What are the best books on Korean culture?

asked by Anonymous
266 contributors
19 solutions
  1. 32

    #1Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea is a book by Barbara Demick which follows the lives of six North Koreans over a span of fifteen years and exposes the closed world of North Korea. It was published in 2009 by Spiegel & Grau. 

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    Amanda Hunter
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "I love to learn about Korean culture since I'm part Korean. My brother recommended this book to me called Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. It's a book by Barbara Demick and follows the lives of six North Koreans over 15 years. It talks about their lives in the closed world of North Korea. It's incredibly eye-opening; it makes you appreciate everything you have in this country of freedom called the USA. Definitely check this out!"
  2. 29

    #2Please Look After Mom  

    Please Look After Mom  

    Please Look After Mom is a Korean fiction novel by Kyung-Sook Shin which is translated into English by Chi-Young Kim. It is an international bestseller about a family's search for their mother which has sold over 1.5 million copies. 

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    Michael Sullivan
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "If you are into cultural books at all, then this will be a very nice one for you! This is a Korean fictional novel about a family searching for their mother. Really great storyline, and extremely popular globally."
  3. 28

    #3The Two Koreas

    The Two Koreas
    The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History is a historical nonfiction novel by Don Oberdorfer which tells of the history of Korea over the past decades, and the relations between the North and South. It was published in 2001 by Basic Books.
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    Janet Wagner
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "This is a great book detailing the differences between North and South Korea, how their cultures came be separated, and the tense relationship between the 2 countries. It's a little dry at times but contains fascinating information."
  1. 28

    #4Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty

    Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty
    Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty is a nonfiction book by Bradley K. Martin which closely examines Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il, two of the most ruthless and Orwellian leaders of North Korea. 
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    Joyce Henderson
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This is a interesting look on North Korean culture not Korean culture in general. It is a terrible tragedy these people face with the indoctrinated culture and insane leader. I could not believe what I had read but it was truthful. Awful story but apt title. "
  2. 25

    #5Pachinko

    Pachinko
    Pachinko is a historical fiction novel by Min Jin Lee which follows a Korean family through different generations which finds its way to Japan as a family in exile from its homeland. It was a National Book Award Finalist for Fiction in 2017.
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    Roger Johnston
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "it has won national book award and it's related to korean culture"
  3. 24

    #6Your Republic Is Calling You

    Your Republic Is Calling You

    Your Republic is Calling You is a fiction book by Young-Ha Kim translated by Chi-Young Kim. It follows the story of Gi-yeong, a North Korean spy being called back to his country. It was published in 2010 by Mariner books.

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    Terry Montgomery
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "I have always imagined being a secret agent. The adventure the glamour and all of its entrapments. Perhaps if I were a double agent I might be a little worried about back stabbers and the like."
  4. 22

    #7Korean Business Etiquette

    Korean Business Etiquette

    Korean Business Etiquette is nonfiction book by Boye Lafayette de Mente that presents the different values, morals and cultural aspect which shape the Korean business personality. It was published in 2004 by Tuttle Publishing.

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    Margaret Weber
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "Wanted the best books on korean culture and a friend led me to the Korean Business Etiquette. Its a great nonfiction book by Lafayette de Mente and details the differing values that the different culture has as far as business goes."
  5. 21

    #8Escaping North Korea

    Escaping North Korea
    Escaping North Korea: Defiance and Hope in the World's Most Repressive Country is a nonfiction book by Mike Kim which provides an inside look at ordinary North Korean lives. It was published in 2008 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
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  6. 20

    #9Land

    Land

    Land is a Korean fiction novel by Park Kyung-ni which is translated into English by Agnita Tennant. It follows the fortunes of Korean villagers set in a time of turbulence between the conservative and modernizing forces in Korea. 

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    Ken Gong
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "I do not know how well it translates but it was a fine read. It is a really good choice as most books on Korean culture focus on the war. This book features a wide array of characters in various roles. I can't think of a better choice."
  7. 18

    #10Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

    Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

    Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West is a nonfiction book by Blaine Harden which documents the shocking true story of a North Korean political prisoner and his escape to freedom. 

