Happy midweek everyone! It is the first Wednesday of November and the month end closing is nearly done! Thankfully! Accountants are heroes of this time indeed. Cheers fellow accountants. (HAHA) We’re now off to the last months of 2021. While many look forward to the new year, accountants only see a series of unfortunate events, from the tediousness of the year end closing, to the financial audit, to the annual reporting requirements, to meeting the April 15 deadline. We have quite a lot to do! But before we get lost in the swirl of activities, I hope we will all reap the benefits of everything we have worked hard for in the past year. More importantly, I hope we are all stay healthy, in body, mind, and spirit, so that we greet the new year brimming with enthusiasm and energy.

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?

I have just completed all six books shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize; the first time that I managed to do so. With this off my checklist, it is now time to focus on ticking off books from my active reading challenges, especially that the year is drawing to a close. Of the 21 books listed in my 2021 Top 21 Reading List, I have managed to read a measly 13 books. As such, I have to pick up pace so that I can complete the eight remaining books, starting with Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. The winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, her novel Flights was one of the books I purchased at the bookstore before lockdowns were implemented. Over a year later, most of the Philippines is still in lockdown. I just started reading my second Tokarczuk novel this morning but I have made quite a progress. The pace is quick which helped me cover a significant ground. The story is a little disjointed for what is unfolding are snippets of different events involving different people. I surmise that somewhere down the road, all of these arcs will intersect. I will provide more of my insights in this week’s First Impression Friday update.

What have you finished reading?

I am slowly regaining the reading momentum I have lost because of the tediousness of September. It is as well for I have a lot of catching up to do, starting with William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, a book I purchased at the 2018 Big Bad Wolf Sale. I first came across Burroughs through must-read lists which included some of his works. I also encountered him through his friend Jack Kerouac. He was one of the characters in Kerouac’s influential work, On The Road. Along with Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, he is known as one of the contributors to the Beatnik Generation. Naked Lunch was no easy read although it did tackle familiar subjects such as addiction and homosexuality in the context of the author’s own experiences. It lacked a solid plot but Burroughs managed to engage me. I guess the introduction and the postscripts helped me in understanding the relevance of the novel.

I finally completed all six shortlisted novels for the 2021 Booker Prize with Damon Galgut’s The Promise. This is a feat for I have never managed to read all shortlisted works prior to the announcement of the winner; the winner will be announced later today. Of the six books, The Promise is one of the most-mentioned as possible winner. I have been reading nothing but praises for the novel, Galgut’s third work to be shortlisted for the prestigious literary award. The story is predicated on a promise made the patriarch of the Swart family to his wife on her deathbed. He promised to give to their house help, Salome the house in the farm that she has been occupying. What ensued is a story that followed the members of the Swart family over a period of almost four decades. I liked the fluid flow of the prose, although I had trouble with the lack of quotation marks. I am not a fan of the book but I can see why many are rooting for it to win this year’s Booker Prize. I also saw glimpses of some of the previous winners in the book.

What will you read next?

I already had an American literature month so I am shifting to European literature next. It is also one of the reasons why I picked Flights over James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On The Mountain. From Flights, I am looking at traveling to Greece from Poland with my first Nikos Kazantzakis novel, Zorba the Greek. It does sound like a light read, at least I hope so. From Greece, Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog will transport me to France. I have been encountering the book in must-read lists which piqued my interest in what it has in store. Actually, both of these books (including Go Tell It On The Mountain) are listed as part of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. All three books are also part of my 2021 Top 21 Reading List.

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!