In tough times there is no better healthy distraction than a smart, informed stranger with something interesting to say. With most indie and big booksellers selling online, plus downloadable audio books and the libraries' fantastic digital Borrow Box service, why not stock up, curl up, and catch up?
1 Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light (Fourth Estate) is already hailed by critics as a masterpiece. With a combined total of approximately 2,000 pages, if you haven't read Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, maybe get all three? The Mirror & the Light audio book is read by Ben Miles, who played Thomas Cromwell in the RSC production.
2 Got a fretful Leaving or Junior Cert student stuck at home? Laureate for Irish Fiction Sebastian Barry's Days Without End features on the Leaving Cert, and his ambitious and lyrical new sequel A Thousand Moons (both Faber) has just hit the shops. Days Without End also available on audio.
3 Philip Kerr's ex-policeman detective Bernie Gunther is the Philip Marlowe of Nazi Germany. Opening with March Violets (Penguin) as Berlin prepares to host the 1936 Olympic Games, Kerr's series of thirteen - eleven available on audio - represent noir at its best.
4 Shaun Usher's latest quirky collection, Letters of Note: Mothers (Canongate) features remarkable letters by and to mothers, including Caitlin Moran, Sylvia Plath, and Martin Luther King Jr. A star-studded cast brings the book to life in the audio version.
5 What can go wrong in the perfect all-American suburb? Plenty! Reese Witherspoon adapts books she loves (Gone Girl, Wild, and Big Little Lies is a phenomenal hit rate), and with her screen version of Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere (Penguin) about to land, there's just time to read it first.
6 With audio, so much depends on the voice. Elton John narrated his autobiography Me (Macmillan), so you know exactly what to expect. Ghost-written with music journalist Alexis Petridis, Elton's mix of self-deprecation and wit turns what could be a massive ego trip into a touching memoir.
7 Finding it hard to concentrate for long? Edited by Declan Meade and Sarah Gilmartin, Stinging Fly Stories (Stinging Fly Press) is a thought-provoking and diverse collection. Publishing the best new Irish and international writing since 1997, Stinging Fly has launched many international careers.
8 Sometimes only a thriller will do! Number one bestseller Jo Spain's Six Wicked Reasons (Quercus) is a gripping tale of revenge and deceit, complete with her trademark breath-taking twist.
9 Catch up with a classic: 26 years before Bram Stoker penned Dracula, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu published deliciously creepy vampire novella Carmilla.
10 Online and free, the Royal Irish Academy's Dictionary of Irish Biography is a remarkable dictionary of the dead. With nearly 11,000 entries, it's a treasure trove of fascinating and often little-known true-life stories. ria.ie
Derry Girls actress Nicola Coughlan recently tweeted: "I know this time of self isolation is hard and scary for people but however bad you are feeling - please, please don't consider starting your own podcast. Straight men under the age of 35 are particularly vulnerable to this and we all need to be vigilant of the dangers." So let's practice some aural distancing by listening to what's already top of the pods rather than making more…
1 Reply All (Gimlet Media) hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman believe that the best stuff on the internet is not about technology, it's about people. And with five million downloads per month, listeners agree. Whether chasing down big-time scammers and small-town hackers, searching for a song inexplicably missing from the internet, or tackling Super Tech Support problems, Reply All is a joyously human and humane guide to online life.
2 Climate change: man-made problem, feminist solution. Former President Mary Robinson joins comedian Maeve Higgins in Mothers of Invention (Drip), which celebrates amazing women doing remarkable things in pursuit of climate justice.
3 Host Jad Abumrad reports from deep inside the Dollyverse on "the legend at the crossroads of America's culture wars." Nine-part series Dolly Parton's America (WNYC Studios) explores how Dolly Parton's genius as a songwriter and musician created the world-famous icon and philanthropist.
4 With the simple idea of telling a single true story, West Cork (Audible Original), explores the unsolved murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Schull, Christmas 1996. Whatever you already believe about this case, West Cork will challenge it. A Time magazine top 50 favourite podcast.
5 "Everyone has a book in them and that, in most cases, is where it should stay," said Christopher Hitchens. If self-isolation is edging you towards the keyboard, Behind the Bestseller with Sam Blake (Headstuff HPN) explores the magic ingredients that turn books into hits.
6 Susan Calman's Mrs Brightside (BBC Sounds) is a "cheerful look at depression". Whether chatting about taxi drivers and Twitter, or Pure OCD and teen angst, Calman's reassuring presence is a balm for our times.
7 After signing a multi-million contract with the most successful NFL team, Aaron Hernandez murdered his friend. Gladiator (Wondery) investigates the culture and violence of American Football, and its apparent enabling of horrific behaviour from star players.
8 Comedian and actor Connor Ratliff is desperate to solve the mystery that has haunted him for two decades: why Tom Hanks fired him from a small role in the 2001 HBO mini-series, Band Of Brothers. Ratliff's self-deprecating asides at his own expense are the charm underpinning Dead Eyes (Headgum Studios).
9 From Twitter account to book and now a podcast, Darach Ó Séaghdha's Motherfoclóir (Headstuff HPN) covers topics from feminism to psychology to mythology, all bound together by a connection to Gaeilge, Ireland's "not-so-dead language".
10 Last, but only in the way you'd serve everyone else first when the family are round for dinner, The Big Tech Show (Irish Independent). Adrian Weckler of this parish performs a major public service: he gets to grips with new technology, then explains it to the rest of us.