(What follows is more like a log entry, but I already have a Korean log, and I wanted to separate out a thread on textbooks. Feel free to suggest other books, especially if you have first hand experience with them. There are tons of Korean resources out there, and no lack of textbooks, so I don't intend the post below to be all inclusive.) I’m researching resources for Korean, which I plan on starting to learn next year. I first wanted to find a nice little booklet for learning Hangul. Even though there are lots of free resources for learning Hangul, I want to have a paper booklet too, which will help reinforce the script. I wasn’t really impressed with what was available on Amazon. Most systems for learning Hangul seemed to be part of something bigger, like a full text, and many of those had bad ratings. It was hard to get a handle on how good the various resources taught script. So I decided to focus on a text book first, and see if they included a good section on Hangul. So I did a search on Korean Textbooks, and checked out the most popular one. Korean for Beginners had tons of positive reviews, sounded new, trendy and fun. But then I read a couple of reviews that changed my mind. Here was the most useful one: So no exercises, poor and sporadic coverage of grammar and vocabulary…what were these guys thinking? There were lots of comments on this guys review, all essentially confirming what he said. One was from the author (well, we never really meant this to be a textbook) and one from an angry person (I don’t want a serious textbook) and several people praising him. I read a couple other negative reviews that were more of the same. Another thing that really annoyed me about this is the author going all Benny-Lewis on the negative reviewers. Up until a certain date he hunted down every negative review and even slightly negative comment and (unlike Benny, very politely) told them why they were wrong. Seems pretty unprofessional for a serious author. Since then they have released a second book and an exercise book, but I feel that would still leave me with a disorganized introduction to the language. Next I checked out Elementary Korean, which is recommended by the review above. There is a second book and an exercise book, but it sounds like this one is fairly self-contained. Again, lots of positive reviews. The negative reviews were mostly people complaining about it being difficult or dry. There was one really popular negative review which spent a lot of time pointing out a fairly insignificant pronunciation explanation mistake. None of what I read bothered me. Looks like a solid text, but I didn’t really get a warm fuzzy regarding Hangul, so I decided to read reviews for all the big textbooks on Amazon to see what was available. Integrated Korean is huge. 4 books, workbooks, etc. It’s designed to be used in a classroom, which can sometimes be problematic for a self-learner. Answers for lessons and audio don’t get mailed with the book, but are evidentially available online for free. There’s enough negative stuff there to make me avoid this book. Intermediate College Korean was said by one reviewer to be more logical than Elementary Korean, but I wasn’t impressed by the reviews. It’s a dated and doesn’t have answers to exercises. Speaking Korean, which someone said was better that College Korean, is a dated 3 book series. Again, I wasn’t impressed by the reviews. Korean Made Simple looks like a good book, but it’s hard to figure out how it compares to others from the reviews, probably because it's so new. Evidently the book has no index. There is no audio, but I guess the author has a Youtube channel that takes care of the audio needs. I watched a little of it and thought it was ok, but maybe not quite as nice as some of the other free Korean Youtube channels. The biggest drawback is the fact that it’s a 2 book series, and the 2nd book isn’t out yet. Sounds like the first book really only covers half of what you need. I know that sounds obvious, but I bring it up because lots of textbooks try to give you all the high usage stuff in a first volume, then offer a second volume for lower usage. From the reviews, I get the impression that this one is half of the high usage stuff. By the time I’m ready to use a textbook, if the 2nd book is out and there are some reviews from advanced learners comparing it favorably with other textbooks, I might still buy it. We shall see. I wanted this story to have a happy ending, so I saved my favorite book for last. Living Languages Korean is a relatively new “book”, and includes 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs and a Hangul guide. Again, probably because it’s new, there are no comparisons with other texts. There were several positive comments about the Hangul guide, which appears to be exactly what I’m looking for. So since it was only about $30, I decided to go ahead and buy it. Looks great on my shelf! I’m pretty confident the Hangul guide is fine, but I’m not expecting the coursebooks to be enough grammar. I’m hoping they’ll be a good, quick introduction to basic grammar, and be a good preparation for Elementary Korean or something more substantial down the road. I prefer to study using several different sources anyway, so this feels like a good path.