Friday, August 24, 2018

Convenience Store Woman: a book review

Convenience Store Woman

Written by Sayaka Murata; translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori

Released in English Language June 12, 2018

Grove Press

 I first heard about Convenience Store Woman on the What Should I Read Next? podcast episode 133 where Anne Bogel sold it for me. I knew I had to put it on my list.

The novel, originally published in Japan, follows Keiko who isn’t sure how social interactions are supposed to work and finds joy working in a convenience store for a long period of time. She likes that the employee training manual tells her exactly what to say and she is able to anticipate the needs of the day. She finds comfort and value in a job that her family, and perhaps society at large, don’t see as a proper adult job.

This book is so tiny! Both in length and physical dimensions. For as short as it was (176 pages), I thought I would breeze through in one or two sittings. Instead, I read a few pages at a time over the course of a week. Even a few days past finishing it, I’m honestly not sure what I thought of it. I laughed at a few parts. It was weird. I had fun seeing Keiko try to understand and function in the world around her.

There is also an underlying study of laziness vs. contentment, which is interesting to unpack.

Overall, I think it’s worth a read. It doesn’t need to be at the top of your list, but if you stumble across it, give it a go.

Disclaimer: I picked up this book from my local library. I used Amazon affiliate links in this post. Should you choose to buy something through those links, you will not pay any extra, but they will send me a small fee, which I will likely add to my book fund. Thank you. Please see my Book Review Disclaimer for more information.

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