Chain Letters In The Time Of Covid!


Quarantine Recipe Exchange

I have to say, chain letters stress me out.  I have similar feelings toward the facebook posts where people are asked to post an album cover or a family photo with no explanation each day for 10 days.  I don’t mind posting or passing along once, but in these instances when I have to make decisions about sending something to 20 people or posting something 10 times and wondering who will want to participate or whether anyone will even care almost always makes me decide not to participate. It can be a nice way to connect with others when everyone is #safeathome, and if you are the type of person that loves to do these things, by all means, go for it.  But I prefer to skip it.

So when the Quarantine Cooking Recipe Exchange Chain letter came into my inbox, several days in a row, and from multiple people, my immediate reaction was No Thank You.   On top of the pressure to send emails to 20 people, I have to come up with a unique recipe people would want.  The honest truth is that the kitchen is not my favorite place to hang out.  I love to eat, but cooking dinner every night is more of a chore than a fun activity for me.  There is the struggle to read small print of recipes where I busy myself putting glasses on and off, or taking a picture with my phone and then blowing it up to enlarge the type.  Then there is the elephant in the room….well, not really an elephant but an 80 pound black lab that always seems to be blocking the refrigerator, the oven, the sink… really just whenever I have to walk! Mistakes and accidents are waiting to happen at every turn.

Bogey in the kitchen

In this busy, not busy time of Covid 19, where I am doing lots of laundry but nothing is really dirty because we are going nowhere, I am thrilled when everyone agrees to order in.  So friends, please don’t ask for my participation in any recipe exchange.  I am really sorry but I will break your chain.


Quarantine Book Club

The Quarantine Book Club Chain Letter was a different story.  I thought, This is Right Up My Alley!  For me it has a special appeal, EXCEPT that I received this same email from five people.  And each time, the follow up is to send it back out to 20 friends.  That would be 100 emails.  Well, once again I am sorry, but I just can’t do it!  I did choose to try this one upon my first receipt, because recommending books is so much fun for me.  I love to talk about what everyone is reading and what they like, finding the right book for someone is always so great!  I did sent it out to 20 people, but I won’t be participating anymore. The annoyance of the multiple emails clogging my inbox everyday outweighs the joy of book talk, and I am thinking it must annoys others as well.  It is a conundrum when you are trying to be nice to one person (the sender) by responding appropriately, yet annoying another (the receivers), especially if the chain letter has been circulating amongst your friends.

My book recommendations are the books I write about in Book Nation by Jen and those I post on Instagram. If you or someone you know ever needs a personalized recommendation, just give me a shout.

As I mentioned, before I abandoned the Book Recommendation Chain Letter effort, I did forward it on to some reading friends and here are some of the recommendations that circled back my way.

Chain Letter Book Recommendations


Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese

Great book, I loved it!



Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

On my list.



The Yellow House by Sarah Broom

Just purchased this one from RJ Julia.  Can’t wait to read!



Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

Not sure I will get to this one.



Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult

Powerful story.   Loved it!  My Review



Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer

Just purchased this from Book Hampton to read for one of my book clubs next month.



The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel 

On my list!



The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christi Lefteri

Loved this book!  My Review



Born a Crime by Trevor Noah 

Will get to this one.



Educated by Tara Westover

Incredible story.  My Review



The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

Not sure this one is for me but may pick it up from the library when I can leave my house.


Writers & Lovers

Writers and Lovers by Lily King

Loved this one.


And One More Thing

CNN recently printed an article about chain letters and they are not all bad, they’re just not for me!



  1. Couldn’t agree with you more about the chain letters, Jen. Thanks for not sending me any! Happy to trade you a recipe for a book recommendation though. 😉

  2. If you decide to try The Marriage of Opposites, read the first half. It’s much better than the second half (check my short review on Goodreads). And I learned some interesting things about the Virgin Islands, Denmark, and Camille Pissarro. Plus the characters were interesting.

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