During this pandemic, I certainly did not want to read anything apropos to this time. I wanted something to pick me up, so I picked up a series of books, some of which I had read previously. The Mitford Series is by author Jan Karon and the first book is “At Home in Mitford.” These books tell the story of an Episcopal priest and the many, many characters who come into his life.

The stories involve love and hate, dying after a life well-lived and living a life lived in all forms of evil, mystery and history (a lot about Ireland and the Southern U.S.), angst and joy, drama and comedy, doubt and reassurance, bigotry and compassion, veterinarian and human medicine, dogs and children, quotes often from well-known poets, authors and the Bible. The first book starts when Father Tim Kavanagh is 60 years old and just beginning the most momentous part of his life and goes delightfully forward from there with one adventure after another.

These books will leave you laughing out loud and softly weeping but always happy you chose to read them.

Kay J. Barrett, Coon Rapids


Quarantine Reads are recommendations of soothing books during fraught times. Send your suggestion, with your name and city, to books@startribune.com.