How are we already a third of the way through the month of May?! It’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and in honor of it @Read with Cindy along with numerous other wonderful people have put together the most AMAZING comprehensive guide to an Asian readathon!
Now since I’ve let a chunk of this month rush by without noticing, I felt like I was going to be starting too late to read much, but surprisingly I’ve already been reading for this challenge by accident lately! I knew putting off books on my TBR in favor of filler manga series would pay off…
Bloom into You is what I brought with me to work today to read at my lunch and it was actually one of the recommended books that fulfilled the general four challenges of the Asian Readathon!
You may be wondering what the challenges are-
- Read any book by an Asian author.
- Read a graphic novel featuring an Asian character or written/drawn by an Asian author (manga, manhua, manhwa, and comics count).
- Read a book featuring an intersectional Asian character or written by an intersectional Asian identity (i.e. queer, mixed, disabled, neurodiverse, etc).
- Read a book by Asian author that was originally written in their native language (translated books and graphic novels count).
There is also a fifth more specific challenge to read A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh. And guess what, this book was on my Want-to-Read list already! So many of the books mentioned were either books I’ve read or books I owned and haven’t yet gotten around to reading, or books I’ve wanted to obtain. So looks like I’ll be binging many of these books and writing reviews on the most memorable of them!
To get more info on this readathon, there is a Google Doc with all the information.
My Goodreads list for this readathon. Let me know if you have any other recommendations for my list! Those are just the ones that most piqued my interest. I think about four of them are on my want list for a book swap taking place in June, so I’m not going to get any of those books as I don’t want to end up with doubles if my swap pal gets my any of them. So I’ll be patient and continue this readathon into the month of June if needed.
The books I plan on reading, in order high priority to low priority:
- Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
(Filipino. I have owned this book for so long now due to people in the Books and Tea Discord server hyping it up. I read the first few pages then got distracted and haven’t picked it up since. So it’s time to bite the bullet and enjoy this book.)
- Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
(Vietnamese-American. I’m really excited to be reading a fiction-fantasy book by a Vietnamese-American author! Also I was so unsure on which cover of the book, they’re both so different!)
- A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by various authors
(Fifteen authors in a compilation of stories reimaginging classic folklore tales and myths from East and South Asia. This is the book for challenge #5 of the Asian Readathon, if you choose to participate in that one as well.)
- The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
(Vietnamese. Because it’s essential to throw in one book that I know is going to make me cry.)
- Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
(Korean. I got this at the Barnes and Noble annual book haul and it’s been sitting untouched on my shelf since.)
- The Girl King by Mimi Yu
(I think Korean-American, but I’m not sure. I got it for the gorgeous cover and couldn’t even tell you a general synopsis off the top of my head, going to be honest and admit that.)
- The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea, and Thirst for Love, both by Yukio Mishima
(Japanese. Classics, but the trigger warnings included in the Readthon guide have me a tad worried. We shall see.)
- Probably a lot of manga because I’m out of control right now.
I need to cut myself off here because I know if I continue this list I’ll be chewing off more than I can swallow. Hopefully I’ll be able to breeze through these and read even more since there are so many more titles I would love to finish this month, but between work-work, working on a game dev project in my free time, and summer semester starting back in just a few weeks, I’m a busy bee.
Some books fitting this challenge which I’ve already read, in no particular order:
- All You Need Is Kill by Ryosuke Takeuchi
(Japanese. This is in my top five favorites. 5/5)
- Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
(Chinese-Malaysian English. Actually, this book was a let down for me after all the hype. 3/5)
- Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu
(Japanese/Chinese. This series is phenominal. It’s the best graphic novel I’ve read in recent years only tied with Saga. 5/5)
- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
(Korean. I hated it then I LOVED it. 5/5)
- 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
(Japanese. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, and I gave it 5/5 on Goodreads but not sure if it’s more like a 4/5 if I were to revisit it.)
- Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav
(Thai. Adorable poetry book. 4/5)
- Paper Girls, illustrated by Cliff Chiang
(I’m not sure from his surname if he is ABC and I don’t want to assume, but he’s an amazingly talented artist. I would recommend the series. 5/5)
- An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
(Japanese. This book shows generational differences and is great for a book club discussion as there are many themes that can be dissected. 4/5)
- Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson
(Pakistani-American. I just love Kamala Khan so much and love the portrayal of her character. 5/5)
- Uzumaki by Junji Ito
(Japanese. You love it some and you hate it some. Mainly love. Hopefully. 5/5)
- Tropic of Orange
(Japanese-American. I read it for school and it was good but I didn’t love it. 3/5)
- 5 Centimeters per Second
(Japanese. Heartbreaking. 5/5)
- Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo
(Japanese. Akira is a pop culture staple. I gave it a 5/5 because I really like Akira, but I always recommend it with a warning sign attached because all the characters are shit human beings… 5/5)
- Ultra-Gath Inferno by Suehuro Maruo
(Japanese. Ero-grotesque, so here’s a fair warning to read with caution. 5/5)
- The Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow
(Japanese. As much of an Asian icon as ScarJo is, this manga doesn’t feature her. 5/5)
- Gangsta by Kohske
(Japanese. I am SO far behind on this series. I want to say I stopped reading it because the author took a break due to her pregnancy, if I recall correctly, and only recently did I remember it and see the series has progressed further now. 4/5)
- Deadman Wonderland by Jinsei Kataoka
(Japanese. I usually don’t watch the anime of manga I like, but I’ve had a few people tell me it’s actually really great. The manga is 5/5)
- Kakuriyo by Midori Yuma
(Japanese. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. 5/5)
- Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi
(Japanese. If you don’t know about Sailor Moon I’m going to assume Ezekiel Sims has had you living in a bunker or you hate all things beautiful in life and actively avoid them. 5/5)
- Silk (Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat because none of the authors/illustrators are Asian as far as I know… but I couldn’t not include my girl Cindy Moon in this. 5/5)
Thanks for making it this far in this post! Let me know if you’re participating in this readathon, I’d love to hear what books by Asian authors you’ve read or plan on reading!