Maybe Frappes & Fiction is slowly becoming Frappes & Nonfiction, but today I’m bringing you reviews for two more nonfiction books: In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park and Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.
In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park
About the Book
Title: In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom
Author: Yeonmi Park (with Maryanne Vollers)
Rating: 5/5 stars
“I know that it is possible to lose part of your humanity in order to survive. But I also know that the spark of human dignity is never completely extinguished, and that given the oxygen of freedom and the power of love, it can grow again.“
In Order to Live is an incredible story of an extraordinarily brave woman. As a child, Yeonmi Park lived relatively comfortably with her family in North Korea and believed wholeheartedly in the regime. But when her father arrested after he was caught participating in illegal trade, her family was cast into the lowest rank of society.
Realizing they would starve unless they left the only country they had ever known, 13-year-old Yeonmi and her mother crossed the border into China— but they had been betrayed: the people who had helped them escape were human traffickers using China’s policy of deporting refugees to exploit North Korean women. She and her mother lived as sex slaves for two years before managing to cross the Gobi desert to freedom.
Now Yeonmi studies law at Columbia University and has a YouTube channel where she raises awareness about human rights in North Korea.
I originally picked this up after watching part of her interview with Jordan Peterson last month, and I am glad that I did. I don’t know that much about North Korea or as much as I should about international relations and social issues in general. Reading this book, I could not believe such things were happening, currently, right now, today, in the world. I was struck by the parallels to 1984.
In Order to Live is honest, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful: I would definitely recommend it.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
About the Book
Title: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Author: Lori Gottlieb
Genre: memoir, psychology
Rating: 4/5 stars
“Most big transformations come about from the hundreds of tiny, almost imperceptible, steps we take along the way.”
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is fairly popular on the blogosphere, and I had seen so many people talking about it that I decided to read it myself.
In this memoir, Lori Gottlieb discusses her experiences both as a therapist and a recipient of therapy. Weaving together her own life story and those of her patients, she crafts a very emotional treatise on mental health.
I learned a lot from this book about the benefits/reasons to consider therapy, and the narrative was engaging: at times funny, and at times extremely sad. Gottlieb admits that due to privacy concerns she had to fictionalize much of the book, especially the details concerning her patients, so the events described in the book might not have happened exactly how she describes them.
That didn’t stop the writing from being impactful, though. I definitely enjoyed this book, and it was, for lack of a better word… therapeutic.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Have you read either of these books? What have you been reading recently?
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Classical music piece of the day: Vivaldi- Summer from the Four Seasons