I haven’t been excited about reading a book in a long time, but when I heard about Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, I immediately thought “Wow I want to read this!”. The second thing I thought was, “How do I get this on my Kindle?”
What a geek right? But well I got it on my Kindle and started reading it. What is it about this book that is so attractive to me? Well it’s based on a collection of letters and interviews from people who made it out of North Korea. While I’ve been to (a small part of) the DPRK, I’m still curious about what the country is actually like, especially with the famine and poverty that has stricken the nation.
Although recent visits to countries from the former Soviet bloc (e.g. East Germany, Czech, Poland, Latvia etc) have given me some idea of what it is like to live in a communist country; DPRK feels different to me because it’s still in a dictatorship and has actually been deteriorating while the rest of the world has been improving. Also, I guess living in Korean town has made the idea of understanding Korean culture more interesting to me. In any case, these aspects hype up this book for me and I’ve been reading a bit of it every day this week.