Happy midweek everyone! Today is also the last Wednesday of the ninth month of the year. In two days, we are entering the last quarter of the year. Wow. Three more months before a new year commences. But before the year ends, I do hope you reap the benefits of everything you worked hard for this year. More importantly, I hope you are all doing well, in body, mind, 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 today, I have completed Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle and now I am about to embark on a new reading journey with my fourth novel from the 2021 Booker Prize shortlist, Nadifa Mohamed’s The Fortune Men. Just like most of the books from the longlist, I have never encountered Mohamed previously but her book was one of the titles that immediately stood out for me; I even featured it in my Goodreads Monday post. A work of historical fiction, I have high hopes for the book. I have just completed a couple of paragraphs but what is standing out is literary quality of the prose. It is a little raw but I don’t mind. I will offer more of my impressions on my next First Impression Friday post.

What have you finished reading?

Of the thirteen books in the Booker Prize longlist, one of the books that I was looking forward to was Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle. The raving reviews made me curious about the book but I was kind of hesitant for I have never read any of Shipstead’s works before. Its longlisting, and eventual shortlisting, finally convinced me to pick the book. At nearly 600 pages, it is, so far, the longest book from the longlist. The narrative zeroes in on the story of Marian Graves, a female pilot who dreamt of circumnavigating the globe. Born in the early 20th century, she and her twin brother were abandoned by both parents and was raised by their uncle, Wallace in Missoula, Montana. Almost a century later, Hadley Baxter was cast to play Marian’s role in a new film about the female pilot’s life. There were several interesting parts of the story, such as its exploration of the role of female pilots during the Second World War. However, I felt like the story was too long and Marian’s circumnavigation didn’t start to materialize until the last 80 or so pages of the book. There were too many details, some unnecessary. It was still a good read but Shipstead’s blunders watered down its overall impact.

P.S. I thought Marian was a real person. HAHA!

What will you read next?

In line are two more books longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize. The first one is is Sunjeev Sahota’s China Room. It is another work of historical fiction, which, I have just learned, involves two timelines – the past and the present. The longlist sure is abound with works of historical fiction; not that I am complaining. The second novel I have in line is Nathan Harris’ debut novel The Sweetness of Water. Again, it is another work of historical fiction, which will make it my fifth in a row; my streak started with Francis Spufford’s Light Perpetual. This time, the story will take me to the American Civil War. Historical fiction is, I have observed, transfixed on wars but this is something understandable for even in the contemporary, wars, discords and disagreements remain prevalent.

I am also hoping to have The Sweetness of Water as my springboard for my next literary journey: works of American literature. With the year drawing to a close, I am shifting my focus to ticking off books from my reading lists. 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!