Happy Tuesday everyone! It is the second day of the week already but I hope everyone is doing well and is safe. Tuesdays also mean one thing, a Top Ten Tuesday update! Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s given topic is Books I Loved So Much I Couldn’t Find the Words to Write a Review

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This is a topic that I definitely had to do! There are so many books that I loved but I cannot find the words to string together a decent enough review. There are no superlatives to describe how strongly they made me feel. Without more ado, here are 10 books I loved so much that I had to appeal to my inner me to come up with a review that can live up to what the book was about. For now, happy Tuesday and happy reading everyone!


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The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

There are just no words that can describe how much I loved this book. I was initially interested in the fact that Japanese literature abounded with cats but I was slowly reeled in by the novel’s distinct voice. The novel’s premise was interesting and promising. And yes, the primary narrator was a cat! We have a stray cat finding a new home after he was picked up by Satoru. The way it roused a myriad of emotions – from warm and fuzzy to poignant and sad to heartbreaking – made The Travelling Cat Chronicles a riveting story. The novel also showed me a different dimension of Japanese literature, and storytelling in general.

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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Come on! Crime and Punishment is no typical work of literature. It is one of the pillars of modern Russian literature! How can one write a decent review on the book? I was initially daunted by the book because of its immense popularity. However, I gained confidence because I managed to complete Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s heftier work, Brothers Karamazov. I was riveted by the novel’s haunting exploration of the human psyche through Raskolnikov’s story. Yes, the novel had darker elements, as the title suggested. Crime and Punishment and Brothers Karamazov are among the reasons I am hooked on Russian literature.

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Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

I admit. I am quite lacking in my exploration of African literature. This was the case until 2020 when I immersed myself in more works of African writers. Among those who shone for me was Nigerian writer Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ and her debut novel, Stay With Me. It was the story of a young Nigerian couple who wanted to have a child but was unable to. Their story was juxtaposed to a rich backdrop of Nigerian culture and contemporary history. Stay With Me, is, literally, a magnetic story that remained glued on my mind. A distinct and memorable story was fashioned through Adébáyọ̀’s graceful, precise and powerful storytelling.

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Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Prior to reading Midnight’s Children, I was mostly unimpressed by Salman Rushdie’s oeuvre. None of his works I read earlier captured my imagination and interest the way the Booker of Bookers did. The story, linked with the birth date of the independent Indian state, provided a breathtaking experience. Even though I read it four years ago, I can vividly recall being in awe of everything, from the prose to the characters to the magical elements. This was despite the fact that the primary narrator was unreliable. Rushdie had me hooked; Midnight’s Children had won me over.

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Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

It was through must-read lists that I first came across Jeffrey Eugenides and his novel, Middlesex. It was one of the novels I immediately knew I was going to like. Ironically, however, I bare had an inkling of what the story was about. There was just something about the book that appealed to me, something that was difficult to put into words. Finally reading the book only underlined my expectation. The story of Calliope “Cal” Stephanides swept me away. I was just in awe, from the compelling story to the way it was told. There is a boldness to the story that I can barely keep my hands off it. The moment I started reading I just wanted to know how it is going to end.

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If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino

How can one even find the words to describe Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler. It was out-of-this-world. It was complex. It was ambitious. But more importantly, it was a scintillating read, albeit it can be a very confusing one. It is a compelling book about books, albeit fictional. Its exploration of books further complemented Calvino’s grand vision.  If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler is a rare gem that beacons above the cream of the crop. It is a masterpiece of a book that captures both the heart and the imagination. Italo Calvino is a skilled storyteller and he showcased his brilliance in writing this book.

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Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Equal to Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler in grandeur and ambition was my first novel by British writer, David Mitchell. I was reluctant to read Cloud Atlas because of my perception that it was a non-fiction work. Of course, I was wrong. Cloud Atlas gave me one of my most unique reading experiences. I can vividly recall how in awe I was with the innovation that the novel carried, exploring the past, the present, and the future. Indeed, Cloud Atlas is a challenging book, with its genre-bending and mind-boggling themes. For all the challenges it presents, it is brimming with majestic storytelling that one rarely encounters. It is, for me, a testament to the power of writing to influence and entertain.

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The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

There are just books you immediately know you are going to love. This was what I experienced with Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose which I kept encountering in must-read lists. It did take me time to obtain a copy of the book but once I did, I was beyond happy. I was ecstatic. I have an anecdote involving the book. When I started reading the novel, I thought it was written during medieval times; Baudolino gave the same notion. But I learned I was wrong when I started writing my review of the book. Writing a review of the book was no easy feat. How can one even come up with a decent review?

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I am no fan of young adult fiction, as I have reiterated in my posts. My aversion to the genre, however, does not preclude me from indulging every now and then. One of the young adult books that swept me over was Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Honestly, I bought the book only because of its cover. What I did not expect was the pleasant journey the book gave me. Sáenz was masterful in steering the story of the two teenagers at the center of the novel. The beauty of the book lies in the main character’s development and growth as the narrative moves along. Sáenz’s work is a diamond. Its take on a plethora of subjects such as identity, friendship, and love is simply astounding. 

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The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

I nearly forgot about Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits! Like most of the books in this list, I came across the novel through must-read lists; yes, I am thankful for them. I was very excited to read the novel and Allende had my attention from the get-go. What’s more important is that she never relented, sustaining my attention until the end. The House of the Spirits is a great and captivating read. It has the right mixture of mature themes and multi-faceted characters. Allende’s writing prowess was also in showcase from the start until the end. Her vivid imagery greatly helped in my appreciation of the story. She was so good at it that even the grotesqueries seemed lyrical.