Among the many activities one could do during quarantine, reading books is one of the best because it provides entertainment, improves your imagination, and helps to hone your concentration. English and Chinese book lovers, here are some books that you should check out!
1. These Women by Ivy Pochoda
At a time when the true-crime industrial complex is enjoying an unprecedented golden age, what is it like to read a serial-killer story centred not on the murderer’s crimes but on the lives he’s ruined? The answer might be something like These Women, Ivy Pochoda’s novel about five very different women in the rapidly gentrifying L.A. neighborhood of West Adams. When two murders are reported in their neighborhood, the women find their lives inextricably connected by the crimes and obsessions of one man.
2. White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad
If you think you’ve conquered the modern canon of anti-racist literature just because you read Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, think again. Ruby Hamad’s must-read volume of cultural criticism explains how feminism that isn’t intersectional doesn’t just fail WOC by leaving them behind, it actively causes irreparable harm.
3. Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth
The Hunger Games. Harry Potter. The Percy Jackson books. Wherever you first encountered it, it’s a story we all know by heart: In a time of darkness, a child is singled out as the world’s last great hope for salvation. As that child grows up, one must take ownership of their powers, fulfill the prophecy, and save the world. But what happens to the chosen one after the threat is vanquished? Veronica Roth—the author of a little franchise you may know by the name of Divergent—sets out to answer this question in her adult debut, which follows five former teenage heroes as they make sense of the trauma they were left with after saving the world.
4. Lakewood by Megan Giddings
A Clockwork Orange meets The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in Megan Giddings’s deeply unsettling debut, a sci-fi thriller about the sacrifices a Black woman must make to provide for her family. When Lena drops out of college to help pay her family’s extensive debts, she finds a job as a professional guinea pig in a series of mysterious medical trials. But she soon learns that the consequences for the programme’s medical subjects may be steeper than she can afford.
5. When No One Is Watching
The dangers of gentrification turn very literal in romance veteran Alyssa Cole’s unputdownable new thriller. When lifelong Brooklynite Sydney Green undertakes a deep dive into the history of her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, she finds that the forces behind the recent “revitalization” of her area may be even more sinister than she suspected.
6. 狼图腾 (Wolf Totem) by Jiang Rong
Depicting the Mongolian tribe as the wolf and the Chinese farmers as the sheep, Wolf Totem provides us with a realistic view of the lives of people belonging to two different nations. It gives us an overview of their cultures, lifestyles and beliefs.
7. 三体 (Three Body) by Cixin Liu
For sci-fi lovers out there, this one’s for you. The first novel in a trilogy, Three Body tells the story of an alien race struggling for survival and the search for their last hope to save their race, eventually landing on Earth.
8. 杜拉拉升职记 (A Story of Lala’s Promotion) by 李可 (Li Ke)
This has essentially become the handbook for Chinese working women. It tells the story of Lala who stuck to her principles and worked the hard way up the corporate ladder amidst office politics, jealousy and harassment. It’s an inspiring story that will teach you a lesson or two about the corporate world.
9. 统万城 (Tongwan City) by Gao Jianqun
Tongwan City combines fragments of China’s history and religion. Comparing the patience of a Buddhist monk and the recklessness of a Hun warlord, it teaches us the most effective way of building an empire, one that will last to become a legacy.
10. 玉米, 玉秀, 玉秧 (Three Sisters) by Bi Feiyu
Written by the highly acclaimed author, 毕飞宇, this particular novel gives us a glimpse of the struggles of Chinese women. Using the three sisters as leads, it explores the roles of Chinese women in society, their social standing and the courage that they have to muster to fight discrimination and make a name for themselves.