Tackle that to-be-read pile: the books to try if you're self-isolating

From Nora Ephron to Thomas Mann, here are 12 books to entertain, challenge and inspire if you’re confined at home due to Covid-19

If you are the type of person who is tormented by the thought of all the books out there still waiting to be read, you are likely, for the worst of reasons, to have some time on your hands. Nobody would choose these circumstances in which to tackle their to-be-read pile, but books have a distinct role to play in times of trouble. The best of them absorb our attention, enlarge our sympathies and understanding and provide not merely simple distraction but a more complex way of engaging with the world and our place in it. These books – individually brilliant and absorbing – also try, in very different ways, to examine how we function as human beings.

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