Media entertains during social isolation

Here are recommendations for different books and TV shows to combat boredom while social distancing.


Reading is a great way to pass the time. Photo by Hayley Breines

Hayley Breines, A&E Editor

We can all agree that fighting boredom in a time where we have no school, sports, or clubs to look forward to can be a daunting battle. However, finding new things to watch or read can keep the boredom at bay, as well as award new knowledge. Feel free to click on any of the pictures to take you to its respective Goodreads or IMDb page.

*Disclaimer: All photos used are protected under fair use since they are used for criticism (section 107 of Copyright Act).

The Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins. Photo provided by

Getting to the library right now is a difficult task, since all of them are closed, and there might be a long wait-list for the book you’ve been waiting forever to read in the GCHS online e-book catalog. However, re-discovering old books you read when you were younger that are already on your shelves brings a sense of familiarity into a decidedly uncertain time. Although the characters might be younger and more unrelatable now, the story is familiar and nostalgic-and who doesn’t love nostalgia? One such book series is Gregor the Overlander, the lesser-known first series by Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins. This series is a serious nostalgia ride and has themes that carry into teenage life. Gregor, an 11-year-old boy, is swept into an adventure as he and his sister fall into a mysterious underland. This series is captivating, playful, and incredibly fun to read, along with being comforting and familiar. However, if this series never made it to your shelf, picking up something you do have is a great way to get those feelings of nostalgia. Some more great books from childhood include the Percy Jackson series, the Harry Potter series, A Wrinkle in Time, The Giver, Savvy, and the Fablehaven series.

If books for younger people don’t appeal to you, but you still want to find something new to

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. Photo provided by

read, reading non-fiction is a great way to jump into something not as surrounded by popularity as Young Adult fiction is. The non-fiction genre seems like it’s full of books with textbook-sounding prose, but there are actually some incredibly captivating true stories within this category. Two such novels are The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. The Glass Castle is the autobiography of Jeanette Walls, a woman who grew up in a poor nomadic family, and how she rose out of her situation. Walls has an incredible way of describing her life in a way that feels like she’s a friend telling you about her life and the people in it. At some points, it seems almost unbelievable how neglectful her parents were. Nevertheless, you feel her and her story, and it leaves you wanting more. After reading, check out the movie! Although the book is always better, the movie is relatively close-aligned with the novel and very entertaining.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Photo provided by

As for In Cold Blood, Truman Capote documents the true story of a familial homicide within the sleepy town of Holcomb, Kansas. Capote sets the scene for the town and propels the reader into its dusty and familiar rural roads. However, the brutality of the Clutter family murder cuts through the town as we follow both Holcomb’s residents and the killers. Capote writes the story almost as fiction and pulls in the reader with incredible descriptive language. This book seems a little daunting since it is a classic, but once you dive into the story you won’t want to get out. 

Binging a television series is another great way to pass the time. We, teenagers in the modern era, are professional binge-watchers and the stay-at-home order can only reinforce that. Many of us have Netflix, but there are some

The Criminal Minds logo. Photo provided by Wikimedia Commons.

great shows out there on other platforms as well. A classic binge-worthy show that is perfect to start during quarantine is Criminal Minds. This procedural drama has 10+ seasons, making it the perfect candidate to binge all month. Criminal Minds follows a team of FBI agents in the Behavioral Analysis Unit into different crimes all throughout the country. You learn to love the agents and their perfectly-timed revelations throughout each episode. However, take caution if you know you’re squeamish to gore and heavy themes.

The poster for Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Photo provided by

A more lighthearted option, the new show Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist on NBC is a non-Netflix option to fulfill a binge-worthy show within network TV. All of the episodes can be streamed through and Hulu if you need to catch up with the airing episodes. Zoey, a young computer programmer in San Francisco, experiences a unique power in which she can hear people’s inner thoughts through song. As she tries to navigate family and love as well as her job, the song breaks within the show add a level of wonder and complexity to her life. The songs, although they may not be sung by the greatest singers, are charming and skillfully placed so Zoey, along with the audience, can figure out why someone is singing, for example, The Rolling Stones to her. The songs are incredibly diverse and the story is intriguing. Zoey’s problems might seem mundane, but they’re amplified by her internal Spotify and make her story endearing.