A Place to See Jungfrau
Kim Jin-ik; Hansom: 352 pp., 12,000 won
This is Kim Jin-ik’s second novel set in Interlaken in Switzerland revolving around Chan-woo, a watch dealer, I-hyeon, a mountaineer and Yoon-ji, a mysterious woman. The story unfolds through the characters who seem to be irrelevant to each other but become intertwined through challenges, passion and love.
Chan-woo who climbs to the top of his field as a watch dealer without any help from others falls in love with Yoon-ji at first sight. But while having a relationship with her, he is haunted by a strange dream every night. In the dream, a man regularly appears to him and asks a mysterious favor and then a series of strange incidents ensue.
The story is developed through Switzerland, Japan and Korea, showing various characters with diverse professions and strong personalities. In the early stages, there seems no connection between the characters but later they fit into a complete plot.
The novel is not just a romance but one that shows tough adventure and the healing process of youngsters through delicate portrayals of psychology.
The Language of Miracles
Amelia Kinkade; Translated by Park Mi-young from English to Korean; Ruby Box: 308 pp., 15,000 won
Amelia Kinkade is an animal communicator and self-proclaimed “pet psychic” who taught Heidi Wright. Wright is known to domestic audiences after appearing on the local television show “TV Animal Farm” on SBS in 2009, and garnered popularity for her ability to “read” the problems of the animals.
The book includes abundant stories of her numerous pupils, including Wright, who “succeed” in communicating with animals. The author introduces various guidelines to solve problems with pets through communication.
Her candid and passionate writings break skepticism and doubt about communicating with animals. It demonstrates that consciousness is not just an exclusive feature but one shared by all living creatures. The author tries to tell how such efforts can enhance the understanding of animals and their feelings and turns awareness about pets toward them being lifetime soulful companions rather than just the animals.
Ask the Way to King Sejong
Lee Chung-sung; Iljinsa: 312 pp., 16,000 won
King Sejong was undoubtedly Korea’s greatest king during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), renowned for his extraordinary achievements in science, political and social systems, literature and even art.
A champion of King Sejong, Lee Chung-sung, the former president of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, has released a new book looking back on his policies during his term in office. He starts his book with the beautification of Gwanghwamun Plaza in which a giant sedentary statue of King Sejong is strangely installed in parallel with the statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin.
The book attempts to connect King Sejong’s feats to the name of the district in Sejong-ro and various Sejong-related cultural facilities there.
After taking the helm of the top post of the center in 2008, he pushed the “Sejong Belt,” a pan-city initiative to interconnect arts and cultural organizations scattered around Gwanghwamun.
He uses the king’s sagacious leadership and creative ideas to justify his policies throughout the book but it reads more as a face-saving excuse for his projects.
Nanda; Anibooks: 280pp., 11,500 won
"Acoustic Life," a popular webtoon serialized on popular portal site Daum, is now available as a book.
The cartoonist Nanda met her husband at a school cartoon club and married him after dating for several years. Nanda is a lazy cartoonist and her husband, Han, is a game developer. They are just like a normal couple, issuing dish-washing exemptions for each other's birthday.
Though the cartoon portrays the daily life of newlyweds in a plain, simple way, "Acoustic Life" is not only popular among married couples but those who have never dated anyone. That's probably because she creates a bond of sympathy with the readers, balancing comfortable daily life and satire about society.
The last chapter includes unreleased earlier cartoons such as ones about the childhood of the author.