Bookworm

January Recommended Reads

January, January, January, where did you go? You’re a month heavy with expectations (resolutions, commitments, new beginnings), but considering how quickly you disappeared you might as well have been made of vapor!

The good news is I made time to read! Here’s a selection of crucial reading to get your year started right:

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Bookworm, Recommendations

Masaji Ishikawa’s Incredible Escape From North Korea

Tragic. Heartbreaking. Powerful. Riveting. Brutal. These are some of the words that readers have used to describe Masaji Ishikawa’s memoir A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape From North Korea. First published in Japan in 2000, the book spans Ishikawa’s entire life, from his birth in Japan in 1947 to his escape from North Korea in 1996. What happens in between is a harrowing and critical look at what it means to live in a totalitarian state.

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Bookworm

My 2017 Year in Books

At the beginning of this year, my goal was to read 24 books by the end of the year. With only a couple days left in 2017, I throw in the towel. Although I didn’t hit the goal, I’m happy to report that I read 17 novels this year! A great jumpstart to getting back into reading. I’m looking forward to doing even better numbers next year. In the meantime, I take some time to look back on what I read this year.

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Bookworm, Essays

The Surprisingly Sexy Imagery in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

[This has been sitting in my drafts folder so long that The Handmaid’s Tale is largely irrelevant now. Realizing this made me want to just delete it, but it was mostly complete so I just hunkered down and finished the damn thing. Bear with me, one day I’ll learn to write quickly enough for the news cycle.]

When I was done reading Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (and done watching the Hulu Original series) I was left with mixed emotions. On the one hand, the story is a cautionary tale of what can happen when you let religious white men take over, but on the other hand, it’s also peak white feminism; it’s not inclusive of women of color (WOC). To Hulu’s credit, they were diverse in the casting of the TV show, and their adaptation was great, but I don’t think they addressed race any better than the book did.

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