It is the first day of September everyone! We are just 121 days from a new year. As the year slowly approaches its conclusion, I hope you all receive what you have been praying for or what you have been working hard on. Let’s rock the last four months of 2021. Despite these challenging, I hope you are all doing well, in mind, body, and spirit.

As it is Wednesday, I am going to share a new 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?

Earlier this year, Torrey Peters’ Detransition, Baby stirred quite the controversy when it was longlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Several literary pundits, however, contested Peters’ inclusion in the list, thus, piquing my interest. I actually encountered the book before the controversy, when I was looking for books to include in my 2021 Books I Look Forward To list. It was initially part of my list but I guess there were too many interesting works that in the end, I excluded it from the list. On the surface, the premise of Detransition, Baby sounds a little complex. Ames impregnated his girlfriend-slash-boss, Katrina. Katrina’s pregnancy, however, came as a surprise to Ames and the past started to threaten their stability. It is interesting how Peters will steer the narrative.

What have you finished reading?

In the past week, I managed to complete two books. The first one was Eric Nguyen’s debut novel, Things We Lost to the Water, a book which piqued my interest after encountering it in Twitter. I was not originally planning on reading the book but since it is available over here, I decided I might as well read it. It was, after all, listed by no less than former US President Barack Obama in his 2021 summer reading list. The story of Hương, and her two sons, Tuấn and Bình. Tackling the refugee crisis that ensued the end of the Vietnamese War in the late 1970s, the novel resonates in the present because of the recent Afghan refugee crisis. I liked the prose although the novel could use some more elucidations. It focused mostly on the pivotal moments in the characters’ lives but barely gives insights on how they reached point B from point A. It was still a promising read.

Zakiya Dalila Harris’ The Other Black Girl was another debut novel that I was looking forward to. I even included it in my 2021 Books I Look Forward To List. The positive feedback it received following its publication further raised my anticipation in the book. In The Other Black Girl, we meet Nella Rogers, an editorial assistant working for one of the largest and most prominent publication houses, Wagner Books. However, she noted that her workplace was lacking in diversity; she was the only black girl in the office. She committed to redress this concern through diversity talks. One day, Hazel-May McCall joined the company, joining Nella as company’s second black girl under its employ. A mixture of psychological and mystery fiction, The Other Black Girl was a slow burn but promising. I did find the writing a little rough on the edges. Whilst the social commentaries were on point, I wasn’t totally impressed by the story.

What will you read next?

Like The Other Black Girl, Nadia Owusu’s Aftershocks is part of my 2021 Books I Look Forward To List. In my four years of doing the reading list, Aftershocks is just the second nonfiction book. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to this memoir, which is going to be my second for the year, after Nobel Laureate in Literature Wole Soyinka’s Aké: The Years of Childhood. After Aftershocks, I am lining up Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This, a book that has caught my attention after it was shortlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction. It has also been longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize. The attention it has gained from literary pundits make me look forward to the book, which, from what I understand, tackles with timely concerns. I do hope it lives up to the hype.

That’s it for this week’s WWW Wednesday. I hope you are all doing great. Happy reading and always stay safe! Happy Wednesday again!