7 books to read while social distancing

kindle on top of books

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, the nation is urged to practice social distancing in efforts to prevent the virus from spreading. To combat cabin fever, FIU’s College of Arts, Sciences & Education faculty and alumni shared their top reads.

Fire up those Kindles.

Wanda Raiford, senior instructor and director of liberal studies, suggests:  

  1. “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation” by M.T. Anderson
    • American history, philosophy, human rights, coming-of-age
  2.  “The Power”by Naomi Alderman
    • Science fiction
  3. “All Systems Red” by Martha Wells (“Murderbot Diaries” series)

“People who like science fiction, women’s and gender studies and action plots should check out Martha Wells’ ‘Murderbot Diaries’ series.”


Amy Huseby, literature instructor for the Department of English, suggests:

  1. “Severance” by Ling Ma
    • Satirical science fiction
  2. “Speaks the Nightbird” by Robert McCammon (“Matthew Corbett” series)

“The ‘Matthew Corbett’ series is a personal favorite that I’ve just discovered and binged over the past year. If you love detection fiction, historical fiction, Sherlock Holmes with a dash of Tom Hardy (the actor not the author), smart and sexy narrative and dialogue, these books will give you exactly the escape fiction you seek.”


Yesenia Roque and Jaqueline Lee, English alumni and Write & Day founders suggest:

  1. “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi (Roque’s pick)
    • Young adult, fantasy
  2. “Before She Knew Him” by Peter Swanson (Lee’s pick)
    • Suspense, thriller

Done with the list above? Founder and director of FIU’s Creative Writing Program, Les Standiford, has more than 20 books to his name over his 45-year career.