Kim Hyeon-gu; dReamN Publishing: 320 pp., 12,800 won
The is a collection of blog posts by a sub-intern at a general hospital, detailing noteworthy happenings in his daily life, from humorous to tragic.
His portraits are much rawer when the angle is turned to the doctors themselves. His seniors constantly yell at him for being slow. The nap room looks like a pig sty. Surgeons have hair that looks unwashed for days if not weeks. There are angry patients and guardians who threaten lawsuits.
Kim writes from a common-man perspective, possibly to increase accessibility, yet it sometimes undermines the seriousness of the content. There is one reference too many to finger enemas, which may be “icky enough” to induce some chuckles from readers but is no laughing matter for the patients.
To his credit, he never shies away from graphic details, making this book worth a glance. It is a welcome departure from the likes of “Grey’s Anatomy” and other beautified white gown-themed TV shows where the subject revolves more around love affairs than the well-being of patients.
— KWAAK JE-YUP
Korean Power People In Hollywood
Kyungmin Rachel Lee; Wisdomhouse: 304pp., 13,800 won
Hollywood is the center of the entertainment world and 10 Koreans working at the forefront of the industry there have one thing in common — all of them began their career from scratch and have spent every moment learning it with patience and passion. They neither received special training nor did they have any mentors. They learned and absorbed everything they could and challenged every single opportunity given to them. Such strong determination and courage established their status as influential and successful professionals.
How have they have risen to the top among all the talented, gifted people in the world and how have they survived amid such fierce competition?
This book, written by journalist Kyungmin Rachel Lee, tells the stories about the 10 professionals who have overcome the limitations this marginalized group of people face. The so-called “Power People” have finally become as influential as famous Hollywood celebrities today.
This has all come from their curiosity about the new world, challenging spirit, endless commitment, sincerity and a positive attitude towards life.
Word from Paris
Choi Yeon-goo; Leader's Book: 264 pp., 13,000 won
“Words from Paris” reflects the cultural implications of commonly used words derived from French. Instead of simply translating the words, the author explores the French spirit and compares it to Korean culture.
Author Choi Yeon-goo says French words penetrated Korean culture long time ago and can be found in general terms such as vacance, etiquette, mecenat as well as in brand names including stationary company Mon Ami, Laneige cosmetics and chocolate cake Mon Cher Tonton.
“Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive,” the phrase indicating the arrival of young Beaujolais Nouveau wine each year, is considered a successful marketing strategy, but Choi sees the desire to distinguish the people who speak French. Beaujolais Nouveau is a folksy, cheap wine, but French mark the release date with festivities to differentiate the wine from others and have imparted a new meaning to it, Choi says.
— KWON MEE-YOO