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. 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: Freebie

This week’s prompt is a freebie actually. I did have a challenging time picking out the right topic. Then it hit me. Since it is Thanksgiving, I have decided to list five books I am thankful for. These are books that have kept me inspired to read more. These are books that keep me pushing forward in my reading journey. Without more ado, here are some of the books that have been instrumental in my journey as a reader.

A Cry in the Night by Mary Higgins Clark

If there is one book I will eternally be grateful for, it would be Mary Higgins Clark’s A Cry in the Night. Prior to this book, I have read only two novels; it was ironic because these two books were also written by Higgins Clark. Flashback to 2016. It was my last year in high school. I noted that most of my classmates were reading novels. This naturally piqued my interest so I then decided to finally give reading (novels) a try. The first book that was within my reach was A Cry in the Night. I didn’t expect the response I had to the book. When I started reading, I thought it would be going to be another failed pursuit. However, the suspenseful work made me want to read more. From that point on, there was no more looking back; I fell into the hole. The book was also one of the reasons why mystery and suspense fiction was my first go-to literary genre.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Speaking of murder and suspense, one of the most renowned mistresses of the genre is Agatha Christie. Wrong. She is the Queen of Suspense and for a good reason. However, it did take me some time before I started dipping my fingers into her work. Had it not been for a friend, I would have not discovered the pleasures of reading her works. It all started with her most renowned work,, Murder on the Orient Express. It could have not come at a very crucial juncture. You see, before picking up Murder on the Orient Express, I was at my wit’s end; I had totally lost interest in the said genre. I ended up loving the book and I can still recall the suspense and the confusion it evoked over a decade ago. Hercule Poirot’s seemingly whimsical manner of solving a case rekindled my interest in suspense and mystery fiction. A decade thence, I would read thirty more of Christie’s works and I have more on my pipeline.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A couple of years ago, I barely had any iota about the Nobel Prize in Literature. It was at this point that I encountered Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. The first thing that caught my attention was that the book was in the award-winning books section of the bookstore. Naturally curious, I purchased the book. What it offered I was not prepared for. The book was a work of magical realism, a genre I barely had any iota about. I wasn’t really sure what world I am entering. I was knocked beyond belief because I was thrown into a world I never knew existed. Sure, there was J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts but the Nobel Laureate in Literature’s Macondo was otherworldly. More than fascinating me, the novel made me realize how much I lack as a reader. It made me realize how much I am missing, literary-wise because I keep on limiting my reading boundaries to where I feel comfortable. After reading this novel, and a whole ton of Murakami novels, I have opened my mind to the different forms of literature, to expand my horizons as a reader.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

When I started taking up reading as a serious hobby, the core of the books I read was written by a very limited cast of writers like Danielle Steel, Mary Higgins Clark, and Sidney Sheldon. Entering university marked the start of a new and more expansive experience, including my foray into the world of literature. It was then that I started to discover the pleasures of reading classical literature, such as the works of the masters of English literature. Of the works of English literature, one book stands out and that was Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. Although I also liked David Copperfield, it was Great Expectations that furthered my interest in literary classics. The coming-of-age story of Pip and how he rose above the adversities gave me a different dimension upon which to appreciate literature. A decade thence, Great Expectations is still a title that I list as one of m literary favorites.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I didn’t expect that I would develop an admiration for Russian literature; I have always perceived it as cold or perhaps reserved because of the images of royalties and the Romanovs. Of course, I am wrong, by a mile. One of the reasons I started liking Russian literature was Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. It is a dark and heavy book, dealing with murder, poverty, alcoholism, violence, and even prostitution. It was a bleak picture of Romanov Russia. What made the narrative interesting was its vivid and careful profiling of a murderer, exploring his motivations and psychology. And yes, we commit mistakes but what makes us human is our ability to transcend this and become a better version of ourselves. In terms of complexity, it was at par with Brothers Karamazov but, thankfully, shorter (HAHA).

Actually, this list is just a glimpse into my reading journey. There are a lot of books for which I am thankful for a plethora of reasons. Some taught me about people. Some taught me about culture. Some taught me about history. They have become part and parcel of my identity as a person and as a reader. That’s it for now. Happy Wednesday!