The Circle

We have enjoyed for years the connectivity of Facebook, the rich trove of information from Google, the technological marvels of Apple, and the carefully curated views of Snapchat and Instagram. These marvels have made our world smaller, allowing us to see the world like never before. Everything is shared easily and nothing is as private as it once was, we now live in a culture where moments have to be caught on camera, things have to be liked, loved, and snapped up. We live in a world where our culture is all about instant gratification and acceptance and Dave Eggers is well aware of that.
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Super Sushi Ramen Express

As you very well know, I am busy preparing for my trip to Japan. Tricia and I are in the final stages of itemizing each and every place we would be visiting. We’ve talked about the sights, the sounds, and most definitely the food we would be sampling. Like any good foodie and traveler, I’ve taken the liberty of doing my research beyond the usual Lonely Planet guidebook or food blogs, I’ve added a book as well to help me out.  Continue reading →

Dear Leader

When I picked up Escape from Camp 14 and Nothing to Envy last year, I began my education on the life and times of unknown people living in North Korea who escaped to South Korea. Their lives were intriguing, better than the documentaries I watched before. These two books were personal accounts of people from all walks of North Korean society. A political prisoner, a poor family, an affluent family, and many more in-between, these people had stories to tell of a country that is enigmatic and at the same time terrifying. Last Christmas, my sister gave me another book to my growing collection, Dear Leader by Jang Jin Sung, this time the life and times of a former North Korean intelligence agent.  Continue reading →

2016 Year in Review: Books

This was a huge year for books, after many years of sitting comfortably in the fiction section of my favorite bookstores, I slowly ventured into the non-fiction aisle. Yes! I have finally graduated from my non-fiction slump. In fact I was able to pick up quite a lot this year, still mostly about history but there were a few surprises here and there along the way. From good books to the bad, I round up all the books I’ve read, some reviewed, and some still being read for this year. In the second part of my three part year in review series, let’s take a look back some of the best books I’ve read this 2016.

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Nimona

At first I was hesitant, it was a young adult graphic novel. I usually don’t pick up YA because they sound too profound or philosophical for me. What drew me in though was its cover, the cute little girl with red hair, and the two knights jockeying to catch my attention. Plus, it was on a top 10 best graphic novels of 2015 and it’s already 2016, so I am late to the party and those were pretty good reasons enough to pick up Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona.
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The Last Days of Night

I’ve always wondered how electricity came to be? I know it comes from power lines and generators, and power plants. But I’ve often wondered how it started, like how was life like when electricity was just starting out. When I watched Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige”, the names Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, along with some out of this world electrical rays were shown. However, it didn’t really give me an insight into a time when electricity was just starting out. In Graham Moore’s exciting new novel, “The Last Days of Night”, he brings us to a world yet to be electrified, when the words Westinghouse and Edison were synonymous to power, and only the rich and moneyed could afford such a privilege. Continue reading →

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

I have always been fascinated by North Korea, from the time I watched Diego Buñuel of Don’t Tell my Mother: North Korea on National Geographic, to reading Pyongyang by Guy De Lisle and Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden, the mysteriousness of the world’s rogue state has fascinated me.  Continue reading →