37 Book Recommendations From Your Favorite K-Pop Idols

    Considering how busy the average idol is, any book they take time out of their schedule to read has a pretty good chance of being worth picking up.

    So with that in mind, I went digging to find out which books keep our fave performers entertained in their downtime…

    1. RM of BTS: A Bigger Message: Conversations With David Hockney by Martin Gayford

    View this video on YouTube

    BANGTANTV on YouTube / Via youtube.com

    BTS’s leader is known for his intellectual and cultural pursuits, so it comes as no surprise that he was spotted reading this book, described as “a record of a decade of private conversations with art critic Martin Gayford," in which David Hockney "reveals via reflection, anecdote, passion and humour the fruits of his lifelong meditations on the problems and paradoxes of representing a three-dimensional world on a flat surface.”

    2. Irene of Red Velvet: Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-joo

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    Dingo Story on YouTube / Via youtu.be

    In a surreal case of life imitating art, the book about a woman’s experiences of everyday sexism caused controversy, with many of Irene’s male fans cutting up and burning posters and photocards of the idol in disgust at her “feminist leanings.” The book, which became the first million-selling Korean novel since Shin Kyung-sook’s Please Look After Mom in 2009, follows an average young woman in Korea who struggles with sexist experiences and the expectation and reality of quitting her job to become a stay-at-home wife and mother. She later struggles with mental illness, and we see her “psychic deterioration in the face of rigid misogyny.”

    Heralded as a book that reignited the feminist movement in South Korea, many celebs in the country have spoken out about their positive thoughts on the book, including RM of BTS, comedian Noh Hyung Chul, actors Park Shin Hye and Hong Eun Hee, and Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung, who was "blamed" for influencing Irene’s decision to read the book! You can hear Sooyoung talk about it around 1:17 in this video, in an episode she titled "1990 Choi Soo Young" in homage to the book.

    3. Got7’s Jinyoung: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    Head and shoulders portrait of Jinyoung, with wavy center-parted bangs and a turtle neck with a striped blazer over it

    4. Got7’s JB: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

    JB holds a microphone to his mouth with a sign on it saying "KBS entertainment"; he has floppy black hair that brushes his eyebrows and wears a long dangling silver earring in one ear

    5. Suga, Jin, RM, and J-Hope of BTS: Almond by Sohn Won-Pyung

    RM sits on a picnic bench by a river, reading with a coffee and a packet of gummy sweets

    6. IU: Demian by Herman Hesse

    IU wears a turtleneck and plaid jacket; her hands form a heart shape in front of her, and she smiles with her long dark hair behind her shoulders

    7. Jisoo of Blackpink: Carol by Patricia Highsmith

    Rose walks away from a building at night, with is lit up with a neon saying spelling the word "Carol"

    8. Yeri of Red Velvet: Confessions by Kanae Minato

    Yeri smiles, her hair wavy and tucked behind her ear on one side; she holds a microphone and looks to be standing onstage

    9. Jonghyun of Shinee: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

    Jonghyun smiles, with band mate Taemin to his right and Minho to his left.

    10. Jaehyun of NCT: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

    181229 Yeongdeungpo Fansign — #JAEHYUN - Pls recommend me a book! JH: A book? Ah but I’ve not finished reading everything yet... I’m still in the midst of reading it... 총균쇠 (Guns, Germs, and Steel)... It’s sort of like a history book~

    @jaehyunbom__ on Twitter / Via Twitter: @jaehyunbom__

    At a fan signing in Yeongdeungpo, Jaehyun recommended the book, describing it as a “sort of history book” and advising that it was best to read bit by bit in chapters as it’s quite a hard read.

    11. Kai of Exo and SuperM: The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

    Kai wears a backward red baseball cap over his blonde hair; a subtitle overlay says, "Kai's choice: Suspect X's Dedication"

    12. Kino of Pentagon: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

    13. Jungkook of BTS: I Decided to Live as Me by Kim Sooh-yun

    In celebration of #JungkookDay, today we highlight one of his book recommendations! In Bon Voyage 3 in 2018, Jungkook was spotted with the book "I Decided to Live as Me" by Kim Soohyun 📖 #JK #JUNGKOOK #방탄소년단정국 #전정국 @BTS_twt

    @JooniesLibrary on Twitter / Via Twitter: @JooniesLibrary

    In Bon Voyage Season 3 back in 2018, Jungkook was spotted with the book, which contains illustrated essays about finding yourself and your identity, and learning to love yourself — quite appropriate considering he would have been reading it during the band’s “Love Yourself” era!

