It’s midweek again! That means one thing, a WWW Wednesday update! WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme originally hosted by SAM@TAKING ON A WORLD OF WORDS. The mechanics for WWW Wednesday is quite simple; you just have to answer three questions:
- What are you currently reading?
- What have you finished reading?
- What will you read next?
What are you currently reading?
I’ve been ticking off some books from my 2020 reading challenges. With Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, I completed by 2020 Beat the Backlist Challenge. I am now endeavoring to complete my 2020 Top 20 Reading List. I am now down to my last three books in the list. I just started reading Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings yesterday. The winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize, this is my first James novel. Honestly, the title piqued my interest more than the award it is associated with.
The story begins in 1976 Kingston, Jamaica (which is perhaps more famous for Bob Marley). The story follows different perspective and it took me a while to catch up. The first 100 pages doesn’t give much story as I believe James is slowly building up for a grand explosion midway through the narrative. I am hoping so for I have about 600 pages more.
What have you finished reading?
In the past seven days, I managed to complete three books, all of which are part of my 2020 Top 20 Reading List. The first one I have completed is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. I felt like it lacked flow but then I was reminded that it is a collection of various works which are independent of each other. Even though they are independent of each other, these sections build the history of Middle Earth. Rather than relying on a single plot, it relies more on Tolkien’s world building, which I must say is breathtaking. Well, what can we expect from a writer who built Middle Earth from his imagination?
My next two books transported me to a different world, to the heart of the Second World War. Art Spiegelman’s Maus is my second graphic novel, after Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. It relates the story of Artie’s parents’, Vladek and Anja, experiences during the Holocaust, from the Polish ghettos to Auschwitz, and eventually the United States. The graphics are vivid and entertaining but the details are even richer, heartbreaking even. I know we’ve read and heard a lot of stories of Holocaust survivors but the experience is always gut-wrenching.
Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française is also about the Second World War. The story starts in Paris, when its denizens were fleeing from Germany soldiers who are marching towards the city. It follows the journeys of a score of characters. It also details their experiences during the German occupation. The published novel is in two parts but original transcripts suggest that it was supposed to be in five parts. Unfortunately, before Némirovsky could complete the novel, she was gassed in the chambers of Auschwitz.
What will you read next?
Once I complete A Brief History of Killings, I am down to my last two novels in my 2020 Top 20 Reading List. One of the last two is Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists which is a book I randomly picked up during the 2018 Big Bad Wolf Book Fair. Listed as part of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die List, I read the book contains some autobiographical elements. I am reserving the last book in the said list, Peter Nadas’ Parallel Stories, later in the year.
From the 2020 Top 20 Reading List, I want to focus next on my 2020 Top 10 Books I Look Forward To list. My experience in the past two years showed that I have never managed to complete this challenge because some of the books are unavailable in my local bookstore. Thankfully, after purchasing and reading two books from the list, I was able to cop two more titles from the list – Frances Cha’s If I Had Your Face and Emily St. John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel. They’re my first works from the respective authors which make me look forward to them.
And thus concludes another WWW Wednesday update! I hope everyone is having a great midweek! Do keep safe and as always, enjoy reading!