Last months topic was telling our readers they were trapped in quarantine with the character of the last book they read.

We asked how they were doing.

Here were the responses:

Ayesha: Hi Graeme
Hope all’s well with you and your family at this time…
We’re easing out of iso now but as the last book I (finished) read(ing) was Truganini: Journey through the apocalypse by Cassandra Pybus (as I read multiple things at once and haven’t quite finished the next most completed book… Ha), and it’s Reconciliation Week here in Oz – which btw this year’s theme “In this together” was announced just prior to Covid-19 taking off; how bizarre! – so obviously I “was” in lockdown with Truganini (known as the last surviving original Tasmanian) and a few of her companions:

Through some weird time/space displacement we ended up with a young Truganini at the time she’d been brought from Tassie to Westernport (now Melbourne) at our place! With her were her partner at that time, Maulboyheener; two women (Maytepueminer and Plorenernoopner), and Peevay. It must’ve been when they were on the run because they kept trying to run away and go bush. They were disorientated and it was hard to communicate due to the differences in both English and Aboriginal English since the 1840s. She also didn’t trust me and insisted I was a white fella due to my fair skin, but she was fond of my kids, especially my son, and our cat adored them all…

I don’t think they really liked my husband or I much. They pretty much ignored my husband despite his darker skin as he obviously wasn’t a “black fella”, and found the layout of our house too confining, so moved their possessions to the shed and slept in the backyard. Luckily it was early on in the lockdown so the weather here in the Southern Hemisphere was still nice. They also made fires using limbs and branches hacked off the native trees we have. If it’d still been fire season I would have copped numerous fines, so that was lucky.

They didn’t make any mess outside but were trying to catch native wildlife which I normally only need protect from the cat! I provided tea, sugar, a billy to make the tea in, flour for damper and a few other things they wanted, as well as having a much increased butchers bill (to stop them trying to eat the local wildlife). They mostly did their own cooking but were happy to share, and also allowed me to make damper, billy tea, chocolate bananas and potatoes cooked in the coals on their fires (I hadn’t done that since we used to go camping on the horses growing up, so it was nice to show my kids how it’s done! Ha) They were impressed with the chocolate bananas (just bananas slit open with chocolate inserted so the chocolate melts and the banana bakes and goes gooey) and they all had a sweet tooth, which I tried not to overindulgence too much (they did keep coming in to raid the cupboards though!)

I’ve got a bush I can’t remember the name of with little red berry type fruit, it’s bush tucker but obviously they didn’t know it, as despite me showing them it’s edible they wouldn’t touch it, but were quite happy to try processed foods the kids gave them. Maybe it resembled something in Tassie that’s poisonous, but they saw me eat it and I obviously didn’t die…

They couldn’t stand staying put and wanted to go bush. At that time we couldn’t go many kms from home and we’re only allowed out for specific reasons like work, shopping or medical reasons etc, so I asked a family friend with a van (so we could fit them all in) to help transport them to the foothills of the Blue Mountains, not too far off, so they could make their own way further inland. I was sorry we couldn’t get them to the coast as Truganini is/was from Saltwater people, but it’s too far away and too populated…
So they didn’t stay long but they taught us a lot of traditional ways which was very educational and an amazing experience for me and my kids as Indigenous Australians. We learnt a lot of dances but couldn’t understand or pick up their language/s or songs. We were never bored with them here and were sorry to see them go, though my husband was probably relieved to see the back of them. He thought the neighbours would dob us in for having people outside of our household staying here! Luckily they didn’t, but they must’ve been confused with all the goings on in the backyard…

I gave them some blankets, sleeping bags and things for their travels and went with our friend to drop them off. We got them to lie down under blankets in the back of the van (the seats had been taken out) so the cops wouldn’t see them in case we passed any while travelling down the highway. They wanted a dog which I was kind of reluctant about in case they couldn’t look after it for some reason, but I couldn’t get one anyway (there was no time plus if I went to a shelter I’d have to adopt it in my name and what if they did check ups after iso?) so they were disappointed about that, but happy to get back to the bush. They took off pretty quick so they obviously weren’t going to miss us as much as we missed them, but I really can’t blame them (our little house doubled its occupants overnight, so no wonder they moved out to the backyard!)

