Happy Wednesday everyone! Woah! I can’t believe that this is going to be the last WWW Wednesday update for 2021. Time passed us by. In a few days, many of us will be welcoming a new year. Happy holidays everyone! 2022 is both exciting and anxiety inducing. What will the new year bring? While it seems ominous, I am fervently praying and hoping that it will be a year brimming with hope, healing, and recovery. I hope that it will be a great year, for me and for everyone. But before the year ends, I hope that your prayers have all been answered. More importantly, I hope that you are all doing well and are healthy amidst the uncertainties surrounding us.

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 am happy to report that I have finally completed all three reading challenges I chose to complete! Yay! Moreover, I am now reading my 900th book, Nuruddin Farah’s Secrets. I actually considered several books for my 900th read, such as Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land, Colson Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle, and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides, all works by familiar writers. In the end, I chose an unfamiliar writer in Nuruddin Farah, who I first encountered in the leadup to this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature announcement. He was among those being touted by betting sites as a possible winner. This was enough to pique my interest and luckily, I was able to find one of his books through an online bookseller. It relates the story of Kalaman and Sholoongo. The word “secret” is a leitmotif and was thrown around with frequency. However, I still don’t have an iota on what this secret is even though I am already halfway through the novel. Hopefully, I gain a better understanding of what the story is about.

What have you finished reading?

Completing my 2021 Beat the Backlist challenge is Charles Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop. My fifth novel from the ever-popular English novelist, The Old Curiosity Shop was his most popular work during his lifetime. However, it was soon surpassed by his other works such as A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and even A Christmas Carol. At the heart of The Old Curiosity Shop is Little Nell Trent, an orphan who was being raised by her (anonymous) grandfather, the owner of the titular Old Curiosity Shop. However, due to her grandfather’s gambling and growing debts, Daniel Quilp took possession of the shop, leaving Little Nell and her grandfather without properties. Quilp was the book’s main antagonist who lusted after the teenaged Little Nelly. Unlike Bleak House, I found this novel more straightforward in its delivery of the story. It rarely meandered but one thing is for sure, The Old Curiosity Shop was no easy read. Reading about the hardships Little Nell had to go through was no walk in the park.

After Secrets, I have lined up yet another work by Charles Dickens. One of the books that I have been looking forward to reading is A Christmas Carol. I am familiar with the movie adaptations through which I have learned about the book. Unfortunately, it took some time before I finally managed to purchase a copy of the book. To keep up with the holiday spirit, it is my goal to read the book before the year ends. After A Christmas Carol, my next goal is to read as many 2021 books as possible, starting with Colson Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle. I was actually surprised when I learned that Whitehead was publishing a new work this year. I have read his two Pulitzer Prize-winning works, The Underground Railroad and The Nickle Boys. I enjoyed them in varying degrees but they both make me look forward to Harlem Shuffle. Apart from Harlem Shuffle, I have also lined up Amor Towles’ The Lincoln Highway, Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land, Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World, Gabriela Garcia’s Of Women and Salt, Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds, and Rachel Cusk’s Second Place.

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!