It’s May! Which means: (a) good weather (hopefully) (b) AP exams 😭 and (c) Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! This year, I’m celebrating by reading all books written by Asian and Pacific Islander authors. I’m super excited to read these and I hope you enjoy this little tbr post!
Book covers are from Goodreads and link to the books’ respective Goodreads pages.
Hungry Hearts | Edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond | This is my current read, and though I’ve been reading it on and off due to pesky library due dates, I am thoroughly enjoying it. This is a collection centered around food (!!), and it sets itself apart from other anthologies with a common setting across all of the stories.
Genre: young adult, anthology
Rep: Many different identities are represented, including multiple stories by Asian authors. (I am unable to specify all of them as I haven’t yet read all of the stories.)
Internment | Samira Ahmed | A speculative fiction novel set in a near-future Muslim internment camp in the US. I cannot believe I’ve owned this book for this long and still haven’t read it, as it sounds incredible!
Genre: young adult, speculative fiction
Rep: Asian-American, Muslim main character
A Very Large Expanse of Sea | Tahereh Mafi | I feel like this book, which follows a Muslim-American teenager post-9/11 and seems to be a little bit autobiographical, is going to hit me in the feels, and I am SO ready. This will be my introduction to Tahereh Mafi’s works, though I would like to read the Shatter Me series as well.
Genre: young adult, contemporary (set in 2002), romance
Rep: Iranian-American, Muslim main character
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls | T. Kira Madden | I added this memoir to my Goodreads after reading Emma’s glowing review, and though adult memoirs are a bit outside of my wheelhouse, I’m willing to give this a shot since my library has it on Libby.
Genre: adult, memoir
Rep: lesbian, multiracial (Chinese, Hawaiian, and White) main character
Permanent Record | Mary H.K. Choi | This is a romance between a pop star and a Brooklyn deli employee (from the perspective of the latter). I’ve heard so many amazing things about Mary H.K. Choi’s books!
Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance
Rep: Korean- and Pakistani-American main character
Forward Me Back to You | Mitali Perkins | This is another one that I had to return the the library while mid-way through reading it, and since my library is closed until further notice due to the coronavirus, I’m not really expecting to be able to finish it this month. I still wanted to put it on this list though, just in case I’m able to somehow get a hold of it! This novel, which takes place over the course of a youth group trip to Kolkata, India, is really good so far.
Genre: young adult, contemporary
Rep: adopted, Indian-American main character and biracial main character
Frankly in Love | David Yoon | I won this in a giveaway a little while ago (thank you, Goodreads!) and am excited to finally get around to reading it. Frankly in Love is about family and identity, with a bit of the fake dating trope sprinkled in, which is always a treat.
Genre: young adult, contemporary
Rep: Korean-American main character
The Village By the Sea | Anita Desai | This novel (I think it’s a children’s book, though there are conflicting Goodreads categories.) is a family story set near Mumbai, which is where I got this book.
Genre: children’s, contemporary
Rep: Indian main characters
The Weight of Our Sky | Hanna Alkaf | The Weight of Our Sky‘s premise has so many compelling elements: music, discussion of mental illness, and a setting right in the middle of the 1969 race riots in Kuala Lumpur, which admittedly know very little about. I’ve seen so many amazing reviews for this one!
Genre: young adult, historical fiction
Rep: Malay, Muslim main character with OCD
Exit West | Mohsin Hamid | I was so excited to find this novel, a love story exploring refugee experiences, in a Little Free Library in my neighborhood! I’m especially intrigued by the speculative elements of this book, namely, the magical doors that characters step through to be transported to another country.
Rep: Asian main characters (The setting isn’t named, but the author has said that the city in the book is largely based on Lahore, Pakistan.)
And those are all the books on my tbr! It’s certainly ambitious for me, and I’m not expecting to be able to finish every single one, but I’m going to do my best. Chat with me in the comments—how are you doing? Have you read any of the books on my tbr? What books are you hoping to read in May?