Books that Came My Way in August 2018

New Books This Month

This is my monthly roundup of books that arrived on my shelves in August. I also share a bit of what’s been going on in our family’s lives as well.

We have officially had two weeks of school. Patrick is all settled in at college and the homework has begun. We are already in the middle of Homecoming Week here. I’ve started subbing in various classrooms. Cross Country season has started for both our senior and our college freshman. Marching band season is in full swing as well. All of this means that Fall is officially here and life is moving at a pretty fast pace. But, I wouldn’t change any of it.

Reagan – 8th Grade and Bennett – Senior

Patrick all moved in to Central College

 

Somewhere between all of this running, I try to find time to read. You would not believe the stack of books I have to share with you this month. It is full of some really awesome reads. Be sure to check them out and let me know what you are reading!  Make sure you stop by next week to see an interesting book about apples and the people who grow them and an interview with the author. I promise you’ll see apples in a whole new light!

 

Currently Reading: CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN, LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE

Currently Listening: DON’T MAKE ME PULL OVER!

Up Next: THE STORYTELLER’S SECRET

If you would like to purchase any of the books in this post, click on the photo or title of the book to be directly taken to the product on Amazon. If you choose to purchase the book I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. 

 

August Kids Books

 

LULU THE BROADWAY MOUSE

By: Jenna Gavigan

Published: October 9, 2018

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Format: Paperback

This story is likened to Ratatouille. But it also reminds me of Stuart Little. I think it’ll be a cute, middle-grade story.

 

Lulu is a little girl with a very big dream: she wants to be on Broadway. She wants it more than anything in the world. As it happens, she lives in Broadway’s Shubert Theatre; so achieving her dream shouldn’t be too tricky, right? Wrong. Because the thing about Lulu? She’s a little girl mouse.

When a human girl named Jayne joins the cast of the show at the Shubert as an understudy, Lulu becomes Jayne’s guide through the world of her theatre and its wonderfully kooky cast and crew. Together, Jayne and Lulu learn that sometimes dreams turn out differently than we imagined; sometimes they come with terms and conditions (aka the company mean girl, Amanda). But sometimes, just when we’ve given up all hope, bigger and better dreams than we’d ever thought could come true, do.

 

 

THE HOUSE IN POPLAR WOOD

By: K.E. Ormsbee

Published: August 28, 2018

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Format: Paperback

This was a win through the Chronicle School/Library Newsletter. It does pay to enter all those giveaways! I love to enter them and pass my prizes on to our school or town library.

 

For as long as the Vickery twins can remember, they’ve only ever been able to leave the house together once a year, on Halloween. The rest of the year, Lee and his mother serve Memory, while Felix and his father assist Death. This is the Agreement.

But one Halloween, Gretchen Whipple smashes her way into their lives. Her bargain is simple: If the twins help her solve the murder of local girl Essie Hasting, she’ll help them break the Agreement. The more the three investigate, however, the more they realize that something’s gone terribly wrong in their town. Death is on the loose, and if history repeats itself, Essie’s might not be the last murder in Poplar Wood.

 

 

THE NEBULA SECRET

A Novel (Explorer Academy #1)

By: Trudi Trueit

Published: September 4, 2018

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Format: Hardcover

I am really excited about this new series for kids from National Geographic Kids. There will be seven books in the series and all will be action-packed and full of adventure.

 

Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world’s leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there’s more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and augmented reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him, and why?

Readers can get in on the excitement with puzzles and codes embedded throughout.

 

 

THE RECKLESS CLUB

By: Beth Vrabel

Published: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Format: Paperback

Think “Breakfast Club” but in middle school and in today’s world. I think this book will have a great message and be a delight to read!

 

On the last day of middle school, five kids who couldn’t be more different commit separate pranks, each sure they won’t be caught and they can’t get in trouble. They’re wrong. As punishment, they each have to volunteer one beautiful summer day-the last one before school-at Northbrook Retirement and Assisted Living Home, where they’ll push creamed carrots into toothless mouths, perform the world’s most pathetic skit in front of residents who won’t remember it anyway, hold gnarled hands of peach-fuzzed old ladies who relentlessly push hard candies, and somehow forge a bond with each other that has nothing to do with what they’ve done and everything to do with who they’re becoming. All the action takes place in the course of this one day, with each chapter one hour of that day, as the five kids reveal what they’ve done, why they did it, and what they’re going to do now.

