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 six weeks more to go before a new year starts, I have been cramming books that are part of my various 2021 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. Of these four, the my priority is completing my 2021 Top 21 Reading List, which is some sort of an annual tradition. One of the books I have listed for my Top 21 Reading List is Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai’s Satantango. Krasznahorkai was one of the writers I came across during the leadup to the 2018/2019 Nobel Prize in Literature announcement; his countryman Peter Nadas is another name I came across during the same period. I was lucky enough to bag a copy of Satantango, which I have learned was adapted into an acclaimed seven-hour film. I have just completed the first part earlier today and I must say I am a little bewildered. For one, I find the structure tedious; a long and singular paragraph makes up each of the six chapters comprising the first half. The first half also has a slow pace but I believe the action picks up in the second part, with the return of Irimias, long believed dead, to the Hungarian hamlet where morality is a thing of imagination. Is Irimias be some kind of a redeemer? This is something I have to uncover in the second part.

What have you finished reading?

The past week has been slow, at least in terms of reading. I managed to complete just one book. Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog was my current read in last week’s WWW Wednesday update. The story zeroes in on two major characters: Renée Michel and Paloma Josse. Both are residents at an upper-middle class Left Bank apartment building at 7 Rue de Grenelle, one of Paris’ most gorgeous addresses. Renée, or Madam Michel as the residents would refer to her, has served as the apartment building’s concierge for almost three decades. She grew up in destitution in the countryside but has taught herself to read, something she carried with her when she and her husband moved to Paris. However, she tried hard to keep her interest from everyone, choosing to be overlooked rather than be the center of attention. Paloma, on the other hand, was a 12-year-old girl who was suffocated by her world. She grew up in an affluent family but this only made her see the duplicity and hypocrisy abound in her social stratum. The novel dichotomizes the two worlds of Madam Michel and Paloma. I enjoyed the philosophical intersections in the novel. They are profound yet meaningful, although I see why many call it banal. It is easily one of my favorite reads for the year.

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. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s The Leopard is not part of my 2021 Top 21 Reading List but I am considering reading it next because it is in line with this month’s theme of European Literature. I actually bought it together with The Christmas Oratorio and I was surprised to learn it was also listed as part of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. I am torn between this or Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love (which is 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!