New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2018

Too many books, not enough time to read them, or space to store them. Encouragingly, in a skim of the upcoming publication lists I had no problems finding plenty of books on a wide range of interesting topics. No longer it seems is the reading public (or the publishers’ perception thereof) solely interested in that […]

Evelyn Glennie’s musical journey in Korea

Percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie has just been in the news for winning the Polar Music Prize 2015 along with Emmylou Harris. The award, according to its website, is “one of the most prestigious and unique music prizes in the world, crossing over musical boundaries and awarded to individuals, groups and institutions in recognition of exceptional […]

Royal Ancestors makes it onto Amazon.com

I was taken a bit by surprise when I was introduced at the KCCUK’s firth birthday dinner as “Author of Royal Ancestors and Ancient Remedies.” I had almost forgotten. But coincidentally, a correspondent has just told me that it’s now available on Amazon.com. Some enterprising organisation has picked up a free copy or two from […]

Royal Ancestors – an unsolicited review

I recently received an email from a friend who was given a copy of Royal Ancestors and Ancient Remedies for Christmas last year: Just finished reading your Korean book, which I enjoyed a lot. I confess I was struck by a similarity between the book and the Jongmyo ancestral rituals, in that I thought it […]

Walking the Baekdu-Daegan trail

Roger Shepherd & Andrew Douch, with David A Mason: Baekdu Daegan Trail Seoul Selection, 2010, 446pp Korea is a mountainous country. If you google that phrase you will learn that 70% of South Korea’s land mass is designated as upland or mountains. And everyone knows that a lot of Koreans love hiking in the hills. […]

Thank you

Tonight at the Korean Cultural Centre, I’m told that it was a record attendance for a Global Korea Lecture. So, thanks to the people who came along to my talk. I think I said most of the things I wanted to, but missed a couple of things. More importantly, thanks to the Ministry of Culture, […]

The LKL book launch event – 17 May

It’s official – it’s the Royal Ancestors book launch event. There’s no backing out now. I guess I need to figure out what I’m going to say. As usual, pre-booking is essential, this time with the Embassy press office. I look forward to seeing you there. Details below. ROYAL ANCESTORS AND CONTEMPORARY CULTURE A talk […]

Mountain walking, Tea Classics and a thriller: three new books

ROK Drop Book Review: Yin Yang Tattoo By Ron McMillan. Looks like a good novel for summer holiday reading. http://bit.ly/9hxn6M # Walk the Baekdu-Daegan: Korea's mountain backbone: new book on the hiking trail. http://bit.ly/b9cmsu # An article about Brother Anthony (brilliant translator, says KTLit.com) and his new book about tea (not my cuppa!): http://www.ktlit.com/?p=1377

Book review: Life on the Edge of the DMZ

Lee See-woo: Life on the Edge of the DMZ Global Oriental, 2008 Translated by Kim Myung-hee I’ve been dipping in and out of this fascinating though often overly complex book by peace activist Lee Si-Woo. It’s sometimes hard to tell whether the English translation – for the most part unfussy ­– is sometimes too literal, […]

Jennifer Barclay: Meeting Mr Kim

Summersdale Publishers, 2008 Jennifer Barclay went to Seoul with her musician boyfriend eight years ago with no fixed agenda other than a desire to get away from her job. Fortunately, while in Korea she took advantage of her free time to explore parts of the country which are not necessarily on the tourist route. This […]