Resources:  Books

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This list has been pre-screened. Books in this color were highly recommended by KAAN conference attendees.  Contact Us with additions or corrections.

The Korean Kitchen, Classic Recipes from the Land of Morning Calm  by Copeland Marks    A combination travelogue and cookbook: the author describes the several months he spent travelling around Korea eating in homes, fine restaurants, and back alley joints. There is a commentary that begins each chapter, and another which accompanies each recipe . . . includes the history of various dishes, why certain foods are popular, how culture and geography impact eating habits, regional dishes, Korean ways of eating, etc.

The Korean Table: From Barbeque to Bibimbap, 100 Easy-To-Prepare Recipes  by Taekyung Chung and Debra Samuels   

The Korean War, 1945-1953  by Hugh Deane   A cause-and-effect view of the Korean War with terrific bibliography.

The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies  by Michael Breen   A veteran British journalist examines the history, culture, and economy of North and (principally) South Korea, where he lives for half of each year. What separates this book from many other books on Korea is Breen's emphasis, as the title suggests, on how Koreans behave and why they act that way.

The Land and People of Korea  by S.E. Solberg    An introduction to the history, government, traditions, and way of life of the people of Korea. Currently out of print.

The Legend of Hong Kil Dong  by Anne Sibley O'Brien    Short graphic novel of a Robin-Hood-type story set in Korea.

The Lonely Planet's Guide to Seoul  by Lonely Planet Publications    Along with Culture Shock Korea, this travel book is also highly recommended.

The Long Season of Rain  by Helen S. Kim   When an orphan boy comes to live with her family, eleven-year-old Junehee begins to realize that the demands placed on Korean women can destroy their lives.

The Love of Two Stars  by Janie Jaehyun Park   Tale of a farmer and weaver who live and fall in love in the starry sky, able to meet only once a year.

The Lucky Gourd Shop  by Joanna Catherine Scott    Three adopted Korean teenagers seek to find out about their birthmother. They discover the story of the strong and lovely Mi Sook, who was abandoned at birth, reared in the storage room of a Seoul coffee shop and who becomes the mistress (and later the wife) of a poor construction worker obsessed, like so many Korean men, with having ''a flock of sons.''

The Magic Amber: A Korean Legend  by Charles Reasoner    A Korean folktale of greed and generosity, involving an older couple and another man.

The Mole's Daughter  by Julia Gukova   Father Mole wants to marry his beautiful daughter to the most powerful husband in the world. He approaches the sky, who points out it cannot control the movements of the sun. The sun sends him to a cloud, which sends him to the wind, and so on, until he arrives at a wall, where a young mole burrows through and shows him that he is the suitable suitor for his daughter.

The Name Jar  by Yangsook Choi    Worried that her classmates will not be able to pronounce her name, Unhei considers using an "American" one in its place...but instead chooses to teach her class about her name.

The Photograph  by Joe Porcelli   A boy sees his family killed in the Korean War and is adopted by an American soldier. He comes to the U.S. with only a photograph. Growing up in the South, he experiences both love and racism and does not reconcile his past until he serves as a soldier in Vietnam.

The Politics of Tyranny: U.S. Foreign Policy and Korea, 1958-1988  by Woo Jung Joo   Unique collection of letters and essays on U.S. foreign policy towards Korea, including an essay written by the future democratic President Kim.

The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child  by Nancy Newton Verrier    This book is both forceful and courageous in its approach. Illuminates the effects on adopted children of separation from their birthmother . . . provides validation of many adoptees' feelings, as well as brings clarity and understanding to their experiences.

The Princess and the Beggar  by Anne Sibley O'Brien   A sad princess finds happiness after marrying a beggar. Beautiful watercolors.

The Pumpkin Sparrow  by Claudia Fregosi    Bright, primary-colored drawings. Two brothers - Wise and Fox - live different lives. When Wise and his wife are rewarded by a sparrow they heal, Fox and his wife try to go the same route - with different results.

The Rabbit and the Dragon King  by Daniel San Souci   Thanks to a quick-witted rabbit and a sea-worthy turtle, an ill dragon king regains his desire to live.

The Rabbit's Escape  by Suzanne Crowder Han   Tricked into visiting the underwater kingdom where the Dragon King of the East Sea wants his liver, a clever rabbit uses his wits to escape. Korean folktale, told in English with matching Korean text listed below.