Bookbug is a digital bookclub hosted on neocities, created by Vashti and Maple, where the members read a book every month and do a review in their individuals sites. Every member has a page for this project. This is my page, where I'll be trying to do my reviews totally in english (with spoilers). This is my challenge for 2024. God help me!
Discalimer: I don't rate my readings, cuz I don't know how to do it, so I'll just say if I like it or not, peace!
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last updated: 29/01/24
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
This will be the book for january. I'll read in PDF, so I have no info about the book itself, regarding it diagramation or paper color and texture.
May contain spoilers!
I'm not going to sound understandable in this review. Not that it was an exceptional read, but it made me think a LOT... At the same time it made me think that this is such a simplistic story and it has a simplistic critic.
In portuguese the title is more like "a matter of convenience", wich makes a lot of sense of how's Keiko in her convenient way of living.
I think I read 10 pages a day or 20 minutes a day, I don't know. I reached the end of this book, which is small, but it was difficult to get the rhythm of the story, even though it was simple and easy to understand. I wasn't understanding where she was heading with the storie, until I noticed the patterns.
(Nothing has been confirmed in the book, I'm just assuming that )Keiko is so autistic it hurts. It literally hurt me to read so many things that were similar to me. I laughed at several moments, not because it was funny, but because it was so similar to my thoughts that it caught me off guard. Living with normal people means realizing every day my own abnormality in the smallest things. Reading about the way Keiko copies her friends the same age, in order to appear even remotely normal, is tiring. And it reminds me how much I do this without realizing.
And then we have Siraha. It's almost schizophrenic how incel he is. He is paranoid to say the least. But at the same time he manages to pass off as a more normal person than Keiko. But in his case it's just a lot of audacity and idle talk. He is more like the absurd voice of society that Keiko kept close to her because she wanted to meet people's expectations. But one day she realizes and accepts that she won't change, regardless of what Sihara says. If that means she's not normal or not human, so be it.
I almost cried when Keiko told her sister that she needed clear instructions about what she expected from her, just say it. It didn't matter, as long as it met expectations and consequently people stopped sounding so disappointed with Keiko for nothing.
The way she felt uncomfortable with the interference of her personal life in an environment that she had always considered free from gender differences (everyone is a convenience store employee, neither male nor female) and a place that never changes, was now all out of place. And people were distracted gossiping instead of organizing shelves and following the convenience store's daily plan.
I always feel uncomfortable when personal matters mix with work matters, especially in a work environment. I hate it when I'm served by a cashier who keeps chatting personal things with the colleague next to me, instead of serving me properly and talking directly to me. I don't know how to behave at these times, so I feel very uncomfortable.
The conclusion of this book is very much the end of a film. Suddenly, a realization and end. And you are left with the conclusion that she eventually found another store to work in and is now a very old lady operating a store counter. I hope now she tells people to fuck off when they start asking about her life.
Some people are fine the way they are, without needing to “advance” in life and are no less satisfied for living that way. LET THEN BE.
I separated the quotes from Keiko's autistic moments that were painful to see...
12.17.23 - I was searching fot the book in portugese, but didn't find any pdf. This made me think that I would not be able to participate in january. Then I gave it a try and search it in english, and found it so easy. Now I'll have to read the book in english. I'm not that confident to do it, even though I read a lot fanfic in english, a book is more intimidating. Nonsense, but is how I feel.
01.01.24 - I'm drunk, it's 02h36, but I'm determined to read this. I've been thinking about this all day.
01.02.24 - Reading on my phone makes me forget to read everyday.
01.04.24 - some times i brust in laugh about how autistic and absurd the storie goes. Like taking Shiraha as a pet. This would do a romcom, like one of that stories of a gay who marries a woman to dismiss their parents.
01.07.24 - "will you ever be cured, Keiko?" now I want to cry. "Please try to be normal!" As if she wasn't trying!! People, as Keiko's sister just want to be delulu as they wish aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I'm feeling sad now that I finished the book...
I’d noticed soon after starting the job that whenever I got angry at the same things as everyone else, they all seemed happy. [...] Good, I pulled off being a "person". [pag. 24]
"I wanted to ask you if you can come up with a better excuse for me. Lately when I tell them I’m not very strong, they give me disbelieving looks.” [pag. 40]
The normal world has no room for exceptions and always quietly eliminates foreign objects. Anyone who is lacking is disposed of.
So that’s why I need to be cured. Unless I’m cured,normal people will expurgate me.
Finally I understood why my family had tried so hard to fix me. [pag. 56]
" [...] It appears that if a man and a woman are alone in an apartment together, people’s imaginations run wild and they’re satisfied regardless of the reality.” [pag. 68]
“People who are considered normal enjoy putting those who aren’t on trial, you know [...]" [pag. 82]
So they were all scheming how to drag Shiraha out with them one night, to give him a good talking-to. I was beginning to understand why he wanted to hide himself away, if this was what he had to put up with when he went out. [pag. 84]
Only the customers remained unchanged and continued to need me to be a perfect store worker for them. I’d thought the rest of the staff was made up of the same cells as me, but in the current strange atmosphere a village mentality was taking over and they were fast reverting to ordinary males and females. Now only the customers still allowed me to be just a convenience store worker0. [pag. 86]
“So, will I be cured if I leave the convenience store? Or am I better staying working there? And should I kick Shiraha out? Or am I better with him here? Look, I’ll do whatever you say. I don’t mind either way, so please just instruct me in specific terms.” [pag. 88]
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
I'll read in PDF, so I have no info about the book itself, regarding it diagramation or paper color and texture.
May contain spoilers!