 

 

 

BONE SOUP

A Spooky Tasty Tale

By: Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Illustrated by: Tom Knight

Published: July 24, 2018

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I love Halloween books for kids and this one told based on the fable is super cute!

 

Three little witches and a bunch of spooky characters come together to prepare a delicious batch of Bone Soup in this Halloween tale based on the beloved fable, Stone Soup. This just-scary-enough picture book comes with a recipe for Bone Soup—perfect for Halloween eating.

Trick-or-treat? Trick-or-treat!
We’ve something usually good to eat!

One Halloween morning three witches are looking for a tasty treat and they find only a small bone in their cupboard. So they decide to go from door to door in their village to find just the right ingredients for their Bone Soup. No one in the village is convinced that soup can be made from a bone until the littlest monster reveals just what the special ingredient should be.

 

 

ERASER

By: Anna Kang

Illustrated by: Christopher Weyant

Published: September 1, 2018

Publisher: Two Lions

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

What a great idea for a story. I am sure kids will LOVE it! I’m trying it on our some elementary kids this week!

 

Eraser is always cleaning up everyone else’s mistakes. Except for Ruler and Pencil Sharpener, none of the other school supplies seem to appreciate her. They all love how sharp Pencil is and how Tape and Glue help everyone stick together. Eraser wants to create so that she can shine like the others. She decides to give it a try, but it’s not until the rubber meets the road that Eraser begins to understand a whole lot about herself.

Inspired by a school essay their daughter Kate wrote in the third grade, the author and illustrator behind Theodor Seuss Geisel Award–winner You Are (Not) Small have created a desktop drama about figuring out who you are, finding happiness, and the importance of second, third, and maybe even fourth chances.

 

 

DELIVERY BEAR

By: Laura Gehl

Illustrated by: Paco Sordo

Published: September 1, 2018

Publisher: Albert Whitman Company

Format: Paperback Picture Book

I’m a huge fan of Laura Gehl’s books. See all the ones I’ve reviewed, HERE.

 

Zogby wants to work for Fluffy Tail Cookies as a delivery animal—but he’s a bear and all the other animals are cute bunnies. Zogby tries to pretend to be a bunny by wearing bunny ears, putting on whiskers, and adding a fluffy tail. But he still scares the customers! When Zogby realizes being himself is best, can he find a way to stand out and get the job?

 

 

EPPIE THE ELEPHANT

Who Was Allergic to Peanuts

By: Livingstone Crouse

Illustrated by: Steve Brown

Published: August 7, 2018

Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I previously reviewed Crouse’s book KISSES FOR KINDERGARTEN, HERE.

 

Go on a school-time adventure with Eppie, the elephant who is allergic to peanuts!

It’s the first day of school for Eppie the elephant, and she’s a bit nervous about one thing: that her new classmates won’t understand her allergy to nuts. Like many kids today, this fun-loving elephant can’t partake in peanuts, pecans, or pistachios and has to be careful about what she eats. Eppie makes fast friends with Allie the alligator and Pearl the squirrel, but when Eppie’s allergy is explained at lunch, will her friends still stand by her side? Readers of all ages will relate to this heartwarming, lyrical story of understanding and acceptance.

 

 

FOOD FIGHT

A Mouthwatering History of Who Are What and Why Through the Ages

By: Tanya Steel

Published: September 11, 2018

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Format: Hardcover

Another winner from National Geographic. Just some quick skimming proves this is going to be a hit!

 

Did you know that Christopher Columbus set out on his most famous voyage in search not of the new world, but cinnamon? Or that rich people in the Middle Ages served flaming peacocks and spun sugar castles to their lucky dinner party guests? Did you ever wonder why M&Ms were invented? (Hint: That candy coating isn’t just for decoration!) The quest for food has inspired all kinds of adventures and misadventures around the world, and this book explores the wildest and wackiest of them all, from prehistoric times through modern day.

Hungry readers can go on a finger-licking romp through the ages to discover the origins of today’s common foods, yucky habits of yore, marvelous inventions that changed the way we ate and cooked, and the weirdest menus on record. Amazing stats and fast food facts are featured throughout, along with 30 original recipes, each specific to a particular time and place. So, if you are curious about how food shaped global history and culture, put this book on the menu.

