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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West - Blaine Harden I started by listening on BBC 4, but quickly discovered that it was a highly truncated version. Now reading in hardback.***Written in a style that will please readers who like a personal story told journalistically, with sections providing information, collateral reports, and related news stories. If you liked Demick's Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea but wanted a more extended story from one of her participants, you may like Escape from Camp 14. If you want to lose yourself in a memoir, without external intrusions, try The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag. I appreciated the blend, especially because Shin Dong-hyuk is, depending on your perspective, either an unreliable narrator or a person with a great deal of shame and good reasons to mistrust authorities. Compare to many of Elie Wiesel's Holocaust narratives, where disclosures about one's behavior depend on many factors, or any account of a conflict (such as the war in Vietnam) where people did things that shame them and are shocking or disgusting outside that context.