North Korea, Culture; Continent: Asia

Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, A Memoir by Suki Kim A Korean-born New Yorker goes down the rabbit hole to teach at a prestigious North Korean university 285 pages (291 pages including Acknowledgements and Author’s Note) Here in the West, we’ve all seen the video […]

The Reject Pile, July 2016 Edition

Over the past six months, I’ve only really had two books I couldn’t bother to finish. They share a couple of common traits (although not topics), chief among them that they are recounted in a narrative style – often a draw for me. Unfortunately, the first becomes repetitive while the second takes on an overly […]

Vietnam, anti-Communism; Continent: Asia

Finding the Dragon Lady: The Mystery of Vietnam’s Madame Nhu by Monique Brinson Demery I knew she wasn’t a Bond girl, but if you’d see the book cover, you’d understand the passing association 258 pages (225 pages before the Acknowledgments begin) When I was in high school in the 1980s, the Vietnam War never made […]

Conquest and Empire; Continents: Europe, Asia, Africa

Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the Bloody Fight for His Empire by James Romm Why do we not hear much about the ancient Macedonians after Alexander the Great? Who were these people, anyway? The answer is more interesting than you might think.  369 pages (278 pages of content, with […]

Taiwan, Military, Piracy; Continent: Asia

Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West by Tonio Andrade A book about war for people who don’t like the dry who-blew-up-what style of most military history books 431 pages (read at least up to page 334) In the mid-seventeenth century, the Dutch East India Company dominates trade outside […]