The Man Booker International Prize, 2016. Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams - invasive images of blood and brutality - torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It's a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home.
"This was a tough one"
In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune.
"Great book, great narrator"
Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl's parents arrange for their daughters to "Gold Mountain men" who have come from Los Angeles to find brides. But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel's Island (the Ellis Island of the West, where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months) they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she's pregnant, the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.
"Touching, sad, and enjoyable"
Lily is haunted by memories of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower and asks the gods for forgiveness.
Eleven-year-old Japanese American Owen has been in Japan for his sixth-grade year. By March he finally feels like he's getting the hang of the new culture, making friends at school, and feeling at home with the "weird" food. But early one morning, everything changes - and Owen suddenly finds himself just trying to survive one of history's most devastating disasters.
"I survived the Japanese tsunami,2011"
Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields - except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST).
"A revealing look into North Korea"
Told through the eyes of the Leongs' secret-keeping daughters and wives and spanning the Boxer Rebellion to Pearl Harbor to 1960s Hawaii, Diamond Head is a breathtakingly powerful tale of tragic love, shocking lies, poignant compromise, aching loss, heroic acts of sacrifice, and miraculous hope.
On a family visit to the city, Mom is right behind her husband when the train pulls out of Seoul Station without her, and she is lost, possibly forever. As her children argue over how to find her, they each recall their lives with her. Have they lived up to her expectations? Was she happy? Through the piercing voices of daughter, son, and husband, and through Mom’s own words in the novel’s shattering conclusion, we learn what happened that day, and explore an even deeper mystery—of motherhood itself.
"Daughter wrote, Mom approved."
In her beloved New York Times best sellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed 19-year-old daughter, Joy.
"Dreams of Joy and all of Lisa See's books"
When Communist Party leaders adopted the one-child policy in 1980, they hoped curbing birthrates would help lift China's poorest and increase the country's global stature. But at what cost? Now, as China closes the book on the policy after more than three decades, it faces a population grown too old and too male, with a vastly diminished supply of young workers. Mei Fong has spent years documenting the policy's repercussions on every sector of Chinese society.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, and often sadder"
Here is a short, sleek novel of encounters, set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami's masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore. At its center are two sisters: Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny's toward people whose lives are radically different from her own.
"Very enjoyable, but loose ends"
From Haruki Murakami, internationally acclaimed author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood, a work of literary journalism that is as fascinating as it is necessary, as provocative as it is profound.
"Just as you breathe, you dream your story"
Born in 1970s North Korea, Lucia Jang grew up in a typical household - her parents worked in the factories, and the family scraped by on rations. Nightly she bowed to her photo of Kim Il-Sung. It was the beginning of a chaotic period with a decade-long famine. Jang married an abusive man who sold their baby. She left him and went home to help her family by illegally crossing the river to China to trade goods. She was caught and imprisoned twice.
"Fantastic story. Well read."
For young Peony, betrothed to a suitor she has never met, lyrics from The Peony Pavilion mirror her own longings. In the garden of the Chen Family Villa, amid the scent of ginger, green tea, and jasmine, a small theatrical troupe is performing scenes from this epic opera, a live spectacle few females have ever seen. Like the heroine in the drama, Peony is the cloistered daughter of a wealthy family, trapped like a good-luck cricket in a bamboo-and-lacquer cage.
"Unusual and excellent book"
When the body of an American archaeologist is found floating in the Yangzi River, Ministry of Public Security agent Liu Hulan and her husband, American attorney David Stark, are dispatched to Site 518 to investigate. As Hulan scrutinizes this death—or is it a murder?—David, on behalf of the National Relics Bureau, tries to discover who has stolen from the site an artifact that may prove to the world China’s claim that it is the oldest uninterrupted civilization on earth.
"Best of the Hulan Series... EXCELLENT!"
While David Stark is asked to open a law office in Beijing, his lover, detective Liu Hulan, receives an urgent message from an old friend imploring her to investigate the suspicious death of her daughter, who worked for a toy company about to be sold to David’s new client, Tartan Enterprises.
"Another winner from Lisa See"
Meticulously researched, and superbly imagined, The Commoner is the mesmerizing, moving, and surprising story of a brutally rarefied and controlled existence, at once hidden and exposed, and of a complex relationship between two isolated women who, despite being visible to all, are truly understood only by each other.
"works on several levels"
Sixty-eight-year-old Hattie Kong, descendant of Confucius, daughter of an American missionary, has lived to see both her husband and her best friend die back-to-back in a single year. But two years later, it’s time for Hattie to start over. She moves to a small New England town where she is soon joined by a Cambodian American family and an ex-lover—now a retired neuroscientist—all of them looking for their own new lives.
"Nothing like the descriptive!"
There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run. Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there traffic drugs or work in brothels - or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.
"A Great Listen!"
On March 17, 2009, Lee and her Current TV colleague Laura Ling were working on a documentary about the desperate lives of North Koreans fleeing their homeland for a chance at freedom when they were violently apprehended by North Korean soldiers. For nearly five months they remained detained while friends and family in the United States were given little information about their status or conditions. South Korean by blood, Lee was branded a traitor by her North Korean captors....
"Really great book - Sadly lots of religious jargon"