Lee Sang-hyek; KP Publisher; 300 pp., 18,000 won
This two-part series is an introduction to the terminology of global issues.
Each short chapter provides an easy explanation on terms such as “Peacekeeping operation” or “East Asia Summit,” with relevant color photos and current events involving the terms.
The author has written several books on English education. A significant part of the books are in relation to what goes on and the terms used at international organizations.
With a Korean at the helm of the United Nations, more young Koreans are seeking employment with international organizations.
This book would be useful for high school and university students who are looking to improve their understanding of world affairs and prepare themselves for employment in an international environment.
— DO JE-HAE
Kye Kim; Bookhouse: 160 pp., 28,000 won
Kye Kim, a Michigan-based Korean-American food columnist, has published a cookbook on simple one-course meals.
The recipes are in English and Korean, with mouthwatering photos of dishes from “bulgogi” rolls to tofu kimchi “bibimbap.”
Kim’s principle in cooking is being faithful to the basics. “I use high quality ingredients and cook with minimum seasoning to stay true to the original flavor of the ingredients,” she said.
The new book offers simple yet tasty dishes using ingredients at hand such as beef, chicken, seafood, noodles and rice. It also has a section on vegetarian food, adding more diversity.
The most useful part is the sauce section, which adds flavor to dishes with ease.
“If you prep your vegetables, proteins and sauces over the weekend, you can use these ingredients however you wish during the week and still have a delicious, home-cooked meal in a very short amount of time,” Kim says.
— KWON MEE-YOO
The Solitude of Prime Numbers
Paolo Giordano; Moonhakdongne; 416 pp., 13,800 won
Italian physicist writes as a hobby; his debut novel goes on to sell more than a million copies worldwide; he even wins his country’s most prestigious literary prize, Il Premio Strega: such is the happy story of Paolo Giordano and this book.
Less cheerful is the plot, following loners Alice and Mattia, starting from the traumatic experiences of their childhood years that confine them to solitude and cripple their lives.
Observations of angst and infinite forms brewing inside the major and minor characters make this book a beautiful read. Han Li-na’s translation captures the original’s dry melancholy marvelously.
The title refers to the fact that a prime number is divisible only by one and itself. The author compares the main couple to twin prime numbers, like 11 and 13 for example, forever paired but never completely together due to a barrier between them.
The true joy of reading this work is the need to ponder over the characters and their motivations even as one is given so many different descriptions of them. A true gem.
— KWAAK JE-YUP
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon; translated by Lee Jong-in; Cunlibro; 1,148pp., 48,000 won
Lee Jong-in has translated “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” a world famous non-fiction work authored by English historian Edward Gibbon in the late 18th century.
As the masterpiece was published in six volumes, it has been hard to publish the translated version here. So, Lee abbreviated them so as to make it a single-volume book in Korean.
“I have read The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire three times over the past 15 years. Every time I read the books, I was surprised by their comprehensive coverage,” Lee said.
“I hoped that Koreans could read the great books but it was way too much to translate. Accordingly, I picked the most outstanding events and touching episodes with the aim of reducing the amount to around a third in translating them into Korean.”
The book covers the history of the Roman Empire and Europe as well as the Catholic Church.
— KIM TAE-GYU