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Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York by Roz ChastIf you love Manhattan or just want to get to know it better, try the latest book by New Yorker cartoonist and bestselling author Roz Chast. Readers will find a quirky, fun illustrated tribute to the Big Apple that discusses everything from empty subway cars (avoid them) to the grid pattern that makes up most of the island. Written to help her suburban daughter, who was moving to Manhattan for college, Going into Town is a lighthearted, informative look at Chast's favorite city.
L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home by David LebovitzIf you enjoy amusing stories about people buying homes in awesome places, L'Appart is for you. Love food? Even better! In his latest book, American expat chef and baker David Lebovitz chronicles his adventures buying and renovating a Paris apartment. Recipes, red tape horror stories, and renovation nightmares are all included, as are details about French idiosyncrasies, Parisian markets, adjusting to life abroad, and so much more.
The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up by Michael MeyerAs one of China's first Peace Corps volunteers in 1995, Michael Meyer was there when the country was first opening itself to the west. He taught English in Sichuan to people who'd never seen a white person and who thought Americans were evil. Never really leaving China behind, he eventually falls in love with and marries a Chinese woman. Tracing the vast changes he's seen and sharing amusing anecdotes of what he's learned, Meyer provides a fascinating glimpse at his adopted country. Fans of Peter Hessler will want to check out Meyer's work; this is his third book about China.
Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World by Noah StryckerNoah Strycker had a big 2015 goal: to travel the globe seeing as many bird species as possible (preferably over 5,000, which would break a world record). His delightful Birding without Borders chronicles his travels to over 40 countries on all seven continents, his encounters with interesting local birders and fellow travelers, how he came to love birds as a child, and the history and future of birding. This accessible book isn't just for the bird-obsessed, but for all fans of detail-rich, enlightening, and amusing journeys.
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara DemickExamining North Korea under the regime of "dear leader" Kim Jong-il (father of current leader Kim Jong-un), journalist Barbara Demick spent seven years extensively interviewing six North Koreans who had managed to escape from the repressive regime. She tells how the country's schoolchildren sang anthems praising their leader even as many of them suffered from malnutrition, some to the point of dying, and how everyone guarded their secrets and complaints lest the government put them in horrific labor camps. This grim though "strongly written and gracefully structured" (Wall Street Journal) book offers an eye-opening look at a land most of us will never set foot in.
Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom... by Blaine HardenWith North Korea so much in the news of late, people may wonder what life is like in this closed-off, authoritarian country. You can read the bestselling Escape from Camp 14 for a glimpse. Telling the dramatic story of Shin Dong-hyuk, who was born in one of North Korea's infamous political prisons and is one of the very few people to have escaped, the book describes brutal conditions, where affection is virtually nonexistent and torture, beatings, and starvation are routine. Follow Shin Dong-hyuk as he makes it to South Korea, China, and the U.S. and deals with culture shock.
Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite by Suki KimThis gripping book reads a bit like a dystopian novel as it vividly depicts life in North Korea. Suki Kim, an award-winning author who was born in South Korea but has lived in the United States since she was a teen, took a job teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during what turned out to be the last six months of Kim Jong Il's reign. She watched every word she said, kept notes on a secret flash drive, and tried to connect with her students, young men who believed all the propaganda they'd been served and had little idea of what the rest of the world is like. Kim's well-written, thought-provoking examination of this closed-off land offers a rare look at the elite of the country.
The Girl With Seven Names: Escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee with David JohnBorn in North Korea near the border with China, Hyeonseo Lee had a relatively happy childhood (her family had enough money for food and some extras), but things changed when her father died. When she first secretly crossed the border at 17, she planned to return to her family -- however, when that proved impossible, she lived in China for years, taking new names for safety reasons, before finally making it to South Korea at 28. Later, she helped her family escape...but they faced many barriers. The presenter of a popular TED talk, Lee offers extraordinary insight into both North Korea and China in her compelling book.
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