Need a Book During Quarantine? Local Bibliophiles Share Recommendations


With Illinois’ stay-at-home order in place through the end of May, some of us are looking to pick up new hobbies — or new books — to kill time, escape the pandemic or dive into a fantasy world. (No judgement here — we think any excuse to pick up a book is a good one.)

We asked a few local book lovers to share their recommendations:

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— Al Gini, professor emeritus of business ethics at Loyola University Chicago and author of “The Importance of Being Funny."

— Mary Anne Mohanraj, a clinical associate professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago whose new cookbook “A Feast of Serendib: Recipes from Sri Lanka” is now out.

— Danielle Mullen, the owner Chicago’s only black woman-owned bookstore, Semicolon.    

We’ve laid out their recommendations below with the available excerpts.

Al Gini

“Author in Chief” By Craig Fehrman | Read an excerpt

“The Splendid and Vile” by Erik Larson | Read an excerpt

The Confession” by Jo Spain

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain | Read an excerpt


Mary Anne Mohanraj

“Tender at the Bone” by Ruth Reichl | Read an excerpt

“A Game of Fox & Squirrels” by Jenn Reese | Read an excerpt

“The Lesson” by Cadwell Turnbull | Read an excerpt

“Give a Girl a Knife” by Amy Thielen | Read an excerpt


Danielle Mullen

“The Sellout” by Paul Beatty | Read an excerpt

“Supermarket” by Bobby Hall | Read an excerpt

“All About Love” by bell hooks | Read an excerpt

Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman

Note: This story will be updated with video.


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