My May TBR in Celebration of Asian Heritage Month! (Asian Readathon)

It’s almost May, and you know what that means!!

Asian Heritage Month takes place in May, and in celebration of it, I always pick up books by Asian authors. This year, I’m reading books that are all by authors of different countries, putting an emphasis on non-East Asian authors! (I’ve noticed that I and others tend to read a lot more East Asian authors, so I wanted to make sure I was giving some attention to other Asian authors as well.)

I kind of suck at following TBRs and have a tendency to completely go off the rails with them, for lack of a better expression. So I do have a section for other potential books to read if I decide I’m too cool to actually read the books on my TBR!

I hate her but sadly… she is not incorrect

I’ll also be participating in the Asian Readathon hosted by Cindy @ Read With Cindy! She has a great giant list of Asian authors/books to check out, which I definitely recommend taking a look at any time of the year. I’ve automatically fulfilled the first prompt by reading only Asian authors!

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The Henna WarsThis is about two girls who have rival henna businesses and end up falling in love. I’ve been dying to read this one ever since I got an eARC of it a month ago, but I held strong and made myself wait until May!

I have really high hopes for this one, and I have a feeling all my expectations are going to met (and possibly exceeded!). I also love the author on Twitter and have been following her ever since her agent deal, then book deal, was announced, so it’s really cool to finally read her book!!

☼ This fulfills the second prompt of Asian Readathon (the author and character are sapphic like me).

⇒ author: Bangladeshi (also Muslim for Ramadan!)

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Harley in the SkyI’ll be reading this with May so hopefully we both will love it! This is about a girl who wants to be a trapeze artist and ends up joining a circus who is the rival to her family’s own circus. I’ve loved everything Akemi has written before, so I’m super excited to add this to the list. And so many of my friends have adored this as well!

This is also a perfect book for May besides the Asian rep, because it also tackles mental health (anxiety, I believe), and May is Mental Health Awareness Month!!

⇒ author: Japanese, Hawaiian, & white

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Love From A to ZI’m so!! excited!! to read this book!! I saw it on Scribd this month and have been wanting to read it ever since then, but have been holding back just so I can read it in May. I honestly think I’m going to love this one; I just want a cute, sweet romancey book right now and I feel like this will be perfect for that.

I also can’t remember a single person I know of who’s read this and didn’t like it. So I better love it or I’m coming to all of your houses at night and eating your toes!! But not really because that’s disgusting!!

☼ This fulfills the third prompt of Asian Readathon (the author and character are Muslim, and I am not) and the fourth prompt (seeing Ikram‘s love for it recently on the TL has made me extra excited!).

⇒ author: Indian (also Muslim for Ramadan!)

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Like a Love StoryI’ll be buddy reading this one with my love, Lily, and we are both so excited for it! It’s historical fiction (everyone is surprised) and it’s gay (no one is surprised), and takes place during the AIDS crisis. It’s about discovering what it means to be gay in a time when that was only portrayed in a negative light.

I’ve heard that this is a very beautiful, heartwrenching book, and I am in the mood to just sob over book so this is the perfect opportunity!!! And I’m always here for ownvoices m/m.

⇒ author: Iranian

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Little Fires EverywhereThis is a book that I wanted to read last year in May, but clearly I didn’t get to it since it’s here again now! It’s also very powerful of me that I’d been planning to read this long before the Asian Readathon announcement video came out, and then it ended up being the group book!!

I REALLY wanted to listen to the audiobook while I followed along in my physical copy, because I’ve heard the audio is super good and I’ve also been in a big audiobook mood, but unfortunately I don’t have access to it so I’ll just cry.

☼ This fulfills the fourth prompt of Asian Readathon (May made me excited for the audiobook, which only led me to disappointment but it’s FINE).

⇒ author: Chinese

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Forest of Souls (Shamanborn, #1)I feel so lucky to have an eARC of this book! I am ready to add Sirscha, the main character, to the list of female characters who can step on me. This book is about spies-in-training and shamanism and female friendship, and I am very excited to read it!

I’ve also never read a book by a Hmong author and so this is a great opportunity! I know the author has talked about how Hmong culture is infused in different aspects of this story so that makes my heart really happy.

⇒ author: Hmong

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The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)I’m a little bit nervous about this one, because some people I share the same taste with have hated it, but I did want to support Rin Chupeco after some Things on a certain bookish online platform! And it also Does sound like something I’d like (dark fantasy!!!).

If I get a few chapters in and end up not liking it, I’ll probably switch over to Wicked as You Wish or The Never Tilting World, but those are last resorts because I only have access to audio copies and they are LONG. (I do not have the kind of stamina for 13 hours yet!!)

☼ This fulfills the fourth prompt of Asian readathon (Shealea is always doing the most to get others to read TBW/books by Rin!).

⇒ author: Filipino

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Amina's VoiceI’m buddy reading this with May (yes her again), and I think it’s going to be super cute and lovely, especially being Middle Grade. It’s about a young girl dealing girl dealing with changes in her Muslim community, and she also is led to explore her identity as a Pakistani-American!

I love reading Middle Grade, so I’m really excited to read this, and I’ve heard that this one especially makes you smile. And the cover is so adorable and beautiful!!

⇒ author: Pakistani (also Muslim for Ramadan!)

