It’s the second day of the week! It’s also time for a Top 5 Tuesday update. Top 5 Tuesdays was originally created by Shanah @ the Bionic Bookworm but is now currently being hosted by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads.

This week’s topic: Top 5 books with numbers in the title

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude was my first take on Nobel Peace Prize for Literature winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s highly touted works. The intricate tale was overwhelming especially since I read it during the infancy of my reading magical realist works. Nevertheless, it was the rise and falls of the Buendias and the character of Macondo that converge to give the readers a pleasant intersection of the tragedies and comedies of life, its ironies, and hyperboles. The interplay of the fictional and the historical makes One Hundred Years of Solitude a captivating read.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Going through must-read lists, one of the books that kept popping up is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, my first novel written by George Orwell; I later learned that George Orwell was a pseudonym used by Eric Arthur Blair. It was in reading the novel that I learned about its references to the contemporary reality series, Big Brother albeit the reality show is nothing but a microcosm of the message that Blair subtly underscored in his novel. Imagine living in a world where a being, invisible and unseen but whose presence is manifested through other means, controls everything.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, another book I came across through must-read lists, is a relevant work that shone a light on the reforms needed by mental health institutions. Although it gives a peek into the organizations prevailing over mental health facilities, the novel’s biggest subject is reform. Kesey handled sensitive subjects with brilliance and caution. The book is both insightful and provocative, touching base on subjects like lobotomy, sexuality, and identity. It is more than about mental health because it is extensive in scope. Although it is laced with controversy and scandal, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s made its mark among the literati from then until now. It is truly a staggering work that is recommended for all readers.

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka

If there was one book I was badly looking forward to earlier this year, it would have to be Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida. I have never heard of the Sri Lankan writer and had it not been for the Booker Prize, I would have not heard of him. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida was among the first books that piqued my interest when the longlist was released. The novel was very graphic. After all, the main character was a photographer and he was capturing the atrocities of the war. The chilling images were riddled with wit and humor. Karunatilaka managed to shed light on this tumultuous section of Sri Lanka’s contemporary history.

The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aitmatov

For the first time since I started reading, I have finally taken a trip to Central Asia with Chingiz Aitmatov’s The Day Lasts More than A Hundred Years. First published in 1980, the story was set in the Sarozek desert in Kazakhstan, at a railway junction called Boranly-Burannyi, and captured the story of how a group of men working at the junction arranged for the burial of Kazangap, a prominent figure in the junction. Adding a certain level of complexity to the story was a subplot involving two cosmonauts (one American and one Russian) and their unexpected contact with an intelligent extraterrestrial life form. The book was an insightful look into the clashes between modernization and traditions, with the oppressive presence of Stalinist propaganda lurking in the background.