Happy Wednesday everyone! I am hoping and praying that everyone is safe and is enjoying the fourth month of the year. Wednesdays also mean 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?

I am still steadily plodding down the path of Asian Literature. I just finished my second Filipino book for the month and now I am moving to a South East Asian neighboring country, Vietnam. Viet Thanh Nguyen made a remarkable debut in 2015 with The Sympathizer. It was a success as it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction the following year. Five years thence, he is making a literary comeback with The Committed; I was excited when the news was announced. I am still to start the book but I am already looking forward to this novel, the sequel to the aforementioned Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel.

What have you finished reading?

The past week, I managed to complete two novels – one from a familiar name and one from a not so familiar name. The Bastard of Istanbul was the first book by Turkish novelist Elif Shafak that I bought. However, it was her Booker Prize-shortlisted novel, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World that I read first. Nevertheless, the former is a title I have been looking forward to especially learning about the controversy that ensued following its publication. It charts the story of two young women – Asya and Armanoush. Both on the cusp of entering their early twenties. However, both were haunted by their history and as they scavenge the nooks and crannies of modern Istanbul, they uncover secrets they never expected. I liked the premise, especially the theme, about the burden history places on the shoulders of everyone. I find the storytelling a little scattered and inconsistent.

From Turkey, I journeyed back to the Philippines with my first Gina Apostol novel, Insurrecto. It was a book that I kept encountering but, honestly, I kept holding back on the novel. That was until last week when I finally decided to purchase a copy of the book, seeing as it is that I am in the midst of an Asian literature journey. Just like the Shafak novel, Insurrecto was bannered by two female characters – Magsalin, a Filipina translator (Magsalin is literally the Filipino term for “translate”) and Chiara Brasi, an American filmmaker. Like Asya and Armanoush, both were haunted by history. At first, the structure of Insurrecto was befuddling. It defied order as it weaved in and out of different time frames and perspectives. But as one connects the dots, what surfaces is a seminal narrative about colonialism and how it has shaped the story of the locals. Caveat though, the story was “beautified” with deep terms, some familiar, some unfamiliar.

What will you read next?

With a couple of days more before May commences, I am looking at completing as many Asian works as I can. One of my fairly recent purchases is Yasmina Khadra’s The Sirens of Baghdad. I bought within any iota on what it was about, except that the title invited various images in my mind, especially about the American invasion of Saddam Hussein Iraq. Shahrnush Parsipur’s Women Without Men is another recent purchase but a title that has been reeling me in. It is a short book so I think I just might be able to include it this month.

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