Many parts of the country are in their second week of sheltering-in-place, so we guess you could say things are getting pretty serious. Some folks are adapting to the new reality by organizing happy hours on Zoom, testing another pasta [frozen] primavera recipe, Netflix and chilling, rationing toilet paper, and catching up on some overdue reading.

And that’s where we come in. This week we’re offering up a ‘rona reading list for our fellow voracious bookworms, and we’ve got a little something for everyone. So cuddle up with your Kindle and a glass of your favorite varietal (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, and does it even matter anymore?), because below is our highly edited, OR-approved literary short-list of fiction, non-fiction, and equine-themed reads published in the last few years. We included a few suggestions from some trusted friends and followers, as well.


An appropriate title for the times, The Great Alone follows the trials and tribulations of a young girl stranded on her family’s remote homestead, and this page-turner of a story is framed by a stunning Alaskan backdrop.

Those with a nostalgic fondness for “Stand By Me” will be equally moved by this test of friendship between two young men desperate for survival when an innocent canoe trip goes awry. The Denver Post describes it as truly terrifying and unutterably beautiful.

A Little Life was published in 2015 and has been read by millions. However, at 737 pages, we figure there are many people who may have been saving it for a rainy day (or a shelter-in-place sitch). It is an inspired work of fiction, and you owe it to yourself to read it (with a box of tissues).

The Overstory’s author is a computer programmer-turned writer who intricately weaves complex science, the poetry of nature, and dramatic characters into a tangled web of modern day activism, resulting in a beautiful tribute to trees and forests.


The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


This is the incredible – at times, unbearable – memoir of a young girl raised by survivalists “off the grid.” Without as much as a birth certificate, Tara Westover tells her true story of perseverance and how she came to possess a Harvard diploma.

It’s an extrovert’s America, and introverts are just livin’ in it! Quiet is a thoughtful study of thoughtful people, and anyone who is, knows, loves, or works with an introvert will benefit greatly from this guide to the more silent half of the human population.


Talking To Strangers by Malcom Gladwell
It’s What I Do by Linsey Addario
American Prison by Shane Bauer
The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi


Ian Urbina is an investigative journalist who traveled hundreds of miles off-shore to document a dangerous world of which few people are aware: piracy, trafficking, corruption, and violence in open waters with no oversight.

Wine Girl chronicles the troubled childhood and toxic career path of the country’s youngest sommelier, whose brave voice opens a dialogue about the culture of abuse and sexism in the fine dining industry.

At the end of WWII, it was discovered that Hitler had been stockpiling a stolen herd of what he considered to be an equine master race. Elizabeth Letts tells the true story of how these stallions were saved from a starving Russian army that was fast approaching.

One peer review sums it up best:
“So richly detailed, you can almost smell the gunsmoke and the sweat of the saddles.”


Horse Brain, Human Brain by Janet Jones
Healthy as a Horse by Angie Wells
Still Horse Crazy After All These Years by James Wofford
The Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

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