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    Henry Ray
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "Korean culture has always interested me so I picked up the book Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West. Its about a man's escape from North Korea. It was a remarkable book and among the best reads about Korean culture."
  8. 0

    #11Korean Grammar in Use: Beginning to Early Intermediate

    Korean Grammar in Use: Beginning to Early Intermediate

    Korean Grammar in Use: Beginning to Early Intermediate is a non-fiction Korean language reference book written by Jean-Myung Ahn, Lee Kyung-Ah, and Han Hoo-Young. It is first published in 2010 by Darakwon. 

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  9. 0

    #12Korean Grammar in Use: Intermediate

    Korean Grammar in Use: Intermediate

    Korean Grammar in Use: Intermediate is a non-fiction Korean language reference book written by Jean-Myung Ahn and Min Jin-Young. This is the second volume of Korean Grammar in Use and published in 2011 by Darakwon.

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    Jack Burns
    Written on May 19, 2018
    "This is not the best tool for learning Korean. It's so basic that you can't grasp the concepts that you need to develop the language. There are many better options and I suggest you seek out those instead of this one."
  10. 0

    #13My Weekly Korean Vocabulary Book 1

    My Weekly Korean Vocabulary Book 1

    My Weekly Korean Vocabulary Book 1 is a non-fiction Korean language reference book written by TalkToMeInKorean. This book has illustrations from Creative Commons and it is first published in 2014 by Longtail Books. 

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    Shirley Lawson
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "I found this book fun and very informative. I learned a lot about the Korean language and culture."
  11. 0

    #14The Korean Verbs Guide (2 Volume Set)

    The Korean Verbs Guide (2 Volume Set)

    The Korean Verbs Guide (2 Volume Set) is a non-fiction Korean language reference book written by TalkToMeInKorean. This book contains quizzes for practicing and reviewing. It is first published in 2013 by Longtail Books. 

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    Albert Weber
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "This is a great korean culture book for those looking to learn. If you need some verbs added to your knowledge check this out."
  12. 0

    #15Everyday Korean Idiomatic Expressions

    Everyday Korean Idiomatic Expressions

    Everyday Korean Idiomatic Expressions: 100 Expressions You Can't Live Without is a non-fiction Korean language reference book written by TalkToMeInKorean. It is first published in 2014 by Longtail Books. 

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    Edward Sanchez
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "Interesting read, especially if you plan to spend some time in Korea. It helps you get a better understanding of their culture and language which is important when visiting or traveling. I wouldn't say its 100% necessary to read, but if you have the time, check it out. "
  13. 0

    #16Talk To Me In Korean- Level 4

    Talk To Me In Korean- Level 4

    Talk To Me In Korea- Level 4 is a non-fiction Korean language workbook written by TalkToMeInKorean. This book is derived from the author's site and it is first published in 2013 by Hangul Park. 

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    Vincent Weber
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "I was going on a trip to korea after my 3rd year in college and needed to learn some language. The books from the series Talk To me in Korean helped me out very much. They are easy to teach you how to speak it and you will learn from them for sure."
  14. 0

    #17Talk To Me In Korean Workbook Level 3

    Talk To Me In Korean Workbook Level 3

    Talk To Me In Korean Workbook Level 3 is a non-fiction Korean language reference book written by TalkToMeInKorean. This is the third book in the set and it is first published in 2014 by Kong & Park Inc. 

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    Bryan Daniels
    Written on May 19, 2018
    "Talk To Me In Korean Workbook Level 3 is a non-fiction Korean language reference book written by TalkToMeInKorean. This is the third book in the set and it is first published in 2014 by Kong & Park Inc. "
  15. 0

    #18I Love Korean 6

    I Love Korean 6

    I Love Korean 6 is a non-fiction Korean language reference book written by Language Education Institute. It is first published in 2015 by Seoul National University Press.

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  16. 0

    #19Talk To Me In Korean Workbook Level 2

    Talk To Me In Korean Workbook Level 2

    Talk To Me In Korean Workbook Level 2 is a non-fiction Korean language reference book written by TalkToMeInKorean. This workbook contains quizzes to test Korean language skills and it is first published in 2013 by Kong & Park Inc. 

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    Barbara Fields
    Written on May 21, 2018
    "I found this interesting. I would recommend i t."
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