    Jay B of Got7 also posted this book on his Instagram stories.

    14. Kyuhyun of Super Junior: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

    Yesung: I saw that Kyuhyun read a book 'Sapiens' and it's like the amount he read didn't increase and I even saw him falling asleep with that book AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

    @KyuhyunFacts on Twitter / Via Twitter: @KyuhyunFacts

    OK, fine, I’m not sure I can call this one a recommendation since bandmate Yesung actually said he saw Kyuhyun reading Sapiens before bed — but he didn’t see him make any progress other than to fall asleep with the book! So maybe he’d recommend it as a sleeping aid?!

    15. Juyeon of the Boyz: Prism by Sohn Won-Pyung

    210417 "!!!" 브이앱 / "!!!" VLIVE 손원평 “프리즘” Sohn Won-pyung “Prism”

    Twitter: @juyeonbookshelf

    Juyeon has recommended the lesser known book Prism by the author of Almond, mentioned farther up the list as a recommendation from half of BTS! Prism is described as a story about men and women in their 20s and 30s making peace with the world and themselves, the complexity of human relationships, and how coexistence can both complicate and heal a person’s life.

    16. Kanghyun of ONEWE: Perfume by Patrick Süskind

    Kanghyun onstage with a guitar

    17. V of BTS: I Am Home but I Still Want to Go Home by Kwon Rabin

    🐻: I recently started a book. It's called "I am home but I still want to go home". It has a lot of comforting and relatable messages. I only read the cover though.

    @blackxagustd on Twitter / Via Twitter: @blackxagustd

    V’s Midas touch meant that the Japanese version of the book became a bestseller in Japan shortly after he mentioned it, and then an Indonesian version was published due to the sudden demand.

    V mentioned in a Grammy Museum interview that he was reading the book, which explores the idea of “home,” and how it may not be a building but instead a haven made up of people, experiences, and more. It also deals with feelings of emptiness, loneliness, and heartbreak.

    V describes it as having a lot of comforting and relatable messages, then quips, “I only read the cover though,” prompting Jimin, Jungkook, and Jin to laugh and J-Hope to shake his head and say, “Wow” incredulously!

    18. Yuta of NCT: Lizard by Banana Yoshimoto

    Yuta holding the book Lizard by Banana Yoshimoto

    19. Wonwoo of Seventeen: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

    here's a list of recommended books by wonwoo; i trans-ed titles using naver so it might not be accurate credit: https://t.co/yMFrFqiKMP

    Twitter: @wonuric

    Wonwoo seems to enjoy the classics, with a fan-made list of his book recommendations including the Sherlock stories as well as Shakespeare’s Othello, Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth. He also enjoys Me Before You, like Got7’s Jinyoung.

    20. Seohyun of Girls’ Generation: The Gift of Acabar by Og Mandino

    21. Suho of Exo: Hector and the Search for Happiness by François Lelord

    Suho smiles at the camera with floppy hair falling into his eyes; in the background, there are fans taking photos of him

    22. Hongjoong of Ateez: Sauve-moi by Guillaume Musso

    Hongjoong is reading a book from a very famous french novelist, Guillaume Musso. The title is "Sauve Moi" (save me/구해줘). #ATEEZ

    @yunhoni on Twitter / Via Twitter: @yunhoni

    Hongjoong told fans about this book, also known as A Mix-Up in Heaven, which follows Parisian Juliette and New Yorker Sam who meet by chance and seek comfort with one another following their own perceived failings — Juliette believing she will never get her big break as an actor, and Sam blaming himself for his wife’s suicide.

    The two spend a weekend together, and as Juliette leaves to head back to Paris, her plane explodes. However, their story is far from over…

    23. Onew of Shinee: Where Will We Live by Yoo Hyun Joon

    Onew in a smart suit with a coat over it, looking to be at a red carpet event

    24. Dami of Dreamcatcher: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

    25. Yoohyeon of Dreamcatcher: Adventures of the Bad Guys by Kwak Eun-young

    26. Hyerim of Wonder Girls: How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes

    View this video on YouTube

    Lim's diary on YouTube / Via youtu.be

    Hyerim says she enjoys self-development books that allow her to become a better person and learn the things she feels she needs to know before turning 30. 

