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The Island of Sea Women
The Island of Sea Women: A Novel | Lisa See
130 posts | 93 read | 6 reading | 124 to read
A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and family secrets on a small Korean island. Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their villages all-female diving collective, led by Young-sooks mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sooks differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mothers position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point. This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See storyone of womens friendships and the larger forces that shape themThe Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.
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Bookwormjillk
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Pickpick

Lisa See wrote another great one. I‘ve been absorbed in this book all day. The story of friends Mi-ja and Young-sook was heartbreaking, and it was interesting to learn more about the history of Korea. Recommend.

nelehelen This has been on my TBR for so long and i finally bought it! Can‘t wait to read it! 1w
38 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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margreads
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Pickpick

Finished this book yesterfay and thoroughly enjoyed it. It took me a while to read but when i picked it up again a couple of days ago I got through it quickly

I had no idea about the history of that area so it was made me grateful to be living in this time and place. The strength of the characters was admirable and Lisa See is a great storyteller as always

14 likes2 stack adds
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Branwen
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Today was my lucky day at work! I found and rescued these two books as they were being weeded! 😁 The tagged book was in the top ten books I've read so far this year and I'm ecstatic to finally have my own copy! 📚💕

marleed Oh good for you! It‘s like rescuing two kittens. I loved Island of the Sea Women. A total TIL for me! 3w
Branwen @marleed Yes! It really does feel like that! I love rescuing books! 😁 I think Island of Sea Women is just so brilliant! It was really cool learning all that history! 💕 3w
Jee_HookedOnBookz Yesssss! I loved Sea Women! 3w
52 likes3 comments
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4thhouseontheleft
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My stack of 2019 #Goodreads Award nominees that I plan on dispersing between my NF reads this month! Still hoping that my Water Dancer hold request comes in soon, too.

And I stopped at Starbucks while I was out and got a peppermint mocha and reusable mug! Not very impressed with this year‘s design. Oddly, I have an easier time reading it when looking at a photo of the cup vs seeing it in person. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Any favorites in this stack?

Branwen What a fantastic stack of books! 👍 On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is one of my top 6 favorite books of the year so far! 😀 1mo
4thhouseontheleft @Branwen That‘s the one I‘m reading first off the stack! 1mo
4thhouseontheleft I also had a hold on this one which turned out to not make the nominee list 1mo
See All 14 Comments
Branwen @4thhouseontheleft Ooooh! I haven't heard of that one! It looks amazing though! 😍 1mo
4thhouseontheleft @Branwen I made some guesses the end of Oct of which books would make the list when I was placing holds. I guessed pretty well! 🙌🏽🤣 1mo
ImperfectCJ Of these, I've only read Black Leopard, Red Wolf so far, and I really liked it. The brutality and style made it a little challenging to get into until I figured out how to read it, but I've been reading more straightforward stuff and it was kind of nice to work a bit more for this one. 1mo
jb72 I‘ve not read any of those. 1mo
wanderinglynn I haven‘t read any of those. But I agree with you on the SB reuseable cup—the design this year is a bit blasé. 1mo
MommyOfTwo Yea the cups are weird this year 1mo
shadowspeak17 I‘ve only read My Sister, the Serial Killer, but it‘s been one of my favorites this year. 1mo
ValerieAndBooks Got my reusable cup today too! Would have been better without all the letters before and after “merry coffee” ! 1mo
Kaila-ann I‘ve only read The Silent Patient and wasn‘t overly impressed. It was a quick read tho 🤷🏻‍♀️. I got my Starbucks cup today too 1mo
janeycanuck My Sister the Serial Killer and The Silent Patient are 👍👍 1mo
87 likes14 comments
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Yoricke_SouthAfrica
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1) Done! Lisa See. The Island of See Women.
2) Of course, I love reading in bed.
3) That's a big NO from me.
4) A size 6, US size 5
5) @PaperbackPirate @Arvena @brit91

Thank you @Buechersuechtling for the tag!

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Yoricke_SouthAfrica
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Pickpick

I just finished, what must be, one of the greatest books I've read this year. Wow, wow and wow again! The author has done an incredible job of describing the beautiful culture and history of Korea in this book. What a fantastic story!

