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 Guide by R.K. Narayan

Blurb from Goodreads

Formerly India’s most corrupt tourist guide, Raju-just released from prison- seeks refuge in an abandoned temple. Mistaken for a holy man, he plays the part and succeeds so well that God himself intervenes to put Raju’s newfound sanctity to the test. Narayan’s most celebrated novel, The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country’s highest literary honor.

Why I Want To Read It

Happy Monday everyone! Happy first day of the eighth month of the year as well! According to Chinese beliefs, August is considered the ghost month. It is believed that the Gates of Hell open wide, thus, allowing bad spirits and ghosts to come out and roam the earth. The old, the young, and the vulnerable are advised not to go out for fear of being attacked by these ghosts. Businesses are expected to be slower than usual. Ghosts or not, I pray that August will be a good one for everyone. I also hope that you are all doing well, in body, mind, and spirit. There is a COVID-19 surge here in the Philippines. Adding more layers of anxiety is the confirmation of the first monkeypox case. With the resumption of regular social and economic activities, many have been complacent. Many are taking protocols for granted. I just hope that the cases for both monkeypox and COVID-19 will be contained. I also implore everyone to be diligent in observing minimum health protocols.

To kickstart the blogging week, I am posting a new Goodreads Monday update. For my birth month, I forayed into the cosmos of Japanese literature, a literary journey I relished. I don’t expect anything less from Japanese literature; it is no wonder it is one of my favorite parts of the vast world of literature. I am currently reading my last book on this journey, Naoya Shiga’s A Dark Night’s Passing. I am nearly done with the book; I just might finish it tomorrow. After my venture into Japanese literature, I am flying over to other parts of Asia to read the works of Asian literature. With this, I will be featuring works of Asian literature in my Goodreads Monday updates for August. As an opening salvo, I am featuring an unfamiliar name, at least to me, R.K. Narayan, with his novel, The Guide.

One thing I have realized is that my foray into Indian literature is not as extensive as I thought. Sure, I have read the works of Salman Rushdie and some of the works of Indian writers that won the Booker Prize (Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger and Arundathi Ruy’s The God of Small Things). However, beyond them, I would admit that my venture into Indian literature is limited at best considering the number of literary figures the country has produced over the years. Anyway, I am on a mission to expand my horizon vis-a-vis parts of the literary world I haven’t explored that much. One of the Indian writers that come in highly recommended is R.K. Narayan. I have learned that he had quite a prolific career that spanned over six decades and has produced several novels, short story collections, and works of nonfiction. He was also a part of the leading authors of early Indian literature in English.

Of his novels, one book that I have read positive reviews of is The Guide, a book originally published in 1958. A couple of weeks ago, I researched about the best works of Indian Literature. At least three lists included the book. Without ado, I added the book to my own reading list. It seems that the book is also listed as one of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Moreover, the book has earned Narayan several accolades, including the highest literary prize in India. These are just among the reasons why I want to read the book. The biggest incentive perhaps is that it provides an opportunity to experience a new voice. However, I must obtain a copy of the book first.

Beyond The Guide, I have lined up two popular works of Indian literature for this year. One is Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy. The other one is Geetanjali Shree’s Tomb of Sand, the recent winner of the International Booker Prize. I just obtained a copy of the book and it seems that I am going to read it before I get to read the 2021 International Booker Prize winner, David Diop’s At Night All Blood is Black. Hopefully, these books will open more opportunities to read works of Indian literature. How about you fellow reader? Are there works of Indian literature you want to recommend? Do drop it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday and, as always, happy reading!