Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is one of those books where I ask what could I possibly say about something that has already been so widely acclaimed (and turned into an Apple TV+ series)? Well, I’ll try.

Pachinko is a multi-generational epic about one family, starting in Korea in 1910, then shifting to Japan before World War II, where it mostly stays through 1989. It’s about the immigrant struggle, and also racism and discrimination against Koreans there. I clearly am not the person to make any kind of commentary about this, so here’s the author talking to NPR.

I’ve had this on my shelf for a while (I found a copy in a Little Free Library, the newer versions don’t have a Junot Diaz blurb on the cover), and kept skipping it because it’s a long, dense book, and thought it would take me weeks to get through. Nope, just about one. The story is so engrossing, and moves that fast. My one caveat is that I don’t know if the story felt like it flagged a bit as it got closer to modern day, or I just read so much in a short period of time that I might have spoiled the experience a bit for myself.

Anyway — I liked it. And reminded myself not to be intimated by page count.

Nail polish: Throw Me a Kiss by OPI.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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