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?

My first venture into the works of Hanya Yanagihara was A Little Life, a book I read back in 2017. It was, to say the least, a traumatic book but memorable nonetheless. Five years later, I am reading my second book by Yanagihara. I think it was late last year or early this year that she was releasing a new book, To Paradise. Without ado, I added the book to my growing reading list even though I barely had any iota of what the book was about. When I obtained a copy of the book last week, I didn’t expect that it would be quite hefty. Nonetheless, I decided to indulge in it next since I am in the midst of a women’s fiction month (an extension of my March reading journey). Apparently, the story has three timelines: one in the past, like the turn of the 20th century; one in the present; and another one in the future. I am now in the present part. From what I have read so far, the most prominent subjects are romance and homosexuality, and other subjects that are attached to these two main subjects. I will share more in this week’s First Impression Friday update.

What have you finished reading?

I have regained my momentum I guess as I have completed two books in the past week. The first book I completed was A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book. After her Booker Prize-winning book, Possession which I read four years ago, The Children’s Book is my second novel written by Byatt. I recently acquired the book but I opted to read it ahead of the other books on my bookshelf. Shortlisted for the 2009 Booker Prize, The Children’s Book charted the stories of four major groups of children: the Wellwoods, the Cains, the Fludds, and the Warrens. Yes, the cast of characters is quite Dickensian although the novel’s focus was on a select few like Tom and Dorothy Wellwood, Philip Warren, and Julian Cain. Family dynamics was a prominent subject grappled with in the labyrinthine novel. It also explored identity, homosexuality, romance, and infidelity. These subjects were punctuated with short stories written by Olivia Wellwood, and details of the arts, e.g. opera, museum objects, potteries. The book had several layers to it and at times I feel like some details could have been removed without adversely impacting the story. Nevertheless, it was a memorable read as Byatt drove me into the minds of these “children” while drawing out multiple plots.

From a book about children to another book about children. It was while researching for books to include in my 2022 Books I Look Forward To List that I first came across Charmaine Wilkerson’s Black Cake. At first, I was reluctant to add the book to my list. I finally relented after multiple encounters in several most anticipated 2022 book releases lists. Thankfully, I was able to obtain a copy of the book recently, making it the third book from the aforementioned that I have completed already; I still have seven more to tick off. Anyway, as I have mentioned, the story involved children, the children of Eleanor Bennett who recently passed away. While literature and the arts were the primary drivers for The Children’s Book, the main driver for Black Cake were memory and history. When Eleanor passed away, she left a black cake and a recording to her two children, Byron and Benny. Her death was, in a way, a reunion for her children whose paths have diverged in the past few years due to differences in personalities and ambitions. What they were not expecting was the secret the recording held. Eleanor was not the person Byron and Benny thought of. The mystery that shrouded Eleanor’s story was an initial attraction but there was more to the story that kept me reeled in.

Earlier this month, I added a new reading goal. I plan to read at least 15 new books this year. This is a step in the right direction, I guess, considering that I am a backlist type of reader. I have, so far, read four new books; To Paradise is my fifth. After that, I am planning to read Danya Kukafka’s Notes on an Execution, a book that is also part of my 2022 Books I Look Forward To List. Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile is a new addition merely because its movie adaptation has been recently released. The movie made me want to read the book immediately. This will be my 30th book by the Queen of Suspense and she will also be the first writer who I have read at least two works this year. She is only second to Danielle Steel’s 42 books. Lastly, I am planning to read my first novel by Pat Barker with her Greek mythology retelling, The Silence of the Girls. I was planning to read her Booker Prize-winning book The Ghost Road but since it is the last book of a trilogy, I have opted to go with The Silence of the Girls first.

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!