Anyway I didn’t hear anything further on the news or anywhere, so I guess they just faded back into history…

(It would have been amazing to have actually met Truganini! I loved learning about the woman behind the name while reading the book, but the changes she lived through in her lifetime were already incredibly traumatic, without transporting her to the here and now…)

Chris: Hi Graeme. Interesting newsletter question. I just finished rereading “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen and being in quarantine with that bunch is challenging, to say the least. Elizabeth and Jane Bennet are bright and witty conversationalists but their mother and sisters Lydia and Kitty work on my very last nerve with their endless talk of new frocks, parties and eligible men. It takes all my strength to keep from telling them to shut their traps. After all, we’re stuck in the same house, so it wouldn’t do to cause a fight. The father, Mr. Bennet, is very intelligent and easy going but all he does is hide out in the library. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy still haven’t connected but I can tell she’s smitten with him. After all, if she didn’t like him so much why else would she constantly complain about his snobbish ways?

Vicki: Hmmm, I just finished Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. So you’re telling me I’m stuck in a top ranked ’70s rock band living on sex, drugs, and rock and roll? When you go behind the scenes, it’s not so pretty. The glamour would be great. The dysfunction would be horrendous.

Maria: hey graeme….so all these years reading your wonderful columns and never a word from me…such poor form…as i love your passion, creativity, and
always the knowledge…books, books, books….writers, writers, writers…
i’ll get to the question of the week in a bit….
ever since i taught myself
to read at 2 yrs according to my mom, reading ongoing at the breakfast
table, walking to school, at the bus stop, even walking into objects too
large not to see unless buried in a book…
and now the dreaded kindle…(with the library closed during the “ shelter at home” phase of the virus setback, )the kindle unlimited is great and especially now that i’ve downsized with not enough room
for bookcases full to bursting….and
i vowed no kindle because the love of the book, the binding, the tactile feel of the, paper and seeing the typefaces, wondering why the publisher chose that particular one when it is oh so difficult to read…(sometimes),
cover art is ongoing fascinating…and a big draw..how the illustrator and
publisher choose to represent or misrepresent the actual focus of the
book–the art can be all over the place and totally out -of – sync, not
even remotely connecting with the contents…

You are now quarantined with the main character(s) of the last book you read. How is it going?

ok, the last book i read was 21 hours…dustin stevens…stevens i found mooching thru kindle unlimited….landed on his “reed & billie” series after
finishing dean koontz’s ‘devoted’….love what koontz is doing with the
golden retriever series…have also read others along the lines of detectives
with doggie pal/partners…..therefore finished w ‘reed & bille’, landed on
21 hours….

this is not a unique situation …that being literary characters interacting with
humans altho, not in this case at the behest of a malicious virus…
being quarantined with o & his twin sister alex is going very well as o’s battered/bloody bruised body is mending nicely, endorphins everywhere as alex and her mom are thrilled to be reunited with alex’s baby daughter rescued from abduction by uncle o….endorphins everywhere…..and it’s especially comfortable
being with characters who are down-to-earth rather than uppity…..no
attitudes with these folks just because they have some notoriety as stars
in a published work….this is much preferable to a quarantine with
other characters i could name … lucas davenport for one…too
hyper; jack reacher for another, all he would do is walk around
the house or the block…..
there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of characters i would
enjoy being quarantined with … artists, musicians, philosophers,
physicists, and on and on…you gave me the last ones…there
they are…a little to me know writer…
am off for breakfast and bike ride with uncle o, his sister alex,
and baby in the pull-along….
thanks for the many inspiring articles … love the newsletter…
happy reading always and all ways…

Ann: I have spent most of the pandemic with Harry Bosch–read all of the books in order. (Is there any other way?) I guess it was better than spending it with my other favorite Harry–Harry Hole. Less dark but still brooding. Looking for a new direction as we enter into the new normal.