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taraWritesSci
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Pickpick

Painful, brutal, beautiful, touching, and at times funny, this story had so many layers that it's hard to do it justice in a few words of review. The history, the buried truths of years of unbelievable torment endured by the inhabitants of the island, and the decimation of their culture, comes through the story of two inseparable girls who are eventually torn apart from the atrocities they lived through.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

taraWritesSci Cont: The character and strength of the women divers who took care of the island people, is unforgettable. 2mo
26 likes1 comment
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Yoricke_SouthAfrica
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Very excited to start this book. It's my first book by this author as well.

marleed This book opened up a whole new world to me! 2mo
MelKelsey Such a good book and author! Enjoy! 2mo
Yoricke_SouthAfrica @marleed I've read such great reviews. I'm about 100 pages in, and absolutely loving it. The history and culture is amazing. 2mo
See All 9 Comments
Birdsong28 Read the tagged book now next as it is so good 2mo
Yoricke_SouthAfrica @MelKelsey Thank you. It seems to be "something completely different". I'm already enjoying it so much. 2mo
Yoricke_SouthAfrica @Birdsong28 Thank you so much. Immediately adding to my TBR list. This is why I love the Litsy community 💜💜💜 2mo
Yoricke_SouthAfrica @Birdsong28 Just wanted to thank you again for the book recommendation. I bought the book yesterday. Cannot wait to start it! 1mo
Birdsong28 @Yoricke_SouthAfrica Its ok. Hope you enjoy it. Its my favourite of all she has done 😘📚📖 1mo
Birdsong28 @Yoricke_SouthAfrica Its ok. Hope you enjoy it. Its my favourite of all she has done 😘📚📖 1mo
35 likes9 comments
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Valink
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Pickpick

Heartbreaking and beautiful.

Tera66 I loved this book! 2mo
marleed @Tera66 me too! 2mo
14 likes2 comments
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Readswithcoffee
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Pickpick

Fascinating historical fiction book about the matrifocal society on the island of Jeju (Korea). The female sea divers, known as haenyeo, dive while holding their breath in order to harvest various forms of sea life which they sell to support their families.

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Valink
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I was presenting at a Behavioral Health Town Hall this morning an hour away from my office and finished my audiobook on the drive out, so I‘m downloading my book for the drive home now!

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kaysworld1
Pickpick

“As the Korean saying goes, do the work of the dead in the land of the living”.

“Every woman who enters the sea carries a coffin on her back. In this world, the undersea world, we tow the burdens of a hard life”.

Women harvest together, sort together, and sell together. The sea itself is communal.

#librarybooks #reading #booksthatstaywithyou #books #read #lisalee #reviews #femaleauthors

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Erin.Elizabeth10
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Pickpick

Wow! This was an amazing story filled with dynamic characters, heartfelt themes, and incredible history. I would definitely recommend!

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margreads
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Now for something completely different I'm going to read a book book rather than an audiobook or a ebook. Been years since I read one of this author's books but not because I don't normally love them!! Just because I haven't

16 likes1 stack add
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Samplergal
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#7Days7Covers #CoverCrush #Day1

Post a cover each day for seven days with no explanation. @4thhouseontheleft if you‘ve not done it. Anyone else can join in.

Leftcoastzen Lovely! 3mo
80 likes1 comment
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Mitch
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I love it when my #bookmail shows how diverse my reading taste are as a product of the wonderful world of litsy! #blameitonlitsy

julesG Still waiting for my Darkdawn. Have kept myself from really getting into the series so far. Eventually caved and bought the UK editions and am still waiting for the book mail. 😔😔😔 3mo
SoManyBooksNotEnoughTime Island of Sea Women is soo good, enjoy! 3mo
DrewAnderson 🍭 3mo
81 likes3 comments
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Joanielovesbooks
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Looks good!

marleed It is! 3mo
GinaKButler Loved this one! 3mo
Abby2 So good. There is a link on Lisa see‘s website to photos of jeju 3mo
Joanielovesbooks ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- loved this book (edited) 3mo
23 likes1 stack add5 comments
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MrBook
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Today was our monthly meeting of the illustrious #ThePoconoBookClub 😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻! It was a great meeting with a bunch of new members in attendance, WOOHOO 🕺! Most folks really enjoyed the selection, some not so much. My accompaniment: bacon mac ‘n cheese with bacon, and unsweetened iced tea. MMMmmmm 😋! It was excellent!

