Saturday, 26 March 2011

For my friends in South Korea: Please Look After Mom and My Korean Deli

I am obsessed with tracking the "stats" on my blog. I find it  interesting to know  that outside of Canada and USA I have a couple of followers in Hungary (thank you Julia), a couple in the UK (thank you cousins),  a few other random places (Singapore, Netherlands,Vietnam, Uruguay, Indonesia Italy and New Zealand) where I don't really know anyone, and five that regularly visit from Seoul, South Korea.

I lived and taught English in Seoul, South Korea for one year (2008-2009) and it was a big thrill to go to the foreigners area and visit the English bookstore. Unfortunately I had read most of the new "hot" books because they were out earlier in Canada before I had left the country. This is when  I really developed my deep love of the mass market paperback crime/mystery writers like James Patterson and Lisa Gardner (who I also read in hardcover).

I thought of my friends in South Korea when I  came across this book that I'm really excited to read, the author Kyung-Sook Shin is a bestselling author in Korea.

Please Look After Mom is a Korean best-seller and will be published in Canada on April 5. The publisher in Canada is Knopf, in my opinion one of the best publishers of fiction in the world. The book is also listed as one of the "Top 10 Titles to Pick Up Now" in O: The Oprah Magazine, where I first read about it.

The story is set in Korea and examines a families history through the story of the matriarch who mysteriously goes missing from a Seoul train station. You can find out  more about the book at Random House Canada HERE.

And My Korean Deli sounds really good too.

 Here is the publisher's description: 

This sweet and funny tale of a preppy literary editor buying a Brooklyn deli with his Korean in-laws is about family, class, culture clash, and the quest for authentic experiences in an increasingly unreal city.

It starts with a simple gift, when Ben Ryder Howe's wife, the daughter of Korean immigrants, decides to repay her parents' self-sacrifice by buying them a store. Howe, an editor at the rarefied Paris Review, reluctantly agrees to go along. However, things soon become a lot more complicated. After the business struggles, Howe finds himself living in the basement of his in-laws' Staten Island home, commuting to the Paris Review offices in George Plimpton's Upper East Side townhouse by day, and heading to Brooklyn at night to slice cold cuts and peddle lottery tickets. The book follows the store's tumultuous lifespan, and along the way paints the portrait of an extremely unlikely partnership between characters across society, from the Brooklyn ghetto to Seoul to Puritan New England. Owning the deli becomes a transformative experience for everyone involved as they struggle to salvage the original gift — and the family — while sorting out issues of values, work and identity.

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