by Sayaka Murata
This was my book club’s choice. It’s about Keiko, a 36 year old who worked 18 years in a convenience store. She was socially “odd” as a child, but the store training posters, manuals, and videos finally taught her how to smile, make eye contact, and express herself. She found peace and purpose in the world in which she could successfully function, yet everyone tried to make her “normal”. The book was fascinating from the perspective of this work culture.