Korean Christmas Gift Guide: Book/Learning Style

Disclaimer: I am using Amazon Affiliate links.  With the costs to run this website and podcast, I hope you don’t mind these occasional posts. This is only to help me keep this blog and podcast thriving. I have chosen to feature these books based on my personal experience and I was not asked by anyone to promote.

This is my first post in my Christmas Gift Guide. I have personally recommended books that I have read. I hope you find this post useful.


K-Love by Devon Atwood and Alice Cornwall is a great little nod to k-pop and k-drama culture. Are you sailing on the Hallyu Wave and want to experience some Korean content in your books? Never fear, I have an excellent choice for you. If you’re a book reader and a Korean entertainment fan, you will enjoy this book.

Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting this mother/duo last year at Nerd Con. Tiff and I had a complete blast. Laughing, talking dramas, and even taking a photo to commemorate the day. There’s nothing more thrilling than meeting people in real life that love and obsess over k-dramas and k-pop just like the rest of us. Truly, this was one of my absolute favorite Korean related experience to date.

Devon and Cornwall have a website, but it, sadly hasn’t, been updated in over a year. I know I’ve talked about this before, but for any newcomers to ISWAKD, I hope you’ll find this information and recommendation useful.

These two lovely ladies were in the process of mapping out/brainstorming book 2 when we met them in April of 2017. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that book 2 will be coming as it will focus one one of the Korean characters from the first book. (Personally, there is so much more potential for awesomeness to come out of a 2nd book, that I’m waiting here on bated breath. Oh the k-drama tropes gave me all the victorious feels in K-Love.)

I talked all about my NerdCon experience here. Also, I reviewed K-Love here if you’re interested. Please note that my review contains spoilers. I recommend reading K-Love before diving through my review. If you don’t mind spoilers, go for it.

Nonetheless, this was such a fun book to read that I finished it in a day and then ended up re-reading it multiple times. It was a true joy to read it.

Plot: Chase finds herself on a blind date she didn’t want, but it turns out that Daniel Bak is really dreamy. Just as she’s getting to know him better she is thrown into the path of his enigmatic best friend, Hyun Tae, son of a wealthy family. The cool, distant Hyun Tae is forced to protect her from his family when she stumbles on their corporate espionage, while Daniel is hiding a secret that could blow everything apart. Somewhere in the danger and the unraveling secrets her heart will find a place, but she isn’t sure where that will be.

Swoon-worthy Korean men? Yes, please and thank you! This book would make a great gift — whether it be Christmas, for a birthday, or just because. I prefer the paperback version, which I personally own. Fellow book lovers understand how much more satisfying it is to turn a page than to read versus reading a digital copy on your Kindle or mobile device.

Want to foray into the world of Korean cooking? Or want to share some culture and awesome Korean recipes with a friend or family member?

Dramas sure make Korean food look delectable. I am often salivating over dramas where our characters are gorging over food. There is so much that looks good. I have personally owned Koreatown: A Cookbook and I can confirm it is a home run.

Synopsis: This is not your average “journey to Asia” cookbook. Koreatown is a spicy, funky, flavor-packed love affair with the grit and charm of Korean cooking in America. Koreatowns around the country are synonymous with mealtime feasts and late-night chef hangouts, and Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard show us why through stories, interviews, and over 100 delicious, super-approachable recipes.

It’s spicy, it’s fermented, it’s sweet and savory and loaded with umami: Korean cuisine is poised to break out in the U.S., but until now, the cookbooks have been focused on taking readers on an idealized Korean journey. Koreatown, though, is all about what’s real and happening right here: the foods of Korean American communities all over our country, from L.A. to New York City, from Atlanta to Chicago. We follow Rodbard and Hong through those communities with stories and recipes for everything from beloved Korean barbecue favorites like bulgogi and kalbi to the lesser-known but deeply satisfying stews, soups, noodles, salads, drinks, and the many kimchis of the Korean American table.

In Koreatown: A Cookbook, the focus is on Korean American cuisine, but there is so much great content and history related to Korean food that it’s still an excellent book. The illustrations and photos are beautiful in all of their glossy high quality.

If you can splurge on the hard cover edition, this is worth every penny and then some.

Do you like what you’re reading? Be sure to like this post and leave me a comment.

Are you ready to learn Korean? I recently purchased Living Language Korean at Barnes and Noble. But let me tell you, there is a much better deal on the complete software at Amazon right now. There is also a 10% coupon to apply to this order. On top of that, when you spend $20, you save $5! If you’re ready to take the plunge and learn Korean, I wholeheartedly recommend this software.

I’ve only begun to use it myself, but the value alone is such a steal. With tax for my area, this comes down to $14.96 and ships free if you have Prime! The Living Language Korean software was originally priced at $49.95. This applies to US shoppers, so I’m not sure how pricing and promotions differ based on your country. 

This is also the complete version of Living Language Korean. It comes with 9 audio CD’s, 3 coursebooks, Korean reading and writing guide, and free online learning. This is a beginner through advanced course. Whether you know a little about Korean or you’re completely new to it, this would be a great language learning software to begin with.

You honestly can’t beat it at this price.

And there you have it. I hope this Korean Christmas Gift Guide: Book/Learning Style post helps you find some gift ideas for others or for yourself. Gift giving is not only a Christmas occasion. There are also birthdays, celebrating friendship/love, and ‘just because’ reasons. Of course, you don’t really need a reason to give a gift, so why not surprise a friend or family member with a fun gift?

I tried to only recommend products I have personally bought and used. If you like these suggestions and don’t mind the Affiliate links from Amazon, please let me know.

Web hosting, maintaining the podcast, and paying for streaming services can be a bit pricey.

Don’t forget to like, comment, subscribe, and share this content. It is people like you that help make this website a better place.

XOXO, Andrea.


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