 

 

HOW TO DRAW CUTE STUFF

Draw Anything and Everything in the Cutest Style Ever!

By: Angela Nguyen

Published: June 13, 2017

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books

Format: Paperback

I’m not an artist, but I want to be. I wish I could doodle cute things on my calendar or in the notes I send to friends and family. So, I purchased this book to help me draw, because I’ve noticed if I have a pattern to follow, I can draw or create things.

 

Draw anything and everything—people, animals, and things—and make it CUTE. It’s easy! Budding artists just have to pick up their pencils, pens, crayons, or gel markers and follow these step-by-step how-to sequences. They’ll learn the basics of Japanese kawaii, which emphasizes simple, rounded shapes; faces with large eyes and sweet expressions; and personifying inanimate objects. They’ll also master animals, mythical creatures, food, plants, vehicles, and more!

 

August Books

 

NOT HER DAUGHTER

By: Rea Frey

Published: August 21, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Format: Paperback

I love the cover and the synopsis definitely grabbs my attention!

 

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful Entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her—far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

 

 

CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS

A Novel

By: Sally Rooney

Published: July 11, 2017 – Paperback August 7, 2018

Publisher: Hogarth

Format: Paperback

This is the Target Book Club choice this month.

 

Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed, and darkly observant. A college student and aspiring writer, she devotes herself to a life of the mind–and to the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi, her best friend and comrade-in-arms. Lovers at school, the two young women now perform spoken-word poetry together in Dublin, where a journalist named Melissa spots their potential. Drawn into Melissa’s orbit, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband. Private property, Frances believes, is a cultural evil–and Nick, a bored actor who never quite lived up to his potential, looks like patriarchy made flesh. But however amusing their flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy neither of them expects. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally even with Bobbi. Desperate to reconcile herself to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances’s intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.

 

 

THE DINNER LIST

A Novel

By: Rebecca Serle

Published: September 11, 2018

Publisher: Flat Iron Books

Format: Hardcover

This is my Book of the Month choice this month.

 

We’ve been waiting for an hour. That’s what Audrey says. She states it with a little bit of an edge, her words just bordering on cursive. That’s the thing I think first. Not: Audrey Hepburn is at my birthday dinner, but Audrey Hepburn is annoyed.

At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Rebecca Serle contends within her utterly captivating novel, The Dinner List, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as One Day, and the life-changing romance of Me Before You.

When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together.

Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, The Dinner List is a romance for our times. Bon appetit.

 

 

SEVEN SUNDAYS

A Faith, Fitness, and Food Plan for Lasting Spiritual and Physical change

By: Alec Penix and Myatt Murphy

Published: December 4, 2018

Publisher: Howard Books

Format: Paperback

This has an interesting concept for healthy living combining healthy eating with faith.

 

A Biblically grounded, six-week plan to lead you on the path toward losing weight and getting healthier by focusing on the connections between spiritual and physical health.

So many of the books within the diet and fitness space focus on vanity or superficial reasons for striving for personal health and wellbeing. Is it any wonder then that a motivation that’s so surface-level has such a slim chance of working long-term? But Alec Penix believes that all things are possible if you use faith as your bedrock.

In Seven Sundays, celebrity trainer and devoted follower of Christ Penix explains the connection between faith and fitness, and both his own and shares his clients’ success stories. When our spiritual and physical bodies are built up simultaneously, we find ourselves more likely to stick with healthier, life-changing habits, appreciate what we have, be thankful for what we’ve gained (and lost), and feel content with how far we’ve traveled.

Seven Sundays is a six-week program that shows you how easy it is to undergo your own total transformation. The book is organized as a day-by-day journey in the same manner as a daily devotional. Over the course of each week, you will work on the “6 Pillars of Purpose” that build up this strength. You will also enjoy “Faith-Full” foods and explore a new spiritual theme each week. Ultimately, you’ll undertake a meaningful journey that will finally connect your body and spirit.

After Seven Sundays, the changes required to live a healthier life become easier because you will want to do them—for God, for others, and for yourself—rather than ever feel as if you have to do them. It’s designed to inspire you to look inside yourself and recognize that it’s not that you need to exercise, eat right, and be healthy, but that you deserve to exercise, eat right, and be healthy, and recognize your body as a spiritual vessel.

