this is a man’s world 🙄 I read Kim Jiyoung Born 1982 & more youtube’s most popular books 📚Book-ish 9

Hello everyone, welcome to today’s book-ish video. Over the last few weeks I pick out and read 4 popular books recommended by Booktubers. Today, I will be sharing my thoughts on them. The first two book are by Asian Authors, I read Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo, and Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi.  And the next two books I choose because they were by women authors, I read Normal People by Sally Rooney and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 

The first book I would like to introduce you to is Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, I have a lot to say about this one.

Kim Jiyoung, born 1982 is a book about the life of a Korean woman, it shows the significant events from her childhood up until her becoming a young wife and mother. I am a feminist. I don’t say that often, but while reading Kim Jiyoung, my fire to get rid of inequality, and improve women’s rights was lit anew. Women’s rights have come a long way, and I am so thankful to have been born in my generation. However, the fact is that there are still so many negative experiences happening today. I want to highlight some things in the book that many girls and women go through in their life. Kim Jiyoung’s story is not an isolated experience, this is the life of many women.

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What gets under my skin the most is the different expectations, and pressures that are put on girls and women. A lot of it is double standards and it does not benefit us. The worst of all is when men harm women, and they are not held accountable for their actions, instead the female is blamed as the catalyst for the behaviour. 

While growing up, young girls are told that if a boy is mean to them, it is because he has feelings for her, and that is how he expresses his interest in her. A teacher said to Kim after a series of bullying incidents, “boys are like that they’re meaner to girls they like” page 31. The teacher justifies his actions of throwing her shoes, pulling her hair, and other forms of bullying under the fact he is in love, and she is not noticing him. The stress I felt at this part.

While coming home late one night from cram school, a strange boy follows her. Despite her efforts to try to get away, faking she wasn’t getting off the bus, and then jumping off at the last minute. He managed to still be the creep that he was, and get off too. The problem was that it was late at night, and her bus stop was dark. Luckily a lady on the bus saw her awkwardness, and got off to assist. When her father finds out he blames her for having her skirt too short, travelling far, and talking to strangers. Many of us grew up with this message of dress conservatively, lady-like; make sure to avoid danger. It is your responsibility, and if something happens it’s because you did not notice. They put fear into us, that if we step out of line something bad is sure to happen.

“‘It’s not your fault’. There were far too many crazy men in the world, she’d had her share of run-ins with these people, and the problems was with them, not with the women… but you know what? There’s far more great guys out there’” page 56

I can’t tell you how much some of the anecdotes made me cry. Especially that part when the woman who saved her reassured her like this. While her parents just only kept saying she should have done better to protect herself. A compassionate woman who understands that we should hold those who did wrong accountable and not the victim; this woman comforted her and gave her hope that it’s not all bad. And I believe that too. 

Some other things this book sheds light on is the work environment, how it is still very much a mans world. From the interviewing process of two people having the exact same CV, but one gets chosen over the other simply because he is a man and she is a women meaning a higher risk for the company to hire her. She is a risk because women get married and make babies. Women are still paid less than men even though they do the same job. And top level mangers and ceos are predominately men. 

Then there is also the social pressures of not only having a child, but having a glorious son. I’m not even going to get into that. It’s horrific, the pain and trauma that this has caused many women. And then when a woman does have a child, if she works she is considered cold and not nurturing putting her work before her child’s needs. And if she is a stay at home mother, she gets called a “mum roach”. She is insulted because it is believed she does nothing but live off her mans money. There is no way to win in this situation. Childcare is one of the most challenging and controversial issues.

And finally the last thing I want to say is about the huge problem with spy cameras, and how over the last few years in South Korea there has been a disgusting growth in invasion of privacy. And it completely broke my heart reading this particular part of the book, because women were violated and the trust they had for the men around them was completely lost; with many of them needing therapy. I don’t understand why watching someone use the toilet is a thing, but it’s gross and it’s humiliating for the victims.

After reading such a heavy, relatable and personal topic, I needed something sentimental. I knew I wanted to embrace how precious life was and Before the Coffee Gets Cold was just the right fix. 

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

This sounds like such an appealing offer and I would jump at the chance to go back in time to get an important moment I messed up right. However, going back in time has many rules, from you only being able to meet a person who you had the encounter with at the cafe. As well as your time limit being until the coffee gets cold. And the last rule being the worst which makes most people give up is that even though you go back in time and get that moment right it does not change the present. And so for many it feels like a waste of time if nothing gets fixed.

