The Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019: Sign-Up/Update Post + Tentative TBR!

My brand? Asian books.

I mean, I’m Asian so of course you would find me hyping up all the Asian books ever, and I know people who’ve followed my blog can confirm that I never shut up about them.

So obviously, when four of my favorite bloggers, LilyVicky, Shealea, and CW announced a year-long reading challenge for 2019 to read as many books by Asian authors as possible, I naturally got started on my official sign-up/update post immediately!!

(Click on the hosts’ names to find out more about the challenge! You can sign up here.)

Recently I collaborated with Cait @ Paper Fury to predict “trends” for 2019’s YA, and one of my predictions was that there would be a LOT of Asian books/fantasies. This was backed up by my last post, featuring 12/30 upcoming books by Asian authors. So I love that the hosts decided to create this challenge for 2019, because it truly is the Year of the Asian and I could not be more excited!

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GENERAL NEED-TO-KNOWS

Like I said before, the challenge is to read as many books written by Asian authors throughout the whole year! On the hosts’ introduction posts, you can find badges for goals you set. There will also be a lot of other fun activities happening, such as monthly link-ups, giveaways, prompts, and Twitter chats!

I’m going to be keeping track of my progress with this post, meaning that for now, it’ll contain only my tentative TBR and no read books for the challenge (since I’ve only read 3 books since the start of the year and none were by Asian authors!). But in the future, when I read books by Asian authors, I’ll update this post! (And at the end of the year, you might see a wrap-up post from me, since I can’t help myself.)

If you’d like to find out more, click on the hosts’ names in the intro to this post to be directed to their introduction posts!

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PERSONAL GOAL

I’m aiming for the “Indian cobra” level, which is 11-20 books! I would LOVE to hit the “Asian elephant” level of 41-50 books, because they are literally my favorite animal (and like… I GUESS it’s a lot of books) but I know that I usually read 100 books a year and half of them being by Asian authors is unrealistic for me personally!

badge_cobra11-20 books is the perfect goal for me and I’m happy about it! I mean, I would of course love to read more (and get the OTHER CUTE ANIMAL BADGES), but I think about 1/5 of my year’s reads is great for me. Especially considering I want to support other diverse authors as well!

(You can see to the left the cute little animal badge for the Indian cobra level that the ever talented CW designed!!)

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TENTATIVE TBR

As many new Asian releases there are coming out this year, I also want to make sure I read some backlist books as well! So the first few books will be 2019 releases I KNOW I want to get to by the end of the year, while the last few will be backlist books.

Of course, this is not set in stone! The only way I get new releases are from my library, from publishers, or from my own wallet (which has barely any money), so I may not get to them. I also just want to leave room for mood reads, since I am horrible at sticking to TBRs.

➠ I will try to indicate what ethnicity the author is but in some cases I don’t know 100% and don’t want to pry!

berry 2  DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE  berry 1

Descendant of the CraneOkay, so I’m technically still in the process of reading this book, so I guess it’s not really “to be read”, but I’M COUNTING IT!! I do like it so far though it’s a bit slow, but I also have been having a really rough time being able to actually focus on reading ebooks, so that might be it! I’m definitely using this for the January link-up prompt of “family”!

➠ the author of this book is Chinese!

berry 2  THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY  berry 1

The Weight of Our SkyI have an eARC of this book and I need to read it soon, since it comes out in just a few weeks! I’m also might use this for the January link-up prompt (I’m not 100% sure it works, but if it does, I’ll definitely use it!). But what I’ve read so far was absolutely beautiful and I cannot WAIT to read more of it.

➠ the author of this book is Malaysian!

berry 2  BLOOD HEIR  berry 1

Blood Heir (Blood Heir, #1)As of right now (January 16th), Blood Heir is available as “Read Now” on Netgalley, meaning you can automatically get it without having to be approved! That’s how I got the eARC, and I am SO EXCITED. I already read the author’s note and it made me emotional and I honestly don’t know how I’ll last the rest of this book.

➠ the author of this book is Chinese!

berry 2  WE HUNT THE FLAME  berry 1

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)

I don’t have an ARC of this (there is a possibility I might!), but I’m definitely planning on reading this whether or not I get one, because it sounds… so amazing?? It’s everything I want in a fantasy, and I can’t wait for it to come out.

(By the way, this book is getting a new cover TOMORROW at 10am CST! I’ve seen it already and it’s absolutely gorgeous, but for now, here’s the old cover. Be jealous of me.)

