What’s the best thing you’ve read during the pandemic, and what’s next? What Chicagoans say.

“The Stand,” “Caste,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” “Magic Mountain” were among the answers. Also: novels that transport people far from the coronavirus and a real estate book for a new career.

SHARE What’s the best thing you’ve read during the pandemic, and what’s next? What Chicagoans say.
We asked Chicagoans to tell us the best thing they’ve read during the pandemic. Their answers spanned all genres.

We asked Chicagoans to tell us the best thing they’ve read during the pandemic. Their answers spanned all genres.

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We asked Chicagoans: What’s the best thing you’ve read during the pandemic — and what’s next on your list?Some answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

“I’ve read 32 books so far this year. The best was ‘The Nightingale’ by Kristin Hannah. I’m currently reading ‘How to Stop Time’ by Matt Haig. Next on my list is ‘Ready Player Two’ by Ernest Cline.”— Kelly Beall

“‘Magic Mountain’ by Thomas Mann. It just felt fitting to read a book on illness, the meaninglessness of time and self-isolation at a Swiss sanatorium while the world goes to pieces. Next on the list: maybe something by Nelson Algren to remind me of the beloved Chicago dive bars we’re all missing so much.” — Victor Alejandro Jaramillo

“Reread ‘The Stand’ by Stephen King.”— Leslie Caruso

“‘Katharine and E.B .White: An Affectionate Memoir’ by Isabel Russell. Next on my list: ‘Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago’ by David Naguib Pellow.” — Elaine Lehman

“James Patterson ‘The Midwife Murders.’” — Karen Holman

“I love historical true stories. Just finished ‘On Desperate Ground’ by Hampton Sides. Great story of the Marines and the Battle for Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War.”— Jacque H. Tennyson

“I really like the latest D&D source book — ‘Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.’ I’m planning to read ‘The Lost Book of Adana Moreau’ by local author Michael Zapata.” — Jeff Niebres

“‘Walking With the Wind’ by John Lewis. Currently reading ‘Marie Blythe’ by Howard Frank Mosher.” — Tony Galati

“I am a Ken Follett fan. On the third book of a trilogy.” — Rachel Jaquez

“My real estate books. Gonna turn lemons into lemonade.” — Judd Fox

“‘The Institute’ by Stephen King. It’s just plausible enough that it kept me awake at night.” — Laurie Alfaro

“‘The Once and Future Witches.’ Favorite book of 2020!” — Claudine Ronkowski

“‘Vacationland’ and ‘Medallion Status,’ both by John Hodgman. Currently reading ‘The Body’ by Bill Bryson. Next up is ‘The Fifth Risk’ by Michael Lewis.” — Carol Girard

“Scott Turow's legal thriller ‘The Last Trial.’ Next is Bryan Stevens: ‘Just Mercy.’” — Judy Panko Reis

“‘Hillbilly Elegy’ by J.D. Vance.” — John Temple

“‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle.” — Laurie Romano

“‘The Chef’... awesome book.” — Thomas Michalski

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