Happy midweek everyone! And in the blink of an eye, we are already on the last Wednesday of May. I hope you are all having a great day and a great week. I am wishing everyone a happy Wednesday! 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 about to start my next book as I just finished reading Julia Alvarez’ How The Garcia Sisters Lost Their Accents. The Feast of the Goat is going to be my second novel by Nobel Laureate in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, after The War of the End of the World which I read about three years ago. The novel is an account of Dominican Republic’s contemporary history and, surprisingly, is a mixture of some elements of my last two reads (Dominican Republic and dictators). I am about to start reading the book and I can’t wait to see what it has in store.

What have you finished reading?

Despite a sluggish week, I managed to complete two books. The first book I completed was my current read during last week’s WWW Wednesday update. August Roa Bastos’ I The Supreme was a random purchase after my curiosity was piqued by the books’ cover and title; I bought it sans any iota on what the book was although the cover and the title is a giveaway on what it was about. I The Supreme is a complex read, not really an easy one. It was for this reason that I had to slow down my pace to be able to immerse in what the story was about. There was technically no clear plot but the novel details the early years of the newly independent Republic of Paraguay. I The Supreme pertains to Paraguay’s first dictator, José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia. It is also a seminal text in the ambit of the Latin American dictator novels. Reading the novel reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s The Autumn of the Patriarch which also deals with a dictator and has a complex structure. Despite the challenging theme and structure, I The Supreme is a vivid cautionary tale about the insatiable appetite for power.

Julia Alvarez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents is the antithesis of I The Supreme, at least in terms of technical complexity. Like I The Supreme, this was my first novel by Alvarez, a novelist who caught my interest with her 2020 novel, Afterlife which was part of my 2020 Top Books I Look Forward To List. It was, unfortunately, the only book that I was not able to read from the list. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents charts the story of four sisters – Carla, Sandra (Sandi), Yolanda (Yoyo), and Sofia (Fifi) – whose family moved to the United States following the increased surveillance by Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo’s forces. Alvarez’s contribution to works dealing with the immigrant experience, it detailed particular and vivid experiences by the four sisters following their sudden retreat from their island nation. I liked the premise of the novel and some of the characters were engaging. However, the novel did tend to meander and it was never always clear who was narrating the story.

What will you read next?

In line for me are two authors and titles who I am not both familiar with. Chilean novelist Jose Donoso’s A House in the Country was a title that piqued my interest while browsing through an online book seller’s books for sale. I found it interesting and I even featured it in my Goodreads Monday update. A couple of months after my random purchase, I encountered the book in a list which heralded it as one of the best books about South America. The second novel I am looking forward to is Cherie Jones’ How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House. At the start of the year, while browsing for books to include in my 2021 Top Books I Look Forward To List, this debut novel immediately caught my attention. It is set in Barbados and was also recently shortlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction. This is also going to be my first book from my 2021 Top Books I Look Forward To List and I look forward to the experience.

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