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Michiko Aoyama’s set of interconnected stories, translated from the original Japanese by Alison Watts, centers around a local library in Tokyo. There, librarian Sayuri Komachi makes recommendations to a variety of readers, from a college student looking to find purpose in her life to an accountant who is longing to open an antique store. These characters are all guided by different desires—and Aoyama captures them with empathy and an intense attention to detail, introducing fully realized people who want to change their lives for the better. The result is a refreshing and hopeful look at the power of books and the durability of dreams. —Annabel Gutterman

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