New and upcoming books

Mastering Business in KoreaTom Coyner and Jang Song-hyon have just brought out Mastering Business in Korea – A Practical Guide. The ad in Seoul Magazine reads as follows:

In an engaging and easy-to-read format, two experienced business consultants explain the ins and outs of contemporary Korean business culture, etiquette, work rules, and marketing to the Korean consumer. Pick up a copy today, and gain pivotal insight into an environment that is traditional yet uncompromisingly modern, challenging yet surprisingly rewarding for the determined business professional.

On the basis of zero experience, I suspect the words “challenging” and “determined” are well-chosen. Take the publisher’s guff with a pinch of salt, but Coyner always provides engaging comments in his daily news service, and has run a series of articles in the Korea Times. I’ll be getting a copy as soon as it’s available and reviewing it here. It should be available already at Seoul Selection, but at the time of writing this it’s not up on their website yet (hence the slightly grainy image is extracted by taking a photo of the ad in the March edition of Seoul Magazine). For further information, visit Coyner’s website.

Welcome to Pyongyang coverComing up in April is a pastiche “guide” to North Korea’s capital entitled Welcome to Pyongyang by Charlie Crane, with an introduction by Nicholas Bonner. From the publicity material:

Charlie Crane’s large-format photographs of Pyongyang, the capital city of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, were taken on three visits between 2005 and 2006. His landscapes and portraits are presented here in the manner of a guidebook, with an introduction by Crane’s collaborator and producer, Nicholas Bonner, and with commentaries on the scenes depicted from interviews recorded with the city’s official tourist guides.

And what is meant by ‘ pastiche “guide” ‘? Very tantalising. I have an advanced soft-copy of the book and I’ll give you my take on it when the book comes out. But based on what I’ve seen, it will be a great addition to your bookshelves or coffee tables. Keep your eyes on the Chris Boot website for the release date.

Famine in North KoreaComing up later this month is Famine in North Korea – Markets, Aid and Reform, by Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland. According to Amazon, it’s due at the end of this month, but Anna Fifield has received an advance copy of it and reviewed it in the Weekend FT this weekend.

More DPRK books are reviewed by Richard Bernstein in the current edition of the New York Review of Books in an extended article entitled How not to deal with North Korea. Books covered by the review are

  • A Moment of Crisis: Jimmy Carter, the Power of a Peacemaker, and North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions by Marion V. Creekmore Jr. (PublicAffairs, 2006)
  • Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World by Gordon G. Chang (Random House, 2006)
  • Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea by Jasper Becker (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Further in the future, and based only on hearsay at the moment, is a follow-up to the DPRK detective novel A Corpse in the Koryo. Based on rumours heard at the koreaweb forum, the book is due out in the Autumn. I haven’t yet read the first book (I have been frugally waiting for it to come out in paperback), but it’s received good reviews, including a full-length feature in the Independent.

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