Sunday, January 29, 2012

Latest Books to read


Author unknown; Translated by Lim Chi-kyun and Lim Jeong-jee; Academy of Korean Studies: 471 pp., 14,000 won

MBC drama “The Moon Embracing the Sun,” a fictional love story of an imaginary king during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), is gaining popularity and people’s interest in the Joseon royal life is soaring as well.

The Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) published “Cheonsuseok,” a novel read by royal women in the Joseon era to give a glimpse of what real life was like in the palace. Set in the late Tang Dynasty of China, it mainly revolves around Wi Bo-hyeong and Seol Ok-young’s love and obstacles in their marriage.

It is sixth in the series of novels read by the Joseon royal family and interpreted in modern Korean by the AKS. There were some 1,300 original novels and 700 translated books stored in Nakseonjae in Changdeok Palace, which was built by King Heonjong in 1847 for his concubine Kim. These were expected to be read by royal women as a pastime.

The AKS has published two versions of the book — one in modern Korean and the other in the original text with annotations.


Alpha Lady Leadership

The Kyunghyang Shinmun Interactive Team; Deulnyeok: 292 pp., 12,000 won

How do powerful ladies get to where they are? A team at daily newspaper, the Kyunghyang Shinmun, that communicates with its readers via social networking services and manages the paper’s blog, shares the hardwork behind many people’s role modles. It has compiled the success stories of and interviews with 11 accomplished Korean women.

Spanning from news announcer-turned-travel writer Son Mina to the nation’s first female corporte headhunter Yu Soon-shin, the individuals interviewed for this book can benefit an array of readers in various career tracks and backgrounds.

Eager to inspire the readers, the women spell out their life principles. “A leader must have a cultural sensitivity — the ability to understand differences and not rush to call something wrong. You must understand and internalize your understanding of the difference between genders, institutions, and nations,” urges Song Myeong-sun, the Korean military’s first female general.

They also candidly share their experiences with the glass ceiling and insidious gender discrimination in the work space.


Golf for Lady

Yoshimura Humie; Edited by Seo Jee-hee; Leescom; 132 pp.; 10,800 won
Golf is becoming more popular among Korean women as a means of leisure and socializing. This is a beginner’s guide specifically written for female golfers.

For those who want to learn golf but don’t have the time, this book is useful in gaining more knowledge about the sport. There are more than 530 photos demonstrating the various techniques required to become a good golfer.

The book also provides easy guidelines to various aspects of playing golf, from booking golf courses to choosing the proper seasonal attire.

Born in 1974, the author has been teaching golf professionally since 2000 and is a licensed trainer of Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan.


Mires of War

Park Eun-woo; Kojunuk: 348 pp., 12,000 won

Debut author Park Eun-woo’s new historical thriller tackles Admiral Yi Su-shin and the Imjin War but takes a different approach from past fictional works.

Centering on a group of secret agents, the book details their efforts to protect the Korean war hero from an assassination attempt by the invading Japanese.

Set mostly in 1596 in the middle of the war, a group of Korean agents called Nang Chung discover a plot against the admiral by the Japanese and go behind enemy lines to sabotage the plan while pursuing the assassin designated to kill Yi.

The narrative switches back and forth mainly between Nang Chung member Jang Ho-jun and the anonymous assassin. The series of dialogue finally culminates in a confrontation between the pursuer and killer.Rich historical details give authenticity to battle scenes and action sequences while it never gets in the way of the fast paced story.

The book is all set to be released as a movie later this year, under the title “Protect Yi Sun-shin.”

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