Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clézio

Blurb from Goodreads

Wandering Star tells two discrete stories of two young girls, one Jewish and one Palestinian, who meet once briefly by chance. Their stories are connected by substance, rather than plot. Each is a wandering star in search of a homeland—Esther escaping the Nazi Holocaust, and Nejma, who experiences the horrors of life in the camps. Yet through this novel of dark times and human suffering, affirmation shines as the characters encounter the beauty of nature and instances of human kindness and love.

Wandering Star (A Lannan Translation Selection) received extraordinary critical praise in France. Pierre Lepape extolled it in Le Monde, noting that Le Clezio neither moralizes nor takes a political stance: “He goes much farther than that, much deeper; he seeks the signs of human misery and of potential peace at the very heart of life, in a confrontation with time and the elements; with the sun and the earth, with birth and death, with the mystery of origins and the enigma of the future, with the necessity of both remembering and forgetting, without which nothing can be healed.”

Author of over thirty novels, essays, story collections, and translations, J.M.G. Le Clezio and his wife share their time between Albuquerque, New Mexico, the island of Mauritius, and Nice, France. He is the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature

Why I Want To Read It

Happy first day of the week everyone! I can’t believe that it is already the last week of October! We are just two months away from 2022. I am both anxious and excited about what the new year has in store. The past week has been challenging as one of the actors I am looking up to got involved in a scandal that basically canceled him. It was a whirlwind of emotions, especially when he apologized. I was upset, disappointed, sad, angry. It was the entire spectrum of emotions. But when I started evaluating the accusations leveled against him, I started noting inconsistencies. It made me feel better when I learned I wasn’t the only one who saw his kindness. And yes, his friends and colleagues are showing their support by sharing their testimonies and pictures with him. The controversy hasn’t fully died down yet but I hope that things will be better and that he will start reflecting and healing soon. I hope the same for everyone as well! I hope we will all end the year healthy, and with a bang.

The first day of the week also means another Goodreads Monday update. For now, I have decided to feature books that I have recently added to my perpetually growing reading list. From Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Paradise to Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters, I am featuring another unfamiliar author in Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, or more popularly known as J.M.G. Le Clézio. I didn’t realize that he is a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (2008). It was only I researched about him did I learn about this. By then, I was already contemplating purchasing Wandering Star, a book put on sale by one of many online booksellers I follow in my social media accounts.

In what has now become familiar about French novelists, the story commences during the Second World War. With two teenage girls – and interestingly, one is Jewish and one is Palestinian – I do detect hints of a coming-of-age story that intertwines with the various elements of history. Apart from the fact that I have never read any of the French writer’s works before, these elements make the novel more appealing to me. I already have scenarios forming in my head. With the themes it purports to explore, I am reminded of a more recent novel, Colum McCann’s Apeirogon.

And yes, I am curious about Le Clézio after reading the Nobel Committee’s citation for his Nobel win: “author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization”. How about you fellow reader? What book has recently caught your interest? I hope you could share in the comment box. For now, have a great start to the week! I hope and pray that we all end October in a high note.