First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.


The bestselling novel by Irvine Welsh that provided the inspiration for Danny Boyle’s hit film Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total fuckin embarrassment tae the selfish, fucked-up brats ye’ve produced. Choose life” (Source: Goodreads)

That’s another work week in the books! It is the weekend again. Thankfully, although I only spent three days at the office as I was on leave during the first two days of the work week. LOL. But those three days were quite productive, if I may say so myself. The brief vacation somehow helped me recuperate and recover my mojos. Anyway, I hope you had a productive week as well. I hope that everyone is ending the week on a high note. If it went the other way, I hope you get to spend the weekend resting or recovering your self-esteem. I am sure you can make it up in the coming week. I hope that this year will be a great one, a year that will be brimming with blessings, healing, good news, and good tidings for everyone. I hope everyone is doing well, in mind, body, and spirit. After chalking up another work week, I hope you get to enjoy the weekend.

Let’s jump into the weekend! But before that, let me do a quick segue. In the past week, my favorite KPop boy group, 7Dream just released their first-ever Japanese single. Nearly seven years, they made their Japanese debut, something that other KPop groups did within two or three years of their debut. That is if you are a normal group which 7Dream certainly wasn’t until recently. Here is their long-awaited first Japanese single, Best Friend Ever.

To cap the work week, I am sharing a new First Impression Friday update. After immersing in works released in the previous year last January, I am now resuming normal operations, in a manner of speaking. After reading my 1000th novel, James Joyce’s Ulysses, I have decided to go on a literary adventure across Europe. I guess a journey across Europe, literary-wise, cannot be avoided. The continent has such a rich literary history; this rich tapestry is something that readers find irresistible, including me it seems. From Ireland, this journey took me to Scotland, with Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting. This is my first novel by the Scottish writer. While I have read several works of British writers, my reading list doesn’t boast that many Scottish writers.

I can’t remember when I first encountered the book but it initially didn’t catch my attention. However, after several encounters with the book, I finally decided to give Welsh’s prose a chance. I also didn’t expect to find Trainspotting in the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die List. Oh well, this gave me more reasons to read the book, which I learned was Welsh’s debut novel. Just coming of Ulysses, I thought I was prepared for all sorts of books. I guess I wasn’t for the opening pages of Trainspotting threw me off. I was not expecting it to be written primarily in Scottish English. To say I struggled is an understatement for the language is making the experience rather challenging.

But then again, if there is something that can characterize me as a reader is that I am tenacious. I always persist even in the most difficult of circumstances; this is the reason that I have finally zeroed out my did-not-finish list. But reading a book written primarily using the local language does present its own set of challenges; I had a challenging time appreciating Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury because of this. In order to appreciate the story, I have deliberately slowed down my reading pace. It does help as I can understand the colloquial a bit. The opening pages of the novel introduced the main characters, Mark and Simon. They related the story from their own perspectives.

As I move on with the story, I was again caught off guard as the language shifted to conventional English, in the chapter titled Growing Up In Public. This chapter also introduced the first female character, Nina. So far, the story is not making that much sense to me, at least on its own. Well, I am just a couple of pages into the story although I did pick up some seminal subjects and topics from the discourses between the characters. Most of the characters are not well-off and some were even struggling with addiction. Well, not really struggling as they seem to relish it. The characters were residing in Leith, Edinburgh. There was also a brief mention of politics – yes, the Tories – which makes sense somehow, especially if I link the story with Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain, a book also set in early 1990s Scotland, although in Glasgow. Shuggie Bain provided a vivid picture of the social and political climate of Scotland during the period, something I surmise would form an integral part of Trainspotting.

I just checked and it seems that the novel is not a linear story, which explains the deviations. Apparently, it is a collection of interlinked stories, reminiscent of Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and maybe Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. This makes me, somehow, look forward to what the book has to offer. I can’t also wait to meet the other characters as the story promises an eclectic cast. There is a lot for me to digest and to look forward to. How about you fellow reader? What book or books are you taking with you for the weekend? I hope you get to enjoy them. Again, happy weekend everyone!