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New Hampshire Calling: Your Pandemic Reading List

Andrei.D40 via Flickr Creative Commons

Last week on New Hampshire Calling, we had a conversation about the books that are getting listeners through this time of social distancing. You can listen to that show right here.

During our broadcast, the phones lit up with listeners sharing their book picks, and while we couldn't get to every call, we did our best to capture all the suggestions we received on the phone and via email.

What follows are the books picks we've collected so far...but if you'd like to add your own reading suggestions to this list, feel free to shoot us an email at

The New Hampshire Calling Pandemic Reading List

On Pandemics:

  • Love In the Time of Cholera by Gabriella Garcia Marquez
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • After the Plague by T.C. Boyle
  • Spillover by David Quammen
  • A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang
  • The Rationing by Charles Wheelan
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  • The Bees by Laline Paul

Books for Escape:

  • Lisa Gardner's When You See Me
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Anything by Dick Francis
  • Velocity or Midnight by Dean Koontz
  • The Joe Gunther series by Archer Mayor
  • The Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny
  • The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss

Enlightening Nonfiction:

  • Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
  • George Washington’s Leadership Lessons by James C. Rees
  • The Wax Pack by Brad Balukjian
  • The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson.
  • Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter by Ben Goldfarb
  • The Wisdom of Insecurity, A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan Watts
  • Edison by Edmund Morris
  • Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country by Sierra Crane Murdoch
  • Molly Ivans Can’t Say That Can She? By Molly Ivans

Religious and Spiritual:

  • Baha'u'llah and the New Era by Dr. John E. Esslemont
  • The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama , Desmond Tutu, Douglas Abrams

Historical Fiction:

  • This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
  • The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay
  • Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown


  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
  • The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Short Story Collections:

  • The Heart is a Full-Wild Beast by John L’Heureux
  • Restricted Fantasies by Kevin Kneupper


  • ‘In My Unknowing’ by Chard deNiord
  • ‘Autumn Light’ by Pico Iyer.

Science Fiction/Fantasy:

  • The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
  • The Light Years by R. W. W. Greene
  • Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger

Literary Fiction:

  • The Overstory by Richard Powers
  • Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
  • All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
  • A Gentleman of Moscow by Amor Towles
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
  • Dominicana by Angie Cruz
  • Giants in the Earth by Ole Edvart Rølvaag
  • This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples
  • The Funeral Makers by Cathie Pelletier

Young Adult:

  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  • The Dark is Rising books by Susan Cooper


  • Richard Scarry books

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.
Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered and Writers on a New England Stage at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer/announcer/host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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