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 From My Past Seasonal TBR Posts I STILL Haven’t Read
From My Summer Reading List
Title: Convenience Store Woman
Author: Sayaka Murata
Translator: Ginny Tapley Takemori
Publisher: Granta Publications
Publishing Date: 2019
No. of Pages: 163
Synopsis: She’s thirty-six years old, she’s never had a boyfriend and she’s been working in the same convenience store for eighteen years.
Her parents wish she’d get a better job. Her friends wonder why she won’t get married.
But Keiko knows what makes her happy, and she’s not going to let anyone take her away from her convenience store…
Title: The White Book
Author: Han Kang
Translator: Deborah Smith
Publishing Date: 2019
No. of Pages: 161
Synopsis: From the Man Booker International Prize-winning author of The Vegetarian comes a book like no other.
The White Book is a meditation on colour, beginning with a simple list of white things. It is a book about mourning, rebirth and the tenacity of the human spirit. It is a stunning investigation of the fragility, beauty, and strangeness of life.
Title: State of War
Author: Ninotchka Rosca
Publisher: Anvil Publishing
Publishing Date: 2019
No. of Pages: 360
Synopsis: A lavish festival amid a long-drawn war – the defining image of this allegorical novel – portrays the deep-seated consciousness and longings of a people facing the dark days of the Martial Law regime.
Desperate for relief from the violence and repression in the city, Eliza, Adrian, and Anna set sail for the island of K— to take part in a popular festival, hoping to lose themselves in the crowd, to dance and drink the nights away. Yet, amid the merrymaking, the young people find themselves pulled into a series of schemes that shove them, inch by inch, towards an inevitable doom.
In this gripping tale of revelry, torture, subterfuge, and warfare, State of War creates a forceful impression on readers of exhuming the buried bodies and forgotten atrocities of a repressive regime, and illuminates the conflicts and turmoils of an entire country and culture.
Title: Silent House
Author: Orhan Pamuk
Translator: Robert Finn
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publishing Date: 2012
No. of Pages: 402
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.
Title: The Garden of Evening Mists
Author: Tan Twan Eng
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publishing Date: 2020
No. of Pages: 332
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?
Title: The Bridge of Heaven
Author: S.I. Hsiung
Publisher: Graham Brash (Pte) Ltd
Publishing Date: 1986
No. of Pages: 391
Synopsis: Diminutive 86-year old Professor Hsiung is an undisputed giant in his own right. His international reputation as a literary phenomenon came with the publication and performance of the much acclaimed play in English, Lady Precious Stream. It was staged in London from 1934 to 1936 and ran for 900 performances.
Jiangxi-born and Beijing educated, Professor Hsiung has published several other books which have been translated into many languages. His novel, The Bridge of Heaven, is described by H.G. Wells as “more illuminating … than any report or treatise (on China). The reader will find the characters of Mr & Mrs Ma and Li Ti-mo irresistible, and the reactions of the hero, Ta Tung, a startling illumination of the revolutionary motives and tendencies of multitudes of Chinese.
From My Summer Reading List
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: Goo
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 Kunder
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