whole lotta laughs. The best hook ever is, ‘She’s made a promise to herself: ‘No swearing. No drinking. No stealing. No fires.’

Apeirogon, by Colum McCann
One of the best novels of the year, if not the decade (according to our reviewer!) about two men and their daughters: divided by conflict, yet united in grief.

Mother of Pearl, by Angela Savage
Exquisitely written and reminds us that there are struggles beyond the Corona Virus.

Grown Ups, by Marian Keyes
In a time without hugs, this book is like a big, warm virtual hug from a much-loved friend.

Action

The Orphan X series, by Gregg Hurwitz
There are currently 5 books in this action-packed series about a rogue black operative who has escaped his former life to become The Nowhere Man – the person you turn to in your time of greatest need. Despite being action packed, his characters are all expertly developed too.

Non-Fiction

The Good State: On the Principles of Democracy, by A C Grayling
While society is falling down around your ears, understand what went wrong with this book on political theory.

WHAM! George & Me, by Andrew Ridgely
This is an easy, emotion charged autobiography – something to warm the heart in the midst of isolation.

Comedy

Loose Units, by Paul F Verhoeven
A riotously funny audiobook of a true-crime memoir from the dodgy days of 1980s policing.

The Sparkle Pages, by Meg Bignall
An amazing new voice in women’s fiction who will both entertain you and break your heart.

Romance

Mixed Tape, by Jane Sanderson
A story of young love and loss set on two continents and spanning 30 years.

The Christmas Witch, by Carla Caruso
At a compact 190 pages, The Christmas Witch makes a perfect bite-sized read for any time you feel like dipping into a story that has it all – quirk, humour, magic and love. An absolute must for fans of fun romantic tales.

YA Fiction and Children’s books

Whisper & Weapon (book 2), by Lynette Noni
An exciting, well-written story full of twists and turns which will keep you entertained until the very end.

Chomp Goes the Crocodile, by Matthew Van Fleet
An interactive and sensory book for children ranging from birth to age six.

Under The Stars: Astrophysics for Bedtime, by Lisa Harvey-Smith
An informative book full of interesting facts for anyone who is even the slightest bit interested in space.

What’s a Yiayia? by Stella Stamatakis
A multi-layered picture book about the similarities found within cultural diversity.

For more ideas, visit our Top Picks for 2019 and our collection of cookbook reviews.

Shop Online

And finally, here’s a list, of some online stores where you can get books, eBooks and audiobooks:

  • Matilda’s Bookshop in Stirling offers free postage within South Australia
  • Adelaide Booksellers specialises in second-hand, out-of-print and antiquarian books
  • Imprints Booksellers offers free postage within Australia for orders over $75
  • Dymocks Books is the oldest Australian-owned bookstore and offers books, eBooks and audiobooks through their website
  • O’Connell’s Bookshop online sells antiquarian and second-hand books through Abe Books
  • South Seas Books is an independent bookstore in the heart of Port Elliot
  • Brotherhood Books are a Melbourne-based charity offering good quality second-hand books. Order 3 or more for free delivery
  • Bolinda is the largest online audio bookstore in the southern hemisphere
  • Audible AU offers digital downloads of audiobooks and audio dramas with a free 1-month trial for new customers
  • Book Depository offers discount pricing and free postage worldwide on all orders
  • Amazon Australia is the Australian branch of the world’s largest online retailer
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