Probably shouldn't be reading a bummer book given my life right now, but here we go anyway 🤷🏻♀️
Probably shouldn't be reading a bummer book given my life right now, but here we go anyway 🤷🏻♀️
A harrowing true story of an escape from North Korea. It‘s short, and all the more impactful for it. The translation is excellent, keeping the story flowing. And sadly, the propaganda techniques used by the party are becoming all too familiar in our daily parlance.
Make time for this when you can.
An Emotional Powerhouse! There's so much in life we take for granted and the author just helps us realise the same. As our materialistic demands increase we have forgotten to truly savour & cherish what we already have!
A story of a man and his struggle to escape North Korea.
"Ever since moving to North Korea, I‘d never felt truly alive; part of me had been walled off, silenced. After a while, I felt that that part of me had simply withered away like a limb that atrophies from lack of use."
God, what a massively depressing read. It was a fantastic insight into what North Korea looks like from the inside though. The thing that struck me most was the hopeless bleakness of the average citizen, followed by amazement at the pigheaded stubbornness of the regime in the face of catastrophic results to their policies. Particularly the farming failures and how closely they follow the epic failures of Stalin's Soviet Union.
One thing traveling is great for is getting me to read things that have been languishing in my kindle forever! I‘m headed home tomorrow, but starting this tonight.
My first read of 2019
Wow, powerful read. Not much is truly known about North Korea and this is a true story of what one man endured and escaped from. No happy ending in this one. At one point he and his family survived the winter eating ACORNS. This puts into perspective how lucky most of us are.
#pop19: author from Asia
#booked2019: "Night" oriented title. "Darkness" means so much more in this book. @cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft
We know things are bad in North Korea, but I don‘t think I‘ve ever really thought about how bad they are...this book really brings home the horrific day to day of so many there. Knowing it makes it that much worse that our leaders won‘t push the current NKorean leaders about their human rights violations. It‘s also sad that after such an ordeal he found himself so alone & unable to help his family. This is a heartbreaking & important story to read
The first 4 #books I read in 2019!
1. A River in Darkness: One Man‘s Escape From North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 [nonfiction]
2. Pride by Ibi Zoboi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 [YA P&P retelling]
3. Lift by Alexa Riley ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 [romance]
4. Solo:A Star Wars Story by Mur Lafferty ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 [sci-fi]
This book is about much more than one man's escape from North Korea. Masaji tells he was born to a Japanese mother and Korean father. Much of his life is complicated by these two cultures. I learned so much from this little book. The propaganda machine that got the family to North Korea. The depth of poverty and despair. The caste system. Complicated relationship between Japan. N Korea, S Korea and China. I recommend this book.
One of my February books for Reading the World group on Goodreads. So far a quick read I am about 30% in. It is a sad story. I am learning a lot about Korean history which I knew next to nothing.
This is on sale as a kindle deal for 1.99 USD again if you‘re interested in learning about one man‘s experience in North Korea. No surprise this is incredibly bleak.
The author migrated to North Korea with his family as a boy, and then escaped thirty-six years later. This is his memoir of living through poverty and starvation in a land that was promised to be "Paradise on Earth." It is horrifying.
Spent the weekend visiting my friend in central VA, while enjoying the beautiful Blue Ridges. This audiobook was a fascinating great companion while on my drive, highly recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about life inside North Korea.
A River in Darkness is a heartbreaking, harrowing, true story about a man‘s life in North Korea and his eventual escape. Even if you normally don‘t read non-fiction (like me), I‘d still highly recommend reading this book.
Harrowing, just as you‘d expect. The Kindle version is on sale for 1.99 USD right now.
There‘s nothing like reading about people starving under totalitarianism to make me feel simultaneously better and worse about my own life. A good, wrenching, nonfiction read.
About as uplifting as expected. Well-written and interesting.
Heartbreaking ...but a must read for anyone, even if you aren't interested in the secrecy of North Korea. No illusions just brutal truth. Highly recommend.
“And I came to recognize that, no matter how difficult the reality, you mustn‘t let yourself be beaten. You must have a strong will. You have to summon what you know is right from your innermost depths and follow it.”