TheEllieMo Ooh, you‘ve made me really want some mac‘n‘cheese now! 3mo
Zelma That Mac and cheese looks fantastic! 3mo
90 likes2 comments
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MallenNC
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This is my August wrap up. Several mysteries and only one nonfiction! I listened to Whisper Network, The Way You Make Me Feel, and The Bookshop on the Shore. Overall a good month as I liked all of these. I‘m picking the tagged book as my top book of the month even though it was very sad.

MrBook Reading TIoSW now 😁! That Colgan looks good! 3mo
MallenNC @MrBook I liked the Colman book. She‘s a pretty reliable author for me! (edited) 3mo
39 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

This book has a lot of sadness but I so enjoyed being immersed in a different world and culture, where women work as divers and men take care of children. The book covers nearly a lifetime and main character went through so much! I first learned about the women divers in Korea from reading White Chrysanthemum, and I learned a lot more about their diving skills from this book. I‘ve read other books by Lisa See but this one was the best.

32 likes2 stack adds
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Becker
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Pickpick

This takes place on Jeju Island, South Korea. Great cultural story but even more interesting from a historical viewpoint.🦐

29 likes1 stack add
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Twainy
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Pickpick

This was a recommendation. Audiobook on loan from Hoopla. I shamefully admit that this was almost a DNF! This is not my genre and I had a difficult time finishing it BUT it was worth finishing because it‘s a really good book! Story covers friendship, family secrets, generations, all female diving collective, a small Korean island. I really enjoyed the character interaction. Well done! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/4! (Only halfway through The Silent Patient)

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kitteh_reads
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Pickpick

I‘ve read this author before and loved her other books. Because I‘ve read most of her books, I know how this author writes and I was pleasantly surprised that she changed her formula! It was still very authentic, I love how she describes the food and the culture. But the history was a completely added level and so well done!!! I learned so much...all while enjoying the story. #greatreads

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Tex2Flo
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1. Anything with milk chocolate. I avoid it as long as I can, but then I break out like a 16 year old n
2. After over 60 years, I finally found some clothing I like and am replacing my whole wardrobe piece by piece.
3. Tagged. Time period that I hate to read about but a sociology I‘m completely interested in.
4. Thanks @KarenUK for the tag. Now, let‘s see if @Taichichick is paying attention.
@Eggs #wondrouswednesdy one of my favorite prompts.

Eggs Thanks for playing 👏🏻🤗👏🏻 4mo
11 likes1 comment
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suvata
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Pickpick

This book introduced me to the Korean island of Jeju and to its female divers called Haenyeo. It takes place during the Japanese invasion of Korea. I had no idea that there was a matrifocal culture where the women were the ones who made the money and provided for their families. It‘s about family, friendship, love, and betrayal; but it was also very educational. I learned so much about the history of Korea and it was truly fascinating.

margreads I have this book sitting in my kitchen calling my name 4mo
suvata @margreads Well, you should answer its call. 4mo
53 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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marleed
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Pickpick

I wish I could select Pick three times to indicate how much I love this book. It‘s beautiful and tragic and forgiving. It‘s a history lesson that makes me want know more. I want to send prayers of love across the sea on April 3 of each year.
Jeju, your matrifocal culture, your sea women (haenyeo), your beauty - It was so nice to meet you!

nelehelen They are incredible women. Wish there were more books about them. Can‘t wait to read this! 4mo
marleed @nelehelen I didn‘t expect to be so fascinated by this book. Working for Dept of Army connected me to May Korean women. Now I wonder if I was amiss in learning about their culture because I knew nothing of this story. ...But perhaps many of them didn‘t either since it was illegal to speak of 4/3. 4mo
62 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Reecaspieces
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shaynarae
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Surf‘s up, reading‘s down. I‘ve been spending more time in the ocean, which means less time reading. Only 7 books this month, most of them being in/around/near the water 🌊🏖
1 🎧 audio
1 🖥 ebook
5 📚physical books
Fiction: 6
Nonfiction/essays/memoirs: 1
From my shelf: 0
#monthlywrapup #julystats

21 likes2 comments
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Abby2
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Pickpick

I felt immersed in the culture. Her best book yet.

cassiopia I cried at the ending. 4mo
Abby2 Her whole life was heartbreaking and hard. 😓 4mo
19 likes1 stack add2 comments
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bookandbedandtea
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Pickpick

We've checked into our hotel in Palm Springs and I'm about to collapse into bed but, first, my review:
This was very painful at times but it was beautifully written and very engaging. It also prompted me to dip a little research about a part of the world I know very little about. A definite win.

