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 On My Spring 2022 TBR
In line with the celebration of International Women’s Month and Women’s History Month, I have resolved to read books by female writers in March. With this, I still haven’t considered what the following reading months are going to look like. It might be another Asian literature month or perhaps Japanese literature month. Or maybe a European literature month since I haven’t done one last year. Nevertheless, here are 10 books I am considering reading this spring. Being located in the tropics, the Philippines has no spring season but still. Without more ado, here is my list of possible titles.
Silent House by Orhan Pamuk
Synopsis: A moving story of a Turkish family gathering in the shadow of the impending military coup of 1980.
In an old mansion in a village near Istanbul, a widow awaits the annual visit of her grandchildren. She has lived in the village for decades, ever since her husband, an idealistic young doctor, first arrived to serve the poor fishermen. Now mostly bedridden, she is attended by her faithful servant Recep, a dwarf – and her late husband’s illegitimate son. But it is Recep’s nephew Hassan, a high-school dropout lately fallen in with right-wing nationalists, who will draw the family into Turkey’s century-long struggle for modernity.
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.
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
Synopsis: In a small Mississippi town, Harriet Cleve Dufresnes grows up in the shadow of her brother, who – when she was only a baby – was found hanging dead from a black-tupelo tree in their yard. His killer was never identified, nor has his family, in the years since, recovered from the tragedy.
For Harriet, who has grown up largely unsupervised, in a world of her own imagination, her brother is a link to a glorious past she has only heard stories about or glimpsed in photograph albums. Fiercely determined, precocious far beyond her twelve years, and steeped in the adventurous literature of Stevenson, Kipling, and Conan Doyle, she resolves, one summer, to solve the murder and exact her revenge. Harriet’s sole ally in this quest, her friend Hely is devoted to her, but what they soon encounter has nothing to do with child’s play: it is dark, adult, and all too menacing.
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Synopsis: First published in 1922, The Beautiful and the Damned followed Fitzgerald’s impeccable debut, This Side of Paradise, thus securing his place in the tradition of great American novelists. Embellished with the author’s lyrical prose, here is the story of Harvard-educated, aspiring aesthete Anthony Patch and his beautiful wife, Gloria. As they await the inheritance of his grandfather’s fortune, their reckless marriage sways under the influence of alcohol and avarice. A devastating look at the nouveau riche, and the New York nightlife, as well as the ruinous effects of wild ambition, The Beautiful and the Damnedachieved stature as one of Fitzgerald’s most accomplished novels. Its distinction as a classic endures to this day. Pocket Book’s Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. Special features include critical perspectives, suggestions for further read, and a unique visual essay composed of period photographs that help bring every word to life. (Source: Goodreads)
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Synopsis: Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice “until the monsoon comes.” Then she can design a garden for herself.
As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?
A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul
Synopsis: ‘A Bend in the River is more than a true and powerful book about Africa. It is… one of those books that make you question many assumptions about the world today.’ ~ Richard West in the Spectator
In the “brilliant novel” (The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man—an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions. (Source: Goodreads)
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
Synopsis: Commissioned and closely monitored by Milan Kundera himself, this new translation brings a clarity and unmatched fidelity to the author’s original text. Widely held as a work of genius, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is the novel that first brought him to the forefront of the international literary scene. Rich in stories, characters and imaginative range, it was written while Kundera was still forbidden to publish in his home country of Czechoslovakia, which was then behind the Iron Curtain. In seven wonderfully integrated parts, different aspects of modern existence from the posthumous erasure of “enemies” of communism from the historical record, to the subtle agony of the fading memory of a lost love, to the bizarre sexlessnes of modern promiscuity are explored with boldness, subversive humor and the magical power of fiction. (Source: Goodreads)
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Synopsis: First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters – beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys – commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family’s fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz
Synopsis: Palace Walk is the first novel in Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz’s magnificent Cairo Trilogy, an epic family saga of colonial Egypt that is considered his masterwork.
The novels of the Cairo Trilogy trace three generations of the family of tyrannical patriarch al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawad, who rules his household with a strict hand while living a secret life of self-indulgence. Palace Walk introduces us to his gentle, oppressed wife, Amina, his cloistered daughters, Aisha and Khadija, and his three sons—the tragic and idealistic Fahmy, the dissolute hedonist Yasin, and the soul-searching intellectual Kamal. The family’s trials mirror those of their turbulent country during the years spanning the two world wars, as change comes to a society that has resisted it for centuries. Source: Goodreads
The Accident by Ismail Kadare
Synopsis: On a rainy morning in Vienna, a taxi pulls onto the autobahn only to crash into the median barrier moments later, hurling its two passengers – a man and a woman – from the backseat as it spins through the air. The driver cannot explain why he lost control; he only says that the mysterious couple seemed to be about to kiss.
As the investigation into their deaths deepens, a lonely researcher will uncover a mutually destructive relationship that blurs the line between fact and fiction, fear and desire, and love and fixation over the course of twelve years. An alluring mixture of vivid hallucination and cold reality, The Accident is a fever dream of a novel that marks a bold and fascinating departure from Kadare’s previous works.
I will be curious to see what you think of The Virgin Suicides. It is one of those books that I have always wondered about!
I’ve read “Silent House”. It’s not the best Pamuk but I’m a Pamuk completist so I have to read everything he writes.
“A Suitable Boy” is my favorite novel ever. Also, I cannot recommend Mahfouz highly enough.
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Thanks for your thoughts. Will definitely consider them. By the way, which of Pamuk’s works did you like best? I have read two so far – Snow and The Red-Haired Woman – but I want to explore his works more.
I love your list. I read A Suitable Boy last year, and simply loved it. It’s so warm and generous, and like being enveloped in a literary hug!
I also tried Naipaul last year (A House for Mr.Biswas), and it was again simply too good – touching and comic at the same time. The Beautiful and Damned and The Garden of Evening Mists is also sublime!
You are going to have a great Spring reading time!
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