Wednesday, the 23th of September, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, and such. If you participate, link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well! This week, I’m writing a shelf control post after missing a couple of weeks since things had gotten a touch too busy.

This week’s pick is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, a family saga that takes us from Korea to Japan and tells the story of four generations. First published in 2017, this one has been on nominee lists for many awards including the International Dublin Literary Award in 2019 and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in 2018.

Pachinko opens in Korea. In the early 1900s, Sunja, the daughter of a fisherman makes a wrong choice in love, falling for a married man, and ending up pregnant. She is offered marriage by a sickly, gentle minister, passing through to Japan. She accepts and we follow her story and those of her children and grandchildren in Japan, through the two world wars, delving into both their lives as well as the background of the lives of Koreans in Japan, culture, and class. The story takes us from street markets to Japan’s finest universities, from pachinko parlours to the world of organized crime.

Min Jin Lee is a Korean-American author of fiction and non-fiction including essays and reviews. She was born in Seoul and her family emigrated to the states when she was 7. Before switching to writing full time in 1995, Lee worked as a corporate lawyer in New York. Her debut novel Free Food for Millionaires was published in 2007. Pachinko is her second novel.

I has been coming across this book off and on, in people’s reviews, so when I found this on offer on kindle, I picked it up. I’m not quite sure what to expect, but once again it is setting, time period (the range of it), and the aspects of life and culture the book seems to deal with that drew me to it (all the 4 and 5 star reviews my goodreads friends have given it helped too!).

Have you read this one? How did you find it? Looking forward to your thoughts!

Find reviews of Pachinko by The Bibliofile (here) and the Little Bird Book Blog (here)

Find Lisa’s pick this week, The Light We Lost (here)

The cover image and book info are from goodreads (here) and author info from wikipedia (here)

4 thoughts on “Shelf Control #107: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

  1. Oh this one is on my tbr, because I’m intrigued about Korea-Japan relations and history and this book seems to be really good. I haven’t bought it yet though.
    I took part in this meme for the first time today and here’s the link to it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing Priyanka, will head over to check out your pick.
      In case you read on Kindle, by the way this book is just for 36 rupees just now. The setting and themes intrigued me as well.


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