One reason why I love reading books from authors across the globe is to quench my quest to know a new land. I think this is a fantastic way to get an inside peak into their culture, land, food, and history.
So, when I started reading and venturing into more and more Asian authors, Murakami was the 1st name that popped up. But for a long time after that, I didn’t stumble upon any other Asian author.
But after going through a lot of Bookstagramers and Goodreads recommendations, I did manage to find some interesting books by Korean Authors which have not only made it big in their country but enthralled the readers world over.
So here is my list of must-read books by Korean Authors. Well, some of these I have read, and some are in my TBR list and targeted to be read this year itself.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Let’s start the list with a book that has been most hyped and raved about. Pachinko is a story of one woman who moves from Korean to Japan under unfavorable circumstances. This novel is driven by the battles face by immigrants. Like identity, belonging and homeland. Pachinko is your window to Korean culture, trauma and strained relationship of Korea and Japan. The book is also being adopted into a drama by one of the leading Korean actor Lee Min-Ho.
2. Please look after Mother by Kyung Sook Shin
This book will reconnect and resonate with the readers and their own family. This book is about So-Nyo, a mother and a wife who suddenly disappears. While their family search the streets for her, they recollect her life and all the things that were left unsaid. The desires, the dreams, the heartache, and the secrets that she has been holding up for all this while are discovered.
3. Kim Ji-Young Born 1982 by Cho Nam Joo
An international Bestseller, this book has been receiving lot of appreciation from readers across the globe. A simple tale about a girl born during the 80’s and how misogynist and oppressive the society behaves towards girl/woman. The slim and unadorned narratives will list out experiences which are ubiquitous not only in Asian countries but world over.
Apart from these 3, there are many other books which make a good read. “The Vegetarian by Han Kang”, where a woman against the will of her husband, decides to go all Vegetarian after a bad dream. “When my Name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park” which again is in line with Pachinko and Koreas strained relation with Japan. “If I had your face by Frances Cha” talks about the Korean beauty standards.
Reading books by Korean authors, and being an ardent fan of K-drama, I have gained a lot of insight into the Korean history and culture. Being Asians, somewhere we share similar culture and approach in life. But the most intriguing part for both Indians and Koreans is the history that has left behind a generational trauma. Indians from their fight for freedom and one of the most gruesome partitions in the history. Korea for the Japan occupation and their exploitation.
Hope my list gives you at least one book that you would want to read. This list is based on my personal reading preferences and is no way complete and absolute. Probably with time I may have more books to add to the list. Afterall reading is a journey and not a destination.
If you are looking for some quick reads, do check out my blog “5 books under 200 pages for a quick read”
This blog is a part of Book Marathon by https://outsetbooks.com/
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36 replies on “Top 3 Books by Korean Authors- The Bloggers League 2022”
After reading this recommended list of 5 books by Korean authors I wish to ask a question. Are you also a BTS fan. Will try to pick if not all at least 1 or 2 from the list for me to read
Hahahha yes BTS it is. I am specially impressed by their growth story
I never read before on Korean authors …I wished to read on them but was not sure that whether I will be able to shift so fast and read them flawlessly. The third book was the one which I yearned to read. tysmmmmm for sharing this as this kind of became a recommendation for me.❤️
I never experienced with any Korean author/novel before. After your best 5 book recommondation, I hope these also will be as exciting as that. Must check them out
I have never read books by Korean authors before.. also I would like to read the book “Please look after Mother” it seems interesting for me. Thank you for the recommendation
Thanks for the recommendation. Pachiko is on my tbr
This was an amazing blog
I haven’t read any book by Korean author. Hoping soon to pick one by your rec
I’ve heard a lot about Pachinko. It’s really fascinating to know different cultures/lifestyle through fictional tales. I love Adichie’s books. I love Higashino. I would love to try Korean stories. Adding these to my TBR list. Thank you.
Yes, true what you said. Reading books from authors across the globe can transport us; even without leaving home. I have never read from Korean authors. I would love to try from the list.
All these books looks amazing read to me. I will grab my copy soon. My younger one is a great fan of Korean pop… She is really excited when I told her I am going to pick these books… Haha
I’m so intrigued to get my hands on these books. I like reading books that have a unique twist to it’s tale. Thanks for sharing this list.
I am a huge fan of BTS but never tried this one. But After reading this I want to read the second one which is PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOTHER BY KYUNG SOOK SHIN
.Really impressed with the storyline of this book. Ohh Can’t wait to read it.
I never read before on Korean authors. I like reading books that have a unique twist to it’s tale. Thanks for sharing this list.
I have witnessed die hard Korean fans, whether it is web series or books. And the way you have described these I can see that Fandom in you. Till now, I have kept myself away from Korean addiction but I don’t how long will I be able to do that.
Hahaha the addiction is contagious 😆 btw the books are way diff and better than any kdrama….
I havent read books by Korean authors, this list will surely help me give a start. All the books have varied storylines all look interesting, thanks for sharing 🙂
These are all wonderful women-centric books and will surely be interesting reads. Thanks for introducing me to Korean authors. Will check these out.
Haven’t read any book by Korean authors so far. These are great picks. Will definitely pick one up.
What an amazing post. Now I have 3 more entries in the overflowing to read books list. Always a pleasure!
I would want to pick the first book Pachinko as it seems to be an inspirational tale of a woman who moves from Korea to Japan and what she faces. Though I have never tried reading Korean authors book but this the one with which I want to try Korean books.
Oh wow never tried reading any Korean authors . Thanks for sharing this as this kind of became a recommendation for me.
I have seen Korean dramas and liked them. Never tried reading books written by Korean authors. Going by your list of books, I am going to try them.
I am a big fan of K-dramas and love to know more about Korean culture with these books. Lee min ho is one of my favorite actor. will check out the drama you have mentioned in the detailing of first book “PACHINKO BY MIN JIN LEE”.
KIM JI-YOUNG BORN 1982 BY CHO NAM JOO seems interesting. Never watch or read the Korean drama or books before. But would love to start over
These seem to be really interesting Korean books. Apart from their literary value the books also provide a window to the Korean culture and history, which is great. I have not personally read many Korean authors, but looking at your pick, would like to start now
Surely. Do try these books as they are good reads.
I never read before on Korean authors. I like reading books that have a unique twist to it’s tale. Superb collections.
Pachinko has long been in my TBR I guess it’s time I decide to go give it a read. I’d definitely try to read the other two as well because the plots seem to be interesting. Thanks for the recommendations
Yes Pachinko is a good read and in my TBR too and planning to read it soon.
I love Korean food and people too. I have never tried to read any Korean book . After your recommendations I will try out atleast one from these books .
Wow, seems like my this is my new addtion in my genre for 2022. Thank you for sharing this
Having lived and worked in South Korea from 2005 to 2012, I can tell you that you’re on the right track. After K-Pop, K-TV, and Korean movies, books by Korean authors have started to take the world by storm. I’m going to add these books to my reading list.
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I love k-dramas.🤩 Through them, I want to connect to the culture, people and food. But I have never read from any Korean authors. Thank you for these recommendations!! I would love to try it
Thank you for sharing this article. I would like to go with the your suggestions.