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Where to Buy English Books in Korea

Winter is coming in Korea and it’s a great time to snuggle up with a few new books. This past January I made a goal to read 35 books in 2014, and I can finally see the finish line! I’ve read 26 books so far, so that leaves 9 more to go in under 2 months. That’s a lot of reading, so I decided to order some new books to motivate me to reach my goal.

I ordered them from What the Book, the popular used book store in the Itaewon neighborhood of Seoul. Many of you have probably heard of or visited the store, but you may not know that you can also order books from their online store and have them delivered to you anywhere in Korea! Even if you’re looking for a specific book they don’t have, What the Book can order it for you online and send it to you.


Book Giveaway: Korea The Impossible Country by Daniel Tudor

This is the Kimchi Queen's first book giveaway! The folks at Tuttle Press have a score of books on Korea and in this sweepstakes will be giving two copies of Korea: The Impossible Country to readers of this blog.


For The Bookworms

For me, one of the hardest things about being in Korea is all the excellent reading I feel I’m missing out on.  Back at Hibriten, we were so lucky to have access to a great school library (and great school librarians), so I had almost anything I wanted to read for free.  It was a luxury whose full value I did not realize until we moved here to Korea.

Obviously, two years’ worth of reading material is not one of those things you can justify packing in the two suitcases allotted for Trans-Pacific travel.  Ric and I did what most expats do and sprung for e-readers (we chose Kindles), hoping they would provide a smaller, lighter way to meet our literary needs.  


My Bookshelf

My ideal library

I fell in love after seeing this mini quiz on Nova's blog and had to do it myself. I've been wanting to talk about all of the books I love for a long time, so this seemed like a good place to start. So thanks Nova for having an awesome taste in books and inspiring me to do my own!

Author you’ve read the most books from:
It probably has to be Kelley Armstrong with her Otherworld series. I remember many a long commute to York and back to Sheffield being lost in the books about everything supernatural and spooky. They are a somewhat bizarre mix between fantasy and cheese that I can't help but read.

Book Street, Nampodong

By Emma O’Flynn

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Nestled in the narrow little streets just beyond Gukje Markets, is the cute and quaint, and adeptly named Book Street.  This place is all about the books.  Tiny little stores are stacked from floor to ceiling with books and magazines of every shape and size. Though the selection of English books available is pretty limited, it’s more about the ambience, then any serious book shopping!   The odd coffee shop and vintage store are also thrown in the mix.


Home to If I Had A Minute To Spare Towers

I kid because I love. But in this case I’m not kidding. I do live in a tower, a twenty storey high tower pitched between what seems like a thousand other twenty storey high towers. Although mine is made from concrete, steel, and glass, not ivory. This may or may not be a good thing.

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After a long summer away in Ireland, myself, Herself, and +1 have returned to our perch overlooking the ever present traffic which persists along that big long avenue that runs through Yeongtong-dong which I have no idea of the name.


Thoughts Before Departure

People love creating metaphors about life, especially involving books. Those metaphors are really misleading.

I’ve been referring to my upcoming sojourn in Korea as “a new chapter” in my life. With that comes the expectation of a blank page, a clean slate.  A lot of expectation, actually. And I’ve fallen through this rabbithole before.


Nice New Review Of Teakettle Mountain

On Amazon.com

Teakettle Mountain is a wonderful and humorous portrayal of life in South Korea. The detail is amazing – of the people, the place and the culture, as well as the pace and structure of life – absolutely fascinating. I feel like I’ve boarded a plane and physically visited the country.

Ian James’ grip and use of language is a joy to read. I didn’t curl up with the book, Teakettle Mountain curled up with me, and didn’t let me out of its embrace until I had read the last word. It is so full of wonderfully original descriptions it was difficult to find a favourite, and after much deliberation I’ve chosen: ‘Ms Yoon, who spoke American English as though she were a textbook that had been electrified and, Frankenstein-like, bought to life.’


Excerpt From Teakettle Mountain

“Heem!” the nurse screamed, climbing back on top of my wife’s belly and pounding it for all she was worth. “Heem!” Like a punching bag. “Heem!” As though giving CPR. “Heem!”

Ian James never thought he would come to South Korea. Fleeing the economic collapse in the West, he arrived weeks after graduating from college and discovered a country of infinite strangeness, where strippers dance on the street in front of electronics’ stores and children shove their fingers inside the rectums of terrified English teachers. In the beginning he despised the place, but before the end of his first year he was not only in love with Korea, but crazy about a woman named Gold Silver Jade, the Calypso who tore him away from his native New England and planted him so firmly into the soil of his adopted homeland that he was both unable—and unwilling—to escape.

Buy this book on amazon.com here.


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