February was an interesting month for me reading-wise. I read a serious and worldly book, a children’s book, and an instructional book. I decided to do away with my number ratings, since it is incredibly difficult and somewhat unfair to compare books on a numerical scale.
The Accusation by Bandi
This book is a collection of fictional stories of characters living under the North Korean regime, written by an anonymous author who based his writing on events he witnessed. The writer, or Bandi, the fake name he has been given, is still living in North Korea, but managed to have his stories smuggled out. For someone trying to become more worldly, I would highly suggest this. The stories gradually become more and more intense throughout the book. While I have read better accounts of North Korea, such as In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park (awesome book!), The Accusation is still an eye-opening and well-written book. I would recommend this to someone who wishes to learn more about the country, but does not feel ready for a bitter dose of complete reality. Don’t get me wrong, this is still filled with awful stories, but it is not as harsh as other accounts.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
I was actually a bit taken aback by this book. I was expecting some amazing, ground-breaking classic. Little did I know that this classic is in fact a book for elementary children and is slightly outdated. However, A Wrinkle in Time still kept me enticed with an intriguing plot and peculiar characters. Filled with whimsical imagery and beautiful scenes, this book creates a sense of wonder and imagination, perfect for children. I feel that this novel has an incredibly helpful message for young children, showing them that their parents are not perfect but in fact humans. If you can let go of reality and modern standards of writing, this can be a wonderfully fun adventure to read.
How Not to Write a Book by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman
I doubt this book is applicable to many of you, but it is full of funny and helpful advice for me. The authors are actually editors themselves, so they have seen firsthand which novels get published. They wittily point out common flaws that almost all aspiring authors make. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely use its advice in my future (I may even buy it!), but I would not heavily suggest it unless you are considering writing as a profession.