Korean Wave

From self-help to 'Harry Potter': 8 books read by K-pop star Cha Eun Woo

Dolly Dy-Zulueta - Philstar.com
From self-help to 'Harry Potter': 8 books read by K-pop star Cha Eun Woo
K-pop star Cha Eun-woo loves reading books
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — K-pop star Cha Eun-woo, whose real name is Lee Dong-min, is a member of South Korean boy band Astro. A singer and actor under the label Fantagio, he receives accolades for his vocal prowess. Incredible dance moves accompanying electrifying vocals — these are what he shares with other K-pop idols.

But do you know that Cha Eun-woo also happens to be a bookworm and voracious reader? Pinoy fans most likely already know how bookish he is, as some of his co-stars have been reported to have gifted him with books, such as Sung Ji-ru, who gave him a copy of "Park Se-gyeong’s Monologues" by Choi Hyung-in. They worked together in the series "Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung."

It should be no surprise to know that Cha Eun-woo has recently been spotted to be reading eight books and these are:

'The Courage to Be Disliked' by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

Despite the glitz and glamor that comes with life as a K-pop idol, it has its downside, too. For one, he knows that he is being under constant public scrutiny.

This is probably why Cha Eun-woo has read this book, which is often described as empowering and “profoundly liberating.” 

The "Courage to be Disliked" teaches its readers simple yet profound lessons required to liberate one's real self and find lasting happiness using the theories of the renowned psychologist Alfred Adler. 

Adler proposes that for an individual to be happier and freer, one should live from moment to moment, focusing on their own goals instead. The author explained, in highly accessible and relatable language, how an individual is free to determine his own future, free from the burden of experiences, doubts and expectations. 

Millions have already read and benefited from its wisdom, including the Korean star. 

'Harry Potter' series by J.K. Rowling

If you haven’t fallen down the "Harry Potter" rabbit hole yet, then this is probably a sign for you to give the magical world a try if you’re a fan of Eun-woo. Astro’s “Face of the Group” is said to have read the series, which isn’t really surprising given the books’ immense popularity.

The phenomenal series needs little introduction. It follows the titular character Harry Potter from the time he discovers he’s a wizard to his fated battle against Lord Voldemort, the Wizarding World’s most ruthless villain. 

'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes

In the mood for some good old romance? Then this book is worth a try.

The story follows Louisa Clark, an ordinary girl living an ordinary life and who has hardly taken a step beyond her village. Enter cold, aloof Will Traynor, a paraplegic who employs Louisa as his caregiver.

The plot takes on the popular tsundere trope, which depicts a character with a prickly personality who gradually sheds his harsh exterior to reveal a warm and caring person inside. The novel adds a dash of inspiration on top of the romance, making it worth a read.  

When you finally get to read it, imagine Cha Eun-woo as the handsome male lead to make the book even more of a page-turner. 

'How to Stop Worrying and Start Living' by Dale Carnegie

You may not be able to ask the Korean star for advice, but you could read this book — which is one of his favorites — that brims with practical wisdom to help you get through the rigors of everyday life.  

First published in 1948, Dale Carnegie’s six-million-copy bestseller has helped innumerable people overcome their worry habit through his pieces of advice.  

Like star, reading the book can help you discover how to reduce financial worries, avoid burnout and even find your real self. 

'Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life' by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Looks like the versatile performer is a fan of self-help books, as he has read this book by the best-selling author of "Flow" and a pioneer of the scientific study of happiness. 

The book aims to answer the following questions: What makes a good life? Is it money? An important job? Leisure time? What are you missing? 

 Author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi attempted to answer these questions by studying thousands of people. The answer he stumbled upon? People are happiest when they challenge themselves with tasks that demand a high degree of skill and commitment for their own sake. 

'Beauty and the Beast' by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve

Eun-woo seems to be drawn to timeless works, so it’s no surprise that he has already read this classic.

We all know the story, one which has been told countless times in countless ways. At its heart, though, is a handsome prince turned fearsome beast who falls in love with a pretty bookworm girl. And, yes, they lived happily ever after, just like you and Cha Eun Woo in your wildest dreams. 

'And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer' by Fredrik Backman

It seems as the handsome star is also a fan of heartwarming books after having been spotted reading this one from the same author of the bestseller, "A Man Called Ove."

This rather slim volume paints a moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most cherished memories as his loved ones go to great lengths to care for him even if soon they have to let go.

Praised for Backman’s “unrivaled understanding of human nature and deep compassion for people in difficult circumstances,” this book will charm you as much as it probably did the Korean star.

'Golden Slumber or Remote Control' by Kotaro Isaka

With this book, Eun-woo shows that his reading interests are as varied as his talents are. 

"Golden Slumber" (a.k.a. Remote Control) follows the escape of a young man who is falsely accused of assassinating the Prime Minister and how the lives of those around him are inevitably and irrevocably intertwined. 

The author, Kotaro Isaka, is known for his thriller and mystery novels. His book "Maria Beetle" (2010, Japanese; 2021, English) was adapted as an American feature film, "Bullet Train" (2022), the movie tie-in version of which is available at Fully Booked. 

Looking for more reads? Head over to Fully Booked Online and explore the latest bookish news features on its blog.

RELATED: Cha Eun Woo, Kim Nam Joo starring in revenge drama series 'Wonderful World'

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