Kacey: I would be quarantined with one of my favorites. Temperance Brennan! A Kathy Reichs character.
If I had my life to live over I would be a Forensic Anthropologist.
Really enjoy her earlier books better than this last one. It was still a good mystery but not my favorite.
I also enjoy Jefferson Bass books. Main character Dr. Brockton. Have met the Dr. that Dr Brockton is based on. Dr.Bass from University of Tennessee and the Body Farm in Knoxville. Hes so much fun to be around. Always smiling.

M: I am into the Jesse Stone series and am quarantined with him who can only be Tom Selleck – nuff said!!

Laurie: The last book I read was Shadow Of the Jaguar by DV Berkhom. The main character is Leine Basso a real kick ass detective like character. If I was stranded with her, first I know I’d be safe. She comes armed wherever she is. Then we’d be sure not to eat much, because when she’s in full commando mode, she is laser focused. (I’d be starving). All she would be doing is trying to find a way out.
She’s quiet, so not much talking. Even if we were in my house, she would not let me go out to the store aka keeping us safe. The food we would order, would be completely sanitised before ingesting.
I’d probably go stir crazy after a while, needing something to do beside reading.

Almost as bad as being quarantined with someone who doesn’t speak at all.

June: Graeme.. The book I just finished reading was KNIFE, by Jo Nesbo, so I am quarantined with Harry Hole! OMG! I am already half an insomniac like him, but if I hang out with him for long I will become an alcoholic and suicidal. This was a long haul to read and I really felt his pain. Lots of loss in this read, so I really feel for him. He has to make a life changing decision at the end, and I am left there!! I hope Jo Nesbo is madly writing the next book about what Harry’s decision is because I can’t wait!!!

Elizabeth: I just finished masked prey by John sanford. But it has nothing to do with the masks that are everywhere. Since it’s Lucas Davenport and I’m a good guy, I should come out alive, but I might get wounded. I know Lucas will shoot the bad guy though.

Deb: Hi, I’m accepting the challenge!

The last book I read was Bad Luck & Trouble by Lee Child, so I am quarantined with…YAY!…Jack Reacher!
He’s a pretty good quarantine partner. Not very talkative, but he cleans up after himself very nicely. Always makes sure he washes his dishes and tidies up the kitchen when he’s done, although I’m really going through the coffee. Dang that guy drinks a LOT of coffee! He’s great at helping with yardwork, but he’s always checking out the neighbors and the area in general. I hope there’s nothing suspicious going on around here, cause if there is, Reacher will find out and do something about it for sure. I don’t know how much longer he will last. He’s really getting antsy and I think he’ll be moving on soon. I’ll miss him!

I’ve been divorced for a long time and I recently came to the conclusion that I never found “Mr. Right” because subconsciously I was always looking for another Jack Reacher, and no one I’ve been with has ever met those requirements!

Bill: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. As soon as I get this “multiverse” thing figured out I’ll let you know.

Barb: I would have Maisy Dobbs as a quarantine roommate. She is fastidious and very kind and also very insightful. She does remind me of my old mentor who was also very insightful and was at one point to be my roommate in real life until I realized that she would drive me out of my mind in a week. Probably Maisy would too, but a private detective and psychologist is almost too much to resist as a someone I would love to talk to.

(What, you say? You have not read Maisy Dobbs? you MUST, they are fun reads!)

Ande: I love the question of the month. 🙂 I’ve been working so much and reading lots of nonfiction, so I don’t have a good answer for it. But I asked my husband the question. He’s reading a book in the Riley Jensen series by Keri Arthur. When I asked him the question, he said, “Well my main character is a werewolf. So far so good. She’s pretty and fun and interesting, but I hope she behaves herself when the moon gets full.”

