Book Wrap Up 3

Wednesday 6 November 2019

It's time for another book wrap up my fellow readers. This is where I write short reviews for books that I don't think I could do a full blog on. Does that mean they're bad books? Not at all. They could just be worth your time. Here we go:

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

I'm an American born Japanese who has never had the chance to visit the motherland. The good news is that I've inhaled so much Japanese media (anime, manga, music, etc) that I feel I have a good grasp on what it's like, at least in the big city. So when I read the premise for Convenience Store Woman I felt like I'd have the ability to understand the culture and the goings on.

This book is about Keiko Furukura who is a strange introvert who works at a convenience store and thrives there. She loves the store as she finds it safe and predictable. The only thing is that she's worked there for eighteen years and is now thirty-six. She has never had a boyfriend, has very few friends, and still works an entry level job. Can she and will she move on? Will she find love?
Keiko Furukura is described as strange and that's the perfect description for the book too. It's quite strange. Keiko is a wonderfully quirky character who was a joy to read about, but the story is quite odd. Things happen to disrupt Keiko's quaint and predictable life and we follow her journey the whole way but the journey is a bit eyebrow raising. It's so odd that I almost didn't like the book. The only thing that saved this for me was my love of Keiko and how Sayaka Murata created a fully fleshed out character. The story felt haphazard and messy near the end, but Keiko is a strong reason to keep going.

I enjoyed this? I'm still not sure. I think it was only the main character that saved this for me. Would I recommend this to others?.. maybe?

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata gets a 5.5 out of 11

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This book made me cry so many tears I thought Noah was going to show up in his ark. This book should come laminated so tears don't make the pages all wet. You would just be able to wipe them off. Wipe them away. Too bad I can't wipe away the feeling of devastation.

Am I over reacting? No. No I'm not.

Anne recommended this book to me and I trust her opinion. Normally I wouldn't have picked up a memoir of someone I wasn't familiar with. Who was Paul Kalanithi? He was on the verge of completing almost ten years of training in neurosurgery when he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

When I picked this book up I knew there was no way it was going to be happy. But this book isn't about having the happy ending. It's about learning a lot about life and death through the eyes of someone who has been on both sides of the doctor patient relationship. Dr Kalanithi gave bad news to numerous people and worked with sick and dying people for a living, so getting his take on the patient experience was not only well done, but eye opening.

This is a short book that tells a sad but meaningful story. I wish Paul Kalanithi got the chance to write more because he has a way with words. I wish he got the chance to live.  He got me to care about and get attached to him in the few hours it took me to finish the book. This isn't one of those books that are sad for the sake of being sad. There was no way it was going to end well. But what matters is the journey and what is learned along the way. I was truly touched by Paul's story and while I hope I never go through what he did, I now know that it can be handled with grace.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi gets an 11 out of 11

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I'm a big Taylor Jenkins Reid fan and I've only read three of her books. Including this one. But each book of hers I read has been great. Evidence of the Affair is definitely the lesser of the three when compared to Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but but that's like saying Chinatown is last in a list with The Godfather and Citizen Kane. It's still pretty damn good.
This book is told through a series of letters and is about two people who find out their spouses are cheating on them with each other. Carrie Allsop finds a letter that David Mayer's wife wrote. That's how the affair was discovered. Carrie then writes David to tell him and they start a correspondence talking to each other about their spouses' infidelity. We read the letters between Carrie and David and their spouses to each other.

This is a well written story that kept me coming back for more. It's a short read, clocking in at 115 pages, and I think it was the perfect length. Even though I loved the story, I don't think more would have been better. This was the perfect length. It was well told and complete. I don't want a sequel. I don't want a prequel. I want it to stay just as it is, forever, and periodically I'll return to it and enjoy it again. Who knew a book about infidelity could be enjoyable but Reid's characters are well thought out and fully realized.

This is such a fast read that I'd happily recommend this book to anyone looking for a good book.

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid gets a 9 out of 11

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