Hello, readers! Welcome to another #5OnMyTBR update. The rule is relatively simple. I just have to pick five books from my to-be-read pile that fit the week’s theme.
This week’s theme: Heartwarming
5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!
Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Publisher: The Dial Press
Publishing Date: August 2008
No. of Pages: 274
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’d never met, a native of Guernsey, the British island once occupied by the Nazis. He’d come across her name on the flyleaf of a secondhand volume by Charles Lamb. Perhaps she could tell him where he might find more books by this author.
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, all members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a unique book club formed in a unique, spur-of-the-moment way: as an alibi to protect his members from arrest by the Germans.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the Society’s charming, deeply human members, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Through their letters she learns about their island, their taste in books, and the powerful, transformative impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds there will change her forever.
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.
Title: The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Publisher: Harper Books
Publishing Date: 2009
No. of Pages: 321
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.
Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life … as only a dog could tell it.
Title: Before the Coffee Gets Cold, Tales from the Café
Author: Toshikazu Kawa
Translator: Geoffrey Trousselot
Publishing Date: 2020
No. of Pages: 192
Every now and then, a customer like Gohtaro would come to the café after hearing the rumour that you could travel back in time.
‘Are you familiar with the rules?’ Kazu asked briefly – there were customers who rolled up at the café with no idea of them.
‘More or less…’ he replied hesitantly.
‘More or less?” Kyoko shouted.
Gohtaro shrugged apologetically. ‘You sit in a chair, someone makes you a coffee, and you return to the past… that’s all I’ve heard.’
Title: The Maid
Author: Nita Prose
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publishing Date: 2022
No. of Pages: 285
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, makes her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.
But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had united with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
Both a Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.
Title: The Cat Who Saved Books
Author: Sosuke Natsukawa
Translator: Louise Kawai
Publishing Date: 2021
No. of Pages: 192
Awkward high school student Rintaro Natsuki is about to close the secondhand bookshop he inherited from his beloved grandfather. For this bookworm by blood, shutting down Natsuki Books is no easy task – it’s been his sanctuary and hideout from the demands of school and the world at large. However, before the bookshop’s doors are shut for good, a talking cat appears with an unusual request. The feline requests the teenager’s help in saving books from abusive and negligent owners, and it won’t take no for an answer.
Their mission sends this odd couple on an amazing journey to set books free. Through their travels to strange dimensions, the cat and Rintaro meet a businessman who leaves his books to perish on a bookshelf, a scholar who cuts pages into snippets to encourage speed reading, and a publishing drone who cares only about bestsellers. Their adventures culminate in one final, fantastic challenge – the last labyrinth leads Rintaro down a realm where a certain soul hangs in the balance…
Books, first love, fantasy, and an unusual friendship with a talking cat – The Cat Who Saved Books has it all. Sosuke Natsukawa has written a novel where books are so much more than words on paper. You’ll want to follow this “tail” until the very last page.