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My Year Abroad
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
17 posts | 12 read | 22 to read
From the award-winning author of Native Speaker and On Such a Full Sea, an exuberant and entertaining story of a young American whose life is transformed when a Chinese American businessman suddenly takes him under his wing on a global adventure. Tiller is an average college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations and talents. Then he meets Pong Lou, a successful Chinese American businessman, and everything changes. With Pong's unmatched charisma, richly varied interests and skills, enviable resources, and loyal circle of friends and business partners, he represents a life that Tiller has never imagined. When Pong invites Tiller along on a boisterous trip across Asia with no return ticket, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to luxury globetrotter. In the process, he's pulled into a series of wholly unexpected experiences--some humorous, some heartbreaking, some darkly shocking, and all of which will alter the course of his life. A year later, passing through an American airport on his way home from this Asian adventure, Tiller takes up with an unlikely older woman and her son, and quickly slips from one life to another as he processes all he's experienced and what it will mean for his future. Told in alternating storylines, Tiller's tale weaves back and forth between his outlandish, memorable year with Pong, and the domestic adulthood that replaces it. From an award-winning writer known for exploring issues of culture and identity with provocative originality, My Year Abroad is a bold and exciting new novel about the people we meet who change our lives forever, and a brilliant satire/fable about entrepreneurship and the American dream.
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SqueakyChu
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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So far, it‘s been a real chore to read. I‘ve been trying too hard to understand all of the details in each paragraph, not always being successful. *sigh*
I‘m getting disappointed in this story.

SqueakyChu I‘m bailing on page 97. I don‘t like this book. It‘s as simple as that. What a disappointment! That‘s now two of this author‘s books I didn‘t care for. He comes off of my “favorite authors” list as of today. (edited) 1mo
8 likes1 stack add1 comment
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SqueakyChu
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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I‘m having some difficulty with this novel. This book seems overwritten. There is so much verbiage tucked into every paragraph that I find it hard to concentrate on the more general story. I like the simpler, earlier novels of this author so much better than this one. I‘m going to continue...and see where this story takes me. I hope I‘m not disappointed.

BarbaraBB I felt the same and ended up a bit disappointed 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1mo
SqueakyChu Oh, no! I *loved* this author‘s first two books (Native Speaker, A Gesture Life), but I did not like his apocalyptic novel On Such a Full Sea. I wanted him to go back to the way he wrote earlier. I don‘t like forced “overwriting”. It seems so pretentious. You don‘t need so many words to get an idea across! 1mo
BarbaraBB But @Megabooks loved it, so don‘t mind me ☺️ 1mo
SqueakyChu 😂 1mo
10 likes1 stack add4 comments
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SqueakyChu
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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So I started this book last night. I totally forgot how much I love this author‘s writing. He squeezes so much into every paragraph. He was writing about a town called Dunbar Village, which to me seemed an exact replica of the town of Princeton, New Jersey, even with its gelato store. I had to look this information up, but, yes, Chang Rae Lee, did once teach at Princeton University. Aha!

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SqueakyChu
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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I found this at the library today. I actually spent some time there, masked, of course. I grabbed this new book because I like this author. I felt sad, though, at how empty the library is these days. :(

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Mogoeg
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Pickpick

Here's a sample of my inner voice while reading this: 'wow!amazing!...erm.what?ok...WTF!?...brilliant!...hm where is this going?...W.T.ACTUAL.F just happened!?'

Lee is a beautiful & brutal writer & there is no one better at capturing a certain flavor of 21st century experience. But oh boy, there's A LOT to unpack here. Whiteness, masculinity (& white masculinity), orientalism & particularly Asia as a stage for adventure & 'finding yourself.'

Mogoeg In the end I admired this novel more than I enjoyed it. But yeah, Lee is the real deal - he's going to win all the prizes by the time he is done writing. (edited) 2mo
87 likes1 stack add1 comment
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lowellette
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Pickpick

I loved this apprentice story. The plot structure pulled me in, and the characters were amazing. I was completely enthralled with this book.

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AlizaApp
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Pickpick

Liked but did not love this novel about a young (White, American) man who accepts a haphazard job offer from a wealthy and eccentric Chinese man, and ends up doing work he never imagined (both good and bad) around Asia.

BarbaraBB I felt the same. 6mo
31 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CoveredInRust
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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I was on a book buying ban.