 

 

PURE

Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free

By: Linda Kay Klein

Published: September 4, 2018

Publisher: Touchstone

Format: Hardcover

I’m sure this book will resonate with a lot of women. I’m not sure I will agree with all of it’s message though.

 

From a woman who has been there and back, the first inside look at the devastating effects evangelical Christianity’s purity culture has had on a generation of young women—in a potent combination of journalism, cultural commentary, and memoir.

In the 1990s, a “purity industry” emerged out of the white evangelical Christian culture. Purity rings, purity pledges, and purity balls came with a dangerous message: girls are potential sexual “stumbling blocks” for boys and men, and any expression of a girl’s sexuality could reflect the corruption of her character. This message traumatized many girls—resulting in anxiety, fear, and experiences that mimicked the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—and trapped them in a cycle of shame.

This is the sex education Linda Kay Klein grew up with.

Fearing being marked a Jezebel, Klein broke up with her high school boyfriend because she thought God told her to, and took pregnancy tests though she was a virgin, terrified that any sexual activity would be punished with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. When the youth pastor of her church was convicted of sexual enticement of a twelve-year-old girl, Klein began to question the purity-based sexual ethic. She contacted young women she knew, asking if they were coping with the same shame-induced issues she was. These intimate conversations developed into a twelve-year quest that took her across the country and into the lives of women raised in similar religious communities—a journey that facilitated her own healing and led her to churches that are seeking a new way to reconcile sexuality and spirituality.

Sexual shame is by no means confined to evangelical culture; Pure is a powerful wake-up call about our society’s subjugation of women.

 

 

LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE

By: Celeste Ng

Published: September 12, 2017

Publisher: Penguin Press

Format: eBook through Library Overdrive

My turn FINALLY came up for this book!

 

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.

 

 

DON’T MAKE ME PULL OVER!

An Informal History of the Family Road Trip

By: Richard Ratay

Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross

Published: July 3, 2018

Publisher: Scribner

Format: Audiobook through Library Overdrive

I grew up taking road trips, but I was the only kid in the car. We then took our 3 children on numerous road trips across our great country. I am looking forward to reminiscing about our own experiences.

 

In the days before cheap air travel, families didn’t so much take vacations as survive them. Between home and destination lay thousands of miles and dozens of annoyances, and with his family Richard Ratay experienced all of them—from being crowded into the backseat with noogie-happy older brothers, to picking out a souvenir only to find that a better one might have been had at the next attraction, to dealing with a dad who didn’t believe in bathroom breaks.

The birth of America’s first interstate highways in the 1950s hit the gas pedal on the road trip phenomenon and families were soon streaming—sans seatbelts!—to a range of sometimes stirring, sometimes wacky locations. Frequently, what was remembered the longest wasn’t Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, or Disney World, but such roadside attractions as “The Thing” in Texas Canyon, Arizona, or “The Mystery Spot” in Santa Cruz, California. In this road tourism-crazy era that stretched through the 1970’s, national parks attendance swelled to 165 million, and a whopping 2.2 million people visited Gettysburg each year, thirteen times the number of soldiers who fought in the battle.

Now, decades later, Ratay offers a paean to what was lost, showing how family togetherness was eventually sacrificed to electronic distractions and the urge to “get there now.” In hundreds of amusing ways, he reminds us of what once made the Great American Family Road Trip so great, including twenty-foot “land yachts,” oasis-like Holiday Inn “Holidomes,” “Smokey”-spotting Fuzzbusters, 28 glorious flavors of Howard Johnson’s ice cream, and the thrill of finding a “good buddy” on the CB radio.

A rousing Ratay family ride-along, Don’t Make Me Pull Over! reveals how the family road trip came to be, how its evolution mirrored the country’s, and why those magical journeys that once brought families together—for better and worse—have largely disappeared.

 

 

THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS

By: Michael Finkel

Narrated by: Mark Bramhall

Published: March 17, 2017

Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group

Format: Audiobook through Library Overdrive

I finished this one a week ago. It’s a worthy listen and a fascinating look at a man who just wanted to escape the real world.

 

In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life–why did he leave? what did he learn?–as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.

 

 

I WORK AT A PUBLIC LIBRARY

A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks

By: Gina Sheridan

Published: July 31, 2014

Publisher: Adams Media

Format: Kindle

This has been on my list and then it was a Kindle Deal, so I snagged it! Since I have worked at the library and am on our library board, I figured I could identify with some of these stories.