Ellen: That means I’m quarantined with Professor Moriarty from the Professor and Mrs. Moriarty series. This Professor is Sherlock Holmes’ greatest nemesis, but this series imagines him as a rival in the investigative world, rather than Conan Doyle’s villain. I believe a quarantine in his world would be fascinating–Victorian London, in a house staffed with a cook who is also a counterfeiter and Mrs. Moriarty who is a well-known actress, and of course Professor Moriarty who approaches the world with logic. Best of all–no cellphones or Zoom calls or empty grocery shelves. As long as I had a book along with me, I would be very comfortable.

Liz: I just finished my 7th Mitch Rapp book so I am quarantined with him. It is going great, but not because he is an assassin. It is because I worked in Washington, DC for 34 years and we could talk about the same places we had both been to. I had been in many of the rooms in the White House-not as many as Mitch- but at least being able to visualize many of the rooms. I had been to restaurants he has mentioned. Most of all I could talk to him about the Chesapeake Bay because I had at one time lived 25 minutes from where his house was. I had been to the small towns he lived near. I had taken all the highways he and I both knew. I no longer live in the Washington area but had a great time reminiscing with Mitch during this quarantine.

Ella: I was quarantined with Scarlett and Rhett. I hadn’t read GWTW since high school many, many years ago. I just picked the fattest book in my library and thought if Scarlett can deal with adversity, so can I!

I was amazed at the historical aspect of the book and wondered how accurate it is. I enjoyed the characters immensely and wondered if they’ve since been properly psychoanalysed! After I finished it, I was ” haunted” by its outcome for days and wondered if I needed a shrink! (But that might be just the pandemic getting to me…)

I’m also amazed how Margaret Mitchell was able to pull off this monumental project. Does anyone know how GWTW ranked in its day?

Jean: I’m re-listening to Tony Hillerman’s “People of Darkness” and loving it all over again! Jim Chee is keeping me company – although there’s a really bad guy trying to kill him which is just about as scary as COVID19!! I’d forgotten how much I loved hearning about the Navajo culture and the Checkerboard territory. Narrator George Guidall is simply THE BEST, period!

Shanna: Oh no! I just finished Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, so now I’m stuck with Santiago during quarantine? He’s a nice enough guy, certainly no stranger to hard work, but egads! the fish stories! How he goes on! And if it’s not fishing, it’s baseball. Riveting conversationalist he is not. Ah well. It could be worse. Just glad it wasn’t Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange. {shudder}

Sandra: Gosh! A Man Called Ove…am struggling to finish; it hits way too close to home!

Father Tim from Jan Karon’s Mitford Series is who I’d be “stuck with”. I’ve been reading for comfort and the books include all of Karon’s and James Herriott’s (which not only bring tears but make me howl with laughter!), Gladys Taber is another cozy read and in these days of insanity (especially in Virginia), cozy and comfort is what I crave.

Rick: From my wife You are now quarantined with the main character(s) of the last book you read. How is it going? – “Pretty good! She fights demons and monsters and vampires. She’s MacKayla from Darkfever.”

Pam W: I’m quarantined with nurse Bess Crawford from the Charles Todd series. I have to tell you she is a hard worker and very caring. Everytime I turn around she is checking my temperature and fixing me a cup of tea. When I’m bored she happily reads to me and then we discuss the plot and characters. Together we make rounds in the neighborhood checking everyone’s health and offering to run errands for them. Bess is also a great organizer. She is assisting me with rearranging my kitchen and storage space to be more efficient. And she is recommending the best and most economical medical supplies for our household. Her cook provides us with lovely meals, and her good friend Simon Brandon is always available to help out. This is as close to luxury as I’ve ever lived! Can I shelter in place another month…or two?

Pam: Last book I finished was Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny, #11 in the Armand Gamache series. That would be a bit of alright, Quarantined in Three Pines? I think that would be okay except when it gets cold. Not a fan of snow and ice anymore, but I’m sure I would be okay.

