Discover more from Well Read with Anna Bonet
Two quick, quirky reads
Plus, a Barbiecore bookstack
‘Quirky’ is not my finest choice of adjective, I know, but ‘unconventional’ didn’t quite have the same ring to it. I love character-driven books, particularly those which revolve around outsiders, and these two novels are simply excellent examples of eccentric, witty, easy-yet-satisfying reads. Please enjoy!
The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer
I can’t say I love the ever-increasing number of famous people foraying into fiction writing (would much rather they stick to their glossy celebrity memoirs, thank you very much), but this novel from the beloved comedian Bob Mortimer is one of the few exceptions to my rule.
The Satsuma Complex is about an offensively ordinary legal assistant named Gary who goes to the pub one night with a work acquaintance named Brendan. Here, he gets chatting to a girl whose name he doesn’t catch. When Brendan disappears into thin air the next day, he must track down the girl to see if she has any answers. The mystery keeps you turning the pages, but it is the whimsical nature of this book that made me love it so much (case in point: Gary chats to squirrels).
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
You could read this book in an afternoon if you wanted to, not only because it is a slim 170 pages, but because it goes down like a treat. Convenience Store Woman centres on Keiko, who, wherever she goes in life - be it school, university or her childhood home - does not fit in. Then she starts working at a new convenience store and it’s as though she has found the place she was meant to be all along.
This is a Trojan Horse of a novel: inside is a polemic about Japanese social norms and gender politics, but outside is a dizzyingly weird, offbeat story with so much deadpan humour that it frequently made me laugh out loud.
Happy Barbie Release Weekend to all those who celebrate. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m yet to watch a Greta Gerwig film that I haven’t adored. So, in observance of Barbicore, I couldn’t resist pulling some of my favourite fuchsia books down from the shelves - ft. Queenie by Candice Carty Williams, Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters, Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley, Weyward by Emilia Hart, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, and I’m Sorry You Feel That Way by Rebecca Wait. All very pink; all very highly recommended.