human acts by han kang

Han Kang’s latest novel (2014, English translation 2016) is about the Gwangju Uprising in South Korea. In 1980 students from Jeonnam University protested against Chun Doo-hwan’s government. The students were tortured, beaten, and shot by the government military. Ten days later, hundreds were dead. Kang guides her readers through the…

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the little blue chair

Cary Fagan has written a timeless children’s book about the journey of a little blue chair from its first owner, a little boy, to its final owner, the daughter of the now-grown boy. Each owner declares the chair perfect for their particular need, traveling from suburbs to oceans to jungles.…

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the witch of lime street

The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World by David Jaher (Crown Publishers, 2015) The 1920s may elicit feelings of nostalgic glamour, but it was a time of emotional desperation for a country recovering from the enormous losses World War I. It’s no wonder that…

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the cauliflower by nicola barker

Sri Ramakrishna is a guru, perhaps godly and wise or maybe just desperate and crazy. Hriday, the guru’s caretaker, seems to think the latter but insists his uncle is the former – convincing the reader this story is really worth listening to. I’m not so certain. Barker’s new novel has…

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