Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope your week is going great. Otherwise, I hope that it will start looking up in the coming days. 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 About a Wedding/s

Another challenging topic. HAHA. Nonetheless, here are five books about books that I did not necessarily like or enjoy but they aligned with this week’s topic. Happy reading!

The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

The first book that came to my mind was Nicholas Sparks’ The Wedding. It was the easiest one to recall! HAHA. But seriously, this was one of the Sparks novels that I enjoyed; I enjoyed his earlier works than his latest works which I have found predictable and written mostly for adaptation to the big screen. Anyway, I read the book over a decade ago and I can still recall how much I liked it. At first, I was bored because the story was flat. He bored me with details of the preparations for a wedding. What I didn’t know was that Sparks was setting me up for an explosive and unexpected ending. The conclusion left me in awe. By the way, the book was, in a way, an extension of The Notebook for the main characters were Noah and Allie’s daughter and son-in-law.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

I was such a fan of Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex that I resolved to read all of his novels. A couple of years after reading Middlesex, I set out on my second Eugenides novel, The Marriage Plot. It was also one of the most obvious choices that came to my mind upon learning about this week’s topic. There were discourses about marriage in the novel; the main character, Marian’s college thesis concerned the idea of the quintessential “marriage plot”, inspired by English literary romanticists like Jane Austen. There were, of course, actual weddings in the story. Despite my anticipation for the book, it fell below my expectations. It was a hit-and-miss work, and its misses were more impressionable than its hits. The writing was stellar but the impact of the subjects it grappled with was mostly ephemeral.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Speaking of Jane Austen, marriage has been a subject that is integral in her exploration of the female voice. It was palpable in Pride and Prejudice, the first Austen novel I read, and in Emma, a character who loved setting up couples who she believed were compatible with each other. The same can be said of Austen’s debut novel, Sense and Sensibility. The novel charted the story of sisters Elinor and Marianne. Austen used marriage as the primary device to illustrate the prevailing social standards in 18th and 19th century England. Moreover, marriage was generally viewed as a means to succeed in the social stratum. But while everyone was looking at what they can gain from being married, the Dashwood sisters are more enlightened.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

I know this one is an unconventional choice but I think Margaret Mitchell’s debut (and only) novel, Gone With the Wind also fits the theme. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is renowned for its exploration of the post-Civil War and the ensuing Reconstruction Era in the Deep South. More importantly, the novel was defined by its deep character study of its main character, Scarlett O’Hara. She was a strong and independent woman but Mitchell found the perfect equilibrium to Scarlett’s strong personality. Fight fire with fire they say so Rhett Butler, an equally fiery and independent character was created by Mitchell to match Scarlett. Their on-and-off romance was a searing and seminal element of the story. It was also of important note that marriage was supposed to be the main goal of Southern belles like Scarlett.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I wouldn’t necessarily call Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians a good literary piece. Sure, it was entertaining and brimming with wit. However, entertaining does not necessarily entail a good literary piece. At the heart of the story is the engagement of college sweethearts Nick and Rachel. Rachel didn’t have a clue that Nick was uber-rich until Nick took her home to meet his family in Singapore. I did find Nick’s nonchalance about his provenance a tad absurd. But then again, the novel had satirical elements. It was a world all too new for Rachel. It overwhelmed her. In the process, we also get to read the backstories of Nick’s cousins. However, once the glittery lights die down, what remains are bits and pieces of a mundane gossip magazine.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

On top of Gone With the Wind, here is another unconventional choice for this week’s topic. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera was a memorable read because it was my 500th all-time read. Sure, there were strange things that happened in the story and discomfiting subjects – obsession was the first thing that came to mind – that it grappled with. Sure, there were graphic images. However, Garcia Marquez’s literary prowess drew me into the tangled and complicated love triangle of Fermina Daza, Juvenal Urbino, and Florentino Ariza. It had less of the magical realism that permeated in One Hundred Years of Solitude but the story still kept me at the edge of my seat.