Todd G. Buchholz; translated into Korean by Chang Seok-hoon; Chunglim Publishing; 363 pp., 13,500 won
Todd G. Buchholz, a former White House director of economic policy, makes the argument in his latest book that we don't really want to relax ― we want to compete. Weaving in everything from evolutionary biology to renaissance art to General Motors, Buchholz aims to convince readers that the race to compete has not only made us smarter, it's what we really love and need.
Among the book's many counterintuitive points are: put off retirement - it can make you stupid; we all need to be control freaks; and in-house competition is actually great for morale. Buchholz underlines that it's the race itself that literally delivers the rush, even if we never reach the finish line.
Buchholz is an internationally acclaimed economist who is an advisor for ABC News, as well as some of the world's leading investment funds. He has served as a director of economic policy at the White House and holds advanced degrees from Cambridge University and Harvard Law School. Among his many accolades he has been awarded the Allyn Young Teaching Prize by Harvard University's Department of Economics.
The author is well known in Korea for authoring "New Ideas from Dead Economists," particularly popular among university students. Other famous books include "New Ideas from Dead CEOs" as well as "From Here to Economy."
- Do Je-hae
Kim Hak-seon; Eulyoo Publishing; 408 pp., 15,000 won
What a timely subject. With the ongoing popularity of K-pop music, fans or even just non-fans might have wondered once where the roots of it all came from.
The author, who has covered popular Korean music for various media outlets, sees the foundation from 1970s Korean music. There were such unexpected gifted musicians as Han Dae-soo, a singer-songwriter who introduced folk music to the public, Shin Joong-hyun, also a singer-song writer and a rock guitarist and Sanwoolim, a trio of brothers who popularized their version of rock music.
The music and the work these musicians produced gave way to slew of popular singers in 1980s including legendary Cho Yong-pil, and Korea’s Madonna Kim Wan-seon. The ‘80s musicians pass the baton onto Shin Seung-hoon and Seo Taiji and the Boys in the 1990s and BoA and TVXQ in the 2000s.
The writer notes how fan culture first sprouted with the 1970s musicians, that Kim Wan-seon was one of the first “idol” stars who spent many years preparing before her debut, a career path taken by so many of present stars including BoA and TVQ.
- Kim Ji-soo
The Power to Discern
Akiko Mizuki; translated by Lee Seo-yeon; Wisdom House; 274 pp., 12,800 won
Self-proclaimed expert in blind dates, first class flight attendant of many years, ex-wife of two successful businessmen ... Mizuki and her book are not backed by ordinary credentials.
Filled with specialized advice like, “If you want to marry a good man, you have to be a good woman first,” “Extend Human Powers” is a book for those single ladies wanting to find and tie the knot with the right man.
And just how can she find him? Mizuki, drawing on anecdotal evidence, sketches him in minute detail, from the fabric of his coat to the gleam in his eyes.
In addition, she dedicates a large number of pages to explaining how to be desirable to this man and even how to make him even better with his female companion’s assistance.
It is inconceivable where these Prince Charmings were observed, but her ideal woman is even more disturbing. If he seems effortlessly perfect, she is constantly checking herself, making sure she cuts the right figure.
It is a revealing book about the author more than the men she is out to snare.
- KWAAK JE-YUP
Contemporary Art Museums in New York
Liz Yi-sun Kwon and Lee Su-hyung; Artbook: 408 pp., 20,000 won
New York is the capital of contemporary art and consequently has many notable museums. There are many books on New York’s art scene, from art history books to travel guides focused on the city’s special artworks and galleries.
"Contemporary Art Museums in New York" takes another look with an insightful viewpoint. "Museums have been recognized only as places to house art collections, but understanding the hardware, or museum, is essential to comprehend art and artists," the two authors write.
Liz Yi-sun Kwon is an art curator based in New York and Lee Su-hyung is the editor of Contents Business Institute, specializing in culture and sports.
The book introduces seven museums in New York City from the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art to the Frick Collection and the Brooklyn Museum. It explains extensively about each museum _ their founders, collection highlights, architecture and nearby galleries and landmarks. It also has a brief timeline highlighting modern and contemporary art in New York.
- Kwon Mee-yoo