And just like that, we’re on the last Wednesday of the year! What a year it has been and although there is a lot that has happened, there is also a lot to be thankful for. Tomorrow is New Year’s eve and the day after that we are welcoming 2021. This is the second consecutive year I am celebrating New Year away from hope. Thankfully, I have hometown and high school friends I can celebrate the new year with. How about you friends, what do you have planned for New Year? I hope you enjoy whatever you have planned.

As it is midweek, it is also time for another 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:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What have you finished reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What are you currently reading?

All is fair in love and KPop.” So I am closing the year with an unusual pick! Haha. To the uninitiated, Jessica was a member of popular KPop girl group Girl’s Generation/SNSD. SNSD was one of the groups that ushered in the Hallyu wave (together with other KPop acts like Shinee, Big Bang, Wonder Girls, Super Junior among others). However, Jessica was unceremoniously kicked out of the group in 2014. She has since then worked as a solo act.

Okay that’s enough KPop today; yes, I am a KPop fan. I wasn’t planning on reading Jessica Jung’s debut novel. However, after reading some positive reviews from non-Kpop fan book bloggers, I was convinced to pick up the book and read it. I was wondering what it has in store. It was both what I expected it and not expected it to be. It revolves around Rachel, a KPop trainee on the cusp of debuting as the next KPop star. The depiction of trainee life and the pressures that come with it were vividly depicted in the story. I am not very sure with the Romance part because it somehow reduces the novel’s impact. I am starting to think that it is going to be another Crazy Rich Asian book. I sure hope not.

What have you finished reading?

I a capping the year with “new books”. In the past week, I managed to complete two books, starting with Sahar Mustafah’s The Beauty of Your Face. I listed the book as one of my 2020 Top 10 Books I Look Forward To and for good reason. I think it is the third novel I’ve read this year that has references to Palestine (after McCann’s Apeirogon and Rum’s A Woman is No Man). The story is centered on a shooting incident in a Muslim girl’s school. The story weaves in and out of the past and the present to build a context to the story, with particular emphasis on the story of Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian migrants. The novel had several strong points but it lost me on some points. It was, nonetheless, a riveting read.

Charlotte McConaghy’s Migrations is another book I wasn’t planning on buying and reading. I was not even familiar with the author. However, many a literary pundit kept saying that it was the best, if not one of the best books of 2020. I just had to find out for myself why it is touted as the best book of the year. Basically, it is the story of Franny Stone who travelled from Ireland to Greenland with one purpose on mind – to trail the last Arctic terns on what is perhaps their last migration to Antarctica. But the novel is more than just that. As Franny’s story starts to unravel, several elements such as mystery, suspense, and romance start to surface, belying a deceptively thin novel. I must say that Migrations is an interesting read.

What will you read next?

These books will have to wait until 2021 before I get to read them. David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue and Jing-Jing Lee’s How We Disappeared are two of the most praised books this year. I love Mitchell’s genre-bending narratives I wasn’t really keen on reading or buying Utopia Avenue. I changed my mind after encountering how literary pundits kept on recommending the book. I think I came across How We Disappeared through a fellow book blogger. Shortlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction, my blogger-friend recommended it as a more deserving winner. My interest and curiosity were both piqued because I liked Hamnet.

Thus concludes another WWW Wednesday update! I hope everyone is having a great midweek! Do keep safe and as always, enjoy reading! Happy new year everyone!