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    13 Books Your Favorite K-Pop Idols Loved And So Will You

    From popular soloist IU, to Got7's Jay B, to Exo's Kai, these bookworms of K-pop have great recommendations!

    We love our favorite K-pop idols for their singing, dancing, and rapping skills, but as it turns out, their interests don't stop there. Some of them are avid book lovers, and they haven't hesitated to share some of their favorite reads on fan meets, variety shows, interviews, and during V Lives.

    1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, recommended by IU

    Penguin Group / Via, The Fact / ImaZins via Getty Images

    Release date: April 29, 2003

    IU was seen reading the second volume of The Brothers Karamazov during the third episode of the JTBC reality show, Hyori's Bed And Breakfast back in 2017. Producer Kim Hak-min of Hyori's Home Stay said that IU had chosen the book as the best book she had read in her life. IU has also recommended other books like A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman and Alain De Botton's Essays In Love.

    What it's about: Set in 19th-century Russia, The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel that explores the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. After the murder of landowner, Fyodor Karamazov, the lives of his sons change drastically: Mitya, whose bitter rivalry with his father immediately places him under suspicion for parricide; Ivan, the intellectual, is driven to breakdown and the spiritual Alyosha tries to heal the family's rifts. The Brothers Karamazov evokes a world where the lines between innocence and corruption, good and evil, blur, and everyone's faith in humanity is tested. While this book may take a longer time to read because of the myriad of characters and philosophically dense passages, Dostoevsky inserts wit and humor with appropriate, light-hearted commentary on characters and situations while ensuring that each page of this is devoted to thought-provoking moral and ethical ideals, making it worth your time!

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    2. Kim JiYoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo, recommended by Irene from Red Velvet

    Liveright Publishing Corporation / Via, Han Myung-gu / WireImage

    Release date: March 2, 2021

    Red Velvet's Irene recommended the book to a fan during a meet up, stating that she had read the book while on vacation.

    What it's about: Cho Nam-Joo tells the story of the psychic deterioration of Kim Ji-young, a Korean woman who recently quit her job to take care of her new-born daughter full-time as is expected of many Korean women. But something is wrong, as she starts to impersonate the voices of other women who are alive and dead, both known and unknown to her. What follows is the account of Ji-young's life which is recounted to the psychiatrist where we are introduced to the systemic misogyny that has shaped Ji-young's entire life. A fierce best-seller that gave birth to Korea's new feminist movement, Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 evokes the defeat that is experienced by the protagonist in a society where patriarchy reigns in every aspect of a woman's life.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    3. The Devotion Of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, recommended by Kai from EXO

    Minotaur Books / Via, Han Myung-gu / WireImage

    Release date: February 28, 2012

    Kai, who's said multiple times how reading is one of his favorite pastimes, mentioned that his favorite book was The Devotion Of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino during the show, The Human Condition in 2013. The EXO singer remarked that the book had left a deep impression on him.

    What it's about: The third book of the Detective Galileo series revolves around Yasuko, a divorced mother who lives with her daughter, Misato. Yasuko's ex-husband, who has been extorting money from her, shows up unexpectedly at her house one day, and as things get out of hand, Yasuko ends up killing him with the help of Misato and her neighbor, Ishigami, who helps to cover up the incident. When lead Detective Kusanagi tries to piece the unfolding together, he finds himself confronted by one of the most puzzling circumstances he has ever investigated.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    4. Demian by Hermann Hesse, recommended by Jisoo from Blackpink

    Harper Perennial / Via, The Chosunilbo Jns / ImaZins via Getty Images

    Release date: September 8, 2009

    Blackpink's Jisoo is said to have recommended this book during Blackpink's Reality Show, Blackpink House. She has also recommended Carol by Patricia Highsmith and The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

    What it's about: Emil Sinclair is a teenager who was raised in a middle-class home in Germany during pre-World War I. His entire existence is a struggle between two worlds: the show world of illusion and the real world of spiritual truth. During the course of the book, Sinclair is caught between good and evil, represented by the light and dark realms. Through his mysterious and mature classmate, Demian, Sinclair learns of the individuals with the "Mark of Cain" and he is eventually guided to understand the true meaning of his dreams, which results in finding his true destiny and revolting against the superficial ideals of the world.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    5. 1984 by George Orwell, recommended by RM from BTS

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    Release date: July 1, 1950

    During a 2017 interview, RM from BTS said that 1984 was a book that he liked re-reading. RM, who is known to love books and draw literary influences from them, has also recommended The Stranger by Albert Camus and Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin.

    What it's about: Set in Airstrip One, the book follows the story of Winston Smith who lives in an alternate history where everyone is under constant surveillance. All freedom is gone, all pleasures are forbidden, all information is propaganda, rebellion is unthinkable and your relatives will not hesitate to betray you. Even thinking of rebellious thoughts is a crime bound to get the attention of the Thought Police and a harsh punishment, making everyone live in constant fear because they know that Big Brother is watching them.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    6. The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga, recommended by Jaehyun from NCT

    Atria Books / Via, Han Myung-gu / WireImage

    Release date: May 8, 2018

    NCT's Jaehyun is fond of talking about his favorite books during fan signs and has recommended various non-fiction books, including the self-help book, The Courage To Be Disliked by Ishiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga.

