The Bees by Laline Paull
I used to think I knew what bees were about. Little buzzy insects whose life purpose is to gather pollen, make honey, and protect their queen who keeps pumping out replacement bees. While all of this is true, I had no idea the socio-implications that brew under the surface of every bee hive. The Bees by Laline Paull does a fantastic job of bringing you into the world of bees and for the first time you see just what the world is actually like for them.
Wow, society really sucks!
This is especially true if you don’t follow the herd, if you don’t live like everyone else, and if you decide to do this, you open yourself up to ridicule and pity regardless of how you see your life. This is the main tenet in Sayaka Murata’s novel Convenience Store Woman. In the span of only 180ish pages Murata had me feeling some kind of way about how we as a society deem the norm. It was eye opening, even for someone such as myself. I’d like to think I don’t run in the pack of norms, but I have to admit I’m not as out there when compared to modern Western society. However, the Eastern culture is vastly different and in the end more strict about what they consider normal (or being a functioning member of society) this is what made this story so compelling.