NIS Stories

Seven Great Reads to Dive into this Summer


The dog days of summer are upon us, and whether you are trying to survive another steamy Nagoya holiday or you are off on some adventure, the NIS staff has the perfect way to while your hours away. They have offered up some of their favorite books so you can switch on your A.C. or pull your beach chair up to some swaying palms and dive into some good reads. There is enough variety here to keep you busy until August! We wish everyone a bookish summer holiday!!

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman The angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley attempt to sabotage the coming of the end times, having grown accustomed to their comfortable surroundings in England. It features a mixup at the small country hospital on the day of birth and the growth of the Antichrist, Adam, who grows up with the wrong family, in the wrong country village. If you don’t fancy this, try American Gods. Or the Ocean at the End of the Lane. Pretty much anything by Neil Gaiman, including his graphic novel series The Sandman.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. The first book in a planned trilogy, follows heroine Zélie Adebola as she attempts to restore magic to the kingdom of Orïsha, following the ruling class kosidáns' brutal suppression of the class of magic practitioners Zélie belongs to, the maji. The 2nd book is Children of Virtue and Vengeance.

Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto. 黒い雨に撃たれて: 二つの祖国を生きた日系人家族の物語 (上と下) This is an amazing story that actually involves an NIS family! There is one in the NIS library now, and it is highly recommended reading - you will not be able to put this book down! Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II—an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption—this is a riveting chronicle of U.S.–Japan relations and the Japanese experience in America. It was also recently translated and published in Japanese.

Becoming by Michelle Obama. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her; from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island. And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew.

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "auto-theory" offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author's relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, offers a firsthand account of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. A grumpy yet lovable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. This is also a delightful movie but the book is, as a rule, is always better!

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