Four Feel-Good Reads For Lockdown

Lockdown Reading List
I’ve spent a while writing reviews about the books that I’ve read over the last few months, however a lot of the books I read and love are pretty heavy, self-help books or focus on non-fiction which, let’s be honest is not what any of us want to be reading right now.
Given the current circumstances and the fact we’re all stuck in lockdown trying to keep our mental health as, well, healthy as possible, I thought putting together a little list of feel good books was probably a much better place to start.
Lately, I’ve been reaching for far more fiction than normal and thoroughly enjoying getting lost in a made up world which makes me feel happy, lifted and fully dosed on escapism.

Here are four books I recommend for lifting your spirits during lockdown!

Our Stop – Laura Jane Williams
The Switch – Beth O’Leary
The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
Elenor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Our Stop – Laura Jane Williams

Such a lovely read. You are following two characters Daniel and Nadia, who ride the same tube train every morning but have never met. Daniel writes into a missed connections piece in a newspaper in the hope of getting Nadia’s attention and hopefully falling in love.
I don’t want to give anything away but I was instantly invested in the characters and even though parts of the book (more so towards the end) are pretty unrealistic and cheesy to say the least, sometimes that’s everything you’re looking for in a love story!
I was hooked because I so badly wanted to know what was going to happen and how the story was going to play out and finished it in 2 days. I recommend this if you want something easy going and generally just positive and uplifting, yet frustrating and gripping at the same time.

The Switch – Beth O’Leary

Oh my god I LOVED this book. Honestly, I think it just came at a point in lockdown for me where I really needed something easy and happy and this was the perfect read. The two main characters are Leena and Eileen, a woman and her grandmother who because of a variety of different reasons decided to switch places. Leena moved into the Yorkshire countryside and Eileen moves into trendy Shoreditch. Both women learn a lot about themselves and each other and end up having a very different experience than either of them expected.
The reason I enjoyed this so much was that I’ve never read a book from two varying age groups. I loved the dichotomy in the opinions and narrative from both Leena and Eileen and their take on both their own lives and each others. It opens your eyes to what you might regret or re-think when you’re older while also prompting you to think about what you like and dislike about your life now. This book has pure joy, complete sadness, grief, love and laughter all rolled into one and I just couldn’t put it down.

The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary

Another book from Beth O’Leary, but she nails the easy reads!
The Flatshare is another book narrated by two different characters (a theme in these book recommendations I’ve realised!), Tiffy and Leon. As the book title suggests, Tiffy and Leon have a flatshare arrangement, but instead of your typical housemate scenario, Tiffy and Leon haven’t actually met despite sharing a flat and even sharing a bed. Leon works night shifts and Tiffy works during the day, so the two are never at home at the same time.
Both Tiffy and Leon are instantly likeable characters. Both with their own issues, but both so wonderfully kind and loveable. I personally really enjoyed following their stories and anticipating the merging of the two as I felt that Tiffy’s situation was particularly relatable to myself and my own past experiences. I could sympathise with how she felt and what she was going through which made the story believable to me as it’s reflective on my own life and situation (minus sharing a bed with a stranger haha)!
Again, this book is feel-good, positive and happy, with the right amount of drama and tension. I recommend this read because when I got to the last chapter I was genuinely gutted. I needed more Tiffy and Leon and had to get my teeth into another book asap in order to move on from the ‘post good book’ depression haha! Read it, it’s lovely.

Elenor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Where do I even begin? I love, love, love, love, love this book. I’ve seen such rave reviews along with some really negative ones which completely baffles me because I thought it was completely beautiful.
Elenor is such a great portrayal of depression that it actually hurt my heart to read at points. I completely sympathise with how she feels and her difficulty with accepting herself, her past and those who want to help. Raymond is completely loveable. He actually reminds me of an old friend of mine which made him believable and real to me and the relationship and interaction between him and Elenor felt so raw and real.
The ups and downs, happiness and sadness and the uncovering of the characters’ personalities taught me a lot about how different things affect different people and that everyone needs help sometimes. I’m not going to talk about the story because I don’t want to give anything away. My advice is if you’re going to read one book, read this one.
Eleanor Oliphant
The Flatshare
The Switch
Our Stop

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