Happy Tuesday again everyone! 2021 is slowly wrapping up and today is the last Tuesday of the year. In a couple of days, we will be welcoming a new year. It is my fervent hope that 2022 will be a year of good tidings, healing, and forgiveness for everyone. I hope and pray that 2022 will not only be a good year but a great one. 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 of 2021

A part of my annual reading wrap-up is naming my ten favorite reads for the year. I usually publish this at the start of the following year, hence, my 2021 Top 10 Favorite Reads will be published in January 2022. Come to think of it, several books have left a deep impression on me and I just might consider the idea of expanding my selection beyond the typical ten books. Nevertheless, for this Top Five Tuesday update, I am going to give a sneak peek into some of my favorite reads of the year; to be honest, I still haven’t come up with my top 10 reads of the year. HAHA. Some of these books might be part of my top 10 or are just mere runner-ups. One thing, however, is clear: they left a deep impression on me. Without more ado, here is my list.

Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra

For the first time since I started reading, I had a South American and Caribbean literature reading month. It was a grand experience for Latin writers impressed me with their magical and powerful prose. One of the writers who left a lasting impression was Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra. I recently purchased a copy of his work, Multiple Choice for I was intrigued. Without more ado, I immersed myself in the book. It was a quick read but it was very insightful and thought-provoking. It was not only the story that was riveting but also the way it was delivered: in the form of a multiple-choice examination! It was certainly fascinating knowing that storytelling can come in forms different from what we usually read.

No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

Speaking of out-of-the-box execution, one cannot miss Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This. Lockwood’s debut novel, No One Is Talking About This was longlisted, and eventually shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction; the main reason why the book made it to my reading list. The novel explores a very timely subject: how social media and the internet has altered our lifestyles. A grim diagnosis of what we have become, it is a seminal story about the contemporary and how we let social media dominate every aspect of our lives. Lockwood managed to ground the story by contrasting it with the birth and untimely demise of an infant.

Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

Reading works of Filipino writers has become a fixture in my yearly reading resolution. Admittedly, my immersion in the works of Filipino writers is lagging behind. It was something that I set out to redress and thankfully this year, I again managed to read two works of Filipino writers, one of which is Gina Apostol’s Insurrecto. Two things stood out for me in the book: the kaleidoscopic manner in which the story developed and the subject that was explored. It explored the Balanginga massacre, a seminal event during the American occupation. It is even more exceptional because, at the start of the Duterte presidency, the return of the Balangiga Bells by the American government was a sensitive subject.

The Push by Ashley Audrain

Motherhood is something many strive to attain. Many desire it but there are some who fail. There are also those who succeed to conceive but, over time, develop a wariness about raising their own children. This was the nucleus of Ashley Audrain’s debut novel, The Push, which was also part of my 2021 Books I Look Forward To List. In The Push, Audrain introduced a mother who started to develop apprehension about her daughter. She began to fear her, further alienating herself from her. Was it all hysteria or was everything she saw real? The Push is a gripping tale about parenthood and all the things that go with it, from paranoia to fear to love.

The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta

Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood is another novel about motherhood that impressed me. Before this year, I have never heard of the Nigerian writer nor had I read any of her works. I, later on, learned that Emecheta was quite the writer; she had a prolific career and was even the inspiration for several aspiring writers. The Joys of Motherhood, contrary to what it advertises, is actually a tragic tale about the struggles of women, especially of the need to be fertile. It also underlined the whimsical desire to bear sons. While it was a tragic story, Emecheta vividly portrayed the real “joys of motherhood”, of watching your children grow and develop to be the person they want to be. Sure, it is not always “joyful” but love nevertheless wells from the heart.