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 With A Holiday
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Upon learning of this week’s prompt, the first book that came to mind was a literary classic, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It was a book I have long been looking forward to and in late 2021, I finally had the chance to read this book. As expected, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounters with the ghosts of Christmas past was as good as advertised. It may be short but it was brimming with philosophical intersections that made me rethink the way I see the holidays (Christmas) and my relationship with the people around me. Despite this, the book’s message of hope and redemption made it stand out. By the end, I wanted the book to be longer as its deep message resonated. It is no wonder the book is considered by many a literary pundit a classic.
A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie
With over eighty books, it is not much of a challenge to find a holiday-themed book in Agatha Christie’s literary ensemble. I actually had Hercule Poirot’s Christmas in mind but then I remembered another novel of hers that I felt channeled the current season in countries above the Tropic of Cancer. A (Caribbean) cruise trip is one of the things that immediately come to mind when one talks of the summer holiday season. But how would you enjoy it if you wind up in the middle of a murder mystery? That was the impasse that Miss Marple, one of Christie’s resident sleuths, found herself in during her Caribbean cruise, as related by the Queen of Suspense in A Caribbean Mystery. Speaking of cruise, Death on the Nile is another great holiday novel by Christie but now it involved Hercule Poirot.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Speaking of holidays, another book that immediately comes to mind is J.K. Rowling’s timeless and magical Harry Potter series. For sure, the entire Harry Potter series explored the holiday seasons as the holiday season in Hogwarts meant presents and warm moments in the respective living rooms of the four different houses. It is also marked by special events such as the Yule Ball in the fourth book in the series. Imagine spending the holidays with the chaotic Weasleys or perhaps getting stuck in the castle during a blizzard? Wizards and witches have their holidays as well you know and they also go all out to ensure that they also have a great time.
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
I am guessing this is a rather unconventional choice? But I assume that the birth of a nation is a holiday in its own right, for instance, the Fourth of July which is known all over the world. In what many literary pundits consider Rushdie’s magnum opus, Midnight’s Children followed the story of a group of children born within minutes of the declaration of India’s independence from British rule on August 15, 1947. These children, however, were no ordinary children and the novel would follow their growth alongside the infancy of the Indian free nation. The book fittingly won the Booker Prize after its publication and it is also one of my all-time favorite reads.
The Makioka Sisters by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
Here is another unconventional choice. I have always wanted to read Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s The Makioka Sisters. It was one of the books I immediately knew I wanted to read even though I barely had any iota on what the book was about. I guess it didn’t take much to deduce what it was about: four sisters, individually different, who were left to fend for their own following the demise of their father. Marriage was a recurring theme but the book was also a vivid portrait of Japanese life. In one scene, we see the family enjoying the cherry blossoms festival. This scene was one of many that provided readers glimpses of Japan’s rich and colorful culture.