☕ Book Break ☕ | Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Keiko Furukura, a socially awkward 36 year old woman, has worked at her local convenience store for years. Keiko struggles with social interaction, but at the store, she thrives on the rules, procedures, and structure. She studies the interactions and becomes adept at being an exemplary employee. Here is a world she can understand and succeed in, but her family feels she is wasting her life and education. They pressure her to find a romantic partner and to do something better with her life. Keiko’s story is told with deadpan humor. Translated from Japanese. 

What a great read! It was weirdly engrossing and different in a good way.

Quirky and funny.

I LOVED the book, but was left slightly off balance by two instances of dark humor.

I didn’t see the end coming, but it makes perfect sense and is the perfect resolution for this story.

Easy to read. Recommended. 

 

 

☕ Book Break ☕ | Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman

Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman

A must read for all teens and preteens. This one knocked my socks off. My emotions took ever, the strongest of which was anger. The story ends satisfactorily, although I wanted harsher revenge on one particular character. Rarely do I have a character I love to hate, but the mother of the bully is on my short list of fictional characters I despise. Told from multiple points of view, all aspects of the situations arising from an incident of cyberbullying are put under the microscope. My kindle did not read the headings, and yet I was easily able to tell which character’s POV the story was in. That’s good writing.

Relevant

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Must Read

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Complex

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Engrossing

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

☕ Book Break ☕ | The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls-Anissa Gray

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls-Anissa Gray

This book was jam packed with emotion. Talk about a complicated family life. 

What struck me was the fact that the family members still tried to have relationships with each other even though their past wounds had formed and shaped them, teaching them to deal with life in a variety of unhealthy ways. The book is uncomfortable to read at times, and I had the feeling I was eavesdropping on intensely personal moments have a family in crisis. At the same time I found it difficult to put the book down. It’s one of those books that makes you examine your own family history, and either be grateful you survived, or grateful you didn’t experience certain situations. Possibly both.

The characters in this book had tremendous depth. 

This is a novel that explores various issues that could be triggering for some people.

Big Library Read~I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by By Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

By Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

Wow. This was a fast paced read that kept me turning pages. Well written. I was completely immersed in the story from the first page. Highly recommended. 

At a Friday night football game a fight breaks out. Lena and Campbell go to the same school, but aren’t friends. When a fight breaks out at a Friday night football game, it turns into more than just a fight. The situation escalates. Lena and Campbell try to get home, but the violence seems inescapable. 

Told from alternating viewpoints. This is a great book club selection. I read it as part of the Big Library Read. It’s one worth discussing. Good topic. 

Realistic

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Relevant

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Interesting

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thought-provoking

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#biglibraryread

☕ Book Break ☕ | Blind Dates, Bridesmaids, and Other Disasters by Aspen Hadley

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Blind Dates Bridesmaids and Other Disasters. It’s funny and fun to read, but had a few tear-jerking type moments as well.The writing was great.

Our heroine is twenty-seven years old, is a second grade school teacher, and shares an apartment with two other women friends. One of her roommates is planning her wedding, and this catapults Rachel into a dating frenzy. She’s been gun shy after a breakup that happened seven years ago and it’s time to move on. 

The series of blind dates was hilarious and the predicaments Rachel got herself into echo the experiences I think we have all had. The difference being Rachel managed to get stuck on bad date repeat. 

The relationships between the women were well done, the second chance romance sweet. The cast was large but didn’t feel cluttered. 

All in all, and enjoyable, laugh out loud read. 

A solid, second chance romcom with lots of five star moments.

☕ Book Break ☕ | Switched On by John Elder Robison

Reposted from my older site.

51vY4PAEGIL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

 

Book Review of Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening by John Elder Robison

In a quest for emotional intelligence, John Elder Robison agreed to allow neuroscientists to experiment on his brain. In this memoir that reminds one of Flowers for Algernon, Robison tells us about his experience with TMS, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and the resulting effects on his emotions and life.

Imagine your world being turned upside down by a sudden awareness that things are not at all the way you thought they were. Scales drop from your eyes. You connect with people in a way you never have before. Things are different, sharper. But there is a caveat. You  see that sometimes ‘friends’ are most definitely not friends at all. Childhood memories are now viewed with disturbing clarity. The gift you so sought after, to become more perceptive, is now yours but the beauty so desired and expected isn’t the only thing this new found ability to see emotion reveals.

I was moved by Switched On in a way no other memoir has touched me. This is truly a unique experience that Robison has shared.

After the reception his book, Look Me In the Eye, John Elder Robison was approached to participate in a research study. Scientists wanted to measure the plasticity of the brain, in other words, how the brain can adapt, change, and ‘rewire’ itself. They also sought results about cognitive therapies and how that might affect the brain. The idea was to see if TMS could be used to effect the difficulties autistic people have reading the emotions and nonverbal communication of others.

People on the autism spectrum are not unemotional or uncaring. They do have difficulty reading people, understanding, and responding in the expected way to situations. This is something that people are expected to come by naturally, but this skill seems particularly elusive to people on the spectrum.

Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change, chronicles the unexpected and far reaching results of this research study. Robison underwent moments of amazing emotional awakening and others of devastation as a result of the sudden onslaught of awareness.

This memoir leaves us with more questions than answers about the future of TMS for therapeutic uses. Delving into this area of research raises a multitude of ethical questions.

“The thing is, not all differences lead to disability. Some lead to exceptionality. And we don’t necessarily know enough to tell one from the other. Yet we are on the verge of acting on that incomplete knowledge right now in the area of autism.”

Switched On left me feeling conflicted. It offers hope for future understanding and therapies, but is, in part, a cautionary tale. We would do well to take heed. At the same time, there were tremendous gains for Robison. This book has given me a deeper understanding of why someone might be willing to try these kinds of treatments.

I like Robison’s writing style. I find his books to be easy to read and entertaining, while at the same time providing information. In this particular book he does tend to stray into areas that are a bit technical for me, but his down-to-earth style kept me engaged with the story throughout. This book was a fascinating read and I finished it quickly.

I recommend this book for anyone curious about TMS, autism, or for anyone interested in a good memoir.

I also suggest Robison’s first book, Look Me in The Eye, or another of his books, Be Different, both of which I found to be very encouraging and informative. This recent book is a bit different than the two I have previously read since it deals with medical research, but Robison’s engaging story telling style remains. In Switched On Robison has given readers the opportunity to gain further insights into his autistic journey.

Listen as John Elder Robison talks about his experience on NPR “Here and Now.”

Read my review of John Elder Robinson’s memoir Look Me in the Eye here.

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins #popsugarreadingchallenge2019

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

#popsugarreadingchallenge2019

A book told from multiple character POVs

Told from multiple points of view, this multi-generational tale takes the reader inside the walls of the home of Bengali immigrants, following the family through the years. Told through the eyes of five girls, each one with her own way of approaching her life and heritage. The women are all complex and flawed, which made it realistic and interesting. 

This is a positive book, a story with heart. 

My only quibble with it was I wanted more! I would have liked to know more as the story went along.

Recommended.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Interesting

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Relevant

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Family Saga

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Satisfying Ending

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Diverse

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️