Books for quarantine period

With schools closed and the majority of businesses moving to remote working, we’ll have to find ways to accommodate and adapt to our new working-from-home schedules with children at home full time, as well as seek strategies to keep body and mind healthy.

So, we’ve asked the team here at KISS what books they’d suggest to stimulate curiosity for someone self-isolating or in need of a welcome distraction. The results were great, and many books were recommended, varying from funny to thoughtful options, some with all at the same time. We’ve boiled those down to the following top-4 list:

1. Tao Te Ching (the book of change) by Lao Tzu

Our CEO Simon Fryer says the book’s name says it all, as it translates roughly as ‘the way’ or ‘the way of the universe’. Its 81 verses deliver ancient and accessible wisdom in a simple way, still relevant for modern times. It is a book of fundamental principles that has been enjoyed by thinkers and doers through the years and, more recently, by scientists and mathematicians. If you’re looking for some inspiration and mindfulness that stands the test of time, get on reading!

2. David Copperfield, a novel by Charles Dickens

Anthea Hughes, our Head of Client Service, suggests a novel that tells the story of wonderful characters and the challenges David went through, from infancy to maturity, as people entered and left his life. Written in the first person, the book tells his own adventures and the numerous friends and enemies he met along his way. If you fancy a novel that can make you laugh and cry, this is the one for you.

3. Humans: a brief history of how we f✴cked it all up by Tom Phillips

Adam Andrews, our Head of Digital, suggests some humour for the lockdown period with this non-fiction book. It tells the most creative and catastrophic f✴ck ups in human history, from the first modern human beings to present days. This is for those of you who want some laughter and encouragement to get through this difficult period – we've come a long way and will be okay after all.

4. The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

Our Managing Director Sarah Reakes suggests this novel about the life of Oskar Matzerath, narrated by himself when confined in a mental hospital in post-war Poland. The story of a child who chose not to grow old speaks about art, beauty and hope as well as indescribable ugliness and horror. The book can help us think about tough times when people were asked to go out and fight instead of staying home.

At KISS we’re now working from home and at full capacity – having implemented flexible working two years ago we’re experienced in remote team working, so it’s been a relatively (albeit strange!) transition for us. But remember – great work can happen during tough times like these, as history tells us. And this will pass, it will get better, we just need to stick together – metaphorically of course, as touching should be avoided! For now, get reading, doing work and let us know if you need any help.