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The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia


AUTHOR: Andrei Lankov

PUBLISHER: Oxford University Press

PRICE: $27.95

GENRE: Politics & Government

Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding.

In “The Real North Korea,” Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state. After providing an accessible history of the nation, he turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks, and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place. He argues that North Korea is not irrational, and nothing shows this better than its continuing survival against all odds. A living political fossil, it clings to existence in the face of limited resources and a zombie economy, manipulating great powers despite its weakness. Its leaders are not ideological zealots or madmen, but perhaps the best practitioners of Machiavellian politics that can be found in the modern world.

Straight Flush


AUTHOR: Ben Mezrich

PUBLISHER: William Morrow

PRICE: $18

GENRE: Business & Investing

From the New York Times bestselling author of “The Accidental Billionaires” and “Bringing Down the House” - the sources for the films “The Social Network” and “21” - comes the larger-than-life true tale of a group of American college buddies who built a billion-dollar online poker colossus based out of Costa Rica.

One problem: The U.S. Department of Justice was gunning for them.

Based on extensive insider interviews and participation, acclaimed author Ben Mezrich’s “Straight Flush” tells the captivating rags-to-riches tale of a group of University of Montana frat brothers who turned a weekly poker game in the basement of a local dive bar into AbsolutePoker.com, one of the largest online companies in the world, on par with some of the behemoths of the Internet. At its height, Absolute Poker was an online empire earning more than a million dollars a day.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane


AUTHOR: Neil Gaiman

PUBLISHER: William Morrow

PRICE: $18

GENRE: Fiction

A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his No. 1 New York Times best-seller “Anansi Boys.”

This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real.
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