Happy Tuesday! Time first day of February. Happy Chinese New Year everyone! The year of the tiger official starts and I hope it will be a great year. It is my fervent hope that it will usher in positive energy, blessings, 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 Didn’t Get to in 2021

Ohhh. Now this one. When 2021 started, I had several books in mind. I had so many books to choose from for my 2021 reading journey. But my reading list kept growing longer and it has become more and more challenging to get to these books, unfortunately. There are just too many good books out there and there seems to be very little time (excuses). Without more ado, here are five books (of many) that I was not able to read in 2021. Happy reading!

 Berta Isla by Javier Marías


“When Berta Isla was a school-girl, she decided she would marry Tomas Nevinson – the dashing half-Spanish, half-English boy in her class with an extraordinary gift for languages. But when Tomas returns to Madrid from his studies at Oxford, he is a changed man. Unbeknownst to her, he has been approached by an agent from the British intelligence services and has unwittingly set in motion events that will forever derail the life they had planned.

With peerless insight, award-winning, internationally bestselling author Javier Marias explores the complexities of a relationship hollowed out by fear and deception – the very bedrock of a spy’s profession. Astutely and hypnotically told, Berta Isla is a gripping novel of intrigue and missed chances – not only an espionage tale, but a profound examination of a marriage founded on secrets and lies.

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

Synopsis: “In Valeria Luiselli’s fiercely imaginative novel, a mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and girl, driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. As the family travels west, through Virginia, to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas, their bonds begin to fray: a fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet.

Through sons and maps and Polaroid camera’s lens, the children try to make sense of both their family’s crisis and the larger one engulfing the news: the stories of thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States but being detained – or getting lost in the desert along the way.

A breathtaking feat of literary virtuosity, Lost Children Archive is timely, compassionate, subtly hilarious, and formally inventive – a powerful, urgent story about what it is to be human in an inhuman world.”

The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Synopsis: “This is what he remembers, as he sits by the ocean at the end of the lane:

A dead man on the back seat of the car, and warm milk at the farmhouse.

An ancient little girl, and an old woman who saw the moon being made.

A beautiful housekeeper with a monstrous smile.

And dark forces woken that were best left undisturbed.

They are memories hard to believe, waiting at the edges of things. The recollections of a man who thought he has lost but is now, perhaps, remembering a time when he was saved…”

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 to 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 Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Synopsis: “In the spring of 1860, Fabrizio, Prince of Salina, still rules over thousands of Sicilian acres and hundreds of subjects in mingled splendour and squalor. But echoes of the new political movements on the Italian mainland are already being heard. Garibaldi is about to arrive; a revolution is about to begin. The Leopard is about to change…”