➠ the author of this book is Sri Lankan/Arab!

berry 2  SPIN THE DAWN  berry 1

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)Guys, there is no way I’m leaving this out. I have no doubt that the inside of this book will be as pretty as the outside of the book (and also THE GIRL. SHE’S SO PRETTY). It sounds like the Mulan retelling of all our dreams—apparently with a mix of Project Runway too??—and I know it’s going to be AMAZING.

➠ I believe the author is East Asian!

berry 2  THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER  berry 1

The Astonishing Color of After

So I got this book like, a year ago, from someone who was willing to mail their ARC to me after hearing about how much I wanted it as an Asian reader and… I still haven’t finished reading it?? I feel so guilty, but also, I know that I’m waiting for the Right Time. And what I’ve read so far was really beautiful and I can’t wait to continue it.

➠ the author of this book is Taiwanese!

berry 2  FOR A MUSE OF FIRE  berry 1

For a Muse of Fire (For a Muse of Fire, #1)I [actually] bought this book a few months ago, and I would be reading it right now because I just need a book to read that’s not in ebook form, except for the fact that it’s so BIG!! And I’m like… pathetically intimidated by big books. This sounds SO good though, I mean, bipolar queer necromancer??

➠ the author of this book is Chinese!

berry 2  A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS & ENDINGS  berry 1

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

I am so lucky to actually own this book because it’s so gorgeous and I love holding it in my hands knowing these are the stories of Asian authors and their cultures. I’m starting to love reading more and more anthologies and I’m especially excited to read this one!!

➠ there are various authors of this anthology: Filipino, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, and South Asian

berry 2  NOT YOUR SIDEKICK  berry 1

Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, #1)

I have been wanting to read this for FOREVER. Like… half-Southeast Asian bi girl in a relationship with another girl??? SOUNDS LIKE ME!! (Except not the biracial part.) And I might be able to get a copy soon because someone loves me (questionable) and I’m just really really excited about it.

➠ the author of this book is Chinese-Vietnamese!

berry 2  WANT  berry 1

Want (Want, #1)

Am I reading this so I can read the Asian f/f sequel, Ruse, that comes out this year? No one will ever know.

(But no, seriously, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book and it seems like something I’d love! Plus, I LOVE the covers to these series, and I’ve been missing out on sci-fi for some time now!)

I believe the author of this book is Chinese and/or Taiwanese!

berry 2  PICTURE US IN THE LIGHT  berry 1

Picture Us in the LightI don’t know how I haven’t read this book yet? Literally my Dream book: Asian rep, queer rep, AND mental health rep in it. I have a feeling I’m going to absolutely love this one (though it seems to be completely heartbreaking). I’ve heard that this book explores so many important themes, and manages to do it beautifully, so I am super excited to read it!!

➠ the author of this book is Chinese!

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UPDATES!

I will update the section accordingly when I read books by Asian authors! Keep an eye out for book covers, links to Goodreads and my reviews that I will HOPEFULLY write, star ratings, and a few words of my thoughts on it!

COUNT: 10

The Weight of Our SkyTHE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY (Feb)

Heartwrenching, beautifully written, and so important. Loved the Southeast Asian and mental illness rep! ★★★★☆ [review]

author: Malaysian

Picture Us in the LightPICTURE US IN THE LIGHT (Apr)

My first 5-star book of the year and definitely a new favorite. So beautiful, so heartwrenching, and just astoundingly well-written and moving. ★★★★★

author: Chinese

A Very Large Expanse of SeaA VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA (May)

Surprisingly loved this and the romance, and this was beautifully written and such an important novel! ★★★★☆

author: Iranian/Persian

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)THE GILDED WOLVES (May)

SO much fun to read, and I loved the heist and found family aspects! Adored the characters, and the descriptions in this were beautiful. ★★★★☆

author: Indian/Filipino (biracial)

The Candle and the FlameTHE CANDLE AND THE FLAME (May)

Really entertaining, great themes (female empowerment, family, friends) and beautiful writing! ★★★★☆ [3.5] [review]

author: Indo-Fijian

Dragon PearlDRAGON PEARL (May)

Super fun and easy to read, and I loved the sibling relationship! Very adventurous, and seamlessly weaves in nonbinary characters!! ★★★★☆

author: Korean

Stronger Than a Bronze DragonSTRONGER THAN A BRONZE DRAGON (May)

Had a lot of fun reading this, and I loved the magic-supernatural-steampunk blend. Loved the characters and the plot twists! ★★★★☆

author: Chinese

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)SPIN THE DAWN (May)