 

From a patron’s missing wetsuit to the scent of crab cakes wafting through the stacks, I Work at a Public Library showcases the oddities that have come across Gina Sheridan’s circulation desk. Throughout these pages, she catalogs her encounters with local eccentrics as well as the questions that plague her, such as, “What is the standard length of eyebrow hairs?” Whether she’s helping someone scan his face onto an online dating site or explaining why the library doesn’t have any dragon autobiographies, Sheridan’s bizarre tales prove that she’s truly seen it all.

 

 

I’LL BE YOUR BLUE SKY

A Novel

By: Marisa De Los Santos

Published: March 6, 2018

Publisher: William Morrow

Format: eBook

Marisa De Los Santos has been recommended to me over and over again. I don’t know why I haven’t read her books yet except to say that I so rarely get to read books for my own enjoyment that when I do, I tend to choose something else. I even have a few of her books on my shelf. This is her newest and it was a Kindle Deal so I snagged it up quick.

 

On the weekend of her wedding, Clare Hobbes meets an elderly woman named Edith Herron. During the course of a single conversation, Edith gives Clare the courage to do what she should have done months earlier: break off her engagement to her charming, yet overly possessive, fiancé.

Three weeks later, Clare learns that Edith has died—and has given her another gift. Nestled in crepe myrtle and hydrangea and perched at the marshy edge of a bay in a small seaside town in Delaware, Blue Sky House now belongs to Clare. Though the former guest house has been empty for years, Clare feels a deep connection to Edith inside its walls, which are decorated with old photographs taken by Edith and her beloved husband, Joseph.

Exploring the house, Clare finds two mysterious ledgers hidden beneath the kitchen sink. Edith, it seems, was no ordinary woman—and Blue Sky House no ordinary place. With the help of her mother, Viviana, her surrogate mother, Cornelia Brown, and her former boyfriend and best friend, Dev Tremain, Clare begins to piece together the story of Blue Sky House—a decades-old mystery more complex and tangled than she could have imagined. As she peels back the layers of Edith’s life, Clare discovers a story of dark secrets, passionate love, heartbreaking sacrifice, and incredible courage. She also makes startling discoveries about herself: where she’s come from, where she’s going, and what—and who—she loves.

Shifting between the 1950s and the present and told in the alternating voices of Edith and Clare, I’ll Be Your Blue Sky is vintage Marisa de los Santos—an emotionally evocative novel that probes the deepest recesses of the human heart and illuminates the tender connections that bind our lives.

 

 

 

WHEN WE WERE WORTHY

By: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Published: September 12, 2017

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Format: eBook

I don’t remember if this was a Kindle First Read or on Kindle Deal. Either way, it looked like a good choice for me.

 

When the sound of sirens cuts through a cool fall night, the small town of Worthy, Georgia, hurtles from triumph to tragedy. Just hours before, they’d watched the Wildcats score a winning touchdown. Now, they’re faced with the deaths of three cheerleaders—their promising lives cut short in a fatal crash. And the boy in the other car—the only one to survive—is believed to be at fault. As rumors begin to fly and accusations spin, allegiances form and long-kept secrets emerge.

At the center of the whirlwind are four women, each grappling with loss, regret, shame, and lies: Marglyn, a grieving mother; Darcy, whose son had been behind the wheel; Ava, a substitute teacher with a scandalous secret; and Leah, a cheerleader who should have been in the car with her friends, but wasn’t. If the truth comes out, will it bring redemption—or will it be their downfall?

 

 

CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN

By: Sayaka Murata

Published: June 12, 2018

Publisher: Grove Press

Format: eBook through Library Overdrive

This was has made the rounds and has been labeled “quirky”. Sometimes quirky books work for me and sometimes they don’t. Either way, I’m curious and since it is short, I’m not out a lot of time.

 

Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers’ style of dress and speech patterns so that she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life, but is aware that she is not living up to society’s expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis—but will it be for the better?

Sayaka Murata brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan. With some laugh-out-loud moments prompted by the disconnect between Keiko’s thoughts and those of the people around her, she provides a sharp look at Japanese society and the pressure to conform, as well as penetrating insights into the female mind.

 

So Many Books, So Little Time! 

 

To see all the posts featuring new books, click HERE.

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1 Comment

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy) on September 8, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Enjoy your books and your time with your kids.

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