Recharge with books during vacation
By Do Je-hae
A good way to recharge during the summer holidays is reading and the National Library of Korea (NLK) has compiled a list of 100 books recommended for the vacation season.
It will be distributed to public libraries nationwide. It is also available at www.nl.go.kr.
“We hope the list will be helpful for those who will devote some of the summer holidays to reading,” said an official with the library.
The books were selected by librarians at the KLK.
The top choice is one of this year’s bestsellers, “Things You Can Finally See When You Stop” by Harvard-educated Buddhist monk Ven. Haemin.
As a Buddhist monk, it’s difficult to become famous. But Ven. Haemin is an exception. His Twitter site has an enthusiastic following, particularly among young people, regardless of their religious background. He has some 40,000 followers.
The book is mostly about how people can better handle conflicts that they face in daily life, both at work and at home. Though written by a monk, there is very little related to Buddhism in it. It reads like a self-help book, with soothing paintings placed between the essays.
The 38-year-old’s unique background has caught the attention of the media as well as the Jogye Order, the nation’s largest Buddhist sect. He served as a translator to Ven. Jaseung, head of the order, during a trip to France last year. He has also been an active lecturer for motivating young people.
Ven. Haemin pursued his master’s and doctorate degrees at Harvard Divinity School and Princeton University respectively.
He said he started to use Twitter to communicate with people. He is the first Korean monk to teach in the United States as a professor at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., a small liberal arts school.
He is known for fusing his religious studies with meditation practices and his Twitter address is @Haeminsunim.
Another interesting recommendation is “Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World” by lawyer, journalist and professor Stuart Diamond. The New York Times bestseller is based on more than 20 years of research and practice involving 30,000 people in 45 countries.
The author concludes that finding and valuing the other party’s emotions and perceptions creates far more worth than the conventional wisdom of power and logic. It is intended to provide better agreements for everyone no matter what they negotiate — from jobs to mega business deals.
For history buffs, a good choice could be “A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome: Daily Life, Mysteries, and Curiosities” by Alberto Angela, an Italian author and television host.
Many have dealt with the history of ancient Rome, but few have been able to bring readers so close to daily life in the old imperial capital.
Adopting a first-person-plural voice, Angela takes readers on a tour of the ancient city beginning at dawn on an ordinary day in the year 115 A.D., with Imperial Rome at the height of its power. The reader wakes in a rich patrician home and discovers opulent furnishings and richly appointed boudoirs. Strolling though the splendors of the Roman Forum, one overhears both erudite opinions from learned orators and local ribaldry floating out from the public latrines.
Rich in atmosphere and historical information, the book is an exciting voyage into a world both distant to us in time and surprisingly near in its habits, mores and passions.