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A social-distancing book list to take your mind off things (if only for a few pages).



I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.







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These are strange times… I feel like there is nothing more to say than that. Currently on day 9 of self-quarantining, I’ve found some of my old rhythms failing me so I’ve had to create new ones to go in their place.

One rhythm of mine that is currently sticking: take a nice bath and reading a good book. I know nothing can truly change how uncertain everything feels right now but reading a book over constantly reading the news is proving to be hugely beneficial for my mental health.

Actually- reading is one of the few things keeping me sane in this time of reading. For that reason, I’ve created this book list of all my favorites in 5 categories: fiction, nonfiction, spiritual, thrillers + self-development. I know there are so many books I could add to this list but consider this a starter for anyone who needs something to take them away from the present moment (if only for a few pages).

Stay safe. Stay home. And stay healthy, loves.


An American Marriage:: Gosh, Tayari Jones in a dream. This book is moving and poignant, smart and powerful. The storyline felt outside of the fiction I typically read but it was a welcomed change and I am looking forward to more of her books in the future.

The Mothers:: One of my favorites, this book had me flipping the pages furiously. Bonus: Brit Bennett has a new book coming out into the world in June called “The Vanishing Half.” I received an ARC of this book and it inhaled it in three days. So dang good— I daresay I liked it even better than “The Mothers.”

Where the Crawdads Sing:: I know you’ve seen this book on every list but there’s a reason for that. This book is written so well and it is full of twists and turns. It really pulled me out of myself and into the story and I respect any author who can do that with their words.

The Poisonwood Bible:: Well, this book is packed to the brim with good words. The kind of words that make you want to lick your fingers after reading a sentence because each one is so rich. I’ve had to slowly get through this book… at this point, I am honestly reading it more for the sentence structure than I am for the actual story (though the story is so compelling). Dig all the way in, friend.

The Nightingale:: Get the tissues ready. You’re going to need them for this book. A powerful story set in WWII, this book stands apart in its genre. You’re going to fall deeply in love with the characters and wish the story would never end.


Just Mercy:: This is one of those books that flipped my life upside down. I can’t really explain it. I inhaled the book in a span of 48 hours and it jacked me up in the very best way. If you ask me, it’s a must-read!

Ordering Your Private World:: This is a classic book written in the 80s but with a timeless feel to it. I revisit this book year after year for all the wisdom and nuggets I can pull from it. It’s perfect for anyone needing to cut out some noise and recenter themselves.

Maid:: This book was eye-opening. It let me into a world I didn’t know much about and really changed my perspective in a lot of ways. I think its truly an important read for those who want to know more about the service industry and the faces behind it.

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful:: If you are someone with anxiety, this book is a must-read. It contains research, yes, but I found the narrator to be so refreshing and honest. She made me want to write with more honesty. Funny story: I saw this book in the airport for the first time and decided to buy it because I wanted it to sit on my coffee table (it’s a beautiful cover). Upon picking it up, I realized this book was totally and completely for me. I could weep over the beauty of this book and the power behind it.

Columbine:: This book was fascinating to me. I couldn’t put it down. I’ve always been invested in the story of Columbine but now I feel like I truly know the real story and my eyes are open to how the media can twist and contort stories. This book is dark and human but written by a journalist who certainly knows how to investigate.


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark:: If you are into true crime and want to read something compelling yet chillingly true— this book about the Golden State Killer is for you. It’s beautifully written, even given the subject matter, and will leave you locking every door and checking them twice.

The Silent Patient:: Oh honey, buckle up. This one has it in for you. I was beginning to feel a little blase about the “Gone Girl” genre of books and this one brought me back to why I love these kinds of reads. A standing ovation for how well this book is constructed.

Sometimes I Lie:: Laney bought this book for me and I’d never heard it before but the book was compelling and I really liked the perspectives of the characters. Twisted, yes. Dark, yes. But a good, light read.

The Holdout:: I am in the middle of this one (and I started yesterday). This book is gripping me. I was thinking a few weeks ago that I lost my reading spark— that pull to pick up a book and just keep reading— but this book has totally flipped the switch back on. I cannot wait to keep turning the pages.


Atomic Habits:: A favorite of mine. This book is essential for all those who want to create more discipline in their lives. James Clear is inspiring and the book is packed with practical wisdom. I can’t recommend it enough!

The 12-Week Year:: If you are looking to take your over-achiever status to the next level then this book will do it for you. It’s intense and works better for those running their own business or side hustle but I gained a ton of wisdom about “what’s possible” from reading it.

The One Thing:: Are you someone who struggles to focus? Multi-passionate, they would call you? Then this book will be a good kick in the pants. This is the book that prompted me to stop focusing on so many areas and just hone in on writing. I refer back to it again and again.

The Road Back to You:: Want to get more in touch with yourself? I recommend this book on the Enneagram to bring you a level deeper in understanding who you are and how you are wired. But don’t just read about your number— read the whole thing. This book is essential for understanding the people in your life and finding ways to love + care for them in even greater capacities.

168 Hours:: A book that is oozing with practicality, I put all the wisdom from it into practice and really figured out how to restructure my days and make the most of my hours. If time management is an issue for you then let this book help you transform this area of your life…

Everything is Figureoutable:: Marie is the voice you need— especially if you find yourself at a place where you’re passionate but don’t know how to turn that passion into something productive. Her kind but authoritative voice will be the reminder you need that there is still time, there is good work for you to do, and you’re capable starting something that matters.


The Practice of the Presence of God:: It’s mandatory reading for every human. There, I said it. But, really: I read this book every year as a refresher. It’s small— you can read it in an hour or two— but you will find yourself highlighting nearly every word. This book will make you a better human nearly instantly if you take the wisdom to heart.

Anonymous:: This would be a really good read to sink your teeth into right about now. It’s all about what to do— and where is God— in seasons where you feel tucked away and waiting for something to move. AKA right now. Plus, it’s written so beautifully.

A Severe Mercy:: I’ve heard the most amazing things about this book and everyone says, “You have to read this!” So I have it on my list for this quarantine season. Add it to yours!

It’s Not Supposed to Be this Way:: Maybe we all need this book right now? Lysa paints this real picture of what it looks like to move forward in the face of circumstances that are not ideal. Spoiler alert: God is always in the messy.

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness:: Another book that will take you only an hour to read but it will punch you in the face with truth. I’m not kidding. It’s so good and I cannot recommend reading it enough.

God Has a Name:: This one one those spiritual reads that rocked my world. I have not been the same since I read it because it flipped my entire perspective of God. If you are looking to have your mind blown then dig-on-in.

The Hiding Place:: Corrie Ten Boom’s story is both inspiring and convicting. It will compel you to action or to at least reexamine your relationship with God and how he is so careful with you.

Life of the Beloved:: Just about anything Henri Nouwen rights is good & critical for this time. If you just want to know about God’s love and how that love is spread thick across your life then read this book. Henri is a treasure in my library and it’s my goal to read all of his work.

Uninvited:: This book helped me through a really hard period where I felt rejected by someone I loved. It’s full of spiritual truth and wisdom for those who feel left out and forgotten.


What are you currently reading? What’s on your list? Better yet- whats you’re go-to recommendation for someone in need of a solid read? Comment below so we can write down your suggestions!


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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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