What I Read in March 2024

It’s officially spring now, and I’ve been so energized by the longer days! I’ve gotten into a good groove with the new job schedule (only took like five months haha), and I’m back to reading in the mornings (with my old work schedule, I was a morning workout person for the first time ever in my life!).


I had read a Bookstagram review of Flawless a while back but what got me into actually listening to the audiobook was a bonus podcast episode I came across which was from a live show with the author Elise Hu. Inspired by her time spent working in Korea and her frustration at the lack of information she was looking for, Hu authored Flawless to encapsulate the perfection-aspiring Korea she witnessed. Perhaps because I left Korea such a long time ago (early 2006) when I was only in middle school or because I am from a small-town in Korea, I was surprised by the intensity and ubiquitousness of the K-beauty regiments (the consumeristic and high-technology aspects, I was expecting). It’s an interesting read as Hu ties in the modern-day feminism movement in Korea as well as Korean history.


I primarily knew Julia Fox from her TikTok videos, which she was making quite some time after her relationship with Kanye West, and that is all I knew about her. Down the Drain is more on the serious spectrum of celebrity memoirs. Some might judge her for the things she has done, the decisions she made the past, or the inconsistencies in her storytelling, but you certainly can’t say that this book is all ghostwritten or that she just wrote a bunch of fluff to put out a book. I feel like Julia Fox had a lot to say about the life she has lived and she took this book as an opportunity to tell her story the way she wants to.

이윤기의 그리스 로마 신화 1 – 신화를 이해하는 12가지 열쇠 (Lee Yoon-ki’s Greek and Roman Mythology – 12 Keys to Understanding Mythology)

Over Seollal weekend last month, we had a family gathering during which we, as in the Shinblings, scavenged through (and fought over) our old Korean books from childhood. Greek and Roman mythology is a huge part of Korean culture thanks to the fact that the publishing industry heavily emphasizes the educational element to parents. Anyways, we grew up with many varieties of Greek and Roman mythology books, including Lee Yoon-ki’s 12 Keys to Understanding Mythology. This book is technically more geared towards adults in terms of the language and content but I read it (and its sequel) in my teenage years. Re-reading this book (in my continued attempt to read more in Korean) might have been a tad bit more challenging than I anticipated!


In Mott Street, Ava Chin tells the stories of both sides of her family which in turn tells the stories of so many Chinese Americans. While I was aware of Chinese Americans’ involvement in the building of the transcontinental railroad and, of course, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mott Street illuminated the fuller history of Chinese Americans I was not taught in school–how the Chinese people fought for their rights in the new country, the impact of Chinese Exclusion Act had on the community (so many of Ava Chin’s ancestors have Exclusion files on them, including those who were born in the U.S.?!), the nighttime raids feared by so many in Chinatown, and more.

P.S. I’m currently reading Lonesome Dove (and have been since January!) and the second book in Lee Yoon-ki’s Greek and Roman Mythology series!

P.P.S. March was another month where I didn’t take a single photo of a book so I figured it was a good excuse to share a photo of me wearing hanbok to this year’s Art in Bloom, a tradition that started pre-Covid! This Hanbok dress is from Leehwa Wedding.

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