His entry begins:
I tend to be a binge reader. I will sometimes go for months without picking up a book, especially when I am in the throes of writing, but then without warning dive headlong into a pile of them and not surface again for weeks. I often choose what to read by sense of smell. A book may sit on my shelf for a year or more without so much as a flirtatious glance from me; and then one day, walking by, I will catch a whiff and be drawn in by some rich aroma that compels me to pull it down and start reading. Below are the most recent samples from my latest smell-good binge collection.About All Woman and Springtime, from the publisher:
Escape from Camp 14, Blaine Harden
This is the remarkable true story of Shin Dong-hyuk, a man who was born and raised in a prison camp in North Korea, who beat all odds to escape not only that camp, but North Korea as well. It is a book that offers amazing insight into the horrors of the extensive labor camp system of North Korea, as well as a startling glimpse into the heart and mind of one of its rare survivors. Not only is the story compelling, but...[read on]
Before she met Il-sun in an orphanage, Gi was a hollow husk of a girl, broken from growing up in one of North Korea’s forced-labor camps. A mathematical genius, she has learned to cope with pain by retreating into a realm of numbers and calculations, an escape from both the past and present. Gi becomes enamored of the brash and radiant Il-sun, a friend she describes as “all woman and springtime.” But Il-sun’s pursuit of a better life imperils both girls when her suitor spirits them across the Demilitarized Zone and sells them as sex workers, first in South Korea and then in the United States.Visit Brandon W. Jones's website.
This spellbinding debut, reminiscent of Memoirs of a Geisha, depicts—with chilling accuracy—life behind North Korea’s iron curtain. But for Gi and Il-sun, forced into the underworld of human trafficking, their captivity outside North Korea is far crueler than the tight control of their “Dear Leader.” Tenderhearted Gi, just on the verge of womanhood, is consigned to a fate that threatens not only her body but her mind. How she and Il-sun endure, how they find a path to healing, is what drives this absorbing and exquisite novel—from an exciting young Algonquin discovery—to its perfectly imagined conclusion.
The Page 69 Test: All Woman and Springtime.
Writers Read: Brandon W. Jones.