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Explore More: 10 books to bring comfort during COVID-19

Chris Erickson, Chris Painter and Mackenzie Hicks
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As we all look for new ways to pass the time during self-isolation, there’s one thing that remains from our normal winding down routine — settling down with a good book. Books provide escape, teach us new things and take us on grand adventures through time and space. Staff at Off the Beaten Path and Bud Werner Memorial Library share their top picks for books that might bring you comfort during COVID-19.

‘The Hour of Land’
By:
Terry Tempest Williams
Recommended by: Bud Werner Memorial Library staff
Description: This is simply one of the best armchair travel books about some of our most beloved places. The deeply researched essays illuminate national parks that we can’t access right now, diving into the backcountry on the most beautiful and heartfelt level. The book will leave you deeply grateful that we have these places, anxious to get out and explore them and inspired to do everything in your power to protect them. As ever, Williams gives us a woke way to escape into wilderness. 

‘In Five Years’
By:
Rebecca Serle
Recommended by: Off the Beaten Path staff
Description: Where do you see yourself in five years? Dannie Cohan thought she knew when she answers that exact question in a job interview, but then, she has a vision showing her future isn’t at all what she had planned. Sending it to the back of her mind as a bad dream, Dannie continues with her life until a piece of that vision walks into her life and changes everything. A love story full of joy and heartbreak, “In Five Years” reminds us of the unpredictable nature of destiny.

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‘Upstream’
By:
Mary Oliver
Recommended by: Bud Werner Memorial Library staff
Description: As our world slows down and becomes quieter, there’s no one like Mary Oliver to show us how to embody this new rhythm. With nature as the backdrop, these poetic essays inspire readers to be curious about what’s directly in front of them and inspires a profound appreciation for what appears to be mundane.

‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed’
By:
Lori Gottlieb
Recommended by: Off the Beaten Path staff
Description: Therapist Lori Gottlieb suddenly finds herself on the other side of the chair when crisis causes her to seek counseling of her own. As she explores the inner workings of her colorful cast of patients, she realizes she’s asking the same questions of her own therapist, Wendell. A true story, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” shows perhaps we’re not so different after all in our struggles and questions on what life is all about.

‘The Book of Delights’
By:
Ross Gay
Recommended by: Bud Werner Memorial Library staff
Description: Award-winning poet Ross Gay set out to record one delightful observation each day for a year. This collection of short, lyrical essays are unabashedly joyful. Ross reminds us to pay attention to the wonder and magic of small things, the observations that are essential to maintain one’s perspective in this current time that is so fraught with anxiety and disconnect.

‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’
By:
Charlie Mackesy
Recommended by: Off the Beaten Path staff 
Description: Touted as “a book of hope in uncertain times” and shared by multiple celebrities, including Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth, this book by cartoonist Charlie Macksey will lift your spirits. Through these four unlikely friends, messages of hope, life lessons and more are discovered and have been shared thousands of times online to get people through some of their darkest days. And its perfect for reading as a family to get your through those rougher days self-isolating together.

‘Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero’
By:
Christopher McDougall
Recommended by: Bud Werner Memorial Library staff
Description: Right from the beginning, this true story about training a rescue donkey to run one of the most challenging races in America — the World Championship burro race — is filled with heart and humor. 

‘Made Out of Stars: A Journal for Self-Realization’
By:
Meera Lee Patel
Recommended by: Off the Beaten Path staff
Description: In a time when self care is more and more important. Meera Lee Patel returns with “Made Out of Stars” to help us take ourselves on a journey to discover what makes each of us special. If you’re looking to better understand yourself, crack open this book and learn how to become who you truly are meant to be.

‘A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel’
By:
Amor Towles
Recommended by: Bud Werner Memorial Library staff
Description: This stylish novel has been described as the ultimate quarantine read. In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed a shameless aristocrat by the Bolshevik regime and is sentenced to spend the rest of his life locked up in the Metropol — a luxury hotel situated in Moscow — directly across from the Kremlin. Rather than being diminished by his circumstances, the Count discovers a much richer interior life. 

‘Redhead by the Side of the Road’
By:
Anne Tyler
Recommended by: Off the Beaten Path staff
Description: Micah Mortimer’s life is meticulously organized. He’s a self-employed tech expert, a superintendent of an apartment building and always cautious behind the wheel. But one day, his would-be-girlfriend says she’s being evicted, and a teenager appears on his doorstep, claiming to be his son. With Anne Tyler’s signature wit, GoodReads calls “Rehdhead by the Side of the Road,” “a funny, joyful, deeply compassionate story about seeing the world through new eyes.”

Bonus selection: ‘The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World’
By:
Dalai Lama
Recommended by: Bud Werner Memorial Library staff
Description: Much like sitting in on an intimate conversation between two dear friends who just happen to be global spiritual and social leaders, bathing in their warmth, wisdom, humility and humor does a soul good when things seem a bit bleak. Add a mixed media element derived from their time together — visit youtu.be/wCn9X6_IVjE to see Archbishop Tutu showing the restrained Dalai Lama how to dance.

All titles are available at Bud Werner Memorial Library or Off the Beaten Path.


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