< Almond 아몬드 by Won Pyung Sohn
Korean Novel (Recommended by BTS-Suga)
This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster.
One of the monsters is me.
Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother aren’t fazed by his condition. Their little home above his mother’s used bookstore is decorated with colorful post-it notes that remind him when to smile, when to say "thank you," and when to laugh. Yunjae grows up content, even happy, with his small family in this quiet, peaceful space.
Then on Christmas Eve—Yunjae’s sixteenth birthday—everything changes. A shocking act of random violence shatters his world, leaving him alone and on his own. Struggling to cope with his loss, Yunjae retreats into silent isolation, until troubled teenager Gon arrives at his school and begins to bully Yunjae.
Against all odds, tormentor and victim learn they have more in common than they realized. Gon is stumped by Yunjae’s impassive calm, while Yunjae thinks if he gets to know the hotheaded Gon, he might learn how to experience true feelings. Drawn by curiosity, the two strike up a surprising friendship. As Yunjae begins to open his life to new people—including a girl at school—something slowly changes inside him. And when Gon suddenly finds his life in danger, it is Yunjae who will step outside of every comfort zone he has created to perhaps become a most unlikely hero.
The Emissary meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in this poignant and triumphant story about how love, friendship, and persistence can change a life forever.
Hardcover, 272 pages
(first published March 31st 2017)
<Human Acts by Han Kang>
Korean Novel (Recommended by BTS-RM)
From the internationally bestselling author of The Vegetarian, a rare and astonishing (The Observer) portrait of political unrest and the universal struggle for justice.
In the midst of a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy named Dong-ho is shockingly killed.
The story of this tragic episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre. From Dong-ho's best friend who meets his own fateful end; to an editor struggling against censorship; to a prisoner and a factory worker, each suffering from traumatic memories; and to Dong-ho's own grief-stricken mother; and through their collective heartbreak and acts of hope is the tale of a brutalized people in search of a voice.
An award-winning, controversial bestseller, Human Acts is a timeless, pointillist portrait of an historic event with reverberations still being felt today, by turns tracing the harsh reality of oppression and the resounding, extraordinary poetry of humanity.
Hardcover, 218 pages
(first published May 19th 2014)
<Love Like You've Never Been Hurt by Ryu Si-hwa>
Korean Poems (Recommended by BTS-RM)
It contains poems by famous and unknown poets spanning 41 centuries, from ancient Egyptian papyri scribes to Nobel Prize winners in literature. Modern poets such as Mary Oliver, Vislava Szymborska, Jean Ruslo, Octavio Pas, Ishikawa Dakuboku, Arab and Indian medieval poets such as Jalaludin Rumi, Kabir, Omar Khayyam, and Inuit Indians , 77 poems by a Japanese clog maker, and a Tibetan sage.
<I want to go home even though I’m at home by Gwon Rabin>
Korean Essay (Recommended by BTS-V)
Articles that “looked into me secretly and seemed to be written only for me”
What is this feeling of wanting to go home even though you are at home? I give you this book, which is perfect to take out and read when your empty heart is full of emptiness. Even when crouching, a clear mind finds a small piece of happiness in the softness of a freshly washed duvet. A hopeful heart that can dream of eternal love after a bitter breakup. These very rare and precious hearts come from what I consider to be my happiness more than anyone else. Let's read quietly the writings of writer Kwon Rabin, who say that it's okay to run away when the hard reality is overwhelming, that it's okay to feel like you want to disappear from time to time, and not to compare your hardships with other people's. As one reader put it, these writings, ‘as if they secretly looked into me and wrote only for me’, will be your warm refuge. You can stay here and take a break.
<I decided to live with me by Kim Su-Hyun>
Korean Essay (Recommended by BTS-Jungkook)
Revised edition to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the publication of 『I decided to live as myself』
“The bestseller with a reason to come back stronger and deeper”
Longest long-seller number one. A book that created the spirit of the times by leading the 'living as me' craze, which is also proven by big data. Since its publication in 2016, over 1 million copies have been sold in Korea alone, and the book has been on the bestseller list for 260 consecutive weeks in bookstores nationwide. The best-selling Korean book in Japan and the representative work of K-Essay loved all over the world. A book that many readers say they were deeply comforted and moved by, and that they read the Nth book and choose it as a book for life. 『I Decided to Live as Me』 is the pride of a Korean essay that has been overwhelmingly loved for a long time, unparalleled in publication history.
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