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 less than six weeks more to go before a new year starts, I have been slowly ticking off books from my various 2021 reading challenges. I currently have five active reading challenges but I am dropping one because it is already impossible to complete it at this point in time. Of these five, my priority is my 2021 Top 21 Reading List, which has become an annual tradition since 2017. One of the books I have listed for my Top 21 Reading List is Swedish writer Göran Tunström’s The Christmas Oratorio. The Christmas Oratorio was one of my random purchases last year. Imagine my surprise when I learned that it was listed as one of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Curious, I added it to my 2021 Top 21 Reading Lists. Unfortunately, because of office work, my progress with the book has been slow although a clearer portrait of the story is starting to be unveiled. It is the story of three generations of Nordensson men following the untimely demise of their matriarch, Solveig, in an accident while she was on the way to the church to perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. The story commenced in the present before throwing back to the past. I expect that a lot will happen for I am still in the story of Sidner, Solveig, and Aron’s son.

What have you finished reading?

Thankfully, I managed to complete two books in the past week, starting with László Krasznahorkai’s Satantango, my current read in last week’s WWW Wednesday update. Krasznahorkai piqued my interest when he was named as one of the possible winners of the 2018/2019 Nobel Prize in Literature. He didn’t but this encounter made me look for his works and luckily enough, I managed to purchase Satantango last year, which I also included in my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. The novel charts the story of a quaint Hungarian village and its denizens. Mostly isolated from the rest of the world despite its proximity to a town, the values of the denizens of the village started to decay. Morality has been exchanged with self-indulgence, substance abuse, and wickedness. They were all living in a sinful world where they danced and syncopated to immoralities, hence, the ominous title. In the midst of their revelry arrived the ever charismatic Irimiás who everyone thought dead. Everyone knew Irimiás and they recognized him for what he is, and his cunning. However, when Irimiás professed to be a savior who can extricate them from the depths of their sins, everyone was easily convinced by his flowery words. None the better, the dynamics of control shifted to Irimiás as everyone saw him as a messiah. But is he?

Like Satantango, I have included Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love in my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. I have become a fan of McEwan’s straightforward storytelling and his knack for capturing the quotidian. I was expecting to experience the same in my fourth McEwan novel; Atonement, On Chesil Beach, and Saturday were my first three. The story commenced with a ballooning accident where the novel’s primary character and main narrator, Joe Rose, was involved. He was a spectator who helped in the rescue of a boy in the balloon’s basket. A fleeting moment, a passing glance with one of the would-be rescuers, Jed Parry, entwined their lives in a perilous way. Parry became obsessed with the idea that Rose was in love with him. This obsession made him stalk Rose and persistently try to convince Rose of their entanglement. Rose tried to push him away but the more he got obsessed. The premise was interesting and had potential. However, I felt like the exploration of Parry’s affliction was underwhelming. The execution did not fall through and what came across was an ordinary story. A real-life case upon which the novel was predicated proved to be more interesting; it was elaborated in the novel’s appendix.

Once I am done with The Christmas Oratorio, I will have two books remaining from my 2021 Top 21 Reading List: Richard Adams’ Watership Down and James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On The Mountain. I was initially apprehensive about buying and reading Watership Down. You see, because of the title, I thought that it was a war novel. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the story involved a group of rabbits! To redress this misconception, I bought the book and included it in my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. On the other hand, James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On the Mountain is 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 a no-brainer adding it to my 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!