South of Seoul Book Club List for 2023

Ready to start reading with South of Seoul volunteers for our Book Club for 2023! Let’s dig deeper into Korean literature and culture and explore more about the Korean experience together.

About the South of Seoul Virtual Book Club

Looking for book recommendations and a literature-loving community? Welcome to the South of Seoul book club. Our South of Seoul volunteers research, read, and recommend books for each month of the year.

Such reading picks may explore topics like 1) South Korean history or culture, 2) the complexity of cross-cultural life, 4) the exploration of life within the diaspora experience, and 5) the dynamic world of South Korean literature.

Conceptualize the South of Seoul Book Club list as a curated path for deeper insight into a culture and our lives here in South Korea. A way to dig into worlds you might not fully understand so you can feel more like a part of the world around you.

Reasons to Participate in the South of Seoul Book Club

Participating in the South of Seoul book club community may provide a variety of loose and variable personal and social benefits. For example, the benefits South of Seoul volunteers experience by sharing our reading lists in 2022 included:

  • An accessible roadmap for building knowledge about Korean culture.
  • Shared cultural knowledge for connecting more with South Korean friends.
  • Shared cultural knowledge for connecting more with ex-pats from many backgrounds.

If you find these reasons valuable to your life, then dig into the following reading list with gusto.

2023 South of Seoul Reading List

Each month a volunteer will post their experiences reading the following books and how such books may or may not have impacted their lives. We would also love to hear your experiences and thoughts about the titles.

January: I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki 

February: The Island of Sea Women: A Novel

March: When We Fell Apart: A Novel

April: Korean Folk Tales: Imps, Ghosts, and Fairies (Tut Books)

May: The Hole by Hye-young Pyun

June: The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir

July: Jeju Island Tour with Poetry: I’m here to find love.

August: Liar, Dreamer, Thief

September: The Picture Bride: A Novel

October: Cursed Bunny: Stories

November: American Seoul: A Memoir

December: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982: A Novel

South of Seoul Book Club

South of Seoul volunteers take their book recommendations and book list reading seriously. In order to create a solid reading we use the following commitments as a rubric for our choices.

Commitment to Accessibility

South of Seoul volunteers take book accessibility into consideration when recommending titles. We consider:

  • Purchasable in English In Korea: Many translated titles can’t actually be purchased in English in Korea. This usually means an online purchase as an e-book or audiobook. This does not mean available in Korean bookstores in English.
  • Audio Version Available: Many people find audiobooks easier to consume.
  • Online Versions.: International residents can’t afford to travel with many books and many books may not be available in digital form from within Korea.

Commitment to Diverse Lived Experiences

South of Seoul volunteers seek to put lived experiences at the forefront of their recommendation choices. When considering authors we look for such things as:

  • Korean authors writing about their lived experiences in Korea.
  • International residents writing about their lived experiences in South Korea.
  • Ethnic Koreans writing about their lived experience in other countries.

Reading about Korean culture from a variety of perspectives may provide readers with a greater understanding of the country and culture.

Commitment to Supporting Mental Health

South of Seoul also includes book recommendations that support the lives and mental health of our community. This means that books may tackle the issues related to living between cultures. This may include topics such as culture shock, language, relationships, and more.

Leave Us Your Recommendations

Do you have a book to recommend for our future Book Club Reading List? Feel free to message us your commendations or leave them in the comments.