A K-Culture Lover’s Bookshelf

As both a book lover and a lover of Korean culture, I have collected my share of books about South Korea on my shelf. Here are my top 3 that I recommend to anyone looking to learn a little more about Korea’s history and culture:

A Geek in Korea by Daniel Tudor

61Z-2zl163L._SX375_BO1,204,203,200_Summary: A Geek in Korea is a book packed full of colourful images and tidbits about everything ranging from Korean slang to Kpop, to Korean history and politics. The book also includes interviews with YouTubers Simon and Martina of “Eat Your Kimchi” as well as with Jaurim vocalist Kim Yoon-ah.

A Geek in Korea is a good basic for every K-Culture lover’s bookshelf. It’s an easy read packed full of useful information.

Daniel Tudor is a writer and journalist who lives in South Korea. He is originally from the States, making his book a good view of South Korea as someone who grew up in a different culture.

The Birth of Korean Cool by Euny Hong

51Tv4X6c3AL._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_Summary: The Birth of Korean Cool is my personal favourite. I often use this book as a reference when I write blogs. This book is written more like a novel and contains no images. This book also has interviews with Koreans such as Lee Joon, singer/actor and former member of Kpop boy group MBLAQ.

The information in The Birth of Korean Cool is a lot more in-depth than A Geek in Korea. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a clear understanding of South Korea’s rise as a cultural power.

Euny Hong is a journalist who has had her work appear in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal Europe, and several others. She also makes some interesting commentary on her experiences in South Korea as well as what it was like growing up as a Korean abroad.

Cook Korean! by Robin Ha

61TKdy-72LL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_Summary: Cook Korean! is a comic book full of Korean recipes. The book is a fun and helpful guide on how to make your own Korean food. The introduction of the book also has a short cute explanation of the components of a Korean meal and which foods are famous in different regions of South Korea.

The recipes are super easy to follow and I’ve made quite a few of them myself so far! I recommend this book to anyone who maybe hasn’t cooked a lot in the past but is looking to make their very own Korean food.

Robin Ha was born in South Korea but moved to the States when she was fourteen. She gives a quick comic in the introduction of her book explaining how she came to make Korean food and eventually create the recipe book, Cook Korean!. She also runs a blog Banchan in 2 Pages (found here) which features more Korean recipe comics.


Credit: All images retrieved from Amazon.com

Categories: KOREA-CANADA BLOG 2018

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