Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.
This week’s book:
The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
Blurb from Goodreads
A brilliantly inventive new novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things, by the Booker Prize-finalist author of A Tale for the Time Being
After the tragic death of his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house–a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world, where “things happen.” He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.
And he meets his very own Book–a talking thing–who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.
With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki–bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.
Why I Want To Read It
And it is Monday again! As the days pass by, the closer we are getting to a new year. The prospect is thrilling, for who wouldn’t be excited for what 2022 has in store. At the same time, the new year brings me anxieties, especially with the uncertainties that have been surrounding us for the past two years. Nevertheless, I can only remain hopeful; hope is a powerful force. As the cold breeze makes its presence felt, I hope you are all doing well and are safe and warm in the confines of your homes. As the year draws to a close, I hope that you all have received the gifts that you have been wishing for. I hope that your prayers have been answered and that you are reaping the fruits of the seeds you have sowed throughout the year. For those who are not in a good place, I pray for your healing. I hope you all find forgiveness and that you will also find the heart to forgive those who have trespassed against you. I only have one other wish in mind and that is for this pandemic to end.
As expected, my Monday was busy; no wonder it is not my favorite day of the week. Thankfully, I have Goodreads Monday updates to look forward to. Currently, I have been focusing on my reading challenges and it has produced good results for I have now completed two of the three reading challenges I am aiming to complete. Lately, I have been featuring books I recently added to my “want to read” list in my Goodreads Monday updates. Today is no different. One of the latest additions to my (exponentially) growing reading list is Ruth Ozeki’s latest work, The Book of Form and Emptiness. It was just released late this year.
Ozeki is not an unfamiliar name. I have previously read her novel, A Tale for the Time Being, a book that was shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize. My memory of the story is sketchy but I do recall not being impressed by the book. But now that I get to reassess my memory of it, I believe I wasn’t in the right headspace when I read the book. I read it at a time when magical realism and metafiction barely made any sense to me. The more that I think about it, I realized I have missed several of the book’s key elements. Anyway, to experience Ozeki’s prose again, I decided to add her latest novel to my reading list; I also bought a copy of the book just in case. I was reluctant at first but a review of the book I encountered made such a convincing case for the book that I forgot about my reservations. I hope I get to read it soon, maybe not this year but hopefully in early 2022.
At this point, considering the book’s unusual title, I can only surmise that it is a work of metafiction. But then again, Ozeki always has an interesting title; My Year of Meats come to mind. Anyway, I am looking forward to what the book has in store. Apparently, The Book of Form and Emptiness is a book about books! I learned that just now! HAHA. Interestingly, the book I featured last week, Adams’ The Reading List is also a book about books. So what a coincidence. I am more than thrilled to read both books.
How about you fellow reader? What are the most recent additions to your reading lists? Perhaps you could share it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday! I hope you will all have a great week ahead! And as always, happy reading!