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 Air

Calm like a monk, or wild like Aang? Don’t forget to breathe deeply. 💨🍃(Variant: flight)

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

I am going to be a little impertinent once again but to be honest, one of the books that first came to my mind when I learned about this week’s topic was Nobel Laureate in Literature Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. It is the most direct I guess because of the title but the story is less about the air or flights and more about history. Flights is a literary labyrinth that tackled a plethora of subjects. It is a well of information, opinions, and thoughts. It is a meditative and insightful look at several facets of our contemporary lives. Ambitious, innovative, imaginative, and, at times, quirky, it captured everything that Tokarczuk’s prose was capable of, and then some more.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Since I started doing list challenges, one of the most popular books that keep on popping up on these lists is Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Moreover, I keep reading that it is one of the best novels of the 20th century. Basically, Catch-22 is an anti-war novel written by Heller, who once served as a bombardier during the Second World War, to serve as his memoir. He did this by writing a narrative that goes around in loops, stirring confusion mixed with a humor that is uniquely Heller’s. Heller takes the readers across the war through Yossarian, a B-25 bombardier stationed on the small island of Pianosa off the Italian mainland.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

In a way, Maggie Shipstead’s 2021 Booker Prize-shortlisted novel Great Circle shared similarities with Catch-22. Great Circle explored the story of a young woman who flew planes during the Second World War. There was also a lot of flying in Great Circle as the story was inspired by female aviatrix such as Amy Johnson, Elinor Smith, and, unsurprisingly, Amelia Earhart. It was also a complex novel about female empowerment captured through the lenses of two women who want to take control of their individual destinies.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

But of course, one of my all-time favorite reads, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. This is strictly not a book about flights or air but the titular prince does travel from one galaxy to another. The Little Prince is a beloved literary classic, a book that has left a deep impression on me. It is a book that is good for young kids and also for adults because its profound messages are timeless. And yes, Saint-Exupéry worked as a commercial pilot before World War II.