books

Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s New Writing Venture ‘Depilation Nation’

As there continues to be an increased interest in Asian-American literature, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, author of Somebody’s Daughter and Visiting Lecturer of creative writing at Brown University, offers another perspective of life for Korean-Americans in her new project, Depilation Nation.”


Great Korean Book Cover Designs


Having spent quite some time working in the publishing industry, I've always been a big fan of nicely designed book covers. One thing I particularly love is how the same book can have such different jackets across the world. There's something very peculiar about the design of Korean book covers although I can't quite put words on it. Maybe it's the hangul typography or its strange cuteness which always manages to avoid being childish. Here are some covers I especially like:



In the basement, a book review

At Goodreads, I gave it four stars because I see great relevance with my own teaching position. Otherwise, the discussion about his life choices and family problems – though well-written – didn’t appeal to me and took a little away from the book. I was also disappointed in his overly florid prose, brimming with metaphor and allusions to literary classics. Perhaps he was working to defend employment; a sort of “Look at me! I know books! I really am a good teacher.”

I do think he is a good teacher and I intend to try a few of the techniques he described in my classes. I can do that because the whole adjunct professor – community college- education inflation thing he describes is a pretty good description of my own work as an ESL teacher at a university in Korea. The parallels might not be perfect, but they are clear.


plans and concerns

I recently started reading “Cognitive Surplus“, a book about how people can create collaboratively online.  The thesis of the book is that for years, TV demanded that we only absorb media.  Modern media -delivered by the internet – is more of a give-and-take* proposition. We can do more that receive information; we can create it, too.

Since starting the book, which I enjoy, I haven’t created anything online although my time online hasn’t decreased much.


Kaplan on the Middle Asian Lake

I can’t say I’ve always loved what Robert D, Kaplan has written, but I did enjoy what he says in this “Tea with Robert Kaplan” video (sorry, the video uploaded a bit oddly). I’m a bit skeptical about Beijing’s peaceful rise, though. Yet, I heartily agree that the key to American competitiveness in the region is to eschew territorial entanglements,

Here’s a link to Kaplan’s Monsoon. The video, though, is a much more compelling ad than this sensationalistic crap on the site.


The Pettiest Tyrant in the World

Murderer-FarmerWho’s the worst mass murderer of all times? Pol Pot? Kim Il-sung? Hitler? Stalin? No, it’s Mao Zedong, and for the pettiest of reasons.


August Links Dump

Teaser: the hypocrisy of praising sex, Noynoy’s follies, the entertaining Koreas, nuclear Japan, and Tyler Cowen defending Bruce Cumings


Bukharin and Trotsky Revealed

BolsheviksEconTalk’s Russ Roberts has posted a podcast mini-series on Bolshevik leaders of the 1917 Russian Revolution, having now completed episodes featuring Paul Gregory on Nikolai Bukharin and Robert Service on Leon Trotsky.


Still not quite ready for an eBook reader – so close, though

The new Kindle looks great and is entirely in my price range…well, not quite.

Okay, it does look great and the features are about where I want them to be and the price is fantastic.

On the other hand, I checked out a few books I am interested in:

A Charlie Stross science fiction novel:

Ken Robinson: The Element:


Cry me an iRiver

I’ve blogged in the past about my interest in ebook readers.  I finally got my hands on one for a few moments today.

I liked it.  The screen is plenty big enough and the device is small enough that I could easily see myself carrying one around.  The page change is fairly slow – I think that is common to all eReaders – and I could see myself getting to the second last line, then clicking and racing through the final line before the screen changed.


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