Saturday, September 20, 2008

Recommendation: A good book...

I've spent the last 8 hours starting--and finishing--a book that I bought from one of the child vendors at Angkor Archeological Park. It's about a young girl's acount of the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s that led to the death of her parents and two siblings. The author, along with several other of her siblings, survived the four-year conflict and eventually went to Vietnam, then Thailand, and finally ended up in the United States.

The book is very interesting, shedding light on the Khmer Rogue regime's heinous crimes and on her desperate attempts to survive. This book is very similar to the Diary of Anne Frank, which focused on a similar genocide: the Holocaust during World War II.
If anyone is interested, the book is called First They Killed My Father and is written by Loung Ung. It was a U.S. national non-fiction bestseller.
I spent a whole day reading these memoirs rather than exploring Kuala Lumpur. For one, I have 3 nights in Kuala-Lumpur, and as far as must-see attractions go, KL doesn't have too many of them. I am waking up tomorrow morning to get one of several thousand free tickets that are given out daily to go up to the 44th floor off the Petronas Towers, which were previously the highest buildings in the world. For some reason, tourists aren't allowed to go higher, but the whole city can be seen from that height regardless. So I spent today reading this book from cover to cover, which I definitely don't regret, but... now I don't know how I'm going to kill my time on the Trans-Siberian Railway. I had originally purchased this book to read it on the long one-week train ride from Vladivostok to Irkutsk (3 days) or from Ulaanbaatar to Moscow (4 days), which I will be taking in October-November. Oh well, I guess this means that I'll swap this book for another one at a free book exchange that some hostels have.

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