Cover We rounded up books featured in Korean dramas that you should read (Photo: Netflix)

In need of a good read? We rounded up some books that are K-drama approved for you to read

The production of Korean dramas is always top-notch. Not only do they focus on the casting, the chemistry of the leads, the plot, the music and the cinematography, but also on the little details such as literary references of literature accessories.

Books play a big part in some Korean dramas. For instance, if the profession of one of the main leads is related to literature, many references to books are made like in My Romance is a Bonus Book. Sometimes, they help develop or build up a character as seen in My Beloved Summer or even, serve as the driving force behind the story like in I’m Not a Robot or Hotel del Luna.

In need of a good read? We've got you covered with our roundup of books that have the seal of approval from Korean dramas.

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1. To Room Nineteen by Doris Lessing

To Room Nineteen is written by Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, Doris Lessing and is a collection of short stories. One of them is the eponymous short story which looks at a controlled middle-class marriage while the other, A Woman on the Roof follows a man that becomes obsessed with a woman who loves to sunbathe.

Featured in: Because This Is My First Life (2017)

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2. The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

The Happy Prince tells the story of a gilded statue and Swallow who’s on his way to Egypt. Experiencing hardships in his journey, he takes refuge at the feet of a golden statue of a prince. At the request of the prince, Swallow starts bringing pieces of the statute to the less fortunate.

Featured in: My Absolute Boyfriend (2019)

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3. Every Day A Good Day by Morishita Noriko

In this book, author Morishita Noriko reflects on the past 25 years of studying the Japanese tea culture and how every aspect of it seems to reflect her own experiences in life. From navigating complicated emotions on her first day of college, to dealing with job-hunting setbacks, tea has always been part of her life.

Featured in: Romance is a Bonus Book (2019)

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4. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

Written by Milan Kundera and translated by Michael Henry Heim, The Unbearable Lightness of Being follows a young woman who’s in love with a womaniser. While the man loves her, he also couldn’t stop meeting his mistress who ironically also has her own lover.

Featured in: My Beloved Summer (2022)

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5. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriela Garcia Marquez

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriela Garcia Marquez chronicles the epic love story of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. The two were passionately in love despite their difference in wealth and status. When Fermina’s father intervenes in their relationship, she eventually decides to marry a wealthy doctor.

This leaves Florentino heartbroken but determined to get Fermina back. He rises in his career and reserves his heart for Fermina. When her husband dies, Florentino declares his love for her once again.

Featured in: My Roommate is a Gumiho (2021)

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6. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Wind in the Willows maybe a children’s book but it’s very much still worth a read. The story focuses on four animals: a mole, a rat, a toad and a badger. They all live in a pastoral version of England during the Edwardian era.

Featured in: When the Weather Is Fine (2020)

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7. Sein und Zeit (Being and Time) by Martin Heidegger

Considered the magnum opus of German philosopher Martin Heidegger, Being and Time is a book in understanding existentialism. It had a notable influence on many philosophy and literary theories.

Featured in: Hotel del Luna (2019)

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8. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

The Velveteen Rabbit is another children’s book that's worth a read. It tells the story of a stuffed rabbit’s desire to become real, through the love of its owner.

Featured in: I’m Not a Robot (2017)

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9. Like Water for Chocolate by Laure Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate revolves around the all-female De La Garza family. The youngest daughter, Tita has been forbidden to marry in order to look after her mother.

But Tita ends up falling in love with Pedro. Knowing that he can never marry Tita, he decides to marry her sister, Rosaura so that he can still be close to Tita.

Featured in: Our Beloved Summer (2022)

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10. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Written by playwright William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream portrays the events that occurred while preparing for the wedding of the Duke of Athens.

Over in the forest, the King and Queen of the faeries are controlling a group of actors. We also follow four young Athenians who are involved in a complicated love affair.

Featured in: Our Beloved Summer (2022)

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