Michele: In response to this month’s questions, I’m currently reading three books (don’t remember what I finished recently): “In Pieces”, by Sally Field; “The Book of Joe B” by Michael Winn; and “In the Middle of Nowhere” by Julie Ann Knudsen. You are now quarantined with the main character(s) of the last book you read. How is it going? Sally Field and I are chatting quietly. I’d love to get more information on some of the topics she covers as she relates her life’s experiences. I’m in awe of Joe B, he seems to be very well put together. Willow in “In the Middle…” is a puzzle and I’m still trying to figure her out. Is everyone coming out alive? We will all survive, but we will each be changed as we learn and share. Are you learning anything new? Yes. I’m learning that the “Me too” movement could have started in the 1960s and that some are abused by their stepfathers. Are you bored? No. If anything gets too slow or too hard to handle, I switch to another book. That’s cheating, I’m sure. Most importantly, are they helping with the cooking and cleaning? My husband is in charge of the cooking; the cleaning can wait.

Merilyn: I’m rereading Michael Connelly’s HARRY BOSCH series from the beginning (“The Black Echo”). I have purchased all Connelly’s books over the years so Harry & Elizabeth Wish are who I’ve been spending my time with lately. Before that I reread the entire Ian Rankin John Rebus series which I also own. No, they are not helping with the cleaning, cooking etc.; quite the contrary, they are keeping me from doing most ordinary daily chores. Thank goodness my husband, although not a reader is sympathetic to my time with my nose in a book, and helps with everything else. I’m very lucky LOL! On to John Sandford’s series after this!

Max: I just finished “The Sentry,” a detective/mystery/thriller by Robert Crais (which happens to be the 17th Crais novel I’ve read!). This means I am quarantined with Elvis Cole (“The Greatest Detective in the World”) and Joe Pike (the enforcer). This quarantine situation is OK. Not perfect, because neither character has any feminine charms whatsoever, but darn good otherwise. Firstly, these guys are trustworthy, quiet, and neither one talks much. Second, if I ever should have problem, Elvis Cole would figure out how to solve it. And third, if I would ever have an extremely serious problem, Joe Pike would simply make it go away! Ha, these two guys are great to be stuck with.

Jenny: If I’d known I might be quarantined with the main character of the last book I read I wouldn’t have been reading so many murder mysteries! I should have been caught rereading The Hobbit instead.

I just finished reading The Devil’s Punchbowl by Greg Isles. The main character is Penn Cage. He is a very exciting person and full of action, but if I were stuck with him in quarantine I bet I would be left at home babysitting his daughter while he broke all the rules, snuck out of the house and became the hero.

Linda: I would be quarantined with the mother figure in the book “Where She Went” by Simmons. There are two main characters, the mother who is searching for her missing daughter and the daughter, who has disappeared while researching prostitution on campus. Both characters were equal in this book, so I picked the mom. She would be comforting me during the quarantine and making me cookies. This month I finished the book “The Institute” by Stephen King. It was very good, very futuristic and weird as only King can do. I am loving the quarantine as I can read lots of books and magazines and watch lots of Netflix and Prime series that I don’t get time for during the regular living. We have a new puppy in our house, so she takes a lot of my time, too. Makes me want to Read “Marley” again as she eats everything she can get her paws on. I am so glad you are continuing the Dewey series. I really liked it. I have not read the last two, got sidetracked on something else and quit. I may pick up again. I put Dewey up there with Rapp, Havrath and Reacher as characters you want to invest your time with. Thank you for another great newsletter, full of good ideas . Have a good spring.

Karen: Since I am reading the In Death series by JD Robb I would be quarantined with Eve Dallas and Roarke. As long as it is in their beautiful home with all the amenities I would be pretty much set!

Kelly: Just finished Harlan Coben’s new book The Boy From The Woods. The main character is Wilde. I think he would be an interesting person to be quarantined with. I live on 53 acres so he would have space and woods to gravitate towards when the walls were closing in, yet he would be close by when I needed him. He seems to be well read, so conversation wouldn’t be lacking. And I think he would be pretty easy on the eyes too. I enjoy living among the trees myself so I’m sure he could teach me some great survival skills while we were quarantined. Who knows, something like that may come in handy real soon. Oh, and he would probably be able to function with very little toilet paper!!

