Jeong Gi-bum and Yun Yeong-ju; Singongsa: 452 pp., 15,000 won
This is a part of the “Secret” series by Sigongsa which aims to publish easy-to-read and aesthetically unique books for world metropolises.
The guide book covers 11 neighborhoods in the capital including Itaewon, Samcheongdong, Buamdong and introduces some thirty hidden gems to visit. It is divided into three parts.
The first section, “Before Travelling to Seoul,” includes 14 chapters on how to prepare for your visit. It doesn’t just provide usual information like hotel reviews, but also organizes the sale schedule of major malls and shopping venues in Seoul throughout the year.
The second section takes the reader around Seoul and the last part includes 16 detailed maps of the neighborhoods featured in the book.
― Noh Hyun-gi
Annals of Royals Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
Lee Gyu-won; Gloseum: 575 pp., 27,000 won
This book unravels the history of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) by exploring 49 royal mausoleums across the country. They are listed as UNESCO World Heritages.
Lee Gyu-won, a former journalist who studied geomancy says the royal tombs are a microcosm of life and history. The book covers 40 tombs as well as seven historically important royal family member's burial mounds with rich explanations on their history and feng shui.
The sites reflect the life of the kings and circumstances around them. King Taejo, the founder of Joseon, was buried at one of three propitious locations, while King Jungjong's grave was moved by his queen to a worse spot.
― Kwon Mee-yoo
The Legacy Letters
The Tuesday Children; Edited by Brian Curtis; Translated from English to Korean by Suh Yoon-jung; Nexusbook; pp 320; 13,800 won
The book is comprised of letters by family members of 100 people who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
The overall sentiment in the letters centers around love, reflecting how the families have tried hard to overcome tragedy 10 years on.
While a number of the writers are from parts of New York, the authors’ backgrounds vary in terms of age, birthplace, and nationality.
All of them, however, share one thing: They are striving to live a better life with more purpose.
The positive sentiments from grief and sadness hints at a way to shape one’s perspective under any circumstances.
― Yi Whan-woo
Things You Can Finally See When You Stop
Ven. Haemin; Sam & Parkers: 292 pp., 14,000 won
As a Buddhist monk, it's hard to become famous. But the Harvard-educated Ven. Haemin is an exception. His Twitter site has an enthusiastic following particularly among young people, regardless of their religious background. He has some 40,000 followers.
His book is mostly about how people can better handle conflicts that they face in daily life at work and at home. Though written by a monk, there is very little related to Buddhism. It reads like a self-help book, with soothing paintings placed in between the essays.
The 38-year-old’s unique background has caught the attention of the media as well as the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, the nation's largest Buddhist sect. He served as a translator to Ven. Jaseung, head of the Jogye Order, during a trip to France last year.
Ven. Haemin pursued his master’s and doctorate degrees at Harvard Divinity School and Princeton University respectively.
He said he started to use Twitter to communicate with people. He is the first Korean monk to teach in the United States as a professor at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., a small liberal arts school.
He is known for fusing his religious studies with meditation practices.
Source: The Korea Times