New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2019

Unlike my list that attempts to compile upcoming literature and fiction titles, here I’ve had to be selective in what to include, otherwise the length of this post would be unmanageable. Nevertheless I’ve almost certainly missed out some titles that I’d want to have on my bookshelf. I’ve divided the list into seven sections: Literature […]

Book review: Life on the Edge of the DMZ

Lee See-woo: Life on the Edge of the DMZ Global Oriental, 2008 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, or whether original is […]

Michael Breen: The Koreans

Michael Breen: The Koreans – Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies Thomas Dunne Books, 1998 & 2004 With a commendable dose of filial piety appropriate to the subject of his book, Michael Breen dedicates his work to “Mum and Dad”. Having lived in Korea on and off since 1982, maybe some […]

Ragnarok – one of Korea’s top manhwa

Manhwa in Korea was born 100 years ago. From their beginnings as cartoons in the newspapers, they have grown into long-running graphic novel serials with spin-offs in online games and big screen adaptations. Among the most celebrated of modern Manhwa series are Priest (Hyung Min-woo) and Ragnarok (Lee Myung-jin). Both of these have been translated […]

Korea Yearbook 2008

Korea Yearbook 2008 Eds Rüdiger Frank, James E Hoare, Patrick Köllner, Susan Pares Brill, 2009 The 2008 Korea Yearbook – Politics, Economy and Society does many of the things that a reader might expect: it contains a collection of papers which review the key developments in its chosen subject areas for the past year. At […]

The Dawn of Modern Korea

Andrei Lankov – The Dawn of Modern Korea EunHaeng NaMu publishing, 2008 This entertaining book has, paradoxically, taken me a devil of a long time to finish. That’s not because it’s difficult. It’s because it’s the opposite. The book is co-branded with a series of articles that Andrei Lankov has been writing for the Korea […]

Words of inspiration

NO RIVER TO CROSS: Trusting the Enlightenment that’s Always Right There Zen Master Daehaeng Wisdom Publications, Boston US$14.95 The title refers to the idea that you don’t have to make a grand pilgrimage to find your Buddha nature, as it’s already inside you, and this approachable book offers plenty of inspiring thoughts. It starts with […]