Yahoo team’s #covidreads to tide through the coronavirus

Cadence Loh
Lifestyle Editor

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Since the enhanced circuit breaker measures started in April, do you find yourself with more time to spare at home? If you, like me who saves at least three hours daily thanks to telecommuting, you will probably find yourself with a little bit more time. Imagine all that extra time we can spend reading!

Not sure what to read? We take a peek into the bookshelves of our Yahoo team and book suggestions for your #covidreads! Happy reading!

Nicholas Yong, Writing manager
Currently reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Synopsis: In the turn of the century Korea, a young girl falls pregnant after a brief affair. Salvation comes in the form of a bookish missionary who offers to marry her and bring her to Osaka.
What I love about it… It is beautifully written: lyrical and sensual, easily conjuring the heartache and suffering of a woman bound by patriarchy and circumstances. The story also addresses themes of racism and inequality.

Next read: Freedom At Midnight by Dominique Lapierre
Why? Based on interviews with dozens of the leading players, as well as ordinary men and women, it is a vast, sprawling epic that tells the story of the events leading up to the partition of India on 15 August 1947. It is deeply moving.

Stephanie Zheng, Lifestyle Editor
Currently reading: Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Synopsis: Steampunk and magic coexist in the fictional world of New Crobuzon. A scientist is called in for a favour, embroiling his insectoid lover and himself into a lot of trouble.
What I love about it... So far, the world that the author has created is incredibly immersive. He has a knack for describing what is entirely unnatural to us and making it sound like the everyday. If authors are tour agencies, this is a tour with the most unique and incredible journey. There's a lot going on, so it's really for the idle mind who's ready to luxuriate in all the science, fantasy, horror and action it offers.

Next read: Bouchon Bakery by T. Keller
We know bread flour is OOS in a lot of places. For all you bread flour hoarders, ahem, I mean bread enthusiasts, I have it on good authority that this book has helped friends produced winning bread after bread, as long as you follow the recipes strictly.

Esther Au Yong, Editor-in-Chief (News & Finance)
Currently reading: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Synopsis: Winston, the protagonist, is a rank-and-file worker living in a totalitarian society in Oceania, ruled by the ever-present, ever-knowing Big Brother. He rebels quietly, indulging in secret thoughts and a forbidden love affair. Eventually, he is caught and sent for re-education.
What I love about it... Written by George Orwell, one of my favourite writers and thinkers, Nineteen Eighty-Four is noteworthy not only for the depth and clarity of thought but for its ability to translate big, complicated ideas into very readable prose. We live in unprecedented times, and this book reminds us that ultimately, it is up to us to think for ourselves and take action.

Next read: Becoming by Michelle Obama
Why? Similar to how Orwell was an iconic writer, Obama is one of the most compelling leaders – and doers – of her generation, a modern one. This book is her memoir. I am most interested in finding out how she does it all while maintaining a sense of fun and joie de vivre!

Priyadarshini Kumaresan, Lead Account Strategist

Currently reading: The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm

Synopsis: This is the entire collection of children's fairy tales we would have read as a child.
What I love about it… During these unprecedented times, we all need to fall back on to something comforting. Fairy tales were always comforting to me when I was young. Thus, I turned to them this time around.

Next read: The Cabin by Jorn Lier Horst
Why? After a good light read, I like to change things up with a slow Scandanavian mystery thriller. Mysteries are the most enticing genre of books that can keep us hooked.

Reta Lee, Editor-in-chief
Currently reading: Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder

Synopsis: Professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb whips out a couple of theories on why we may luck out when it comes to uncertainty, probability, human error, and decision making in a world that strives to be systematic. 

What I love about it… It's a tough book to read, but its anecdotes and consequences are interesting to dissect. I wish the author went straight to the point instead of coating his theories with pretentious language.

Next read: Sapiens: A brief history of humankind
Why? I've been swapping between Antifragile and Sapiens, so I'm determined to finish this book!

Cadence Loh, Lifestyle Editor
Currently reading: Diary of a Somebody by Brian Bilston

Synopsis: The protagonist sets down to write a poem every day, in the form of a diary, hoping to quit his dead-end job and become a published author. Add budding love and a murder mystery into the poetry mix, and you get this literary gem!

What I love about it… Brian Bilston is a freaking genius and super funny! Where do I start? This diary is the adult version of Adrian Mole but way better. Leaving no stone unturned, Bilson’s sparkling wit and creativity shines in his poems in the form of word puzzles to parodies of famous poems, and more. Above all, it is about an ordinary man who rises above his circumstances, despite his faults and quirks. The best part about his novel is that you can read it in short bursts allowing you the freedom to work on other stuff. Never a dull moment!

Next read: Normal People by Sally Rooney

Why? There’s so much hype surrounding this award-winning book and its BBC drama adaptation that I need to put it on my reading list. I prefer to complete reading books before I settle down to their movie/drama adaptation. This book is not merely about first loves, coming-of-age but also class divide. I can’t wait to dig in!

Bryan Huang, Lead Producer, Yahoo TV & Esports
Currently reading: The Unexpected Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke

Synopsis: It is a book about animals, challenging the conventional perception of animals that people typically have.
What I love about it… It has a panda on the cover. It's also one of the funniest books about animals I've read in a while, full of fun facts usually revealed in a webcomic or hilariously-narrated video about honey badgers.

Next read: The Flavor Bible by Karen Page
Why? With the circuit breaker, cooking at home has become a regular thing, and experimenting with flavours is always fun.

Vernon Lee, Senior Editor

Currently reading: Stalin - Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941 by Stephen Kotkin 

Synopsis: The second of the trilogy about the life of one of the most influential leaders ever, this book assesses how Stalin consolidated his power and unleashed the Great Purge in the years before the invasion of Soviet Union by Nazi Germany during WWII.
What I love about it... The book has extensive details about Stalin’s destructive policies to transform the Soviet Union after Lenin’s death and wily tactics to outmanoeuvre his political opponents. By knowing more about Stalin, a reader can understand how the Soviet Union became a colossal power and continued to have a seismic impact on the world even after the dictator’s death.   

Next read: Big Bang by Simon Singh

Why? I plan to reread this book about the most important scientific theory of all time. A fascinating insight into the birth of the universe and how scientists from the ancient Greeks to Albert Einstein had been trying to solve the ultimate mystery of life.

What’s on your #covidreads list? Leave your comments below and let us know what you are reading!