Quarantine Survival Kit: Books

5 unexpected reads to think, learn and keep your spirits high

Welcome to the second part of my Quarantine Survival Kit: today, I’m going to  talk about books. I’m an avid reader, so I had a hard time picking only 5 titles to suggest you. I thought about which books would suit better this Coronavirus lockdown and, immediately, I decided to delete sad/demanding stories from my list. However, I like to think of lighthearted works with content, so I choose books that spoke to my brain and my heart, hoping they will speak to yours as well.

So here they are, 5 titles for all tastes: a novel, a cookbook, an autobiography, an essay and a very special art “guide”. Pick your favorite.


Elsie V. Aidinoff – The Garden.

Elsie V. Aidinoff – The Garden (Definitions, $18.88)

This is a smart retelling of the biblical Genesis: Eve is the narrator and you’ll see Eden through her eyes. The Serpent introduces her to the life in Paradise, where she learns about nature, love and the rules of the Garden. When Eve comes into contact with God – who rears Adam – she becomes suspicious of his selfishness and control. Impatient to know if he has designed the male and the female to procreate properly, God rushes the two into intercourse and Adam rapes Eve. After the devastating experience, Eve decides to leave the Garden with the Serpent to discover what exists outside that world. If you want to know the rest of the story, just read it.


Lindsay Bowden – Damn Fine Cherry Pie: the Unauthorized Cookbook Inspired by the Show Twin Peaks.

Lindsay Bowden – Damn Fine Cherry Pie: the Unauthorized Cookbook Inspired by the Show Twin Peaks (Harper Design$24.99)

This a very well-made cookbook which includes 75 recipes inspired by David Lynch’s cult classic series. If you’re a fan of the show, this is a must-have in your collection; if you’re not, this is also a great recipe collection for creative cooks. Due to the lockdown, you have more time to prepare special meals for yourself or for the people you live with (always following the rules given by our local authorities). From burritos to pastries, use this time to practice in your kitchen and save your knowledge for future viewing parties or a date night for two.


Keith Richards – Life.

Keith Richards (with James Fox) – Life (Little, Brown and Company, $17.00)

There were many things I didn’t know about the Rollings Stones before reading this book. Here, Keith Richards tells everything about his life: from how he learned guitar to the success of the Rolling Stones. But there’s more: isolation, addiction, Richards’ estrangement from Mick Jagger and subsequent reconciliation, love, family and his solo projects. If you’re not into autobiographies, this one will change your mind: you’ll also find out how people like James Brown, John Lennon and Marc Chagall are involved in Rolling Stones’ history.


Stefan Sagmeister – Things I’ve Learned In My Life so Far.

Stefan Sagmeister – Things I’ve Learned In My Life so Far (Abrams, $37.07)

Sagmeister is a New York-based graphic designer, storyteller and photographer who designed album covers for artists like Lou Reed, Aerosmith and David Byrne. Things I’ve Learned In My Life So Far is a book born from a running list that Sagmeister keeps in his diary. Over the years, those mottos evolved into typographic artworks which appeared in magazines and public spaces all over the world that he finally put in this book. The first edition dates back 2006 but, since then, the book has been updated: the result is a blend of pictures and aphorisms and, also, a creative examination on the pursuit of happiness.


Frank Swain – How to Make a Zombie.

Frank Swain – How to Make a Zombie (Oneworld Publications, $15,95)

This is a special pick for geeks, history junkies and zombie lovers: science writer Frank Swain investigated real zombie reports from around the world, starting from the very first attempts of our fellow humans to reawaken the dead and control their mind and bodies. His interesting, accurate and fun research includes many noteworthy stories: from Haitian Voodoo potions to secret agents dosing targets with zombie drugs. If you like the topic, this is a very entertaining science essay.


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