    What it's about: This book explains the tenets of the famous psychologist, Alfred Adler, through a back and forth dialogue between a young and an older, philosophical gentleman. Over the course of the five conversations, the philosopher helps his student to understand how each of us is able to determine the direction of our own lives and be free from the shackles of our past. Adler proposes that one is happier and free if one lives from moment to moment, working on one's own task in life instead of doing other people's tasks.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    7. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, recommended by Jinyoung from GOT7

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    Release date: September 12, 2000

    At a fan signing in 2016, Jinyoung revealed that his favorite novel was Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and that he read it whenever he was feeling depressed. Known by fans to be an avid book lover, he has also recommended The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer by Patrick Suskind.

    What it's about: Set in the late '60s in Tokyo, the novel follows Toru Watanabe, a college student who is still trying to come to terms with the death of his high school best friend, Kizuki. Even though he's devoted to Naoko, her retreat into her own world as she tries to adapt to campus life draws him to the fiercely independent and self-confident, Midori. The latter ends up reciprocating his feelings and their friendship grows during Naoko's absence.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    8. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, recommended by Suga from BTS

    HarperOne / Via, Johnny Nunez / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

    Release date: April 15, 2014

    BTS's Suga, who is allegedly a big fan of Paulo Coelho, recommended the book on the BTS Official Fan Club 5th Army Kit. On June 24, 2020, the author also took to his official Twitter handle and shared photos of signed copies of the book to give to members of BTS.

    What it's about: Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. Along the way, he meets a Romany, a man who calls himself a king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the right direction of his quest. His quest will lead him to riches far different and far more satisfying than he ever imagined.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    9. The Seventh Day by Yu Hua, recommended by Wonwoo from Seventeen

    Anchor Books / Via, The Chosunilbo Jns / ImaZins via Getty Images

    Release date: January 26, 2016

    Wonwoo, who was seen reading the book, has also recommended Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and Four Great Tragedies by William Shakespeare.

    What it's about: The Seventh Day is told from the perspective of Yang Fei, a 41-year-old Chinese man who has just passed away. The book covers the first seven days of his experiences in the afterlife, where he encounters the souls of various deceased people he lost in his life: his adoptive father, his neighbors, and even his ex-wife.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    10. The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger, recommended by Jae from DAY6

    Little Brown and Company / Via, Jim Spellman / Getty Images

    Release date: May 1, 1991

    In 2018, Jae from DAY6 tweeted that he wanted to get back into reading and that one of his favorite books was The Catcher In The Rye. He also mentioned The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky as one of his favorite reads in the same tweet.

    What it's about: The Catcher In The Rye tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a teenager from New York City who is living in an unspecified institution in Southern California. After leaving his school as a result of yet another expulsion, he goes underground in New York City where he seeks solace in fleeting encounters like wandering alone around Central Park, getting beat up by pimps, and shooting the bull with strangers in dive hotels. Holden passes through the city whilst thinking of his sister, Phoebe, who was the only person who truly understood his determination to find a life of true meaning.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    11. Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami, recommended by JayB from GOT7

    Vintage / Via, Jtbc Plus / Imazins via Getty Images

    Release date: January 3, 2006

    Got7's JayB has gained popularity in his love for reading, and one of the books he has recommended is Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami which he was also spotted reading once. He mentioned during a 2019 interview with Korea's Arena Homme Magazine that he loved the book and had read it six times. He also remarked that every time he read it, the feeling was different and he had received lots of influence from it as a reader. He has also inspired the hashtag, #ReadingWithJaebom where his fans share their love for books.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    12. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, recommended by Xiaojun from WayV

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    Release date: March 5, 2013

    Xiaojun, who was seen reading the book during his relay cam in 2021, said during a Weibo Live that he had even watched the movie with fellow K-pop idol, The8 from Seventeen, who is known to be a fellow book lover. Xiaojun has also recommended How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

    What it's about: The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author, Khaled Hosseini. It revolves around the friendship of Amir, a wealthy boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, and Hassan, the son of his father's servant. The two of them are as close as brothers, but, beset by bullies, an event occurs that changes Amir's life. Packed with emotional richness, this moving tale is a one-of-a-kind classic.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    13. Letters To Lily: On How The World Works by Alan MacFarlane, recommended by Jessica Jung

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    Release date: September 01, 2006

    During a tour of her bookshelf with Marie Claire, Jessica labeled Letters To Lily by Alan Macfarlane as her all-time favorite book with themes that are relatable at any chapter of your life.

    What it's about: In a series of 30 letters, Alan MacFarlane answers his granddaughter's questions about how the world works and where she fits in. Lily's questions range from the personal to the moral and political: How can I truly be me? What is religion? Is democracy a good idea? Macfarlane responds to Lily's questions from a lifetime's experience as a teacher, anthropologist, and historian. This one-of-a-kind informative book will leave you reflecting on various aspects of your life with an engaging worldview from an insightful academic.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

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