Happy Wednesday everyone! Wow, I just realized that today is the last Wednesday of June. In a couple of days, we will be greeting the seventh month of the year. 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. Things are starting to go back to normal although one should still throw caution in the air; the virus remains a threat. 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?

I am currently indulging myself in the works of European literature, a journey I started back in May. To close of this two-month journey, I am reading the work of a writer whose works I have never read before. It was actually in early 2020 that I first came across Austrian writer Stefan Zweig. Curious about what his prose has to offer, I obtained a copy of Beware of Pity, a book I would read two years later. Originally published in 1939, the novel is narrated by Anton Hofmiller who we learn is a bemedaled soldier when he meets presumably the writer. It was with this writer that Toni related his story, zooming in on the events when he was still a 25-year-old lieutenant stationed at an Austrian countryside village. His life took a drastic turn after he was invited by the wealthy Hungarian Lajos Kekesfalva (who he thought had royal blood running through his veins). In the castle, he was introduced to Kekesfalva’s daughter, Edith, who he did not realize was paralyzed at first. Once they were able to reconcile this, the two developed an affection for each other. Well, not exactly. Pity was certainly a word that was tossed around a lot.

What have you finished reading?

In the past week, I was only able to complete one book, a far cry from the three books I finished the week before. Nonetheless, it is still fine as I am able to tick off one of the books I have been looking forward to reading for the longest time, British writer Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus. If my understanding is correct, it is her most popular work, even finding itself listed as one of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. It was from this list and other must-read lists that I first came across the book and the writer. The novel is divided into three parts. The first part, set in London, takes the form of an interview with American journalist Jack Walser finding himself in the company of Sophie Fevvers, a celebrated aerialiste. For Walser, it was the scoop of his lifetime. I struggled a bit with the first part because of the structure and the fact that Fevvers was an unreliable narrator. The second part took place in St. Petersburg and, to get more scoop, Walser took part in the circus that Fevvers was part of. What Walser did not expect was that he would fall in love with Fevvers. The last part took place in Siberia and had some weird elements to it as we meet a shaman. Overall, it was an interesting book. Not an easy read but still interesting.

After immersing in the works of European literature, I am pivoting towards one of my favorite parts of the literary world for my birth month: Japanese literature. First off, I plan to read my first novel by Ryu Murakami. What appeals to me is the fact that the book is part of a genre I am not really inclined to read. But then again, I have always challenged myself to go beyond my comfort zone and Murakami’s From the Fatherland, With Love seems to be an interesting and thought-provoking book. I am following it up with my third novel by Nobel Laureate in Literature Kenzaburō Ōe, A Quiet Life, which I have learned is a different translation of Ōe’s semi-autobiographical novel popularly published as A Personal Matter. Lastly, I am considering Mieko Kawakami’s latest translated novel, All the Lovers in the Night. Both books by Kawakami I have read offer different dimensions of her prose and I am hoping that All the Lovers in the Night will be the same.

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!