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 Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-Yi

Blurb from Goodreads

On a quest to explain how and why his father mysteriously disappeared twenty years ago, a writer embarks on an epic journey in search of a stolen bicycle and soon finds himself immersed in the strangely overlapping histories of the Japanese military during World War II, Lin Wang, the oldest elephant who ever lived, and the secret world of antique bicycle collectors in Taiwan. The result is a surprising and moving meditation on memory, loss, and the bonds of family.

Award-winning novelist Wu Ming-Yi is regarded in Taiwan as the leading writer of his generation. His work, noted for its depth, complexity and vividly observed natural detail, has been compared to that of distinguished writers as diverse as Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, W.G. Sebald, David Mitchell and Yann Martel.

Why I Want To Read It

Happy Monday everyone! Today is the first Monday of February. I can’t believe that we are already down a month this 2023. I hope you all started the week right. For me, it means the end of a week-long vacation. That was a brief reprieve after what has been a very busy and very long January. That one was really stretched thin. My mind is still in vacation mode; I am still not in the mood to work tomorrow but you know, adulting and responsibilities. Anyway, I hope that in this coming week, you will be able to accomplish everything you set out to achieve. I hope that your week will be productive. However, if you are not up to it, I hope you spend the week resting and recovering. More importantly, I hope everyone is doing well, in body, mind, and spirit.

To kickstart the blogging week, I am posting a new Goodreads Monday update. After opening the year with a string of books published in the previous year – this is a reading catch-up reminiscent of how I started my 2022 reading journey – I am now reading my 1000th novel. The long-awaited moment of reckoning has come as I am reading James Joyce’s Ulysses. Touted as one of the most important literary works, it has also earned the reputation as one of the most difficult books to read out there. It is no wonder it is the only book I did not finish; it was initially part of my 2017 Top 20 Reading List but I put it down midway through the story. I sure hope I get to appreciate the story this time around.

Anyway, back to the purpose of this update. For this Goodreads Monday update, I am featuring a work by a Taiwanese writer, Wu Ming-Yi’s The Stolen Bicycle. My interest in Taiwanese literature has been sparked by two things. First, I am currently employed by the local branch of a Taiwanese bank; one of the Taiwanese emigres once sought my recommendations for Filipino literature. Second, I just came back from an adventure in Taiwan; the holiday I was talking about above. It was a splendid experience, to say the least. I actually featured works of Taiwanese literature in last week’s Top Ten Tuesday update but I didn’t mention that the selection of the subject was because of my upcoming trip.

Admittedly, my foray into Taiwanese literature is scant at bests, nonexistent even. One of the books that came in highly recommended was Wu Ming-Yi. Apparently, he has a lot of tricks on his sleeves as, apart from being an author, he is an artist, an environmental activist, and a  Professor of Sinophone literature at National Dong Hwa University. He was also honored in different parts of the world and has earned several literary awards for his works which are comprised of novels, short stories, and essays. He also wrote works on literary theories. It is safe to say that Wu Ming-Yi is a writer whose oeuvre I can look forward to. I am just hoping that I get to find any of his works, or the work of any Taiwanese writers.

I just learned that The Stolen Bicycle was longlisted for the 2017 Booker International Prize, giving me more reasons to look forward to the book. How about you fellow reader? What books have you added to your reading list? Do drop it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday and, as always, happy reading!