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Quarantine Reading Recommendations: Kay Farrell

While we know lots of people are struggling to read at the moment, books offer a much needed escape from day-to-day life for others. We asked each member of the Sandstone team to suggest some reading material they've loved for the coming weeks.

Today we have ten recommendations from Assistant Publisher Kay Farrell - we hope you'll love them as much as she did!

With the order to stay at home, there’s no better time to make a dent in that to-read pile. So naturally I bought a slew of new titles on Kindle instead.

If you’re tempted to do the same, here are a few I love:

Rachel Ward’s The Cost of Living is a great piece of cosy crime fun, and celebrates the unsung heroes of the moment – supermarket staff. When a young woman is attacked on her way home from their place of work, Ant and Bea are drawn into the investigation. You’ll quickly find yourself falling for this adorable pair and cheering the supermarket sleuths on!

Then there’s The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. It’s a dizzying mix of Agatha Christie style-murder plus body-swapping, time loops, murder… I could go on but not without spoiling at least one point in the extremely complex plot. Just read it!

The Electric Woman is Tessa Fontaine’s true story of joining the last traveling circus in the USA and learning to eat fire, lure in punters and get that money. Raw, powerful and exciting. I cannot recommend this one enough.

Ane Riel’s Resin begins with the amazing line, ‘The white room was completely dark when my dad killed my granny. I was there.’ Even more incredible, the rest of the book – a translation from Danish – lives up to this devastating start. Dark, chilling and terrific.

Speaking of dark, how about a humorous tale of divorce, mortality and badgers? Rob Palk’s Animal Lovers opens with Stuart’s wife Marie leaving him to protest the badger cull. Bitterly funny, the story follows the breakdown of their relationship and the lengths Stuart will go to in order to get her back.

M. R. Carey is famous for The Girl with all the Gifts but you might have missed Fellside. It’s a very different kind of book, following Jess whose life is ruined by addiction, accused of manslaughter and desperately needing to believe that she is innocent. The supernatural suspense is intense but first and foremost this is a book about finding peace within – quiet and lovely.

The Accidental Recluse by Tom McCulloch is ageing film director Johnny Jackson’s ‘autobiography’. This is a fast-paced story with snappy dialogue and an absorbing mix of humour and pathos. It’s got a sea rescue, a beautifully realised contemporary Japan, the realities of Highland life – it’s even got a monkey.

Before I read Erin Morgenstern’s latest, I revisited The Night Circus – a gorgeously written story of a magical competition which slowly reveals itself to be a love story. The kind of book you hug to yourself, desperate to live in its world just a bit longer once you

With gyms and leisure centres closed, if you’re missing your usual exercise why not try out running? Mark Atkinson’s Run Like Duck, a guide for the unathletic, takes you through that first torturous jog all the way to marathon with lots of helpful, realistic tips. Mark goes on to describe a number of his best and worst running experiences which will amuse even the most committed non-runner.

Finally, I always love to revisit an old book-friend. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is a perennial favourite, deftly combining fantasy, humour and a brilliant study of human nature. Monstrous Regiment is the story of a girl who joins the army in the guise of a boy… only to find she’s not the only one. A good place to start for new readers drawn in by the recent Good Omens adaptation.

Come tell me what you’re reading on twitter: @k_a_farrell.