In January, I set a New Year's resolution to read two books per month in 2019 (24 books total). The first one I read was Ghosted by Rosie Walsh, and as soon as I finished that, I moved right onto Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata. My mom gave me her copy, and as she was handing it to me she remarked, "I didn't really like it, but maybe you will." Any other person might say, "Well, if she didn't love it, I'm going to skip it," but the thing is, my mother and I have opposite taste in everything, so I soldiered on.
Convenience Store Woman was originally written in Japanese, and translated into English for distribution in the United States and United Kingdom. The book tells the story of Keiko Furukura, a 36-year-old woman who is a social outcast. In so many ways this book felt like if Eleanor Oliphant moved to Japan.
Keiko passes her days as a clerk at a convenience store - stocking shelves, preparing the daily specials, and reciting the required greetings to customers. She explains, "For breakfast I eat convenience store bread, for lunch I eat convenience store rice balls with something from the hot-food cabinet, and after work I'm often so tired I just buy something from the store and take it home for dinner. I drink about half the bottle of water while I'm at work, then put it in my ecobag and take it home with me to finish at night. When I think that my body is entirely made up of food from this store, I feel like I as much a part of the store as the magazine racks or the coffee machine."
Things get interesting when Keiko allows a disgruntled store employee to move into her apartment, which co-workers misinterpret as a sign of a romantic relationship (Keiko talks about her new house guest as if he were a pet).
While I didn't love this book, it was refreshing to read a writing style so completely different from my usual choices.
Fun fact: Convenience Store Woman has two cover designs - one for the United States, and a completely different one for the United Kingdom. You can read more about that on Cup of Jo.
I am currently reading A House In The Sky by Amanda Lindhout, which is beautifully written and also heartbreaking. More to come once I finish.
Tell me, what are you reading? What should I add to my list?