Hello, readers! Welcome to another #5OnMyTBR update. The rule is relatively simple. I just have to pick five books from my to-be-read pile that fit the week’s theme.

This week’s theme: Second Chance

I have mentioned previously that I am no fan of rereading; there are just a lot of good books out there it is challenging to find time to reread a book. Nonetheless, there are several books I want to give a second chance. These are either books that I did not enjoy the first time around or books that were too complex for me or books that were loved by many but for me. A good case for the latter is Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, a book that has long been on my reread list. The list also includes books I want to reread to confirm my understanding and appreciation of the book and to see what I have missed the first time I read the book. For some of these books, my opinion of them has already changed but I still want to reread them. But with the way things have been for the past years – books piling up, more interesting titles being released – I think it will take time for me to get back to the book. Nonetheless, here are five titles I want to give a second chance.

5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!

Title: Tess of D’Urbervilles
Author: Thomas Hardy
Synopsis: When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D’Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her ‘cousin’ Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future. With its sensitive depiction of the wronged Tess and powerful criticism of social convention, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, subtitled “A Pure Woman,” is one of the most moving and poetic of Hardy’s novels.

Title: Anna Karenina
Author: Leo Tolstoy
Synopsis: Acclaimed by many as the world’s greatest novel, Anna Karenina provides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfill her passionate nature – with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection of Tolstoy himself, often expressing the author’s own views and convictions.

Throughout, Tolstoy points no moral, merely inviting us not to judge but to watch. As Rosemary Edmonds comments, ‘He leaves the shifting patterns of the kaleidoscope to bring home the meaning of the brooding words following the title, ‘Vengeance is mine, and I will repay.

Title: Madame Bovary
Author: Gustave Flaubert
Synopsis: Madame Bovary is the debut novel of French writer Gustave Flaubert, published in 1856. The character lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. When the novel was first serialized in La Revue de Paris between 1 October 1856 and 15 December 1856, public prosecutors attacked the novel for obscenity. The resulting trial in January 1857 made the story notorious. After Flaubert’s acquittal on 7 February 1857, Madame Bovary became a bestseller in April 1857 when it was published in two volumes. A seminal work of literary realism, the novel is now considered Flaubert’s masterpiece, and one of the most influential literary works in history.

Title: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Author: Haruki Murakami
Synopsis: Japan’s most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.

In a Tokyo suburb, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon.

Title: The Sound and the Fury
Author: William Faulkner
Synopsis: Of all the books Faulkner wrote, the one he thought most highly of in later years was The Sound and the Fury. Here he portrays with startling realism the lives of some of the most famous characters in American literature, the Compson family: Benjy, the idiot manchild; Quentin, the young man who cannot come to terms with his heritage; Jason, the cold, brutal realist; Caddy, the rebellious girl loved by her brothers; and Dilsey, their black servant whom Faulkner called “one of my own favorite characters.” Most critics agree that this stunning narrative of the dissolution of the Compson family is one of the most remarkable novels of the twentieth century.