Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you are all doing well, in body as well as in mind, despite the uncertainty of our circumstances. With the midweek is 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?

I had a slow start to the month because midway, I got sick. Thankfully, I am recovering although I still feel physically week. Anyway, I am trying to regain my lost momentum. I managed to complete two books over the past week and I just now to start Kobo Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes. It is just my fourth read this month and my first of the fabled Japanese writer. I have been looking forward to this classic of Japanese literature because I keep on encountering glowing accounts on it. I do hope it lives up to my expectation, or at least, it offers me a meaningful and distinct reading experience.

What have you finished reading?

As mentioned above, I have completed two novels these past seven days. The first novel I completed was Banana Yoshimoto’s cult classic, Kitchen. It is a title that has come in highly recommended which I needed because I was, honestly, ambivalent about the book at first. And I a glad I overcame my ambivalence for I enjoyed the rather short novel which explored the growing relationship of Mikage Sakurai and Yuichi Tanabe. They both used to be strangers until Mikage’s grandmother died, leaving her without a family. Yuichi and his mother, Eriko, decided to take Mikage into their care. What developed is an unusual relationship that only grew with the passage of time. Kitchen, however, does not reduce itself into a young adult romantic tale as it explored a bevy of heavy subjects such as grief, sorrow, death, and even transsexuality.

Just this evening, I completed Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police. This is my second novel from the Japanese novelist who has seen a steady rise in the global scene over the past few years. The Memory Police was initially published in Japanese in 1994 but was only translated to English last 2019. The translated version would later on be shortlisted for the 2020 Booker International Prize for Fiction. I did love The Professor and the Housekeeper which made me look forward to The Memory Police. A part of the science fiction genre, the latter also seemed to offer a different perspective of Ogawa’s body of art. It did. However, I was not as impressed as I was with the former. The Memory Police was narrated by an anonymous female character who is living in an island. The denizens of the island seem to keep on losing part of their memory. However, there are some unique individuals who are not losing their memories and they are the ones that the so-called memory police is trying to capture. It was an interesting premise but I felt that it was lacking. Besides, the reader must accept things as they are, without any context. The lack of background greatly impacted my appreciation of the entire narrative.

What will you read next?

I would have not added to my growing reading list Genzaburo Yoshino’s How Do You Live? had I not learned earlier this year that popular Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki is currently working on an anime film inspired by this 1937 novel. The curious cat that I am, I immediately purchased a copy of the book and I am looking forward to what the novel has in store. The second novel I have in mind is Yasunari Kawabata’s The Lake. It has been nearly four years since I read any of the Nobel Laureate in Literature’s works. The time is about ripe to immerse in one of his novels.

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