MicheleinPhilly Famous last words. 😉 6mo
BookishMarginalia I fell way off the wagon this summer. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 6mo
Suet624 Yeah. That really never works for me. 6mo
See All 11 Comments
LiteraryinLawrence Cerulean Sea is the BEST!!! 6mo
CoveredInRust @MicheleinPhilly I shoulda known. Lol 6mo
CoveredInRust @BookishMarginalia Those wagon wheels are squeaky anyway... 6mo
CoveredInRust @Suet624 I'm sometimes fine until I DECIDE I'm not gonna buy books...then every cell rejects the idea. Lol 6mo
CoveredInRust @LiteraryinLawrence I've heard so many great things! I can't wait to read it! 6mo
wanderinglynn But such a great book stack! ❤️📚 6mo
CoveredInRust @wanderinglynn Definitely happy with the stock at our local idie bookstore 😃 6mo
Suet624 @CoveredInRust exactly!!!! 6mo
43 likes11 comments
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Hooked_on_books
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Mehso-so

This one just didn‘t work for me. Some of the writing is lovely and pieces of the story are riveting. But overall, it seems to just go on and on rather pointlessly. My mind kept wandering and, even though I just finished it a few hours ago, I barely remember it. A small annoyance is also that the audio reader went with “hick” for any regional US accent, and that just isn‘t accurate.

Come-read-with-me I just got this one and have been looking forward to it. Thanks for the great review and a heads up about where I may encounter some bumps. 9mo
45 likes1 comment
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BarbaraBB
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Pickpick

The young Tiller is mesmerized by businessman Pong. The feeling seems mutual and Pong takes him on a business trip to #China. A second storyline is set afterwards, while Tiller is living with a woman under witness protection and her young son. Unfortunately the book didn‘t grab me as much as I expected to. In parts it‘s brilliant but it is sooo long. The endings of both storylines are memorable though!

#Indiespensable #ReadingAsia2021 🇨🇳

Ruthiella This one is definitely on my list! 😀 Well see if the length gets to me as well. 9mo
squirrelbrain Gorgeous pic! ❤️ 9mo
Megabooks You know, when I first finished it, I thought it was just a tad above average, but then when it really stuck with me, and I started to absentmindedly make connections, I found it more brilliant. Definitely not 5⭐️, but an above average pick for me. It‘s one I‘ll reread at some point. Lovely pic! (edited) 9mo
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Librarybelle Lovely pic! ❤️ 9mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I‘d love that to happen. The making connections I mean. Because that‘s what I miss at the moment, it all feels a bit loose, like a bunch of short stories brought together in one book. 9mo
Hooked_on_books I‘m about halfway through this one on audio and having a similar response. It‘s not nearly as engaging as I was expecting. I‘m actually finding my attention wandering a bit as I listen. 9mo
BarbaraBB @Hooked_on_books I was skimming sometimes too, wondering where it all would lead to. 9mo
88 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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BarbaraBB
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Super excited for my first #Indiespensable book 😍😍

Megabooks Yay!! Gorgeous!! 10mo
63 likes1 stack add1 comment
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QuintusMarcus
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Pickpick

Fantastic book, very funny, until suddenly it wasn‘t. Lee has such a stunning way with words - I laughed out loud at his quips more than anything I‘ve read in years. A fresh and vibrant take on the Bildungsroman, that genre that never gets old.

11 likes1 stack add
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Megabooks
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Pickpick

The beginning of the mentorship of Tiller by Pong was completely riveting!! Through the middle, when they were in China, parts were incredibly striking in their imagery, but other parts were a bit dull. The ending was unexpected, violent, and memorable.

The parallel timeline where Tiller was living with Val and Victor after returning from China...in some ways, it‘s the perfect foil, but was it needed? 🤔

Fascinating #audiobook! 4⭐️

Megabooks Yes, I am getting a lot of reading done after the ice storm! Book + blanket! 11mo
Librarybelle The cover intrigues me because it‘s so different! 11mo
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BarbaraBB Extremely looking forward to it! 11mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I think you‘ll like or possibly love it! (edited) 11mo
Cinfhen So.... yay or nay for cindy!??!! 11mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen yay when you‘re in the mood for literary fiction! 11mo
Cinfhen Thanks!! It‘s been noted and filed 😘 11mo
95 likes3 stack adds9 comments
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Megabooks
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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I‘m a little over ⅓ in to this novel that I‘m finding wonderfully complex and thoughtful. In one timeline (the advertised one), Tiller is taken in by Pong, a very savvy Chinese chemist/businessman. (They are just now making it to Asia.) In the other timeline (after returning from Asia), he is living with a woman and son who are in witness protection. I‘m excited to continue learning how it all comes together. I think you‘ll enjoy this @BarbaraBB !

