10 Poignant Books Like Crying in H Mart

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by Charlotte Hopkins


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Michelle Zauner, also known in the music scene as indie pop sensation Japanese Breakfast, provides readers with a raw and honest recollection of moments from her life in her memoir, Crying in H Mart.

The stories she tells are intimate and end with profound messages that make the reader feel as if the stories Zauner are telling were made for their eyes only, secrets traded between best friends. Following the loss of her mother, Zauner explores how it let to forging her own identity and how growing up as Korean American impacted her experiences from a young age.

From the high expectations placed upon her by her mother when they visited Seoul to her mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis when Zauner was twenty-five, the memoir is a real tear-jerker and is a must-read for any and all readers!

If you have already read this beautiful collection of real-life stories, then you may be looking for another book to pick up next.

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

10 Books Similar To Crying in H Mart

Educated, by Tara Westover

Tara Westover’s memoir tells of how she was raised by survivalists in the mountains of Idaho and spent the first seventeen years of her life helping her herbalist healer mother and her father.

Living so remotely, Tara never visited a school or hospital so took it upon herself to learn enough mathematics and grammar to be accepted to Brigham Young University where she studied history and found out there was centuries of histories, she’d been oblivious to.

Discovering historical events such as the civil rights movement and the Holocaust, Tara craved to know more. Her memoir recalls her exploits which took her across the world and back in time to all sorts of historical events.

An inspiring story of knowledge and education and how it can change one’s perspective on the world and life itself, Educated should be added to your shelves now!

Have you already read this memoir? Check out our list of more books to read after Educated!

Educated: A Memoir

I’m Glad My Mom Died, by Jenette McCurdy

You may recognise Jenette McCurdy from your television screens. She is a former child actor whose fame in shows like iCarly and Sam & Cat make her an icon for Gen Z.

In this heart-wrenching yet surprisingly witty memoir, McCurdy recalls how she began auditioning for television roles at age six, urged by her mother whose dream for her daughter was stardom. Her mother’s controlling antics got worse as McCurdy’s fame increased.

She recalls the ‘calorie restriction’ diets, various makeovers and more with raw and admirable honesty. Years later, when her mother died of cancer, McCurdy quit her acting career and began therapy in attempt to figure out what it was that she truly wanted for herself.

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What better book to pick up than I’m Glad My Mom Died if you’re looking for something like Crying in H Mart?

I'm Glad My Mom Died

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

Everyone knows who Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States when her husband, Barack Obama was in office – and the first African American to serve in that role.

During her time at the White House, she helped establish the most inclusive government in history whilst advocating for women and girls across the US and beyond.

In her memoir, she reflects upon the experiences that shaped her from her time as a young girl all the way into motherhood and raising her own children and then serving at the White House.

Becoming is an inspirational and wise story from a witty and wonderful woman that all readers of Crying in H Mart will love.

Becoming

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki, by Baek Sehee

Baek Sehee’s memoir I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki recalls conversations she had over a twelve-week period with her psychiatrist after suffering with a period of bad mental health.

Plagued by depressive and anxious thoughts which seep into her daily life, the effort to keep up appearances becomes too much. Despite her successful career as a social media director at a publishing house, her life seems to be falling apart.

The book reads as a script as we peek into Baek Sehee and her psychiatrist’s conversations and each of the sessions is followed by a micro-essay reflecting on the topics covered.

Perfect for lovers of Crying in H Mart that reflects upon times of despair and darkness.

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki: A Memoir

Dear Dolly, by Dolly Alderton

Dolly Alderton is revered for her memoirs and the wisdom she imparts to her readers. Dear Dolly is the author’s second memoir and self-help book that takes inspiration from Dolly’s time as The Sunday Time Style’s agony aunt which she has been doing since 2020.

Talking relationships, friendships, sex and love, bodily functions and life as a whole, Dolly covers every topic under the sun.

The novel is formatted as a question-and-answer agony aunt column and using her own life experiences to answer questions, there is a vulnerable feel to the book.

Dolly is every reader’s big sister and continues her brilliant work from Everything I Know About Love.

Dear Dolly: Collected Wisdom

Minor Feelings, by Cathy Park Hong

If you liked Crying in H Mart for its exploration into identity then Minor Feelings is right up your street.

Much like Zauner, Hong is also the daughter of Korean immigrants and in her essays, explores how her racial identity combined with being raised in America sculpted her as a person and changed her experiences.

She uses her own story to dig deep into an examination of racial consciousness in modern-day America.

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

If you want a book like Crying in H Mart that will make readers both laugh and cry, then pick up The Glass Castle now!

A memoir by Jeannette Walls that explores her strange yet loyal to the end family, it is a unique story like no other.

Jeannette’s father was a man with two sides. When sober, he was charismatic and brilliant but when he drank, lies were common and destruction reigned. On the other hand, her mother was a free spirit who disliked the responsibility placed upon her to raise a family.

So, the Walls children learned to care for themselves and eventually figured out a way to make it to New York City. Their nomadic parents followed them, choosing to stay on the streets even as their children blossomed.

This story of resilience and familial love is for all readers!

Have you already read this memoir? Check out our list of more books similar to The Glass Castle!

The Glass Castle: A Memoir (book)

Almost American Girl, by Robin Ha

This is a memoir about a Korean-born, non-English-speaking girl who has to make the sudden move from Seoul to Alabama.

Dropped in a new school where she can barely understand the language to finding out her mother is getting married. Then, when Robin’s mum enrols her in a comic drawing class, her life changes forever and a new potential future begins to form in her mind.

This memoir is a graphic novel which makes for a unique and fun read! Try reading Almost American Girl if you love Crying in H Mart.

Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir

Yellowface, by R. F. Kuang

June Hayward resents Athena Liu for her success. They were meant to rise to author stardom together but Athena is a literary star whilst June’s career has fallen in tatters around her.

So, when Athena dies in a freak accident that June witnesses, she takes her opportunity to steal her unfinished manuscript and sends it to her agent as her own work.

But when emerging evidence threatens to unravel June’s success, she realises just how far she’ll go to keep her secret and the fame she believes she deserves.

Although Yellowface is a fictional contemporary novel, there are similar themes of identity and diversity that readers who liked Crying in H Mart will enjoy.

Yellowface: A Novel: A Chilling Novel of Racism and Cultural Appropriation

Tom Lake, by Ann Patchett

Books that are like Crying in H Mart, whether real or fictional, all tell stories about family, love and growing up much like Ann Patchett’s Tom Lake does.

It is 2020 and Lara and her three daughters begin to pluck ripe cherries from their family’s orchard. As they do so, Lara begins to tell her daughters the story of her romance with her stage co-star, Peter Duke at a theatre company they worked for named Tom Lake.

As Lara recalls her past, each of her daughters ponder upon their own lives in the present and the relationship they have with their mother. Something about their mother’s past forces them to reconsider the world they thought they knew.

Tom Lake is a melancholic and hopeful story of love in all its forms and about what true happiness looks like to different people.

Tom Lake

Books similar to Crying in H Mart, whether they are poignant memoirs with shocking and riveting stories or fictional lives that tackle the same theme of identity as real-life stories do, will enthral all types of readers. I hope you have found your next five-star read among these recommendations.

Are you looking for something to read after Crying in H Mart? Have any recommendations that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!

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Charlotte is a writer for Books Like This One. She studied drama and writing for performance and enjoys reading romance, literary fiction and young adult novels. Some of her favourite authors include Donna Tartt and Leigh Bardugo. Read more from Charlotte

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