DISGRASIAN’s Almost-Fall Reading List

August 13th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Oh golly, where did the summer go? One minute, we were fretting over squeezing back into our bikinis. The next, we were, like, fuck it, it’s almost time to wear opaque tights with our little dresses again, now fork over that burrito.

On that note, we meant to put together a Summer Reading List for you guys, but Oprah beat us to it. So allow us to present something a little more unexpected…the DISGRASIAN Almost-Fall Reading List!

Escaping North Korea, Mike Kim – Laura and Euna just did, but what about all of the ordinary North Koreans who got out of there without the help of Bill Clinton? Did you know there’s an “underground railroad” than runs from North Korea to Thailand to aid escapees? Hear stories of what it’s really like living inside Kim Jong-Il’s repressive regime (give you a hint: it’s grim).

One Big Happy Family, Ed. Rebecca Walker – Our friend Rebecca Walker edited and wrote an introduction to this book of essays that redefines the notion of “family” as we know it. Contributors like Min Jin Lee, Dan Savage, ZZ Packer, and Sasha Hom write honestly about subjects as varied as befriending the nanny, open adoption, having a bi-racial baby who doesn’t look like you, and unassisted home birth.

How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror, Reza Aslan – You’ve probably seen Reza on The Daily Show and Bill Maher or read his column at the Daily Beast, educating you on what’s really going on in the Muslim world. Reza’s latest book continues that good work, explaining how we’re only going to win the War on Terror if we stop looking at it as an ideological battle and start confronting the actual issues behind the Islamic Jihadist movement.


The Writer as Migrant, Ha Jin – Ha Jin is a straight-up writing stud. Born in northeastern China, he came to the States in 1984 and began writing only in English. He’s written several books of poetry and short stories, and five novels, one of which, Waiting, won the National Book Award in 1999. His prose is often described as “straightforward.” The Writer as Migrant, Jin’s first book of non-fiction, described by the SF Chronicle as an examination of “how writers who leave their homelands grapple with issues of identity and tradition,” appears to be no different and no less satisfying.

I Love Yous Are for White People, Lac Su – A memoir about escaping the Communists in Vietnam and emigrating to Los Angeles, where the American Dream ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be. A story that we can definitely relate to, although we’d probably have read this book anyway, just for the title alone.

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