From Alicja Feitzinger
author: Taylor, Frederick
The Berlin Wall : a world divided, 1961-1989
This story of a wall which divided Berlin between East and West for 28 years is fascinating and deeply affecting. Frederick Taylor gives a thorough historical background not only of Berlin, but Germany and the Eastern Block. He also uses personal narratives to illustrate how politics disturbed, devastated and in many cases destroyed lives of millions of people locked behind the Iron Curtain. Especially touching are stories of people who swam, jumped, and dug for freedom.
The book is well written and it’s easy to read despite the wealth of information it contains.
From Lynne Demestichas:
The Vagrants, by Yiyun Li
This story had an interesting premise but failed to keep my interest. I found myself putting the book down, replacing it with others I had taken out.It took place during a time in China when there was a lot of unrest, and Communism was the center of most people’s lives. Except for the one woman who was made an example of for her contradictory beliefs, there were some other characters who seemed to have long elaborate stories that were unimportant to the story.Maybe I just didn’t get it. I got lost so many times while trying to find the main point of this whole story about Communism and it’s adverse effects on this small community in rural China.Nicely written, but boring.