Happy Wednesday everyone! Anyway, as the year moves forward, I hope that you are all doing well and are all healthy despite the health risks that continue to hound 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 the rest of the year will be a great one.

It is time for another WWW Wednesday update as it is a Wednesday. 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?

October is basically an extension of my September American literature reading month; I have quite a lot of works of American literature on my reading challenges. However, my current read, John Irving’s The World According to Garp, is not listed as part of any of these reading challenges. However, it is part of my goal of reading at least 20 books on the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. It is the thirteenth book on the aforementioned list I read this year; my goal is to read at least 20 books. John Irving, by now, has become familiar territory. I have read three of his works previously and I find his prose rather interesting. However, it has been over three years since I read my last work by the American writer. As such, I inserted The World World According to Garp into my reading journey this year. I find several parallels in both The Cider House Rules and The World According to Garp. Both were partly set in a New England school. The primary characters are males who were rather eccentric. Irving also created a distance between the reader and them. The case is the same for Owen Meany in A Prayer for Owen Meany. I guess that is his trademark. Anyway, I like the reading experience so far as it incorporates elements of the writing process. I still have quite a lot to cover though for I am just midway through the book.

What have you finished reading?

The case is the same for Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. It was not part of any of my active reading challenges. I read it only because it is one of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. I was actually ambivalent about reading the book because of the discourse surrounding it. Many consider it a collection of short stories while some consider it a fragmented novel. You see, I am not much of a short story enthusiast. I changed my mind earlier this year when I learned Egan was releasing a new work (The Candy House) and that it was a sequel to her Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Long story short, I relented to the pangs of curiosity. The novel started with a young woman named Sasha as she contemplates stealing a fellow woman’s purse in a washroom. Way to start the story. As the story moves forward, we learn that she is the assistant of Bennie Salazar, a music executive on the way to making a name for himself. It soon becomes apparent why many a reader found the book a little challenging. With each chapter, new characters are introduced, at times, unrelated to those in the previous chapter. Each chapter then evolves into a new story, with tenuous connections. The novel was preoccupied with the story of each of the main characters. There were, nevertheless, threads that bound them together. Music, particularly rock music, for instance, was ubiquitous. The novel also grappled with subjects such as youth culture, the search for happiness, aging, and the loss of innocence.

I next plan to read Richard Russo’s Bridge of Sighs, a book I randomly purchased during the 2018 Big Bad Wolf Sale. I had no iota about who Russo was or what the book was about. I would, later on, learn that Russo won the Pulitzer Prize, albeit with a different book, Empire Falls. Unfortunately, like most of the books I purchased during the same book fair, it was left to gather dust on my bookshelf. I then listed it as part of my 2022 Beat the Backlist Challenge. I am also lining up Paul Auster’s Moon Palace. I have read one of Auster’s works before, The New York Trilogy, but it has been some time since I read the book. As such, I included Moon Palace in my 2022 Beat the Backlist reading challenge. Like The World According to Garp, Moon Palace was listed as among the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Lastly, I have on queue Richard Powers’ The Overstory, which like A Visit from the Goon Squad, won the Pulitzer Prize. My first encounter with the book was in 2020 when it was ubiquitous. The book cover, which seemed to reference a story about nature, caught my interest but not enough to make me want to read it. However, when Powers’ Bewilderment was longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction and I ended up liking the book, my interest in The Overstory was renewed. I have listed it as part of my 2022 Top 22 Reading List.

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!