Happy Tuesday! Time flies fast and just like that, we are already on the third week of 2022. I hope that the year is going great, so far. 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: Books I Will Definitely Read in 2022
The start of the new year is also a great time to set (lofty) reading goals. For this year, I set my target to 75 books, a realistic number even though I have averaged at least 90 books in the past two years. 100 still seems too daunting for me and I just want to take my reading journey in stride. I want to enjoy the books I read. But there are just too many good books out there waiting to be read. Nevertheless, here are five books I *resolve* to read this year (crossing my fingers). Happy reading!
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
Synopsis: “‘It’s Lata,’ said Mrs. Rupa Mehra in a rush. ‘I want you to find her a boy at once. A suitable boy. She is getting involved with unsuitable boys, and I cannot have that.’
Vikram Seth’s novel is, at its core, a love story: the tale of Lata’s – and her mother’s – attempts to find this suitable boy, through love or through exacting maternal appraisal. Set in post-Independence India and involving the lives of four large families and those who orbit them, it is also a vast, panoramic exploration of a whole continent at a crucial hour as a sixth of the world’s population faces its first great General Election and the chance to map its own destiny.”
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Synopsis: Set in Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now, Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous third novel is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope – and a book. In Cloud Cuckoo Land, Doerr has created a magnificent tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness – with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us, and with those who will be here after we’re gone.
Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.
Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.
Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, Zeno, and Konstance are dreamer and outsiders who find resourcefulness and hope in the midst of gravest danger. Their lives are gloriously intertwined. Doerr’s dazzling imagination transports us to worlds so dramatic and immersive that we forget, for a time, our own. Dedicated to “the librarians then, now, and in the years to come,” Cloud Cuckoo Land is a beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship – of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.
The Overstory by Richard Power
Synopsis: Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Richard Powers’s twelfth novel is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of – and paean to – the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours – vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
Synopsis: Swann’s Way tells two related stories, the first of which revolves around Marcel, a younger version of the narrator, and his experiences in, and memories of, the French town Combray. Inspired by the “gusts of memory” that rise up within him as he dips a Madeleine into hot tea, the narrator discusses his fear of going to bed at night. He is a creature of habit and dislikes waking up in the middle of the night not knowing where he is.
He claims that people are defined by the objects that surround them and must piece together their identities bit by bit each time they wake up. The young Marcel is so nervous about sleeping alone that he looks forward to his mother’s goodnight kisses, but also dreads them as a sign of an impending sleepless night. One night, when Charles Swann, a friend of his grandparents, is visiting, his mother cannot come kiss him goodnight. He stays up until Swann leaves and looks so sad and pitiful that even his disciplinarian father encourages “Mamma” to spend the night in Marcel’s room.
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Synopsis: Tom Ripley is struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors and the law, when an unexpected acquaintance offers him a free trip to Europe and a chance to start over.
Ripley wants money, success and the good life and he’s willing to kill for it. When his new-found happiness is threatened, his response is as swift as it is shocking.