    She described How to Talk to Anyone as a “life-changing book” on Lim’s Diary on YouTube, where she also recommended Shakespeare, saying his works teach readers a lot about human psychology, emotions, and relationships.

    27. Minhyun of NU’EST: The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie-Yip Williams

    Minhyun was asked what book he read recently and he said it's called "Even if that shining light all disappears." He brought it from his bedside table because he's been reading it before going to bed. He said it was a fan gift :) #뉴이스트 #NUEST #민현 @NUESTNEWS

    @Melodia_Muse on Twitter / Via Twitter: @Melodia_Muse

    The Korean title is Even if That Shining Light All Disappears, and Minhyun said he reads it before bed and keeps it on his bedside table. The book is a memoir of a young mother facing a terminal diagnosis, which begins as a chronicle of an imminent death and transforms into a legacy of Julie’s life with a powerful focus on living and its meaning.

    28. Hongseok of Pentagon: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

    Yang Hong-seok: "my favorite novelist is Paulo Coelho" THANK YOU. Age is no barrier; It's a limitation you create on your mind

    KBS, @paulocoelho on Twitter / Via Twitter: @paulocoelho

    Hongseok said Paulo Coelho is his favorite author, and he enjoys reading in different languages. Hongseok even got a Twitter shoutout from the author when he expressed his love of his works!

    29. Changmin of TVXQ: Food Is Common Sense by Yoon Deok

    30. Go Won of Loona: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

    31. Jae of Day6: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

    Anyone got any good book recommendations?? Want to get back into reading. My favorite books are catcher in the rye and the perks of being a wallflower. Also really like Murakami books. Looking for a tear jerker.

    @eaJPark on Twitter / Via Twitter: @eajpark

    Jae says his fave books include The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Catcher in the Rye, and Murakami books. He also asked for tearjerker book recommendations on Twitter!

    32. Tiffany of Girls’ Generation: Dear Girls by Ali Wong

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    WGSNSDFX.COM on YouTube / Via youtube.com

    Tiffany shared a stack of her fave books on her Instagram stories, with one being Dear Girls, which she lauded for its Asian American representation and talked about the importance of seeing and supporting more of it in popular culture.

    Her stack also included Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha, Becoming by Michelle Obama, and more. 

    She also said she enjoyed fantasy books growing up, such as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. 

    33. Junhoe of iKon: The Black Leaf in My Mouth by Ki Hyongdo

    34. GFriend: Le Papillon des Étoiles by Bernard Werber

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    1theK on YouTube / Via youtube.com

    Many fans believe the band’s “Navillera” MV is inspired by this French novel, due to similarities in the lyrics and the book’s story. The book is also known as The Butterfly of the Stars, so fans speculate that there’s another connection — “Navi” means “butterfly” in Korean, and of course, the song is called “Navillera.”

    35. The8 of Seventeen: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

    36. Mingi of Ateez: I Have a Secret by Yoru Sumino

    #밍프할래 : mingi said that a book he’s been reading is “i have a secret” by yoru sumino :0 wow he must rly like that author bc he has read “i want to eat your pancreas” and he also recommended “i had that same dream again” to an atiny :0

    @atzhye on Twitter / Via Twitter: @atzhye

    Mingi has recommended I Have a Secret, a light novel by Yoru Sumino that follows five high school classmates with buried secrets. As their paths cross as they grow up, they might begin to loosen the hold over those secrets...

    37. Hyunjin of Stray Kids: Harmless Person to You by Choi Eunyoung


    @choiheals on Twitter / Via Twitter: @choiheals

    There doesn't seem to be an English translation of this book yet, but from what I can gather, this book looks to be a compilation of seven stories, focusing on "the tremors of the heart that arise and subside violently," looking at relationships throughout time, and reminiscing about the past. Shoko's Smile, by the same author, was translated into English fairly recently though, so maybe we can grab that one in the meantime!

    Do you have any idol recommendations to add to this list? How many have you read from this list? Let me know in the comments!