Happy midweek everyone! We’re midway through another week. I can’t wait for the weekend! HAHA. 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 slowly drawing to a close, I am shifting what is left of my energy to completing my active reading challenges. Apart from my Goodreads reading challenge, which I am sure I can complete before the year ends, I have about four others; I am dropping one of these challenges for it is already impossible to complete it at this point in time. Nevertheless, I am focusing on completing my 2021 Top 21 Reading List, of which Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a part. I have just started reading the book so I can’t offer much insight for now although the preamble has already provided me a glimpse of what to expect. I will share more in this week’s First Impression Friday update.

What have you finished reading?

After Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Flights was my second novel by Olga Tokarczuk, the winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature. The former already gave me lasting impressions about her storytelling and prose. However, it did not prepare me for what Flights had in store. Rather than a straightforward story, Tokarczuk provided the readers vignettes. There is no single storyline to follow as she provided reflections and ruminations with traveling as the central theme. They were hewn together to come up with a perplexing and abstract literary work. Nevertheless, I liked the abstractness of this tapestry. I liked the incorporation of historical details and figures. It is not always clear how it pans out with the rest of the story. This non-formulaic, innovative and ambitious literary work did blow my mind, but in a good way. This makes me more excited to read more of Tokarczuk’s works; my copy of The Books of Jacob is in transit.

From Poland, my reading journey next took me to Greece, on the legendary island of Crete. It was there that Nikos Kazantzakis introduced me to the eponymous Zorba the Greek. Like the first two books already mentioned, this is also part of my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. I have also not read any of Kazantzakis’ works although Zorba the Greek has been on my reading radar for quite some time. The story, however, is narrated by an anonymous character who Zorba referred to as the “boss”. The heart of the story is the growing relationship between Zorba and his young “boss”. I liked the story and how the friendship between the two characters developed. As they grow fonder of each other, Zorba imparts the wisdom he has gained while traveling and basically living to his boss. Zorba’s philosophy is all about living life to the fullest although there was an apparent contrast for Zorba’s wisdom was gained through experience while the boss’ wisdom was gained through books. This contrast is seminal in the understanding of the story. I was, however, appalled by how Zorba viewed women. Then again, the book was published in the mid-20th century.

I am lining up more books from my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. However, I have resolved to complete all the works of European literature, save British literature, first. November is effectively a European Literature month. With this, I have Goran Tunstrom’s The Christmas Oratorio on deck. I have not encountered Tunstrom before but when I encountered this book, my interest was immediately piqued. It was an added bonus that the book is listed as part of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Among the Hungarian writers, one of the most prominent and influential names is László Krasznahorkai, a name I first encountered on the lead-up to the announcement of the 2018/2019 Nobel Prize in Literature winner. I have learned that he is a pillar of Hungarian literature so I was happy to purchase one of his books, Satantango.

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!