Happy midweek everyone! As it is Wednesday, I am going to share a new WWW Wednesday update. Guess what? I have reached my 100th WWW Wednesday update! Wow! How time flies! Anyway, 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:
- What are you currently reading?
- What have you finished reading?
- What will you read next?
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Anuk Arudpragasam’s A Passage North. I have not encountered Arudpragasam previously nor have I read any of his works. It was 2021 Booker Prize, for which it was longlisted, that introduced me to this novel. I am thankful that I got to have a copy of the book without much ado. It charts the story of Krishan after receiving a call from home about the death of his grandmother’s caretaker, Rani. What ensued is a montage of flashbacks, of people Krishan met, and the story of his family. Despite the long and descriptive paragraphs, the story flowed seamlessly. We see Krishan in Sri Lanka, then in India, then in Sri Lanka but it was never an issue. Honestly, the opening paragraph alone was enough to capture my interest. A couple of paragraphs more, I was convinced that the book is Booker Prize worthy. Lo and behold! A day or two after I started the novel, I learned it was announced as one of six shortlisted works for the prestigious literary prize! A Passage North is actually my third novel from the longlist and the second from the shortlist.
What have you finished reading?
After Nobel Laureate in Literature Wole Soyinka’s Aké: The Years of Childhood, Aftershocks was my second memoir for the year; this is the most nonfiction I have read in a year. Aftershocks was also the fifth book from my 2021 Books I Look Forward To List. In her memoir, Owusu recall her childhood with particular emphasis on her relationship with her father. Her mother abandoned them when she was younger and was mostly a phantom her entire existence. Because of the nature of her father’s job, Owusu lived a peripatetic existence which made her settle in cosmopolitan cities like London and Rome to the urbanities of Africa like Addis Ababa, Kampala and Dar es Salaam. I enjoyed the details of history of which she has been part of although I am still a little unsure of the leitmotif involving earthquakes. The discourse on mental health is also relevant.
Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This was my second novel from the 2021 Booker Prize longlist, after Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun. Coincidentally, No One Is Talking About This was my first from the shortlist. My interest has been piqued by the novel as I have encountered it earlier this year in the bookstore, and a couple of months later, it was shortlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction. So hop into the bandwagon I did. The urgency of the novels’ structure reminds me of Twitter where everyone tries to be as concise and as urgent as possible. It is understandable for the novel explored the impact of social media and of the world wide web in our lives. By keeping the primary character anonymous, Lockwood is an allusion to how she can be anyone of us. It is a satire of our times, an honest and timely diagnosis of how our lives are slowly being sucked into what the novel called as the “Portal”. I felt the second part of the novel was a little disjoined from the urgency of the first part.
What will you read next?
In line for my reading are two more books from the 2021 Booker Prize longlist, the copies of which I have just received today (Yay!). The first one is Francis Spufford’s Light Perpetual which I have also listed as part of my 2021 Books I Look Forward To List. Imagine my delight when the novel was announced as part of the longlist. Reading it is like hitting two birds with one stone. The second novel I have in line is Sunjeev Sahota’s China Room, which like A Passage North, is a title I would have not encountered had it not been for the longlist. I am highly anticipating both books even though I am also a little reticent on the fact that I have never read any of their works before. On the other hand, both are works of historical fiction so they are just right my alley.
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!