The books that got us through COVID

This World Book Day – 4 March – instead of asking you to dress up as your favourite character, or to decorate a potato to look like a book cover, we cast our net out for book recommendations.

In the hope that their recommendations might help others, we specifically asked colleagues:

Which books have got you through COVID?

The resulting list really has got something for everyone! Links go through to the books on Waterstones.com, but other bookshops – including fabulous local ones (when we can visit them again) – are available!

And our keep learning page has a link to how to join an online book club, if you want to discuss what you’re reading with others.


Kim passed top book tips from CCG staff through to us…

Cover of Happy by Fearne Cotton

Happy by Fearne Cotton

For many of us, life can feel like it’s moving too fast with pressure bearing down on us from all sides – whether that’s from school or work, family or social media. As a result, we find ourselves frazzled, lost and – too often – feeling blue. It’s a subject close to Fearne’s heart. Drawing on her own experiences and including expert advice, HAPPY offers practical ways of finding joy each and every day.

Cover of The Emergency Poet by

The Emergency Poet by Deborah Alma

A good one for dipping in and out of – the poems are grouped depending on how you’re feeling and what you need.

Cover of The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

This story of a little boy’s journey is peppered with nuggets of feel-good wisdom and is beautifully illustrated. A real treasure of a book.

Cover of A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax

Ruby Wax lays out her mindfulness techniques, making simple changes that give us time to breathe, reflect and live in the moment.

Kim added: I’d also recommend poets.org – it’s not a book, but you can sign up for free to receive a new poem in your inbox every day, and it’s always a nice excuse to have a break and a cuppa each day 😊

From colleagues at Dorset HealthCare came these recommendations…

Lesley recommended:

Cover of The Salt Path by Raynor Wynn

The Salt Path by Raynor Wynn (have read this several times so got to be good!)

A life-affirming true story of a couple made homeless who decide to walk all 630 miles of the South West Coast Path, wild camping along the way. Although her husband has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, this is anything but a depressing book, with lots of humour along the way and the walking actually makes a positive difference to his health. Brilliant!

Cover of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This was voted the best of our book club reads last year – about a girl who has survived for years alone in the marshlands of North Carolina.  Murder mystery, coming-of-age and a celebration of nature.

Cover of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Sarah recommended The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. “I won’t give anything away but it is just such a great read…a total escape from reality!”

Cover of Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

Angie loves the Seven Sisters books by Lucinda Riley.

Marie from UHD told us:

Cover of A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of Virginia Hall by Siona Purnell

Cover of Death in Ten Minutes by Fern Riddell

I have started reading ‘A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of Virginia Hall, WWII’s Most Dangerous Spy’ which is fascinating and also ‘Death in Ten Minutes’ the story of Kitty Marion, who was a suffragette who developed a handy skill for setting fires as part of her campaign for Votes for Women.

Cover of I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke

The John Cooper Clarke autobiography ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ is a cracking read and I am devouring it at the moment also.

I have also enjoyed picking up my old travel guidebooks off the shelf and whiling away an hour or two creating itineraries of favourite haunts for imaginary non-Covid treats of travel!

Cover of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

During lockdown I have also gone through some of my old not-read-for-ages books and have found some Agatha Christies which are worth reading again for all the detail we don’t see in the TV or film adaptations.

Thank you so much to everyone who got in touch to share their favourite books ♡