Yet for The Lovers, The Husband and Wife, The Sisters and The Mother; these characters take a leap a faith to go ahead because they are that desperate. From their experience I learned that it’s not so much about fixing the present; but finally being brave. It is about saying the things that you were too afraid to share. It’s about having a conversation with someone you miss, because you regret not valuing them when they were around and now there is no more opportunity for reconciliation. I’ve learned that hiding your feelings inside or being scared to be vulnerable causes more pain in the long run. Even though going back in time doesn’t change the present, it gives people closure and courage to make the future they have more honest. Time is a limited resource and should be treated as a treasure.

The connection the characters have with each other is based on their appreciation for the cafe. One day they stumbled into this basement with no windows and clocks that tell the wrong time. And it immediately became a second home. The characters are more than just regulars. The cafe is a part of them. And in that sacred place, they are changed for life. 

Next, I wanted to read a Young Adult novel, that was about modern relationship and I came across Normal People. 

At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. Though their lives are intertwined, as Connell’s mother works for Marianne’s family as their cleaner. So after school he would come to pick his mother up and while waiting have deep conversations with Marianne. Over time it is clear that they have chemistry, a really strong passionate connection mentally and physically. And the two decide to explore that. Yet, even though their relationship has progressed Connell still pretends not to know Marianne at school. And all because he is insecure and cares about what other people think of him, she was not part of the cool crowd you see.

I try not to judge these characters too much as I know they are just two young adults doing the best they can to grow up. They make many mistakes, but they are good people who care for each other, even though they don’t always show it. Even though they like each other, they make things complicated. Because, the fact is that they are both seriously damaged and hurt people, hurt people. Connell has low self esteem and feels lost in his identity; not knowing where he belongs. And because of this he used Marianne and treated her badly. Marianne grew up is an abusive home and was starved of affection; though she had moneys she never had warmth and love. So she gravities willingly to people who will hurt her because she thinks that’s what she deserves.

Normal People was an okay book, the only reason I say that is because reading this book, it just annoyed me every time they did something dumb. Watching them be messy was exhausting, I was not feeling the drama. They would be in a situation and all one person had to do is be honest, but no they don’t speak up about their intentions at crucial moments and miscommunication happens. Connell and Marianne being On again and off again in a repetitive cycle was frustrating, because though he was an idiot at the start and I didn’t like him; I genuinely started to root for their relationship and I need them to sort their *ish out.

Finally, I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. 

This is a book about a Hollywood Actress who decides she wants to write her biography and she invites an unknown writer Monique Grant to write it for her. Unfortunately, though she didn’t choose Monique because she believed in her underrated talent. No, there is a secret that ties them together, which she can only find out if she listens to Evelyn’s story. 

It was interesting how Evelyn thought about life. She felt no regret or remorse over decisions she had to make to climb up the ladder and she did not feel her choices were sins. Evelyn was not a good person and didn’t not want to be portrayed in a light that showed she meant well. If it benefited her goals she was willing to do anything and was always aware that she was using people. Her life was hers and she wanted to be in control. Another thing she wanted to make perfectly clear in her biography was her sexuality. She had loved men before, but the person she loved the most who was her soul mate was a woman. And so this Hollywood start was bisexual, and had to hid that part of her life. 

If you ask Ms Hugo who the love of her life was out of her 7 husbands, she will look at you and remain quiet. She did not publicly marry the person she shared the most intimacy with and cared about genuinely. Hugo allowed fame to get in the way of her relationship many times, she struggled for her spot and didn’t want to let it go. But, at 70 she thinks what was it all for. She climbed to the top of the mountain and it cost her so much. In her last remaining days she clearly wants the world to know she doesn’t care about any of it.

And with that we have come to the end of this Book-ish. I went through many different journeys and experiences with theses books. And some have become favourites which I know I will re-read over and over. It is really important to me to diversify my book shelf with authors from around the world; so I grow my understanding of different cultures and societies. As well as read many female authors. These 4 books ticked my boxes in that aspect. And they were honestly really amazing books and I recommend you grab yourself one that you felt a connection to.

I have linked my books down below; let me know in the comments if you have read it or have anything else to add about some of the points I mentioned. Thank you so much for watching this video. If you enjoyed this video remember to like, comment, subscribe and ring the notification bell so you know when I post. Byeeeee


0:00 Intro

0:43 Kim Ji-young, Born 1982

1:51 “boys are like that, they’re meaner to girls they like”

3:06 “It’s not your fault”

6:12 this is a mans world

7:37 working & stay at home mums both struggle

9:13 invasion of privacy

9:55 Before the Coffee Gets Cold

12:28 Normal People

14:56 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

17:07 Outro

18:04 Promo/Subscribe/Watch More

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