TiminCalifornia There's some good buzz about this book. Glad you posted! 11mo
BarbaraBB I just checked. Shipping date is March 6 🤭 11mo
Megabooks @TiminCalifornia so far, it‘s deserved! 11mo
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Megabooks @BarbaraBB what the heck?!? Is that the leaving Portland date or the arrival in Amsterdam date? (edited) 11mo
Cinfhen How about me?? Would I like it?? XX 11mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I shall render that verdict when I‘m done! Unsure at this point. 😃😘 11mo
BarbaraBB Leaving Portland it says on the website! 11mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB yikes!! That is ridiculous!! 😩 11mo
BarbaraBB Fortunately I do have some other books to read in the mean time 😀 11mo
Cinfhen Fair enough 💕😘 11mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB this is an interesting book because it‘s requiring a much higher level of engagement than most audiobooks (or other books) I read and I find myself taking breaks and listening to other books in the mean time, not because I dislike this one, but simply because I‘m not digesting it as easily. This combination of traits comes up rarely in books that I read. 🤔 11mo
BarbaraBB That is true. Mostly you fly through your books and this one takes time! I am so curious. It does sound difficult!! 11mo
83 likes1 stack add12 comments
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LMJenkins
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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From Parnassus Books: ⭐Book Love in the Air: 18 Bookseller Favorites for February ⭐

https://parnassusmusing.net/2021/02/03/staff-picks-february-2021/

I am excited for the tagged book, which is not in my usual choice profile, which I'll be receiving from the February First Editions Club.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I love this picture! Looks like a lot of great reading ahead! 12mo
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Texreader
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Book idea for #readingasia2021 about travels across Asia

Read excerpts here: https://lithub.com/my-year-abroad/

BarbaraBB Is it about Asia? I didn‘t know but did order a copy! A happy coincidence! @Megabooks , look at this! 12mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB yes! I knew this. Apparently there‘s a lot of karaoke involved?? I‘m not sure what country I‘ll use it for. Also, the author was born in South Korea. 12mo
Bookwormjillk Thanks! This looks good! 12mo
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BarbaraBB @Megabooks I obviously bought it on a whim, the blurb is pretty clear about its setting in Asia lol! I‘m not sure for what country to use it yet, I have South Korea covered by my doublespin this month 12mo
Librarybelle Thanks for sharing! 12mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB cool. @nelehelen has recommended some South Korean lit in translation that I might use for that country. I‘m really interested in seeing where this book takes me! 12mo
BarbaraBB Thanks @Megabooks ! @nelehelen read a good one for #SaudiArabia as well! 12mo
48 likes1 stack add7 comments
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Megabooks
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Taking a chance on a new narrator with this preorder! 😬🎧

As far as #readingasia2021, the author is South Korean, but from what I‘ve read, the book takes place in a few Asian countries.

And for you print readers, this is Powell‘s February indiespensible. 👍🏻📚

2/2 is going to be a good day...two new release preorders and #bookspin!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 12mo
Librarybelle Hooray! 12mo
Megabooks @TheAromaofBooks @Librarybelle I love preorders! Such excitement! 12mo
See All 17 Comments
Cinfhen Hahaha!!! I agree!!! I love #BookSpin Day @TheAromaofBooks xxx 12mo
Cinfhen Sounds interesting!! I‘ll be watching for your review 😘 12mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I‘m a bit nervous because the narrator had no other books on Audible, so I truly have no idea what he sounds like so 🤞🏻!! 😬 12mo
Cinfhen Male narrators are tricky...hopefully he‘ll be great 😊 12mo
BarbaraBB Earlier this week I suddenly subscribed to that Indiespensable box... 🤦🏻‍♀️. I had been resisting for years and suddenly it felt very necessary to give in to the temptation 🤷🏻‍♀️ (edited) 12mo
BarbaraBB Thanks so much for your email! I will get back to you later today. Yesterday was crazy at work 🤍 12mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen so true! At least Audible has the return policy! 12mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB oh that‘s awesome re: indiespenible!! They are so beautiful. I hope you enjoy it. And no worries about getting back to me! I figured something had come up. You are a wonderful, reliable friend! I hope things ease up work-wise soon. 💜 12mo
Cinfhen Yes!! They do have the BEST return policy....especially for you😉somehow you earn credits when u return 😂😂 12mo
Cinfhen @BarbaraBB that‘s SUCH a CRAZY coincidence!!! Hopefully box arrives quickly xx 12mo
TheAromaofBooks I usually make preorders & then completely forget about them, so they're like surprise presents to my future self 😂 12mo
Megabooks @TheAromaofBooks yes! I have done that too! 12mo
Reviewsbylola This sounds promising. Can‘t wait to hear what you think! 12mo
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola it does! It‘s close enough I think I‘ll remember I preordered it 😉😉 I have this one going on the 2nd too 12mo
78 likes17 comments