New York Times Australia Letter: Australia Bureau Chief Damien Cave Recommends

This week, I’ve got a literary recommendation that lines up with our joy and wonder theme, sort of. It’s “Pachinko,” the novel by Min Jin Lee, which chronicles four generations of an ethnic Korean family, first in Japanese-occupied Korea in the early 20th century, then in Japan itself from the runup to World War II and beyond. It doesn’t sound like fun, but our critics selected it as one of best books of 2017 and there’s a humanity and warmth to the story, writing and characters that makes it feel like a cozy warm blanket (as my very smart wife put it). I’m not quite finished yet, but I agree. It’s a family saga more about human connections than history, even as conflict and occupation intervene.