North Korea claims its people have Nothing to Envy of other countries. Barbara Demick’s fascinating reporting of escapees from the secretive regime paints a different picture. The stories of survival, love and disenchantment in the face of extreme scarcity and a leader’s absolute egoism are touching, daring and eye-opening.
Check It Out
Indulge your inner shower singer by listening to Glee Volume 1: The Music. The show’s cast sings contemporary and 80s tunes, a little Broadway and even Neil Diamond with all the flair and fun of the show. It’s a great way to get your Glee fix until April.
Ha Jin’s Waiting begins as a military doctor in 1960s China plans to divorce his wife – again. He is caught between old village ways and new China, and between his wife and the nurse he loves. This is a quiet, complicated story of patience, longing, doubt, resignation, loyalty and…waiting.
The boiling pot of ideologies and passions in pre-World War II Germany are rendered in Jason Lutes’ graphic novels, Berlin: City of Stones and Berlin: City of Smoke, two of a trilogy. Although fiction, Lutes expresses stories of ordinary people on the cusp of a moment that would alter history.
In Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett reflects on 21 years of friendship with author Lucy Grealy, whose tiny stature belied a huge personality despite persistent insecurity and a scarred face. This honest story of loyalty, success and pain of failure is a graceful reminder of our impact on one another.
Local jazz pianist/vocalist Patricia Barber’s music evokes dark clubs and clanking glasses. Her covers of classics and original music make great ambiance for dinner parties with friends or quiet nights at home. Check out Nightclub, her recently released Cole Porter Mix, or catch her Monday nights at the Green Mill.