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If You Live To One Hundred, You Might As Well Be Happy: Lessons for a Long and Joyful Life

Translated by:
Publisher: , expected May 2024
Original title: 어차피 살 거라면, 백 살까지 유쾌하게 나이 드는 법, 2019
Link to online store *

‘I hope my book will give readers around the world a glimpse into Korean culture and will impact their lives, guiding and comforting them, even half as much as writing it changed mine.’ – Rhee Kun Hoo

If You Live to One Hundred, You Might As Well Be Happy captivated South Korea, one of the fastest-ageing countries in the world, where it became a national bestseller and was recommended by the Library of Korea. After taking up writing in his retirement from a long, celebrated career in psychiatry, Rhee Kun Hoo has become a beloved, bestselling author in his native country. Now, his delightful wisdom is available for the first time in English.

With his ninetieth birthday on the horizon, Rhee found himself reflecting on what constitutes a life well lived. The result is If You Live to One Hundred, You Might As Well Be Happy, his collection of charming life lessons. Here, Rhee offers comfort, laughter and wisdom for readers of all ages, from burnt-out millennials to reflective retirees, exploring:

  • The happiness and liberation of forgiving others – and yourself.
  • Why the traps of modern society – the rat race, competition, expectations and the conventions of modern family – aren’t worth getting caught in. And how you should live your life on your own terms.
  • Why you should face up to your insecurities and biases about your ageing, mortal self, sooner rather than later, and embrace the overlooked rewards of growing old.
  • How good company isn’t hard to find, it’s never too late to make new friends and you’re never too old to connect with youth. You just need to know how.
  • Why we should never underestimate the power of ordinary happiness.

‘Life is a story you should read until the very last page. No one ever knows what the world has in store for you.’

Rhee Kun Hoo was born in 1935, during imperial Japan’s occupation of Korea. Having worked as a psychiatrist and taught at Ewha Womans University his entire career of over fifty years, Rhee made indispensable contributions in the field of mental health care in South Korea and is considered a visionary. He was the first to introduce an open-ward system and psychodrama as a therapy method in psychiatric facilities in the country, and also served as the president of KNPA (Korean Neuropsychiatric Association).

After retirement, Rhee and his wife have dedicated themselves to providing post-war Korean generations with guidance in life such as parenting, counseling, relationship advice, and post-retirement life coaching. Rhee has written over ten books in Korean to date, including his bestselling debut essay collection, I Want to Have Fun Till the Day I Die (Galleon, 2013), which has sold around half a million copies in Korea.

Source: publisher’s website

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.