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bookandbedandtea
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Here I go! Hoping to finish the tagged book and start The Bride Test on the plane. 😊🏜

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Bevita
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Pickpick

Another terrific book by this author, reminding me that I know next to nothing about Korea. Loved it.

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IndoorDame
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Pickpick

Lisa See is an author I've been hearing about on litsy all year and I loved experiencing her writing for the first time. This quiet, heartbreaking read explored a little piece of history I knew nothing about. A powerful female voice I look forward to reading more from.

Mynameisacolour Yes! I love her! All of her books are so good and I can't wait to read this one. You should check out Snowflower and the Secret Fan. 5mo
IndoorDame @Mynameisacolour great, thanks! I'm adding that one to my tbr right now 😊 5mo
56 likes2 comments
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Reecaspieces
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Pickpick

It was so nice outside this morning. I could not resist! I finished this read while getting my workout in! Loved it! #teamflow #bfc #bfcr2 @wanderinglynn @Moony @CocoReads @julesG @LibrarianJen @imabusybee @laurenslibrary @britt_brooke

julesG 👏👏👏👏👏 5mo
imabusybee Good job👏🏻😍 5mo
wanderinglynn Way to go! 🙌🏻 5mo
britt_brooke 💪🏻💪🏻 5mo
tammysue 👏🏻🙌🏻 5mo
87 likes1 stack add5 comments
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IndoorDame
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The heat finally broke enough for some #audiocooking this morning! so I'm making mini crust-less quiches for breakfast this week.
#bfc #BFCr2 @wanderinglynn @Hestapleton #bookdragons

Megabooks I make those Too! So good! 5mo
julesG Would one of you share their recipe with me? @Megabooks 5mo
Megabooks @julesG mine uses fat free evaporated milk instead of cream, but if you still want it, feel free to give me your email! It‘s a lower calorie version of quiche. 5mo
See All 10 Comments
wanderinglynn Those look delicious! 😋 5mo
Megabooks @julesG I‘ll email you later today! 5mo
IndoorDame @julesG I don't use an exact recipe, so if @Megabooks does you may want to start with that, but I spray an x-lg muffin tin w cooking oil and fill the cups w a mixture of ~6 eggs beaten with milk/soymilk & yogurt/Greek yogurt. Usually I add shredded cheese to this mix. All told it's ~2 cups. And then drop veggies or whatever filings into the cups,and bake at 350 until it sets ~40min maybe? 5mo
julesG @IndoorDame Sounds easy to follow. I'll give both recipes a try. 5mo
Hestapleton These look so yummy!! 5mo
Megabooks @julesG just sent it to you! 👍🏻 5mo
julesG @Megabooks Thank you! 😘 5mo
38 likes10 comments
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Jenken1998
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A little fishing and started a new read 💙💙💙💙💙

MelKelsey I loved this one!! 5mo
49 likes1 stack add1 comment
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bookandbedandtea
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Women are the providers in this culture yet a woman without a son has failed as apparently only males can worship their ancestors. #ThatsABummer Was hoping the women would get more appreciation. But I'm still in the early chapters so 🤞.

On another note, it was 104 on my drive home per my car (99 officially) so, despite having A/C, The Hubs and I have introduced a noisy fan to the bedroom. #DreamingOfWinter

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Karisa
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Pickpick

Not a typical summer read. . . I went into this book knowing next to nothing about this place (the island of Jeju, Korea) or its matriarchal culture. It's a fascinating place that is so different than any other. Themes of friendship, overcoming tragedy, and preserving culture in the face of modernity dominate in this well researched historical fiction. The story is sad and achingly beautiful.

BooknerdsLife Beautiful review! 🤗💖 I love the Japanese & Korean culture and cannot Wait to read this too! 5mo
Karisa @BooknerdsLife Hope you like it too. The author makes research notes and thanks her sources at the end. Seems like she really did her homework to keep it true to their culture. 5mo
65 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

I LOVED this book! Beautiful, evocative, full of strong women, it‘s a story of 2 friends who are part of a women‘s collective of divers in a matriarchal society on the island of Jeju, South Korea in the 1940s onward and the impact of war and cultural & personal perceptions on their relationship. Anyone who‘s looking for a solidly good + beachy read should pick this up.

