Happy Wednesday everyone! By the way, how are you enjoying 2022 so far? I hope that you are all doing well and are all healthy despite the risks that surround us. I hope that the pandemic will end soon. I am also praying that 2022 will be a year of hope, healing, and recovery for everyone. I hope that it will be a great year.

As it is a Wednesday, it is time for another WWW Wednesday update. WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme originally hosted by SAM@TAKING ON A WORLD OF WORDS. The mechanics for WWW Wednesday are 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?

At the start of the month, I haven’t got any clue about what my April reading month is gonna look like. Subconsciously, I started picking up works by female writers, an offshoot of my March reading month. Because of this, I have extended my immersion into the works of female writers, with my current read being A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book. After the Booker Prize-winning book Possession, The Children’s Book is my second novel by Byatt; the book nearly won her a second Booker Prize as it was shortlisted for the 2009 edition. Set in the turn-of-the-20th century London, the book charted the stories and the intersections of the Wellwood, Cain, and Warren children. We read how their lives are impacted by their parents and the adults around them. It is a very rich novel that deals with a plethora of subjects including homosexuality, gender roles, the rising feminism movement, and female liberation. The novel was enriched by cultural touchstones, dealing with the arts and literature. I am just under 200 pages from completing the book which I must say was an engaging experience despite its length.

What have you finished reading?

My streak finally got ended as I completed just one book in the past week; partly because The Children’s Book was dense and lengthy. Anyway, the book I completed in the past week was 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Herta Müller’s The Hunger Angel. This was my first novel by Müller, a book I was looking forward to when I learned of her Nobel win. Originally published the same year Müller became a Nobel Laureate, The Hunger Angel is the story of Leopold Auberg. The year was 1945 and because of his German ethnicity, he was deported from his homeland of Transylvania to a Soviet gulag in Nowo-Gorlowka (Novogorlovka, Ukraine). He was just 17-years-old. At the gulag, he was forced to work at a coke processing plant. For five years, he performed different physically taxing tasks such as shoveling coal and mixing mortar while simultaneously combating hunger. In the gulag, one shovel load of coal was equivalent to one gram of bread. It was a game of survival and death permeated the air. Inspired by the experiences of poet Oskar Pastior and the author’s own mother, the novel depicted the horrors Romanian Germans suffered under the Soviet Stalinist regime following the defeat of Adolf Hitler during the Second World War.

After The Children’s Book, I am planning to read three recently released novels. This is aligned with my goal of reading at least 15 new books; I have three new books so far. The first book I want to read is Danya Kukafka’s Notes on an Execution, a book I recently acquired. Prior to 2022, I have never heard of Kukafka nor had I read any of her works. It was while researching for books to include in my 2022 Books I Look Forward to List that I first encountered her. The book, listed by many as a highly anticipated release for 2022, piqued my interest, hence its inclusion in my own list.

Hanya Yanagihara’s To Paradise nearly made the same list but I reserved the list for authors whose works I have never read before. It was still, however, specially mentioned in the said list. I have been looking forward to reading more Yanagihara works after my first, A Little Life, and lucky me, she was releasing a new novel in 2022. The book does look lengthy though but then again, I am used to reading long books. I just recently obtained my copy of the book as well. Capping this trifecta of new books is Charmaine Wilkerson’s Black Cake. I have also listed it as part of my 2022 Books I Look Forward To List. I have also featured it on one of my Goodreads Monday updates.

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!