Beautiful inside and out, and absolutely enchanting and addictive. I loved this so so much and the ending is heartbreaking!!! ★★★★☆ [4.5]

author: Chinese

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)WE HUNT THE FLAME (May)

Adored the characters so much! Really fun to read and the twists were SO good. Beautiful writing and also heartwrenching!! ★★★★☆

author: Sri Lankan/Arab

GIRLS OF STORM AND SHADOW (July)Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire, #2)

I loved Lei and Wren, and teared up at one part, but—it kills me to say this—I hated the repetitiveness of the plot, and that ruined the book for me. ★★★☆☆ [3.5]

rep: Chinese Malaysian


shall we chat

are you planning on participating in #YARC2019?? what challenge level are you aiming for? in general, what books by Asian authors are you planning on reading this year?

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55 thoughts on “The Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019: Sign-Up/Update Post + Tentative TBR!

  1. Ahh I wish I could join you in this!! I would aim for probably the same level as you, but since I’m still catching up on books like Autoboyography (ahh its amazing) and Six of Crows (ahh its amazing and I’m reading the sequel rn) I simply can’t try and add the added factor of Asian authors in there too. Good luck, and maybe next year if they host it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I’m going to unofficially participate, but more because I don’t think it’s doable for me to keep track of every challenge if I keep adding more and more, haha. [I have a baby to think of after all! And who knows.. I might end up not reading for a long while this year..]
    I DO know however, that I’ll be reading the sequels to All the Boys I’ve Loved Before this year and, if I remember correctly, those’ll count for this challenge! A Thousand Endings and Beginnings is on my TBR as well, which also counts if I remember correctly? [Honestly, I’m going to look up some posts on books by Asian authors so I can figure out which ones I own and can use for this challenge. :/ ]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s totally understandable! Babies are hard work ❤

      And yes, To All the Boys is definitely by an Asian author!! I loved those books when I read them 💕 And yup, A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is on my TBR and all the stories are by Asian authors so it 100% counts for the challenge! ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great challenge! I’m definitely tempted to join in 🙂 I have quite a few Asian-centered books on my tbr this year, actually. There definitely seem to be a lot of Asian fantasies coming out which I’m super excited about, including Descendant of the Crane and We Hunt the Flame, which you mentioned, as well as Blood Heir, which I just got an ARC of and am really excited for. I also just read Jenn P. Nguyen’s fluffy Asian-MC book, Fake It Till You Break It, and it was so adorable I’m still in recovery from the cuteness. Maybe I should join this challenge since I have so many Asian-centered books on my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I hope you have fun with the challenge if you end up joining!! And yesss there are SO many Asian fanatsies coming out this year and I’m so excited about!! All the ones you mentioned are definitely ones I’m excited for. And aahh I’m so happy you enjoyed Fake it Till You Break It — it sounds so cute and wholesome!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m considering doing this challenge as well! I have to admit, the cute animal badges is a part of the reason, but also supporting diversity in the book community! I love your list of possible books, I have some of them on my TBR shelf as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is SUCH a great TBR, I hope you’ll succeed in the challenge, May! ❤ There are so many books I want to read here, I'm so excited to read Blood Heir and Spin The Dawn, I'm also impatient to get to Picture Us In The Light and For a Muse Of Fire, because they sound AMAZING. I can't wait 🙂 I hope you'll get to finish reading the astonishing color, I loved this book so very much ❤ Happy reading! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. YAY OMG these are all so awesome, and if you wanna buddy read Heidi’s book, hmu because I have a copy and haven’t started it yet!!!

    I can’t wait to hear what you think of all of these ahhhhhh

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can do February if you want!!! I only have 1 Asian arc for that month and i’d love to hit 4 Asian books a month (even though i’m aiming for the panda I secretly want the tiger) so backlist time!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. YAY MAY. I’m super happy that you’ll be joining us and I LOVE your TBR so much. It has some of my all-time favourites (A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, Want, Not Your Sidekick, and The Weight of Our Sky) and I’m so so excited for you to read them (and hopefully love them as much as I do). 💛💛

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is cool. I got an ARC of The Decedent of the Crane and I am honestly SUPER excited to read it!! I don’t know how many Asian rep books I’ll get to read this year but you’ve inspired me to read even more than my usual share!! Great post :))

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Okay all i’m gonna say is. EEK THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER. u better tell me if u love it since i deleted my goodreads account. aha

    and also this is so cool. is aw the sign up post for this when cw posted about it but idk whether to sign up so we’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I will definitely be joining this reading challenge. I love Asian inspired books so much that this year is the perfect year to do it with so many books coming out. I’m so excited.

    Liked by 1 person

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