Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I’d Buy Right This Second If Given A Gift Card

It’s been a long while since my last Top Ten Tuesday Post. As you know, it’s a meme hosted by the guys at BrokeandBookish

As you can see from the title, today’s Top Ten is about the books I’d buy immediately if given the chance. I’ll fly to England in mid-September for my last year at university. As I’ll arrive for fresher’s week, I won’t have any lecture, so I might find a day and go to the bookshops in London to buy some books (I can very well buy them online, but nothing beats the experience of buying from bookshops, especially when you hardly have any in your country). These are the titles I’ll especially be looking for:

1.The Garden of the Evening Mist – Tan Twan Eng

I was checking a list on goodreads of all the books ever shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It didn’t surprise me that many of them didn’t have good reviews, as most of them tend to be very abstract and thus may not really appeal to the general public. However it didn’t escape my eye that The Garden of the Evening Mist got 4.1/5 as rating and is written by somebody from Malaysia. Tan Twan Eng did his studies in England, which is not surprising at all, given the huge number of Malaysians I’ve encountered in my university alone. I know that English is not their primary language, and I want to read this book for this very reason: Twan Eng wrote his novel in a secondary language and he must have been very good at this, since his work was shortlisted for the Booker and garnered some other awards.

2.What is the What – Dave Eggers

From Wikipedia: ”It is based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese child refugee who immigrated to the United States under the Lost Boys of Sudan program. It was a finalist for the National Book Award.” After reading The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which I absolutely adored, I wanted to read more about events in history which are seldom given any attention by the media. This is how I spotted this book on goodreads. I’m quite convinced it will be very enlightening.

3.The Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet 

So, the Booker Prize longlist is out. I checked the books on it a bit (first their blurbs and then what people said about them), and, while there are many good books I fancied, The Bloody Project is for me the one which stands out the most. It is already proving hugely popular and I won’t be surprised if we find it in the shortlist. The story is very endearing as the blurb is very intriguing without given too much away.

4.The North Water – Ian McGuire

Another book on the Booker longlist that caught my eye. The blurb makes you really want to read it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was slightly reminded of Moby Dick! Except I hated Moby Dick and hope I will like this one.Oh, I nearly forgot. It was praised by none other than Dame Hilary Mantel (a two-time back-to-back Booker winner). You can see what she said on the cover.

5.All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Need I say anything at all about this book? It is still all over the place. It was a finalist of the National Book Award and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2015. It garnered many other prizes as well. Given the reception it received, I might be tempted to think of it as one the decade’s best books, but I will have to read it first, of course. Everybody who’s read it loved it!

6.The Periodic Table – Primo Levi

I stumbled upon it many times here and there, but never thought much of it, as I always thought Primo Levi to be too boring for me (I thought his writing would not be modern enough). But when I went to Waterstones in April I picked the book and read what it was about. It is a collection of short stories which draws heavily from his time at Auschwitz. From Wikipedia: ”Every story, 21 in total, has the name of a chemical element and is connected to it in some way.” It is also said to be the best science book ever.

7.The Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

It featured in the Booker longlist the year it was published. It got very good reviews and is the debut novel of Ngozi Adichie. The woman is pretty talented and went on to write two other well-known books, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah. So, it’ll be interesting to see how she fared as a debut writer.

8.Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee – Dee Brown

I remember, when I was still new to the Folio Society, how interested I was with this book. What it was about hit me hard, but because of its price, I went for more affordable books. Hmm, recently there has been this terrible attack in Orlando, and many people were saying how the attack is the worst mass shooting in US history, but just as many other individuals were quick to point out that the Orlando massacre is second worst to the Wounded Knee massacre. As I said earlier, I loved The Narrow Road to the Deep North because it gave me a glimpse into life as a POW under the tyranny of the Japanese. I want to read Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee because I wish to get a thorough understanding of what was lost and destroyed.

9.Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage – Alice Munro

Alice Munro is one my favourite authors. I have read Too Much Happiness and Dear Life so far, and I don’t know why, I’ve just decided to make this book my next read from her. I know it won’t disappoint!

10.The Accidental – Ali Smith

This one intrigues me a lot. It reminds me of those bizarre German movies with deep meanings.It was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize upon its release. I’ve heard mitigated things about Ali Smith, but I will try to read it and see….


10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I’d Buy Right This Second If Given A Gift Card”

  1. Some good choices in your list, especially Purple Hibiscus. I’m similarly keen to read the two 2016 Man Booker titles you selected…. just need time!

    1. I hope Purple Hibiscus will be good,especially since it was her debut novel.
      For the two Booker titles, hmm, I get a feeling that the two will make the shortlist. If you look at reviews and ratings, His Bloody Project, if shortlisted, will be hot favourite.

      1. I don’t think His Bloody Project will win … but don’t go placing bets on my say so because I don’t have a good track record!

    1. Oh, you tend to know all those great but lesser known little books! So, I’m not surprised one bit that you’ve read and liked The Periodic Table! I hope I will like it too!

  2. Ali Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are good choices (and I’m saying that when I haven’t even read the titles that you’ve mentioned. They’re that good!) And you’re right about AtLWCS, EVERYONE who has read it loves it. It’s amazing. Absolutely amazing. I read it earlier this year and was astounded. It’s now one of my all-time favourites! Hope you like it too when you get around to buying/reading it.

    1. I hope I will like these two, because there are many other books they’ve written that look nice!

      As for All the Light We Cannot See, I’m sure it will be a superb read. I will read it during the holidays in December, because reading it during uni time won’t do it justice, I believe. I could have read it during the last 4 weeks of holidays I am now currently left with, but naturally my local bookshops don’t have the book.

      By the way, you should read The Narrow to the Deep North one day. It is unforgettable. A really,really great book! (One of the best I’ve read)

      And it’s a big pleasure to know you’re from Pakistan. Always nice to be able to converse with somebody from a big country! 🙂

      1. I bought The Narrow Road to the Deep North after it won the Booker but never got around to reading it, now I will! Aww, thanks!

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