So after two rather dense reads I was really in the mood for something light. So this week I read two books -“Dark Matter” and “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry”. Both of which I completely recommend. Like a summer white they were light and fleeting and though they spared me a headache I find myself wanting something a bit more substantial. And since we are now only meeting every other month I wanted something that might sit with me a bit longer so, when Melissa and Shirley split over their first choices of the three books I suggested I decided let’s go with their second choice, and what is surely to be a more substantial book -“The Orphan Master’s Son”. But if you still need a summer read I suggest the “almost reads” as well as this website my sister-in-law turned me onto that has a lot of light page-turners.
Orphan Master’s Son, by Adam Johnson
The Pulitzer Prize–winning, New York Times betselling novel of North Korea: an epic journey into the heart of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship.
“Imagine Charles Dickens paying a visit to Pyongyang, and you see the canvas on which [Adam] Johnson is painting here.”—The Washington Post
Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the North Korean state soon recognize the boy’s loyalty and keen instincts. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”
Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master’s Sonis also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD • WINNER OF THE DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE
Named ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by more than a dozen publications, including The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle
–Blake Crouch –TOTALLY not my type of books, there is a definitely sci-fi thriller bent, but I really enjoyed the overall premise which I found fascinating. I would be lying if I said it is brilliant prose but definitely worthy of a lively bookplates discussion
What Alice Forgot
, Liane Moriarty _haven’t gotten around to this one yet, but I have been hearing great things about the author and really want to try it.