Janis: Seriously?! I just finished a biography of Hitler?!

Jeannine: Right now I’m reading “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pritchett. At this moment I would be happily playing outside with Adam and the rest of his friends “Them”. I haven’t gotten to the end yet so I’m not sure I will survive the apocalypse. Hopefully we have passed the worst of it in reality and in the book.

Jean: Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore. I liked the book. But to be quarantined with someone from the book? No thanks, I’ll pass.

Ginny: OMG, no, no, no, you did NOT just pick that as a topic this month!!! I am most unfortunately reading A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Terry McMillan), and the main character is Viola, who is the matriarch of a black family; she has four grown children with assorted spouses and ex-spouses, and lots of grandchildren. While it is thoroughly enjoyable to read about her, it would be miserable to be quarantined with her – she is old and achy and has asthma, and is beyond stereotypical in her ability to complain about everything with an exceedingly sharp tongue. I have been told I am sarcastic, but this woman has a talent for it that far exceeds my puny ability; her family tells her she is mean but after a brief pause she persists. So, thanks for the imaginary scenario, but no thanks, I will NOT be quarantining with her, not in this lifetime (or any lifetime)!

Donald: Boy did I just finish the wrong book just before this newsletter came out. I just finished Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs and that would put me with Mercy Thompson and all the werewolfs, fae and vampires. Dont think I would do very good as I have a tendency to say what is on my mind. Without the quick healing of the werewolf or any other powers, I would just be a statistic rather quickly. Could be worse I could have read a political book.

Deborah: As for your quarantine question, I’ve been listening to the Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith so I’d be quarantined with the Salvatore brothers. I’d willingly give them my blood LOL. I loved the TV series (binge watched it on Netflix) and when I listened to the first audiobook I was very confused since there were quite a few differences between books/show. For instance, the Salvatore name is pronounced differently in the audiobooks; there’s another friend in Elena’s circle (Meredith) that wasn’t in the show; Elena’s and Bonnie’s hair color is different in the audiobooks; just to name a few.

I started listening to the first audiobook almost immediately after watching the series which was a bad idea since it left me very confused and mentally noting the differences rather than actually paying attention to the story. I took a couple months break then went back to the beginning of the first book and it was much better. I still find myself comparing it to the show but not nearly as much as before. I’m currently listening to the 7th book (Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight).

Janet: OM, LOL. I am reading Stuart Woods “Wild Card” I am glad he has a female to entertain him as I have been at my sewing machine sewing masks and scrub hats for almost two months. I had to bring all me stuff from the basements, thread, fabric, needles, bias tape and elastic to save time so my one book collection, there are three more, now is covered in plastic totes from the basement. I own a two-story split level so it has four floors. I hauled all the sewing stuff up to the top floor in march to my bedroom and my book collection was blocked.

This is what happens when you finish the basement and lose 75% of the storage. We moved mom in and in and now my bedroom is more of a mess then the storage space in the basement.

With the library closed since mid-may I have been doling out the sisterhood series books to Mom. She has just finished them and I am at my wits end on how to entertainer now…………..

She likes the mystery stuff. She won’t red eBooks. I tied.

I guess I will keep sewing and hope Mom will read an eBook.

Connie: Oh no! I just finished The Fix, by David Baldacci

Apparently someone has died, and it isn’t me. It is up in the air whether Amos Decker manages to make it out the door in one piece.

It will be interesting trying to communicate (read, interview) about his afflictions. I’m pretty clumsy in the interrogating thing, so he may catch on pretty quick.

I’m retired, so I’m used to hanging at the house. I also read — a lot — so I don’t expect to be interrupted very often. I’m pretty glad Amos’ character isn’t very social, at least not any more. One thing, though, if he wants to eat, he cooks, because I don’t cook.
And if he doesn’t do any cleaning, it will all end up in his room. You would think if he can remember to brush his teeth, he could wash a dish or wipe out a sink. We shall find out.

