2023 Book Review Mini Mag PDF


January 2023

People From My Neighborhood (2020) By Hiromi Kawakami Hiromi Kawakami’s collection of vignettes details the individuals of her neighborhood in a brilliant piece of bite-sized fiction. In 120 pages, the reader is plunged into a lifetime of drama, secrets, and otherworldly quirkiness centered around a close- knit community in an outer ward of Tokyo. In each two or three- page close-ups, the reader begins to understand the expansive, tangled web of relationships that tie the townspeople together.

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The Plotters (2018) By Un-Su Kim

Government corruption. Political scandals. Contract killers. Disappearances. Set in contemporary Seoul, South Korea, the world within Kim Un-Su’s novel focuses on the deaths of random political figures as well as who is pulling the trigger. The shadowy figures responsible for the murders are known as “plotters” – faceless hired guns that shoot who they are told to shoot. Suspended on strings and manipulated by society’s wealthiest elites, these assassins are not meant to question their orders. Not until one of them decides to, that is.

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Aerial Concave Without Cloud (2022) By Sueyeun Juliette Lee Grief is a lonely process as much as it is all-encompassing. Like all pain, it takes away, gives back wisdom, and breaks people open. Author Sueyeun Juliette Lee peruses a poet’s journey to research light prompted by the passing of their mother. As they venture to the far-flung corners of Norway and Iceland to study the aurora borealis, the speaker confronts their family’s origin as orphaned immigrants of the Korean war. The deeper they dive into research, the more they find that human grief and light converge.

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