Just like that, we are already midway through September. Since it is a Wednesday, it is also time for 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 am just about to start reading this new novel from Vietnamese writer Nguyễn Phan Quế. I can’t recall where I encountered it; I think it was through my local bookstore. It didn’t register at first but when I researched more about it, I made a conviction to read it. Besides, I am on a roll reading “new books”, i.e. books published in the same year. The Mountains Sing is actually going to be my ninth new book, although one of these books is the initial English translation; the original book was published in its original language in 2019. Nine (and still counting) is the most new books I had. The Mountains Sing seem to be an interesting narrative for it deals with the modern history of our neighbor, Vietnam. I am starting to like Vietnamese authors.
What have you finished reading?
Again, I managed to read two books in the past week. Yay me! HAHA. Both books were published this year, which is really uncharacteristic of a backlist reader like me.
The Night Watchman is my first Louise Erdrich. The novel was inspired by the story of Erdrich’s grandfather who once served as a night watchman in the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation. The novel has several strands but the main story line is about the struggles of Indians and how they stepped up in order to overcome a government decree that was meant to impede on their rights and on their lands. Erdrich’s writing has a certain quality that is quite difficult to describe. For a first Erdrich, it was, interesting? It was good but I found it a little lukewarm; it didn’t inspire any strong feelings within me.
Colum McCann’s Apeirogon, is my eight new book of the year. I just bought it last Saturday but immediately delved in it for one reason – it comes in highly recommended and is longlisted for the 2020 Man Booker Prize (unfortunately, it wasn’t shortlisted). Unlike The Night Watchman, Apeirogon inspired several strong emotions. At the heart of it, it is the story of two fathers – Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin. It is the story of modern Israel and Palestine. It is the heartbreaking story of grief and loss and how we deal with the dark forces that surround us. It is an insightful and thought-provoking, although challenging, read. And yes, Elhanan and Aramin are actual figures who endeavor to build peace between the two nations.
What will you read next?
The Mountains Sing and Anxious People arrived by delivery today, hence, the reason why they are in line for my reading. It is also a part of my endeavor to read more “new books”. Anxious People is going to be second Backman, after A Man Called Ove. Backman is also set to become just the second author who I have read at least two of his/her works this year (the first one was Salman Rushdie). I loved A Man Called Ove and I am hoping that Anxious People will carry the same humor and relaxed energy.
And thus concludes another WWW Wednesday update! I hope everyone is having a great midweek! Do keep safe and as always, enjoy reading!