Why does it seem so hard these days for some individuals to know what is right? This man lived in an extremely harsh conditions, but even those who live elsewhere comfortably seem to have a hard time telling right from wrong.
I just started reading this memoir of a Japanese man who was taken to live in North Korea at the age of 13. He was shocked at what he found there. The year was 1960. He writes, “I became obsessed with all the things I had taken for granted before...”
Discouraging words. Don‘t we all experience this at different levels?
This is the first book from Amazon‘s international sale this past April that I‘ve read/listened (#AudioColor ed) to! It is a brief memoir with simple language that so matter of factly relays the hardship and horror that makes up living in #NorthKorea. I really hope there‘s a follow up...
Last of my vacation reads. This was a fast read and completely horrific. As it is a memoir, the writing is a little unpolished and the story occasionally feels unmoored in time - time passes abruptly and sometimes the sequence of events felt confusing. But his style is very emotional and conversational; it very much felt like sitting down with this man to hear his harrowing tale.
This was a hard book to read because of the subject of a South Korean that lived in Japan and then was sent to North Korea. The poverty and propaganda was unbelievable but definitely worth reading.
It is going to be hot for the next couple of days so I'm getting some reading done. Here's my eclectic taste in books from the library. Currently reading A River in Darkness about a South Korean in Japan who later goes to North Korea. It is hard to read about the poverty and propaganda , but it's a good book
Will never look at food the same way again
A look at life among our new best friends, the North Koreans. An absolutely heartbreaking story of a Japanese/Korean boy who at the age of ten is repatriated to North Korea by his abusive Korean father. The North Korean government offers the repatriated “Paradise on Earth”. What they find is poverty, starvation, and abusive public and government. He spend 30‘s years suffering and watching those he loves, including his father, suffering and dying.
This is such a sad story. But very real. This is such a real and heart wrenching account of the author‘s life and family life first growing up in Japan and then moving to North Korea when he is a teenager till adulthood. This is a story of a man‘s survival and perseverance through many tragedies and hardships that he went through. But also his will to live and be there for his loved ones and family.
Current read 📖
Luckily this book is short, because it is intense. 44‘s adulation of N Korea‘s current dictator make this an important read for seeing exactly how bad things are, and have always been, under the Kim regime. So read it. But don‘t expect a hopeful ending.
Starting this. It seems sadly appropriate.
We can't let people's stories be forgotten, and we can't stand by and watch abuse. I hate that Masaji had a terrible life in NK. His memoir is tragic.
This is the author‘s story INTO and out of North Korea. Born in Japan to a South Korean father and Japanese mother, the author‘s family is convinced to move to North Korea with false promises and he escapes years later after a brutal life spent in the country. Very sparse prose makes this a cold read at times, but the story is one very much worth reading.
This was a brutal but eye-opening book. Difficult to read due to the overwhelming sense of sadness and bitterness over a lifetime of starvation, suffering and disappointment expressed by the author. I learned a lot and feel was definitely worth the read.
Kindle deal 🎉 I thought this was great, although obviously brutal. If you‘re interested in North Korea, this may appeal to you.
I learned a lot about North Korea, China, South Korea, and Japan while reading this book. It's not the most exciting read but it was eye opening and somber. I think I would have had a difficult time reading so I would recommend listening instead. #educational
This is a memoir is a poverty story, an account of one man‘s life in North Korea from his “repatriation” to his escape decades later. The testimony is fraught with repetitive phrases and ideas, the bitterness born of eating weeds and battling fate, and the fervor and zeal of a man clinging to hope and survival. The audio, narrated by Brian Nishii brings it all to life, incorporating Japanese words into the performance without fault. 3.75-4.0 stars
🎧 On World Book Day, AMZN offered this 174-page memoir of a North Korean citizen‘s escape from that country. The writing felt too low key considering the enormity of Ishikawa‘s challenges so I decided to switch to the audio narrated by Brian Nishii. I just started, and if I now feel things are a bit melodramatic in delivery, I‘ve decided to go with overstatement rather than understatement!