Reading Might Just Help You Get Through This MCO 2.0!

Losing yourself in a great book is one of life’s joys!

Now that we’re adapting to this new indoor routine due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) 2.0, we turned to books to help us through this difficult time.

Here are some titles you may have not considered, according to Culture Trip: 

#1 The Girl And The Ghost by Hanna Alkaf

reading might just help you get through this mco 2.0!Photo Goodreads

The story begins with Suraya inheriting a pelesit, a familiar spirit from the witch grandmother whom she’s never met. A bit of a loner who grows up with an emotionally absent mother, Suraya grows up with the pelesit - whom she christens Pink - as her closest companion. Pink, in turn, watches over her obsessively.

So it happens that when Suraya befriends the new girl in school, Jing Wei, Pink reacts enviously and to the detriment of both girls. Things come to a head, eventually leading Suraya to divulge to her mother what’s been going on at which point her mother enlists the help of a pawang hantu, Encik Ali. 

#2 Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw

reading might just help you get through this mco 2.0!Photo via Culture Trip

Five Star Billionaire looks into four Malaysians making themselves big in Shanghai. 

Factory girl Phoebe finds out that the job she wanted in Shanghai doesn’t exist. Country-boy-turned-pop star Gary goes out of control. Justin might not be the right person to expand his family’s real-estate empire. Businesswoman Yinghui makes a deal with a billionaire Walter Chao. The billionaire, who has dark secrets and schemes, has the power to control them. The novel offers a deeper understanding of contemporary China, with the ongoing transformations of the country central.

#3 KL Noir Series

reading might just help you get through this mco 2.0!Photo via Culture Trip

The KL Noir Series is a compilation of short stories about Kuala Lumpur’s dark side. 

It comprises four volumes: Red, White, Blue, and Yellow. Each volume includes 14 to 18 short stories and one essay. You will be taken deep into the slums of Kuala Lumpur, where there’s plenty of murder, gangsters, political corruption, police brutality, psycho murders, and more. These twisted stories are freaky and exciting and definitely readable.

#4 The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

reading might just help you get through this mco 2.0!Photo via Culture Trip

This story was set in Malaya in 1949, following the friendship between Yun Ling, a lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, and Arimoto, an exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan. 

After studying law in Cambridge and prosecuting Japanese war criminals, she returns to the jungle plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up. There she finds a Japanese garden owned and created by Aritomo. Despite feeling hatred towards the Japanese, she seeks Aritomo’s help in creating a garden in memory of her sister’s death. Arimoto accepts her as his apprentice so she can create the garden on her own.

So, if you’re looking for escapism, characters to fall in love with, and hours of entertainment during these difficult and uncertain times… why not try opening up a book! 

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat