Happy midweek everyone! And it is the last Wednesday of October! In a couple of more days, we will be welcoming the 11th month of the year. Wow, how time flies. Before we know it, we will already be welcoming a new year. But before the year ends, I hope you all reap the benefits of everything you have worked hard for in the past 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?

With the year drawing to a close, I am shifting my focus to ticking off books from my active reading lists. For my 2021 Beat the Backlist Challenge, of which I am performing very badly, one of the books I listed with William S. Burrough’s Naked Lunch, a book I bought during the 2018 Big Bad Wolf Book Fair. I have not read any of his works before but his association with Jack Kerouac is making me curious about what he has in store. I am already done with about sixty pages and the book, with its exploration of drugs, reminds me both of On the Road and David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. I want to know how the story pans out. I will probably share more inputs in this week’s First Impression Friday update.

What have you finished reading?

For the second consecutive week, I managed to complete two books. The first book I completed was Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman, a book that is part of my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. The author of the Pulitzer Prize winning literary classic and one of the all-time most popular titles, To Kill A Mockingbird, Lee has not released any major work until 2015, with Go Set A Watchman. However, the book’s publication was the subject of several controversies which made me apprehensive about reading the book. Nevertheless, I decided to check out what it has in store. Jean Louise Finch, or Scout, who we first met as a teenager, is not a full-fledged adult. She now works in New York City but decided to go home to Maycomb, Alabama to check on her aging father. Little did she know that the vacation she was looking forward to is an unimaginable tableau of revelations and confessions. This book challenges everything we thought we knew about To Kill A Mockingbird. It is almost as if it is its own book. It was interesting, especially if you have read Lee’s masterpiece.

Richard Powers is another Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, bringing home the bacon in 2019 with his 2018 novel, The Overstory. I have actually encountered The Overstory before but decided against buying it because I have no iota on who Powers was and the book is out of my reading comfort zone. A couple of months later, I would encounter Powers again, and now through the 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction. His latest novel, Bewilderment, was longlisted, and eventually shortlisted for the prestigious literary award. Without more ado, I added Bewilderment to my 2021 reading list and, thankfully, I managed to purchase a copy of the book before the announcement of the 2021 winner on November 3. My fifth of six shortlisted book, the novel introduces the readers to Theo Byrne, an astrobiologist. He lost his wife Aly to a car accident and is now taking care of their only son, Robin, or Robbie as he would fondly refer to him. Nine-year-old Robin was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The interesting father and son dynamics was juxtaposed on several political concerns. Both elements enriched the book.

What will you read next?

With my American literature reading journey in full swing, I have lined up writers whose works I have never read before. The first one is James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On the Mountain, a book I keep encountering in several must-read lists, such as the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. It is highly-regarded that it was no-brainer adding it to my reading list. The book I have next in line is the final and missing piece in my 2021 Booker Prize shortlist. Like most of the nominated writers in this year’s Booker Prize, I have never encountered South African writer Damon Galgut before. However, I have come across several positive feedback on his books which make me look forward to reading The Promise. I hope I get to read it before the announcement of the 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction winner.

With this lineup of books, I am simultaneously ticking off books on my reading lists and reading challenges. With the year drawing to a close, I am looking at completing my reading lists and reading challenges. 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!