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Now that you’re effectively under house arrest, there are no more excuses to cling on. This World Book Day put a pause on your Netflix binge-watching, and retire to a cosy nook to indulge in good old-fashioned reading from the archives. 

There are only limited things one can do to pass their time while stuck in self-isolation during a pandemic. Whether you resort to Netflix or Amazon, or any of these online entertainment portals, series are bound to end, leaving you parched for another one again. 

Although a good read, on the other hand, is not just time well spent but also nourishment for the brain. Not too old-fashioned, though. Browsing the bookstores isn’t an option right now, so we’d like to point your attention towards e-books instead. Like a true millennial who’s tired of taking the heavy news bulldozer every day, dive into the world of stories. They might be fictional, but they’ll do your brain more good than any fake news. 

This World Book Day take this challenge. In the next three weeks, attempt to check off these five books from your reading list. We’ve taken the liberty to include varied options so no two books are the same. Let’s get started! 

1
The Power by Naomi Alderman

Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Feminism, Political Fiction.

All around the world, young girls are simultaneously discovering a hidden power within them, similar to electricity. Only the women have this power, and young girls have the ability to “awaken” this power in older women. 

Suddenly, women find themselves at an advantage over men – the age of patriarchy is over, and both parties feel what it’s like to be on the opposite side of things. 

This novel explores what things could be like if there were no patriarchy in the world. It’s not necessarily a good thing, as readers will soon find. Power, whether given to men or women, can be dire when fallen into the wrong hands.

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2
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Genre: Non-fiction, Biology, Anthropology, Historical.

Maybe you’ve already read this, maybe not. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s an iconic book worth having in your collection. There is no better time than now to reflect on the history of humanity, know more about it, and where the future of humanity could possibly be heading towards. All these and more can be found in Yuval Noah Harari’s non-fiction book, which has been highly recommended by the likes of Barack Obama and Bill Gates.

 

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3
Working Stiff by Judi Melinek

Genre: Non-fiction, Autobiography, Pathology.

If you love gore and the more macabre side of things, then this book is for you. Dr Judi Melinek is a pathologist in New York City, and this autobiography chronicles her experience as an NYC medical examiner in the early 2000s. In this book, you’ll find raw detailings of her daily life as a pathologist, from the gory ways New Yorkers die – one particular account likens a man boiled alive like a lobster – and also the grisly account of putting together body parts in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

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4
The Nameless Relationship by Preeti Shenoy

Genre: Fiction, Romance.

This light-hearted short story is a fresh take on relationships in our society. It’s an internal monologue of a middle-aged married woman who’s had a relationship outside her marriage for seven years. While her relationship is nameless, the ‘illegitimate’ partner, Dhiraj is around the same age as her adult children. It follows her dilemma in making a choice, as she repeatedly refuses to leave a 30-year-old loveless marriage and begin a life with Dhiraj.

 

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5
The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz

Genre: Suspense, Thriller.

A gripping book that will have you reading from cover to cover, especially during this time, as it’s being touted as the book that predicted the coronavirus outbreak 40 years back. In the book, author Dean Koontz mentions a virus named Wuhan-400, which is developed as a bioweapon and has a fatality rate of 100 percent. This is eerily similar to the current pandemic, so in times of self-quarantine, read it as your own risk!

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.

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