It’s the second of the day! It is a new day to do another bookish post, particularly the Top 5 Tuesdays post. Top 5 Tuesdays and their topics are brought to you by Shanah @ the Bionic Bookworm. Do check out her blog, she’s got an awesome one. For the list of topics in January, click on this page.
After the long holidays, it’s time to refocus my energy and set my goals for the coming year. One goal (towering at that) is to read as many books from my already growing book pile. I can guarantee that the list is quite long. But despite this, there are books that I have been longing to read for a plethora of reasons. For this Top 5 Tuesdays post, I have come up with five books that I have been meaning to read.
“Just before dawn one winter’s morning, a hijacked jumbo jet blows apart high above the English Channel. Through the debris of limbs, drinks trolleys, memories, blankets, and oxygen masks, two figures fall toward the sea: Gibreel Farishta, India’s legendary movie star, and Saladin Chamcha, the man of a thousand voices, self-made self and Anglophile supreme. Clinging to each other, singing rival songs, they plunge downward, and are finally washed up, alive, on the snow-covered sands of an English beach.
Their survival is a miracle, but an ambiguous one, as Gibreel acquires a halo, while, to Saladin’s dismay, his own legs grow hairier, his feet turn into hooves, and hornlike appendages appear at his temples.
Gibreel and Saladin have been chosen (by whom?) as opponents in the eternal wrestling match between Good and Evil. But which is which? Can demons be angelic? Can angels be devils in disguise? As the two men tumble through time and space toward their final confrontation, we are witness to a cycle of tales of love and passion, of betrayal and faith: the story of Ayesha, the butterfly-shrouded visionary who leads an Indian village on an impossible pilgrimage; of Allelluia Cone, the mountain climber haunted by a ghost who urges her to attempt the ultimate feat – a solo ascent of Everest; and, centrally, the story of Mahounds, the Prophet of Jahilia, the city of sand – Mahound, the recipient of the revelation in which satanic verses mingle with the divine.”
“Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals from its war wounds, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julian Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other words, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets-an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.” (Source:Goodreads)
The first, a diligent memoirist whose unlikely success means she must flee her life in Soviet Russia and seek refuge in East Germany.
The second, her daughter, a skilled dancer performing in an East Berlin circus.
The third, Knut, a baby born and raised in Berlin Zoo at the beginning of the 21st century.
Delicate and enchanting, Memoirs of a Polar Bear takes the reader into foreign bodies and foreign climes, and through its beguiling portrait of three extraordinary bears, gracefully reflects upon our humanity.”
“In 1989, the year the wall came down, a university student in Berlin on his morning run finds a corpse on a park bench and alerts the authorities. This scene opens a novel of extraordinary scope and depth, a masterwork that traces the fate of myriad European – Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Gypsies – across the treacherous years of the mid twentieth century.
Three unusual men are at the heart of Parallel Stories: Hans Von Wolkenstein, whose German mother is linked to secrets of fascist-Nazi collaboration during the 1940s; Agost Lippay Lehr, whose influential father served Hungary’s different political regimes for decades; and Andras Rott, who has his own dark record of mysterious activities abroad. The web of extended and interconnected dramas reaches from 1989 back to the spring of 1939, when Europe trembled on the edge of war, and extends to the bestial times of 1944-45, when Budapest was besieged the Final Solution devastated Hungary’s Jews, and the war came to an end, and on to the cataclysmic Hungarian Revolution of October 1956. We follow these men from Berlin and Moscow to Switzerland and Holland, from Mediterranean to the North Sea, and of course, from village to city in Hungary. The social and political circumstances of their lives may vary greatly, their sexual and spiritual longings may seem to each of them entirely unique, yet Péter Nádas’s magnificent tapestry unveils uncanny reverberating parallels that link them across time and space.”
“Baking a multitude of tartes tatin for local restaurants, an Ohio housewife contemplates her four kids, husband, cats and chickens. Also, America’s ignoble past, and her own regrets. She is surrounded by dead lakes, fake facts, Open Carry maniacs, and oodles of online advice about survivalism, veil toss duties, and how to be more like Jane Fonda. But what do you do when you keep stepping on your son’s toy tractors, your life depends on stolen land and broken treaties, and nobody helps you when you get a flat tire on the interstate, not even the Abominable Snowman? When are you allowed to start swearing.
With a torrent of consciousness and an intoxicating coziness, Ducks, Newburyport lays out a whole world for you to tramp around in, by turns frightening and funny. A heart-rending indictment of America’s barbarity, and lament for the way we are blundering into environmental disaster, this book is both heresy – and a revolution in the novel.”