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Five Books on Korea

In the wake of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il's death, suggestions for reading about the enigmatic nation have been circulating via Twitter, including frequent mention of Adam Johnson's forthcoming novel The Orphan Master's Son, which follows a boy from life in the labor camps to work as a professional kidnapper.

 

Earlier this year the BNR featured a Five Books list of informative titles about Korea -- North and South -- led by Barbara Demick's penetrating study Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.

 

The full list of suggestions follows.

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April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.