Three books in a week in a half and I completely forgot to update this thing. I am not a very good book blogger. But I'm trying.
First up was Escape from Camp 14, written by Blaine Harden and based on the amazing, sickening, and insane accounts of Shin Dong-Hyuk. Shin was born in one of the 20+ prison camps within North Korean borders. In many ways this is your standard Holocaust-escape story, but you can't be comforted by leaving it in the past. As I read I was continually struck by the fact that prisoners like Shin were living through these exact things as I sipped coffee and complained to myself about the snow. He was beaten, tortured, and forced to give up every shred of humanity. His escape was nothing short of miraculous. I don't believe we should fear North Korea's nuclear defense program, I believe we should be disgusted by their gross human rights atrocities. “I am evolving from being an animal. But it is going very slowly. Sometimes I cry and laugh, just to see if it feels like anything. Yet tears don’t come. Laughter doesn’t come.” -Shin Dong-Hyuk
Above just came out this month. Isla Morley crafts an intriguing story combining two of the more twisted (and popular) plots showing up on the bestseller lists today. A young girl kidnapped and living in captivity for seventeen years escapes to find the world devastated by an apocalypse only her captor saw coming. The plot is unique only in its combination of these popular plot lines. The themes of forgiveness and guilt were interesting and made the book worth reading, but overall it's not one I'll remember in a few months.
Just tonight I finished The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn. It's fitting because I met the author today. I'm the event coordinator at the bookstore I work for and Kuhn is a local in our town. We'll be hosting his hometown release party in April, but you'll have to wait until then for the April 8th release date. The Intern's Handbook is about interns & assassins-- a combination that goes together better than someone who's never worked for $0/hour might realize. Our novel's anti-hero works for HR, Inc., a cover organization that hires the young and hopeless to pose as interns in the world's most prestigious companies in order to get close to their mark. The novel is funny, in a very dark way, and actually surprised me a few times. (Not to brag, but with the amount of mysteries I've read that doesn't happen often.)
I'm stepping things up with the next book. Another ARC, this one by Peter Heller (my favorite Denver author).