Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.
This week’s book:
There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura
Blurb from Goodreads
Convenience Store Woman meets My Year of Rest and Relaxation in this strange, compelling, darkly funny tale of one woman’s search for meaning in the modern workplace.
A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing – and ideally, very little thinking.
She is sent to a nondescript office building where she is tasked with watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods. But observing someone for hours on end can be so inconvenient and tiresome. How will she stay awake? When can she take delivery of her favourite brand of tea? And, perhaps more importantly – how did she find herself in this situation in the first place?
As she moves from job to job, writing bus adverts for shops that mysteriously disappear, and composing advice for rice cracker wrappers that generate thousands of devoted followers, it becomes increasingly apparent that she’s not searching for the easiest job at all, but something altogether more meaningful…
Why I Want To Read It
And cut! The weekends are over which means the commencement of yet another work week. I hope you got to recharge during the weekend ahead of the challenges that the new week will surely throw our way. I hope you are all doing well as well, both mentally and physically. Over the weekend, I managed to read two novellas, both by Chilean novelists, marking the culmination of my immersion into Latin American literature. For the remaining days of June, and eventually, July, I am travelling to my comfort zone – Japanese literature, one of my favorite literary genre. With this pivot towards Japanese literature, I am also going to feature works of Japanese writers in my Goodreads Monday posts.
Over the past few months, I was unconsciously building up my collection of Japanese novels as I purchased works of popular Japanese literary powerhouses such as Junichiro Tanizaki, Yukio Mishima, Shusako Endo, Yasunari Kawabata, Kenzaburo Oe to the works of rising superstars such as Sayaka Murata, and Toshikazu Kawaguchi. One of the unfamiliar names that have also piqued my interest was Kikuko Tsumura whose novel, There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job, immediately caught my interest while browsing through books in the local bookstore.
As a corporate slave for almost a decade, the title alone left so much to the imagination. I was also compelled by the book cover. It was standing out from the bookshelves. Without reading the synopsis, I just knew I have to read it! Haha. And indeed, it was about a young woman who is seeking employment. This should be a read that anyone can relate to. Or at least, I hope I can connect to. After all, Japanese writers have, over the years, demonstrated their mastery of the slice-of-life genre with the success of works such as Mr. Nakano’s Thrift Shop and The Housekeeper and the Professor. I am hoping to read the novel later this month or perhaps in July.
How about you fellow reader? What work by a Japanese writer do you have in your reading list? What made you add it to your list? I hope you could share your answers in the comment box. For now, have a happy Monday