What You Are Looking For is in the Library [Book Review] @HarperCollins @HTP_Books @Hanover_Square #NetGalley #booktwitter #booktour #Japan #BlogTour

In What You Are Looking For is in the Library, the perfect book recommendation changes a person’s life.

What You Are Looking For is in the Library by Michiko Aoyama

Translated by Alison Watts

What You Are Looking for is in the Library by Michiko Aoyama (cover) Image: a black cat sits on a window ledge with a stack of books and a green plant

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Books in Translation, Book About Books, Book About Libraries, Diverse Read, Japan

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary of What You Are Looking For is in the Library:

Welcome to my stop on the Harlequin Trade Publishing Fall 2023 Blog Tour for What You Are Looking For is in the Library. Thanks #NetGalley @HarperCollins @HTP_Books @Hanover_Square for a complimentary e ARC of #WhatYouAreLookingForIsInTheLibrary upon my request. All opinions are my own.

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Sayuri Komachi has a unique ability to recommend just the right book to her patrons; in fact, she can sense what the individual is looking for or what is missing in her or his life. The books she recommends to each of five patrons change the person’s life in some way. What You Are Looking For is in the Library is an ode to librarians and the life-changing magic of reading the right book at the right time.

My Thoughts:

Do you believe a book can be life-changing?

Has a book ever come to you at just the right time? Have you experienced a profound insight into your own life after reading a certain book? Has one book caused you to rethink something in your own life? Have you been changed because of a book you’ve read?


This story is told in a series of five short stories or vignettes. The library, the librarian, and the community serve as the connection points between the stories. I was a bit surprised and perhaps disappointed that there wasn’t more of a conclusion to tie the stories together. The book ends abruptly at the end of the last vignette.


It’s sometimes challenging for me to read loosely connected stories. With the introduction of each new character, I feel like I’m starting over again. During my reading experience, I was delighted and surprised to find that I quickly engaged with each story and found each character relatable in small and big ways to my life. I think the author brilliantly creates a lovely variety of characters which includes a women’s wear sales assistant, an accountant, a former magazine editor, a 30-something NEET (not in employment, education, or training), and a retiree.

Recommending What You Are Looking For is in the Library

If you love thinking about the magic of reading and you enjoy simply told and poignant character-driven stories with a bit of whimsey, you might love this quiet collection of short stories connected by a quirky librarian. Of course, fans of translated literature, books about books, and books about libraries/librarians will appreciate What You Are Looking For is in the Library. Book clubs will find many discussion possibilities.

Related: You might enjoy No Two Persons which is also a loosely connected collection of short stories or vignettes.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Meet the Author of What You Are Looking For is in the Library, Michiko Aoyama

Author off What You Are Looking For is in the Library, Michiko Aoyama

Michiko Aoyama was born in 1970 in Aichi Prefecture, Honshu, Japan. After university, she became a reporter for a Japanese newspaper based in Sydney before moving back to Tokyo to work as a magazine editor. What You are Looking for is in the Library was shortlisted for the Japan Booksellers’ Award and became a Japanese bestseller. It is being translated into more than twenty languages. Aoyama lives in Yokohama, Japan.


Are you a fan of translated literature?

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

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I purchase or borrow from the library all books I review unless explicitly stated that the book is free (arc).

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    • I was slightly disappointed in the ending but otherwise it was a lovely story. Because the characters live in the same community there is some interaction.

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