I can’t believe that January is all but done! We’re now in the last Wednesday of the first month of 2021. Next week, the love month is commencing! Wow. Wow. I can’t remember doing anything of note this January. But I guess that is fine considering that we are all still in a pandemic-induced lockdown.

As it is midweek, it is also time for my first WWW Wednesday update for the year! 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?

I am currently reading Eka Kurniawan’s Beauty is a Wound. Eka Kurniawan is a name I have never encountered before, until last year, when I say online booksellers selling his works. This piqued my interest, especially after learning that Kurniawan is Indonesian; I don’t think I’ve ever read the works of any Indonesian writers before. Thankfully, I managed to purchase a copy of one of his works recently. Beauty is a Wound is the story of Dewi Ayu, who just from the dead. Parts magical realism, parts historical, it is an eclectic mix. I am just a quarter into the novel but a lot has already happened. I’m excited how the story will pan out.

What have you finished reading?

My current read in my most recent WWW Wednesday post was Anne Tyler’s Redhead by the Side of the Road. It was my first Tyler novel in over a decade but I am admirer of her works, especially after reading Breathing Lessons. In the Man Booker Prize longlisted Redhead by the Side of the Road, she weaves the story of Micah Mortimer, a 44-year old computer technician who is the CEO (and the only employee) of his own company. He is someone who is eccentric, who prefers routines, and who is easily flustered when driven out of his comfort zone. The value of Tyler’s prose lies in her vivid depiction of quotidian day-to-day activities and Redhead by the Side of the Road is no exception. The only lamentation I have is that the book was too short. It was still a satisfying read.

From a Man Booker longlisted book to an actual Man Booker Prize winner. Paul Beatty’s went all the way in 2016 with his novel, The Sellout. A satirical piece, it is narrated by a virtually unanimous narrator who was given the nickname “Sellout” by his peers. At one point, he was called “BonBon” by the bus driver Marpessa. The narrative revolves around the idea of reestablishing a city named Dickens which was swallowed by the developments surrounding it. On top of this, Bonbon wanted to reintroduce segregation and keep a slave named Hominy. There were parts where the novel was brilliant and witty, especially at the start. However, as the novel progressed, it started to drag with its repetitions. Nevertheless, the premise was promising.

What will you read next?

I just ordered a copy of two 2020 books I was really looking forward to. I never got around to purchasing these books because they were not available in the Philippines; it was only recent that copies were available. Nevertheless, I am glad to finally be able to purchase a copy of the 2020 Man Booker Prize winner, Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain. I have been wanting to read this book even before it got named as the winner. The story piqued my interest. Another title that I have been looking forward to is Brandon Taylor’s Real Life. Alongside Shuggie Bain, it was one of the six Man Booker Prize shortlisted books. I can’t wait to delve into these books. I hope I get my copies soon.

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