Book Reviews

I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Se-hee

I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Se-hee

Book – I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Se-hee

Translator: Hyacinta Louisa (Translator)

Pages – 208 pages, Paperback

Genre – Memoir, Self-help, Non-fiction, Korean Literature

Publisher – Bloomsbury Publishing

Rating: 4/5 starts

About The Book

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki is a part memoir, part self-help book. Recording her dialogues with her psychiatrist over a twelve-week period, and expanding on each session with her own reflective micro-essays, Baek begins to disentangle the feedback loops, knee-jerk reactions, and harmful behaviors that keep her locked in a cycle of self-abuse. 

Book Review

This book reminds me of a quote by Stephen Chbosky — ‘We accept the love we think we deserve.’

We subconsciously have set such unrealistic standards for ourselves that we don’t even realize that our own thought process is pulling us down towards our rock bottom. As I read this book, I had one constant thought popping in my head saying “thank god I don’t feel this” or “thank god I know how to deal with this xyz emotion”. 

But then there were parts which hit me. Things which I didn’t know bothered me until I read it on pages. And it felt good to read about it.

The book is a conversation of the author with her psychiatrist where she shared about her lowest low. I truly enjoyed reading how the therapist answered all her troubles. I observed how she was not always giving her ‘gyaan’ but asking her the right questions for her to find her own way.. showing her the directions. 

And I must say, the amount of patients they have to calmly sit through all the cribbing and crying a troubled person can throw.

From what I understood, a lot of it depends on how we hold our esteem. How well do you know yourself? How good is your brain to take command when your heart feels lost and vice versa. Maybe if you know yourself and how you tend to react and why you tend to react in a particular way in any given situation, you will be able to find your way out of any situation.

Would I recommend this Book?​

It’s an easy book to read. One that feels like a gentle breeze. Do give it a read. Maybe after reading this, you might too understand the intensity of the quote I quoted earlier – ‘We accept the love we think we deserve.’

It will appeal to anyone who has ever felt alone or unjustified in their everyday despair. The book might not give you a solution, but will make you feel heard and acknowledge the troubles you are facing.

If you’ve ever felt persistently low, have been going through endless self-doubt, have been fighting to hide your feelings with you friends, family or/and work, this book is your friend.

Also Read – Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

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My Favorite Quotes From I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

“Sometimes, when someone tells me to ‘Cheer up’ when I’m going through a tough time, I just want to wring their neck.”

― Baek Se-hee, I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

“I wonder about others like me, who seem totally fine on the outside but are rotting on the inside, where the rot is this vague state of being not-fine and not-devastated at the same time.”

― Baek Se-hee, I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

“Books never tire of me. And in time they present a solution, quietly waiting until I am fully healed.”

― Baek Se-hee, I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

“To tell the truth, no one was looking down on me except myself.”

― Baek Se-hee, I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

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Kinjal Parekh

Book Blogger || Finance Blogger || Mumbai, India || Indian Booktuber. Kinjal Parekh is highly passionate about reading books and learning about history. Her favorite genres include historic fictions, history non-fiction, mind-body-spirit and poetry books. She loves when a book makes her cry and make her feel vulnerable and emphatic. Apart from books, Kinjal loves to explore and understand how the financial and the economic world works for which she keeps reading economic, financial and business books. One book at a time, she aims to motivate non-readers cultivate the reading habit. She can talk about books all day and night and often tends to cancel out-side plans to stay back home and read a book.

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