Saturday, July 13, 2013

Recent Books on the store

The End is Where it Starts

Park Chan-ho; Woongjin Jisikhouse: 320 pp., 13,000 won

Baseball icon Park Chan-ho, the first Korean athlete to have a successful career in Major League Baseball (MLB), has always talked with the humbleness of a man who couldn’t believe what he has become of.

In his candid biography, Park seems to devote more pages in describing his struggles as an overlooked college pitcher in Korea and a struggling minor leaguer than his illustrious career in the majors, where he chalked up 124 career wins.

"The experience of living as a minor leaguer means that you are always being reminded of your limitations, of what you can’t do," he writes.

"The chip on your shoulder is what drives you and keeps you stimulated. I still manage my life like I am a minor leaguer."

Park retired from baseball last year after a 17-year-career following a stint with the Korean club Hanwha Eagles.

He is now the inspiration of an art exhibition at the Seoul Museum, featuring paintings, sculptures and video art interpreting Park’s legacy. A series of Park’s own abstract paintings and his baseball memorabilia is also on display, including the balls used in each of his 124 major league wins.

― Baek Byung-yeul

Making the World a Little Safer

Park Jae-hyun; Gongmyoung Publishing: 280 pp., 14,000 won

This is the latest addition to the sea of self-help books. The difference is that the author is not a savvy corporate survivor, but an idealist who talks about making the world a better and safer place.

Park, a 35-year-old assistant chief of security at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, is in charge of ensuring the safety of the organization’s 10,000 employees, which isn’t always easy with Kenya’s ongoing problems with armed conflict.

Park, whose motto for life is "not finishing first, but achieving something real," describes the struggles of his younger days before he wound up on an important position in the UN.

He considers himself as an unlikely success story, troubled with an identity crisis after moving to the United States at an early age, failing on a college entrance exam and lapsing into video game addiction after coming back to Korea. Obviously, he regrouped.

In the last chapter, Park gives more practical advices for those who want to join international organizations like UN.

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