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 Bookish Wishes
Weehhhh! I do have a lot of books I would love to own so this one is for me. Come to think of it, Christmas is still a couple months away but whatever. Besides, my birthday is nearing. It also falls on a Tuesday, coincidentally. Without more ado, here is my bookish wishlist.
Link to my wishlist: Bookish List
Title: Tomb of Sand
Author: Geetanjali Shree
Translator: Daisy Rockwell
Synopsis: Eighty-year-old Ma slips into a deep depression after the death of her husband. Despite her family’s cajoling, she refuses to leave her bed. Her responsible eldest son, Bade, and dutiful, Reebok-sporting daughter-in-law, Bahu, attend to Ma’s every need, while her favorite grandson, the cheerful and gregarious Sid, tries to lift her spirits with his guitar. But it is only after Sid’s younger brother—Serious Son, a young man pathologically incapable of laughing—brings his grandmother a sparkling golden cane covered with butterflies that things begin to change.
With a new lease on life thanks to the cane’s seemingly magical powers, Ma gets out of bed and embarks on a series of adventures that baffle even her unconventional feminist daughter, Beti. She ditches her cumbersome saris, develops a close friendship with a hijra, and sets off on a fateful journey that will turn the family’s understanding of themselves upside down.
Rich with fantastical elements, folklore, and exuberant wordplay, Geetanjali Shree’s magnificent novel explores timely and timeless topics, including Buddhism, global warming, feminism, Partition, gender binary, transcending borders, and the profound joys of life. Elegant, heartbreaking, and funny, it is a literary masterpiece that marks the American debut of an extraordinary writer.
Title: The Tale of Genji
Author: Murasaki Shikibu
Translator: Royall Tyler
Synopsis: Written in the eleventh century, this exquisite portrait of courtly life in medieval Japan is widely celebrated as the world’s first novel. Genji, the Shining Prince, is the son of an emperor. He is a passionate character whose tempestuous nature, family circumstances, love affairs, alliances, and shifting political fortunes form the core of this magnificent epic. Royall Tyler’s superior translation is detailed, poetic, and superbly true to the Japanese original while allowing the modern reader to appreciate it as a contemporary treasure. Supplemented with detailed notes, glossaries, character lists, and chronologies to help the reader navigate the multigenerational narrative, this comprehensive edition presents this ancient tale in the grand style that it deserves.
Title: The Netanyahus
Author: Joshua Cohen
Synopsis: Corbin College, not-quite-upstate New York, winter 1959-1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian–but not an historian of the Jews–is co-opted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. When Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview, family unexpectedly in tow, Blum plays the reluctant host, to guests who proceed to lay waste to his American complacencies. Mixing fiction with non-fiction, the campus novel with the lecture, The Netanyahus is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics–“An Account of A Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family” that finds Joshua Cohen at the height of his powers.
Title: I Am A Cat
Author: Natsume Sōseki
Synopsis: Written from 1904 through 1906, Soseki Natsume’s comic masterpiece, I Am a Cat, satirizes the foolishness of upper-middle-class Japanese society during the Meiji era. With acerbic wit and sardonic perspective, it follows the whimsical adventures of a world-weary stray kitten who comments on the follies and foibles of the people around him.
A classic of Japanese literature, I Am a Cat is one of Soseki’s best-known novels. Considered by many as the most significant writer in modern Japanese history, Soseki’s I Am a Cat is a classic novel sure to be enjoyed for years to come.
Title: A Book of Memories
Author: Peter Nadas
Translators: Ivan Sanders; Imre Goldstein
Synopsis: A Book of Memories is made up of three first-person narratives. The first is of a young Hungarian writer and his fated love. The second is about a refined ‘belle epoque aesthete. The third is that of a childhood friend, and an account of their friendship. All three are a powerful work of tragic intensity.
