Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.


This week’s book:

Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada

9781846276316Blurb from Goodreads:

Memoirs of a Polar Bear stars three generations of talented writers and performers―who happen to be polar bears.

Three generations (grandmother, mother, son) of polar bears are famous as both circus performers and writers in East Germany: they are polar bears who move in human society, stars of the ring and of the literary world. In chapter one, the grandmother matriarch in the Soviet Union accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography. In chapter two, Tosca, her daughter (born in Canada, where her mother had emigrated) moves to the DDR and takes a job in the circus. Her son―the last of their line―is Knut, born in chapter three in a Leipzig zoo but raised by a human keeper in relatively happy circumstances in the Berlin zoo, until his keeper, Matthias, is taken away…

Happy or sad, each bear writes a story, enjoying both celebrity and “the intimacy of being alone with my pen.”

Why I Want to Read It

Through independent online booksellers, I’ve come across Yoko Tawada’s Memoirs of a Polar Bear. Despite the number of times I came across the book, I never bothered about it nor did it create much of an impression. Everything changed when I came across  Tawada’s name, but under a different light. On the lead up to the awarding of the 2018/2019 Nobel Prize in Literature citing, I read articles on the possible winners. To my surprise, Tawada’s name popped out in one of these articles.

Being the curious cat that I am, I wanted to know what the buzz is about. As a result, I bought her first book I encountered in the bookstore, which happens to be Memoirs of a Polar Bear. Upon second serving, I begin to notice how the title is meant to incite curiosity and interest; I initially thought that it is a children’s book. Currently, I am thinking about including the book in my 2020 Top 20 Reading List.

One thing is making me apprehensive, however. I just saw how low it was rated in Goodreads. Its average rating is 3.40/5.00 stars. Hmmm. That’s something to consider but it definitely will not keep me from reading the book.