15 Following


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.

The Girl in the Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, the Photograph, and the Vietnam War - Denise Chong A satisfying and often gripping account of the life of Phan Thi Kim Phuc, whom you would recognize in Nick Ut's famous AP photo as the naked Vietnamese girl running down the road screaming after a misplaced napalm attack on her village. What is most striking about her life story is the set of coincidences, random conjunctions, and slight shifts in policy or practice that took her from the obscurity of the unknown victim of war to a UNESCO spokesperson. In many ways, the book is a testament to the power of photojournalism. Chong successfully conveys the tension, urgency, and careful emotional balancing required to navigate war and totalitarianism. It seems appropriate that the copy I read was a pirated Southeast Asian version, purchased for $6 though I could have had it for $3 if I'd haggled. A signature is missing, so two sets of 12 pages each are not reproduced. As a sign of the changing times in Vietnam, it is easily purchased and openly displayed.