#theyearinbooks – One for them and one for you
This is the first work book I’ve ever included in these monthly roundups. Not because the books I work on aren’t worth including (they definitely are), but because I worry I’ll come across as biased if I share the books I’m spending my days with in the office. But of the two fiction books I’m reading/I’ve read over the past month, I definitely think this is the one I’d recommend.
Break In Case of Emergency is the story of a woman who ends up working as an assistant in a celebrity’s hobby charity. Its goal is ‘female empowerment’, but the word ‘feminism’ is barred. They fund a project for Nigerian schoolchildren, but think some Cameroonian girls are more aesthetically pleasing, so use them to illustrate the activity online. There are no ‘targets’ (just ‘experience the experience’), but they’ll let you know if you’ve missed them. It is painfully cringey at times, just the absolute worst kind of office environment. Luckily I don’t work anywhere like this, but some of the conversations in meetings did sound ever so slightly familiar!
On the one hand, it’s very funny – bitingly so at times. On the other hand, the main character makes it really touching. A woman who originally studied art, she finds herself looking at the lives of her friends and colleagues and wondering where why they seem to have it all together, when she and her husband can barely manage the rent and are suffering through round after unsuccessful round of IVF. It’s like she’s seeing her life through the eyes of someone else, and it never comes up to scratch. It made me well up in a couple of places, taking me completely by surprise. Recommend.
I’m a Tiger, Too, is also kind of sad! About a little boy who has no one to play with but the animals, who aren’t as keen as he is at playing pretend! Luckily (spoiler alert), a little boy moves in next door, so he has someone to go tumbling through the jungle with. Such a sweet book, and the illustrations are gorgeous. This was inherited from my cousin and her little ones, and it’s a firm favourite around here!