On a side note: I normally steer clear of highly popular writers, because I, apparently, am not much interested in mainstream fads. However, a blurb I caught about the Amos Decker series was intriguing enough I found the first book and am now on the third.

Be safe and stay healthy.

Janet: OM, LOL. I am reading Stuart Woods “Wild Card” I am glad he has a female to entertain him as I have been at my sewing machine sewing masks and scrub hats for almost two months. I had to bring all me stuff from the basements, thread, fabric, needles, bias tape and elastic to save time so my one book collection, there are three more, now is covered in plastic totes from the basement. I own a two-story split level so it has four floors. I hauled all the sewing stuff up to the top floor in march to my bedroom and my book collection was blocked.

This is what happens when you finish the basement and lose 75% of the storage. We moved mom in and in and now my bedroom is more of a mess then the storage space in the basement.

With the library closed since mid-may I have been doling out the sisterhood series books to Mom. She has just finished them and I am at my wits end on how to entertainer now…………..

She likes the mystery stuff. She won’t red eBooks. I tied.

I guess I will keep sewing and hope Mom will read an eBook.

Clark: I just finished all of the Miami Jones books (A.J. Stewart) and am still feeling the ocean breeze and the sweat from a bottle of cold beer.

Chrissie: As I’m rereading from the top John Grisham’s books, I’m now marooned in quarantine with Mitch McDeere, and we’ve just escaped the Fed and the Mob and landed on a pristine Caribbean Island with very few people, lots of sun and sand, and . . . very few people. So, I’m pretty much in the same position I was in at home, except for the copious amounts of sun and sand.

Cheryle: I love reading your newsletters and I use your site whenever I want to check an authors list of books and what to read next.

I saw in this current newsletter you listed Maj Sjowell as a Swedish author and linked to her list of books. I just read elsewhere that she had passed away recently. I did not see that here and wanted to let you know about it.

Thank you for all you do. Stay healthy and sane with a houseful of people. My husband and I are retired, so this quarantine is something we live with every day.

My last book was the tremendous Absolute Power. The main character is Jack Graham, a high-priced lawyer with higher ideals. I don’t know that at my age I could keep up with him, but it would be fun trying.

Barbara: My last book was Camino Winds by Lohn Grisham so it was not so bad after the hurricane. Clean up was a bit of a bother with water up to our knees, but oh the books.

Karole: Thank you for the suggestion of Podcasts to help me focus. I`ve discovered a good world. I finished by mid-May being holed up with Mitch Rapp in American Assassin. He was quite restless. But as of today, with all the horrible violence in our streets, I see he is itching to get back to work. I know he will have a plan and execute it perfectly. It is reassuring to know someone will help restore order.

Bruce Cable owns a bookstore on Camino Island and his wife an antique store next door. Bruce moved all his books, including signed first editions, up to the second floor so there was just a bit of downstairs cleaning up to do after hurricane Leo blew through.

Then his friend was murdered, all the evacuated people started coming back home and there were many dinner parties, with wine and champagne flowing everywhere.

What bibliophile would not like being quarantined in a bookstore with a cellar full of great wines and a chef in the kitchen?

AJ: Hey Graeme, I’m really, really wishing I waited and read your newsletter tomorrow instead of today. I just finished Stephanie Lauren’s newest – The Inevitable Fall of Christopher Cynster, and if I had to be quarantined with either of them I’d go mad. I had stopped reading her books because the internal dialogue of finding that perfect partner was just way too over the top, but decided to try one more. Ugh, it was just as bad! I’m starting Jana DeLeon’s newest Miss Fortune book today – I’d love to be quarantined with Fortune, Ida Bel, and Gertie – what a hoot that would be. Keep up the great work, love to receive my newsletter each month!

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: In Quarantine with Character of Last Book You Read