What book to read next based on your favourite member of BTS

With the release of BTS's first official book, Beyond the Story, here are books for your TBR pile inspired by each member of the well-read K-Pop phenomenon.

With literary references littering their songs, a whole album inspired by Hermann Hesse's coming of age novel, Demian, and another based on the work of the founding father of analytic psychology, Carl Jung, it's definitely time for us to discuss BTS. The South Korean boy band are currently on hiatus in order to complete their mandatory military service, with a reunion planned for 2025. The best way to make the wait go faster? Reading, of course. Here's what to pick up next, based on your bias.


Stories of Your Life and Others

Book cover for Stories of Your Life and Others

Avid reader RM has been spotted with this collection of exhilarating science-fiction by American writer Ted Chiang. From a soaring Babylonian tower that connects a flat Earth with the heavens above, to a world where angelic visitations are a wondrous and terrifying part of everyday life; from a neural modification that eliminates the appeal of physical beauty, to an alien language that challenges our very perception of time and reality, Chiang's writing is moving and evocative. The lead story from this collection, Story of Your Life is the basis for the Academy Award nominated film Arrival.


Sea of Tranquility

by Emily St. John Mandel

Regarded by many as having a particularly significant role in the BTS universe – a fictional alternate reality that first appeared in 2015’s I NEED U music video (get ready to enter an internet hole, BTS newbies) – with his character able to manipulate time, not to mention a solo single called Moon, there could only be one choice for Jin: Emily St. John Mandel’s spectacular time-travel/parallel existence/moon-colonising masterpiece, Sea of Tranquility. An exiled Englishman in the early twentieth century, a writer trapped far from home in the future and a girl destined to die too young in the present day, each glimpse a world that is not their own, and a time-traveler is sent back from the 2400s to investigate.

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The Cat Who Saved Books

by Sosuke Natsukawa

What else for the subject of numerous internet articles analysing his similarities to our feline friends? This Japanese bestseller tells the story of a boy who fears he will have to close his family’s book shop after his grandfather’s death, and the talking tabby cat who needs his help on four book-saving adventures. It’s a heartwarming story about finding courage, caring for others – and the tremendous power of books.


The Greatest Self-Help Book (is the one written by you)

by Vex King

With a stage name chosen in part due to his desire to be a source of hope for ARMY, J-Hope and his fans will surely appreciate the optimism and confidence that can be found in Vex King and Kaushal’s game-changing daily journal which allows you to write your own self-help book. Inside you’ll find daily gratitude and positive affirmations, therapy-led exercises and interactive mindful activities, monthly self-reflections to track personal growth and mind, body and spirit check-ins.

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The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke

by Rainer Maria Rilke

If you’ve seen the video for Set Me Free Pt. 2 you’ll no doubt recall Jimin appearing with the poem "Ich lebe mein leben in wachsenden ringen" (“I live my life in widening circles”) by Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke in black ink across his neck and torso. One of the twentieth century’s great originals, Rilke’s poetry takes in love, death, anguish and ecstasy. This selection of poems is a bilingual edition, presenting the works in translation alongside the original German. 


The Other Side of Night

by Adam Hamdy

As the last-to-be-revealed, surprise member of BTS, what could be more appropriate for V than a book with a massive twist? Written by an established thriller writer and featuring a disgraced ex-detective and three unexplained deaths, readers may initially think they know what to expect from The Other Side of Night – but they would be wrong. To say any more would be to spoil the dizzying mystery at the heart of the book. Get ready to be dazzled. 

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Crying in H Mart

by Michelle Zauner

We end with Jungkook and a book he has very recently recommended. Crying in H Mart is a memoir of grief, food and family. Also known as indie rockstar Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner writes movingly on growing up mixed-race, Korean food, losing her Korean mother, and forging her own identity in the wake of that loss, with a startling and necessary frankness. 

And of course, the must-read for all BTS fans is Beyond The Story, the band's first official book and the holy grail for all things BTS: 

Beyond the Story

by BTS

Marking BTS's 10th anniversary, this is the band's first official book, unlocking a treasure trove of unseen photographs and exclusive content, as well as Myeongseok Kang's extensive interviews and research. As digital artists, BTS has been communicating with the world through the internet and this book allows readers to immediately access trailers, music videos, and more online to have a rich understanding of all the key moments in BTS's history. Complete with a milestone timeline, Beyond the Story stands as the comprehensive archive, encapsulating the essence of BTS and showcasing their extraordinary evolution.