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

This week’s topic: Top 5 books with earth

Landlubbers, rejoice! We’re back on stable ground. 🌳🪨(Variant: metal)

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Like in last week’s prompt, I will be deliberately taking some deviations. LOL. Well, not really because “earth” is literally in the title of Ocean Vuong’s debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Rather than a novel about the earth, it is a novel about our various experiences and the different relationships that define us and have left imprints on us. Vuong captured these moments with vivid acuity and raw honesty. What made the story – about an estranged son and his mother – stand out was the beauty of Vuong’s writing. His masterstroke aroused a spectrum of emotions that leaves the readers breathless. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, as the title goes, is brief but gorgeous.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Another memorable read is my first Ken Follett novel, The Pillars of the Earth. A work of historical fiction, it chronicled the construction of a church in 12th-century England. Technically, it has earthy elements, apart from the direct reference to earth in the title. I have to hand it to Ken Follett for writing a masterpiece that kept me at the edge from the start until the end. It held my attention all throughout despite its length; it is one of my longest reads. The Pillars of the Earth is an epic literary piece and I enjoyed unraveling every piece and everything, including the darker shades.

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

In a way, of the books on this list, Nobel Laureate in Literature Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth has a story that is most in tune with the earth. Springing from the fertile soil of China is the story of Wang Lung, a young but destitute farmer who is living in an earthen brick house with his father. The novel reminds us that our lives, destines, and successes are woven with the land. In a manner of speaking, the Earth has been good to us. It is the foundation of life and yet we abuse it. The Good Earth chimes in with this subtle message and reminder.

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

I am again going with the whimsical choice. Sayaka Murata’s Earthlings is not your typical novel. It is the story of a character who thinks she is not from this earth. This aspect of the story makes it different from the rest. It is also the one that makes it interesting. Earthlings was an eccentric take on the pressures society place on both men and women. Through the story of Natsuki, Murata offered her readers an out-of-body experience that is unique but can shock one to the core. Earthlings, however, is not for the faint of heart because it contained graphic details.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Again, this is a novel that has no direct references to the earth, except perhaps as a place to live in. In his third novel, Doerr challenged the archetypes of storytelling. Parts-historical fiction, parts-literary fiction, parts-scientific fiction, Cloud Cuckoo Land is a complex and astounding work of contemporary fiction. It broke the boundaries of time as it connected characters across time frames and even across space. The connections between the stories of the book’s main characters were not always well-defined but it is laudable for its sheer ambition and its grandeur. Profound messages resonated all throughout the story. But amidst the burgeoning struggles of civilizations, the novel beaconed with hopeful messages.