Chrissie's Reviews > Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
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's review
Apr 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: bio, korea, text-checked, sample-g, 2012challenge
Recommended to Chrissie by: John, Sho, Christi and Gaeta too!!!
Read from April 12 to 15, 2012

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Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

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Chrissie Oh I am sorry. It is kind of hard when tons of people recommend a book......

I will go fix it. :0)

You are making me laugh. Good medicine.


Chrissie I think I will.


message 3: by Tanya (new)

Tanya I just picked this up from the library - good to see that there are so many people recommending it!


Chrissie Tanya, yup, it has got to be good! I trust these people's opinions.


Chrissie The writing is clear. I appreciate how the historical events are presented. Everything you want to know is explained. At the same that the history of Korea is given, you also are presented with the lives of specific Koreans. You get the human side at the same time. I am liking this a lot.

And you, Tanya?


message 6: by Diane (new) - added it

Diane Chrissie, I am now reading Escape from Camp 14 at your suggestion, and another friend just recommended this one.


Chrissie Diane, Lynne read it too. She particularly enjoyed the ending, about life after escape. So I guess I MUST run and buy this but DO keep me up to date on your opinions!!!!

Tanya, what do you think?

Should I run to my computer and buy it?

Diane, I missed you.


message 8: by Diane (new) - added it

Diane Chrissie I missed youe and everyone too! Computer woes so only checking in from work or now on my little phone. No fun! I will definitely post about Escape! I hope you and Oscar are well.


message 9: by Chrissie (last edited May 07, 2012 11:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chrissie Diane, I know how it is when one has no computer!!!! TERRIBLE. I wish you a speedy computer recovery.

Oscar sends a woof. He is so good nowadays. I remember all the difficulties I had when he was a puppy. He was so sick! He is such a wonderful dog. Of course we all love our dogs, don't we? We tend to think our own pets are the most special.


message 10: by Diane (new) - added it

Diane Chrissie, my cat in my avatar (Dougy) was also a very sickly kitten. He still has his ups and downs, but when I think back!


Chrissie Diane, I was so close to thinking I could not manage with all the difficulties, that it is very spooky. We didn't know what was wrong. Kidneys? Stomach? At one point they thought he was diabetic!The tests were erratic and proved to be incorrect. But finally all the problems just disappeared. Having had problems only makes you love the dog/cat more. And many pet owners have difficulties in the beginning. Do you know what Dougy's problems were due to? We still have to be careful with what he eats.


message 12: by Diane (last edited May 08, 2012 11:26AM) (new) - added it

Diane Chrissie, they sound extremely similar. After many different home remedies of yogurt, pumpkin, fiber, asidopholis, followed by a spike in kidney values, we had to have Dougy "scoped" to rule out cancer; he was diagnosed with IBD so like Oscar, he can't have anything other than his limited ingredient food which I can only get from the vet. In addition to the IBD, he also has 'wierd' periods where he kind of zones out for a day or 2 or 3...(wish I could do that); and he has herpes virus (sneezing, running eyes) which we also try to keep under control with vitamin supplements. I agree that the more problems they have...the closer we become!


Chrissie Diane, that sounds so frightening. Does "scope" mean "ultra-sound?


message 14: by Diane (new) - added it

Diane No scope is like when we get scoped. He couldn't eat for 36 hours, and had to have that camera inserted to see what was happening with his belly and organs ;( It's amazing the advances in vet care. Of course, he needed an internist for this, not his regular vet.


Chrissie Thanks for explaining.


message 16: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura I need to read this one, I think. I think you've mentioned it before. Thanks.


message 17: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura There's a wait list for the e audiobook.....a long one. Did you listen or read it, Gaeta?


message 18: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Seems like it would be a pretty engrossing read. Need to push this up my list. Thx for the info!


message 19: by Chrissie (last edited Apr 19, 2013 10:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chrissie This is the only book I can now recommend for Korea, but as I have said elsewhere I am interested in reading The Surrendered. Gaeta, I can't remember.... I don't think you have read it yet either, but were interested in it! Right?

And as I have said before, Demick has a new book out on Sarajevo: Logavina Street: Life And Death In A Sarajevo Neighborhood. I heard about it via BBC Radio.


Rebecca Huston It is a very good book on life in North Korea.


Chrissie Is there anyone who thinks this book is not worth reading? I have yet to meet such a person.


Chrissie I can only get it on Kindle anyhow.


message 23: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura I may read this next. Torn between this and "The Summer of 1787". Both look excellent!


Chrissie I am very curious about The Surrendered. I know it exists but not in Belgium! This gets me so annoyed. This is another one I have requested.


Wendy I recently listened to this one on audio. I thought it was good, but then I have an odd fascination w/ North Korea so my interest in the subject matter may be at a higher level than the average person. It wasn't that long of an audio (I think only around 6-8 discs) so it's not a huge time investment.


message 26: by Chrissie (last edited Jun 29, 2013 11:37PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chrissie I could not get the download due to publication restrictions. :0(


message 27: by Diane (last edited Jun 29, 2013 09:45PM) (new) - added it

Diane Chrissie, hi! I'm glad you gave this book 4 stars. I hope to read it this year, I have it at home.


Chrissie It is by far the best I have read set in Korea. I do REALLY want to read The Surrendered. Good books set in Korea are hard to find. I have one other one about an American who fought in the Korean War, but I cannot remember the title. Diane, put it in a pile of books that are really worth reading. I hope all is going OK for you........


message 29: by Diane (new) - added it

Diane Thanks for the thumbs up on this one, Chrissie, watch for updates of when I get to this one. I am glad I bought it, given your high praise. I am well and hope that you are too! Sorry we've not 'chatted' much but I do love following all of your updates. Hello to Oscar!


Chrissie I don't know how to follow "updates". Could you tell me approximately when you plan on reading the book? I can note it in my calender.


message 31: by Diane (new) - added it

Diane Sure,Chrissie, I plan to read in December but I will also put a note on my book to let you know when I start it in case it's sooner than that.


Chrissie Thanks, Diane! I am glad you are OK.


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