Hello, readers! Welcome to another #5OnMyTBR update. The rule is relatively simple. I just have to pick five books from my to-be-read pile that fit the week’s theme.

This week’s theme: Number in the Title

5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!

Title: 2666
Author: Roberto Bolaño
Translator: Natasha Wimmer
Publisher: Picador
Publishing Date: September 2009
No. of Pages: 893


Three academics on the trail of a reclusive German author; a New York reporter on his first Mexican assignment; a widowed philosopher; a police detective in love with an elusive older woman – these are among the searchers drawn to the border city of Santa Teresa, where over the course of a decade hundreds of women have disappeared.

In the words of The Washington Post, “With 2666, Bolaño joins the ambitious overachievers of the twentieth-century novel, those like Proust, Musil, Joyce, Gaddis, Pynchon, Fuentes, and Vollmann, who push the novel far past its conventional size and scope to encompass an entire era, deploying encyclopedic knowledge and stylistic verve to offer a grand if sometimes idiosyncratic, summation of their vulture and the novelist’s place in it. Bolaño has joined the immortals.

Numero Zero
Author: Umberto Eco
Translator (from Italian): Richard Dixon
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publishing Date: 2016
No. of Pages: 191


1945, Lake Como. Mussolini and his mistress are captured and shot by local partisans. The precise circumstances of Il Duce’s death remain controversial.

1992, Milan. Colonna, a depressed hack writer, is offered a fee he can’t resist to ghostwrite a book. His subject: a fledgling newspaper, which happens to be financed by a powerful media magnate. As Colonna gets to know the team, he learns of the editor’s paranoid theory that Mussolini’s corpse was a body double and part of a wider Fascist plot. It’s the scoop the newspaper desperately needs. The evidence? He’s working on it.

It’s all there: media hoaxes, mafiosi, the CIA, the Pentagon, blackmail, love, gossip, and murder. A clash of forces that have shaped Italy since World War II – from Mussolini to Berlusconi. Numero Zero is the work of a master storyteller.

Title: One Part Woman
Author: Perumal Murugan
Translator (from Tamil): Aniruddhan Vasudevan
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: 2014
No. of Pages: 240


Kali and Ponna’s efforts to conceive a child have been in vain. Hounded by the taunts and insinuations of others, all their hopes come to converge on the chariot festival in the temple of Maadhorubaagan, the half-female god. Everything hinges on the one night when rules are relaxed and consensual union between any man and woman is sanctioned. This night could end the couple’s suffering and humiliation. But it will also put their marriage to the ultimate test.

Title: Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Author: Jorge Amado
Translator (from Portuguese): Harriet de Onis
Publisher: Avon Books
Publishing Date: May 1988
No. of Pages: 518


In this extraordinary adventure by Brazil’s foremost novelist, the irrepressible Dona Flor is happy with her new husband, who is kind, considerate, a perfect gentleman. Yet, she has to admit she misses his roguish, passionate predecessor, who expired from his amorous exertions. So, in this land of many gods and occasional miracles, Flor approaches the divine Exu with her dilemma… and before she knows it, she has all any woman could possibly want: two husbands – one living, one dead – each consummately skilled in his own way in the infinite art of love.

Title: Three Elegies for Kosovo
Author: Ismail Kadare
Translator (from Albanian): Peter Constantine
Publisher: The Harvill Press
Publishing Date: 2000
No. of Pages: 87


A quarrel that has simmered for six centuries, stemming from a battle that changed the course of history.

28 June 1389, the Field of the Blackbirds. The Christian army – made up of Serbs, Bosnians, Albanians and Romanians – confronts an Ottoman army led by Sultan Mourad. In ten hours the battle is over, and the Muslims possess the field; an outcome that has haunted the vanquished ever since. These legends of betrayal and the symbols of defeat have continued to define the national identities of each race.

28 June 1989, the Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic launches his campaign for a fresh massacre of the Albanians, the majority population of Kosovo.

In three short narratives, Kadare evokes that first defining moment in European history, identifying how the agony of the tiny population at the close of the twentieth century is a symptom of the sickness that European civilisation has carried in its bloodstream for six hundred years.

Title: Slaughterhouse-Five
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence
Publishing Date: March 1994
No. of Pages: 205


A fourth-generation German-American now living in easy circumstances on Cape Cod (and smoking too much), who, as an American infantry scout hors de combat, as a prisoner of war, witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany, “the Florence of the Elbe,” a long time ago, and survived to tell the tale. This is a novel somewhat in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the Planet Tralfamadore, where the flying saucers come from. Peace.

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Washington Square Press Atria
Publishing Date: May 2018
No. of Pages: 385


Reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to write her story, no one is more astounded than Monique herself.

Determined to use this opportunity to jump-start her career, Monique listens in fascination. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to leaving show business in the ’80s – and of course, the seven husbands along the way – Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and great forbidden love. But as Evelyn’s story nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for creating “complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the sobering realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means – and what it costs – to face the truth.

Title: The Hundred Wells of Salaga
Author: Ayesha Harruna Attah
Publisher: Other Press
Publishing Date: 2019
No. of Pages: 225


Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that turns her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman. Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father’s court. Their lives converge as infighting among Wurche’s people threatens the region, during the height of the slave trade at the end of the nineteenth century.

Through the story of these remarkably strong women who challenged the expectations placed on them by society, The Hundred Wells of Salaga offers an intimate, authentic look at what it was like to live and think in Africa before the colonial era. At once heartbreaking and inspiring, this novel is essential for those who loved Homegoing and Things Fall Apart.