On average, the UK commuter spends around an hour getting to and from work. With lockdown in effect, this has become less of a problem for many of us. But if you’re still engaging in a daily commute, you’ll want to get the best possible use out of the time. Travelling from London Bridge to East Croydon takes about seventeen minutes – multiply that by the number of working days in a year and you’ve got plenty of time to devour countless novels.
Books provide a fantastic means of getting something out of what would otherwise be dead time. If you’re travelling via train, you’ll be free to read at your leisure – but even if you’re in a car or on a bicycle, you can still enjoy a good read thanks to the widespread availability of audio-books.
But exactly what should be on your reading list? Let’s take a look at a few popular suggestions.
Armageddon in Retrospect
Kurt Vonnegut’s classic collection of short stories and essays covers war, peace and everything in between. It was put together following the author’s death, and represents some of his most raw and mature work.
Reasons to Stay Alive
This is a rather uplifting account of author Matt Haig’s return from the brink of suicide in his early twenties. As well as being a memoir, it’s an argument for the value of life and living it – which might be precisely what you need on a Monday morning!
When Connie Willis’s time-travelling novel about the bubonic plague was first released in the early 90s. It follows a time travelling historian back to the 14th century, during the height of the epidemic. It scooped the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards, and thus qualifies as a classic of science fiction.
21 lessons for the 21st century
Sapiens and its sequel Homo Deus sold huge numbers, thanks to a combination of staggering scope and an approachable style. In this one, Yuval Noah Harari focuses on the challenges that lie ahead for the human race. It’ll put your daily troubles into perspective!
The Mirror and the Light
The third instalment of Hilary Mantel’s award-winning trilogy hit the shelves in March, and was somewhat overshadowed by the pace of world events. It’s a worthy addition to the Cromwell story, and Mantel’s unforgettable prose makes this a captivating yarn.
If you’ve yet to get around to reading George Orwell’s most famous work, then try not to feel too bad – it’s never too late to acquaint yourself with this much-loved warning about what might come to be. And if you have, then you’ll find that it stands up to repeated reading!