Title: Three Kingodms
Author: Luo Guanzhong
Translator: Moss Roberts
Synopsis: Three Kingdoms tells the story of the fateful last reign of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), when the Chinese empire was divided into three warring kingdoms. This decisive period in Chinese history became a subject of intense and continuing interest to historians, poets, and dramatists. Writing some 1,200 years later, the Ming author Luo Guanzhong drew on this rich literary heritage to fashion a sophisticated, compelling narrative that has become the Chinese national epic. Luo’s novel offers a startling and unsparing view of how power is wielded, how diplomacy is conducted, and how wars are planned and fought; it has influenced the ways the Chinese think about power, diplomacy, and war even to this day. As important for Chinese culture as the Homeric epics have been for the West, this Ming dynasty masterpiece continues to be widely influential in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, and remains a great work of world literature. The University of California Press is pleased to make the complete and unabridged translation available again. (Source: Goodreads)
Title: The White Shroud
Author: Antanas Škėma
Translator: Karla Gruodis
Synopsis: White Shroud is considered by many as the most important work of modernist fiction in Lithuanian. Drawing heavily on the author’s own immigrant experience, this psychological, stream-of-consciousness work tells the story of an ‚migr‚ poet working as an elevator operator in a large New York hotel during the mid-1950s. The novel moves through sharply contrasting settings and stages in the narrator’s life in Lithuania before and during World War II, returning always to New York and the recent immigrant’s struggle to adapt to a completely different world. Strong characters and evocative utterances convey how historical context shapes language and consciousness, breaking down any stable sense of self. This translation will appeal to various audiences: readers of modernist and world literature, scholars of Baltic literature and refugee studies, and members of the Lithuanian diaspora unable to access this novel in Lithuanian. Written from the perspective of a newcomer to an Anglophone country, White Shroud encourages readers to better understand the complexities of immigrant life.
Title: The Last Book Smuggler
Author: Birute Putrius
Synopsis: In 1902 Lithuania, a group of rebels armed with books triumphs against the mighty Russian Empire.
Part folktale, part thriller, THE LAST BOOK SMUGGLER tells the story of Ada and her grandfather Viktoras, an old book smuggler tired of his forty-year battle to keep his language alive despite the attempts of the Russian Empire to destroy it. Into their world steps Jonas, a young man in love with Ada and ready to join the underground book smugglers. But there is a traitor in their midst who must stop them or lose everything.
Based on the author’s grandfather, who was a book smuggler, the novel deftly captures the politics and dangers of the times while bringing to life an engaging and quirky family, with an element of the supernatural.
Title: A Heart So White
Author: Javier Marías
Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
Synopsis: Juan knows little about his widowed father Ranz, a man with a troubled past; if he has been told no lies, that is because he has asked no questions. All he does know is that before marrying Juan’s mother Ranz was married to her elder sister and she had committed suicide. The unspoken dialogue between father and son, however, is to become a spelling out of the horrifying truth once Juan has been married for a year to Luisa, and the bride turns discreet confessor to the burdened old man. What gradually emerges into the cold light of day is a repetition of scenes already witnessed by Juan in the course of his travels – of a married man blackmailed by his mistress in a Havana hotel, of a woman in New York pursuing a sequence of shabby lovers through the lonely-hearts columns. With remarkable skill and delicacy Javier Marias builds up his colours to produce a startling picture of two generations, two marriages, and of the secret commerce between spouses that rests on the gossamer-thin threads of an unspoken accord.
Author: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Synopsis: Who is Matigari? Is he young or old; a man or fate; dead or living…or even a resurrection of Jesus Christ? These are the questions asked by the people of this unnamed country, when a man who has survived the war for independence emerges from the mountains and starts making strange claims and demands. Matigari is in search of his family to rebuild his home and start a new and peaceful future. But his search becomes a quest for truth and justice as he finds the people still dispossessed and the land he loves ruled by corruption, fear, and misery. Rumors spring up that a man with superhuman qualities has risen to renew the freedom struggle. The novel races toward its climax as Matigari realizes that words alone cannot defeat the enemy. He vows to use the force of arms to achieve his true liberation. Matigari is a satire on the betrayal of human ideals and on the bitter experience of post-independence African society.