WWW Wednesday: 12/23/20

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WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Worlds and has three questions to answer.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

The Nutcracker by Alexandre Dumas – The Book Muse

The History of the Nutcracker by Alexandre Dumas

Synopsis:

The tale of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King was originally conceived in the early 1800s by German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann, but Alexandre Dumas “borrowed” the story and created his own sweetened version which in turn directly inspired the famous Tchaikovsky ballet. This charming new translation offers a family story that everyone can enjoy. 

I’m reading this book as a Christmas reread, and so far I’m enjoying it as much as in the other times I’ve read it. It’s been putting me in a more Christmas-y mood, and I love the magic of the story.

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Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt

Synopsis:

Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world’s most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.

I’ve finally started to seriously read this book, and currently, I’m about three hundred pages in. It is a daunting book, but I am really enjoying it, and the scope of history that it shows. I’m hoping to finish it before the end of the year, and I think I might be able to!

What did you recently finish reading?

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His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

Rating: 4 Stars – Synopsis:

Afi Tekple is a young seamstress whose life is narrowing rapidly. She lives in a small town in Ghana with her widowed mother, spending much of her time in her uncle Pious’s house with his many wives and children. Then one day she is offered a life-changing opportunity—a proposal of marriage from the wealthy family of Elikem Ganyo, a man she doesn’t truly know. She acquiesces, but soon realizes that Elikem is not quite the catch he seemed. He sends a stand-in to his own wedding, and only weeks after Afi is married and installed in a plush apartment in the capital city of Accra does she meet her new husband. It turns out that he is in love with another woman, whom his family disapproves of; Afi is supposed to win him back on their behalf. But it is Accra that eventually wins Afi’s heart and gives her a life of independence that she never could have imagined for herself.

A brilliant scholar and a fierce advocate for women’s rights, author Peace Adzo Medie infuses her debut novel with intelligence and humor. For readers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Candice Carty-Williams, His Only Wife is the story of an indomitable and relatable heroine that illuminates what it means to be a woman in a rapidly changing world.

I was initially interested in this novel because of the comparison to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose books I have really enjoyed. I did enjoy this book, I loved the main character, Afi, because she had excellent character development and she was a determined and likable character. The plot was also interesting and it was more fast-paced.

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The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Rating: 4 Stars – Synopsis:

Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, the stories in The Thing Around Your Neck map, with Adichie’s signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie burst onto the literary scene with her remarkable debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, which critics hailed as “one of the best novels to come out of Africa in years” (Baltimore Sun), with “prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes” (The Boston Globe); The Washington Post called her “the twenty-first-century daughter of Chinua Achebe.” Her award-winning Half of a Yellow Sun became an instant classic upon its publication three years later, once again putting her tremendous gifts – graceful storytelling, knowing compassion, and fierce insight into her characters’ hearts – on display. Now, in her most intimate and seamlessly crafted work to date, Adichie turns her penetrating eye on not only Nigeria but America, in twelve dazzling stories that explore the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States.

In “A Private Experience,” a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to confront the realities and fears she’s been pushing away. In “Tomorrow is Too Far,” a woman unlocks the devastating secret that surrounds her brother’s death. The young mother at the center of “Imitation” finds her comfortable life in Philadelphia threatened when she learns that her husband has moved his mistress into their Lagos home. And the title story depicts the choking loneliness of a Nigerian girl who moves to an America that turns out to be nothing like the country she expected; though falling in love brings her desires nearly within reach, a death in her homeland forces her to reexamine them.

Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie’s signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them. The Thing Around Your Neck is a resounding confirmation of the prodigious literary powers of one of our most essential writers.

I loved this collection of short stories, it was very close to being a five star read. Most of the stories were very enjoyable and well-written, there were a few that I wished would have been longer because they were so interesting. There was only a story or two that I wasn’t as fond of, but they were a minority, and most of the stories were very good.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Synopsis:

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

This novel’s plot sounds really interesting, and I’ve also read many excellent reviews for it, so I’m excited to read it, and hopefully, enjoy it as much as other people did. The plot sounds original and very creative, and I hope the story will live up to it!

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Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They’re completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating.

As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.

Purple Hibiscus is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.

I have been reading all of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novels, and this is the next one I want to read. The synopsis for it sounds interesting, and since I have enjoyed this author’s other books, I think I will like this one as well.

Have you read any of these? Are any of them on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

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