Happy Tuesday again everyone! The holiday season is waving. I hope you are all doing well despite these challenging and uncertain times. I hope and pray that you are all healthy and doing well, in body, mind, and spirit. As it is Tuesday, it is also time for a Top 5 Tuesday update. Top 5 Tuesday was originally created by Shanah @ the Bionic Bookworm but is now currently being hosted by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads.
This week’s topic: Top 5 Books On My 2021 Wishlist
The holiday season is the season for giving as well. My most fervent wish is for the pandemic to finally come to an end, especially with the advent of a more ominous and virulent variant of COVID19 which threatens to undo all the progress that has been made in the past two years. I hope that it gets contained before it spreads and causes more deaths. Apart from this, most items on my holiday wishlist are books. Books have always been part of my yearly wishlist. Sometimes I get them but, most of the time, I don’t. HAHA. I am still hoping to receive these books, or at least I can purchase them this year. I do have a lot of books on my wishlist but here are some of the books on my 2021 wishlist.
Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
In a crowded London pub, two young people meet. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists–he a photographer, she a dancer–and both are trying to make their mark in a world that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence, and over the course of a year, they find their relationship tested by forces beyond their control.
Narrated with deep intimacy, Open Water is at once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity that asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body; to be vulnerable when you are only respected for strength; to find safety in love, only to lose it. With gorgeous, soulful intensity, and blistering emotional intelligence, Caleb Azumah Nelson gives a profoundly sensitive portrait of romantic love in all its feverish waves and comforting beauty.
This is one of the most essential debut novels of recent years, heralding the arrival of a stellar and prodigious young talent. (Source: Goodreads)
A Book of Memories by Péter Nádas
This extraordinary magnum opus seems at first to be a confessional autobiographical novel in the grand manner, claiming and extending the legacy of Proust and Mann. But it is more: Peter Nadas has given us a superb contemporary psychological novel that comes to terms with the ghosts, corpses, and repressed nightmares of Europe’s recent past. “A Book of Memories” is made up of three first-person narratives: the first that of a young Hungarian writer and his fated love for a German poet; we also learn of the narrator’s adolescence in Budapest, when he experiences the downfall of his once-upper-class but now pro-Communist family and of his beloved but repudiated father, a state prosecutor who commits suicide after the 1956 uprising. A second memoir, alternating with the first, is a novel the narrator is composing about a refined Belle Epoque aesthete, whose anti-bourgeois transgressions seem like emotionally overcharged versions of the narrator’s own experiences. A third voice is that of a childhood friend who, after the narrator’s return to his homeland, offers an apparently more objective account of their friendship. Together these brilliantly colored lives are integrated in a powerful work of tragic intensity. (Source: Goodreads)
Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah
Paradise is at once the story of an African boy’s coming of age, a tragic love story, and a tale of the corruption of traditional African patterns by European colonialism. It presents a major African voice to American readers – a voice that prompted Peter Tinniswood to write in the London Times, reviewing Gurnah’s previous novel, “Mr. Gurnah is a very fine writer. I am certain he will become a great one.” Paradise is Abdulrazak Gurnah’s great novel. At twelve, Yusuf, the protagonist of this twentieth-century odyssey, is sold by his father in repayment of a debt. From the simple life of rural Africa, Yusuf is thrown into the complexities of precolonial urban East Africa – a fascinating world in which Muslim black Africans, Christian missionaries, and Indians from the subcontinent coexist in a fragile, subtle social hierarchy. Through the eyes of Yusuf, Gurnah depicts communities at war, trading safaris gone awry, and the universal trials of adolescence. Then, just as Yusuf begins to comprehend the choices required of him, he and everyone around him must adjust to the new reality of European colonialism. The result is a page-turning saga that covers the same territory as the novels of Isak Dinesen and William Boyd, but does so from a perspective never before available on that seldom-chronicled part of the world.(Source: Goodreads)
I Am A Cat by Natsume Sōseki
Written from 1904 through 1906, Soseki Natsume’s comic masterpiece, I Am a Cat, satirizes the foolishness of upper-middle-class Japanese society during the Meiji era. With acerbic wit and sardonic perspective, it follows the whimsical adventures of a world-weary stray kitten who comments on the follies and foibles of the people around him.
A classic of Japanese literature, I Am a Cat is one of Soseki’s best-known novels. Considered by many as the most significant writer in modern Japanese history, Soseki’s I Am a Cat is a classic novel sure to be enjoyed for years to come.(Source: Goodreads)
We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan
You can’t stop birds from flying, can you, Sameer? They go where they will…’
1960s UGANDA. Hasan struggles to keep his family business afloat following the sudden death of his wife. As he begins to put his shattered life back together piece by piece, a new regime seizes power, and a wave of rising prejudice threatens to sweep away everything he has built.
Present-day LONDON. Sameer, a young high-flying lawyer, senses an emptiness in what he thought was the life of his dreams. Called back to his family home by an unexpected tragedy, Sameer begins to find the missing pieces of himself not in his future plans, but in a heritage he never knew.
Moving between two continents over a troubled century, We Are All Birds of Uganda is an immensely resonant novel that explores racial tensions, generational divides and what it means to belong. (Source: Goodreads)