22 likes2 stack adds
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JoyBlue
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Bailedbailed

Putting a pin in it (at least) at 14% (1:53:01 in). Not in the mood.

UnabridgedPod I‘ve been wondering about this one... 5mo
JoyBlue @UnabridgedPod It‘s getting rave reviews, though I‘m often immune to that. I guess I‘m just weird. 5mo
51 likes1 stack add2 comments
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bookandbedandtea
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Starting this tonight. #CurrentRead

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Branwen
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Chaplin and I have started the new Lisa See book today and so far it's excellent! One of my favorite aspects of living a bookish life is that through books you can travel to just about anywhere- in this case a Korean island! Happy Friday, littens! 😁😸💕📚 #catsoflitsy #littenkitten

brit91 Awww so cute!😍😻 5mo
Branwen @brit91 Thank you! He's my little reading buddy! 😻 5mo
48 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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mdm139
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Pickpick

Read this one straight through yesterday. I ugly cried a couple of times.

Molly_the_mezzo Great book! 5mo
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Cinfhen
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I can‘t settle on one book so I‘m reading both 😜#BookNerdProblems

RachelO Sounds far too familiar 😉 5mo
Crazeedi I've not heard of the one by Boyne 5mo
Jess861 History of Lonelines is a great book! 5mo
See All 7 Comments
Cinfhen It‘s an older Boyne @Crazeedi but I‘m told it‘s really good @Jess861 @RachelO meanwhile I discovered GLEE is on Netflix so I‘ve been binge watching since 11:00 am this morning. 5mo
SoManyBooksNotEnoughTime i absolutely loved The Island of Sea Women 💙 5mo
Crazeedi @Cinfhen I'll check it out , I've read a couple of his! 5mo
TrishB The Boyne one is great 👍🏻 5mo
98 likes7 comments
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rsteve388
Pickpick

This story has so many aspects to it, colonalism traditional ideas and beliefs that get in the way of change, internal and external conflict. A beautiful and heartbreaking friendship.

The story of two women and their friendship and the tragidies they experiance together is a beautiful story. In listening to it as an American there was an undeniable truth that Americans have caused harm to so many countries in the name of "Freedom"

Crazeedi I started this book, and I put it down, for some reason couldn't get into it. Maybe just not the right time for me to read, which happens to me sometimes (edited) 5mo
rsteve388 Understood! I hope you find the inspiration to pick it back up. 5mo
8 likes2 comments
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juliaTF88
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Pickpick

Loved this book! It was a bit slow at first and the writing was a bit straightforward but it worked and really sped up toward the end. So much interesting history and a beautiful story of friendship. Great read!

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shaynarae
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Water reads and beach books for July‘s #tbr 🌊🏖

17 likes1 stack add
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Jillylovesbooks
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My first Litsy post! These are some of the books I‘ve read so far this year as part of the #readingwomenchallenge2019 #readingwomen #diversereading #diverseauthors #readingchallenge

JoScho Welcome to Litsy! 🖤 5mo
Jillylovesbooks Thank you! I‘m enjoying the platform and getting to know everyone so far! 5mo
KarenUK Welcome to Litsy! Hope you love it here! 💕 (edited) 5mo
See All 7 Comments
BookwormAHN Welcome to Litsy 😺 5mo
rather_be_reading welcome to litsy 📚☕📚 4mo
LitsyWelcomeWagon Welcome to Litsy! Here are links to #Litsytips: http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU. There‘s lots of fun things to do: book exchanges, buddy reads, photo challenges and more! 4mo
18 likes7 comments
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Copwithabook
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Summer‘s were made for reading by a pool! We took our 10 year old to the pool bc he was guilt tripping us for not taking him swimming yet this summer. Oops. But I allowed me to get through a big chunk of this book. I‘m loving it!

GloVerdino I full on ugly cried at the end of this book 5mo
17 likes1 comment
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Jules7
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Pickpick

I enjoy books that teach me something while telling their story. This one was exceptional. The heonyeo of Jeju Island are truly a dying breed. This book chronicles the life of two friends who survived not only a dangerous diving lifestyle, but wars and other evils throughout Korea‘s volatile political history. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️