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On Earth We're Briefly GorgeousI’ve been wanting to read this for a while now, especially hearing about how beautiful it is. Every time I see the line “Sometimes being offered tenderness feels like the very proof that you’ve been ruined” from it, I want to cry!! How gorgeous is that!!!

This is told in letters from a son to his mother, and it explores race, class, and masculinity. The main character is also gay (if the quote about tenderness didn’t give it away), so the chances I’ll love it are automatically doubled.

⇒ author: Vietnamese

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The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)  American Panda  Other Words for Home  Emergency Contact  I Love You So Mochi

(I really wish I could read Steel Crow Saga but alas… I do not have access to a copy at the moment.)

shall we chat

are you reading books by asian authors / participating in the asian readathon? what’s on your may tbr? have you read any of these?? let me know if you want to buddy read any of these!!

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61 thoughts on “My May TBR in Celebration of Asian Heritage Month! (Asian Readathon)

  1. This is such a good TBR! I have a lot of ARCs but I’m still hoping to read a majority of Asian books in May, plus I’m also participating in the Asian Readathon! Some in my TBR are Where Dreams Descend, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, My Summer of Love and Misfortune, and Wicked As You Wish ✨
    I’d also like to start another Scribd trial so I can read Ruse, Summer Bird Blue, and Love From A to Z 👀
    Aaaah, I really hope you love Harley 🥺
    Good luck with all your reading goals! 💗💗💗

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    1. thank you so much carol!! and omg i totally forgot i had an arc of when dreams descend! but i think it’s coming out a bit later so i’ll just procrastinate :’)

      good luck with reading all the non-asian and asian books on your tbr!! and if you want to read love from a to z with me…… 👀👀

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  2. ahhh i hope you have fun with the readathon, i still haven’t decided if i want to participate yet lol. also love from a to z is one of my favorite books!! and has actual proper muslim representation!!!!!!! so i hope you love it!

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  3. This is so exciting! Love from A to Z has been everywhere lately, makes me really want to pick it up. Also I highly recommend Little Fires Everywhere, it’s fast paced and has great themes with excellent writing. Best of luck!!

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  4. I hope you end up reading all the books for this readathon! Cindy is such a queen and it’s really cool so many people are taking part in this. The Henna Wars looks absolutely amazing and I hope you end up loving it! Love from A to Z looks really good and I’ve been aching to read it for such a long time, it looks so cute but simultaneously hard-hitting. I honestly didn’t know much about Forest of Souls (besides of its beautiful cover, I hate Miss Bowater as a person but her covers can get it) before but your description of it makes it seem really interesting!

    I’d never heard of Amina’s Voice before but I’m adding it to my TBR 👀 And if by chance you do get to it, American Panda is such a cute book and I hope you love it! And I would love to buddy read Other Words for Home or I Love You So Mochi with you. ❤

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    1. yeah, it makes me happy that a lot of people are taking part in the readathon because it’s being run by a big booktuber haha! and yes, same, i think love from a to z will be super cute but also at the same time have really important messages 💗 and i really like forest of souls’ cover as well! i think charlie bowater draws faces kinda similarly sometimes but on this cover it looks pretty different and gorgeous!!

      amina’s voice has flown under the radar i think, esp being middle grade! and ahh i will definitely let you know if i end up picking either of those up 💖

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  5. Harley in the Sky looks really good. Also I own Emergency Contact (but have yet to read it haha!) I too tend to stray from TBRs… its the mood reader in me (#sorrynotsorry) Also I keep hearing really good things about The Never Tilting World and how it has a ship to die for so of course i need to read it now. Great post!!

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    1. yeah i’ve had emergency contact for a bit now but never got the chance to read it! and aahh i’m a bit stressed out because tbrs either work really well for me or absolutely fail (the latter being more of the case). but i hope your may is full of wonderful reads!! ❤


  6. i have the HIGHEST expectations for The Henna Wars so it better be good 😂 i really want to read Love From A To Z and Like A Love Story as well! and i definitely recommend Other Words For Home, it was the sweetest book that also tackled many heavy themes. 😀 good luck with this readathon, May! you’ve got this ❤

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    1. I KNOW!! i’m really really hoping my high expectations don’t ruin it for me 😭 oh, so happy to hear you enjoyed other words for home!! i know a lot of other people loved it too. and thank you so much! i hope your may is full of great reads ❤


  7. This is an amazing list, and I’m saving this for future reference. I’ve read The Bone Witch and I am one of those who didn’t really enjoy it much. It felt so dragging to me. I read Other Words for Home as well, and I really enjoyed that one! It’s an easy read with so much substance in it. You should also check out Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen.

    My Recent Review

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    1. i’m so sorry to hear you didn’t like the bone witch!! i’m definitely the most hesitant about reading that one since there’s a strong possibility i won’t like it, despite the premise being something i’m super intrigued in 😭😭 and ah i read loveboat, taipei last month and didn’t love it, but i’m really glad you did!! 💗

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  8. i’m soooooo excited for the henna wars!!!!! like you can’t imagineee!!!! omgggg hmu whenever you want if you wanna buddy read it!!
    also i hope you enjoy Love From A to Z! it was one of my favorite reads of 2019 😉
    this month, since it’s ramadan + asian heritage month, i decided to focus on reading books by muslim authors and others by asian ones (and some by asian muslim authors). i really hope i get to support these authors more during these times.
    hope you have a great month may! take good care of yourself!!! stay safe ❤️

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    1. omg maha!!! i’m actually starting it tomorrow since i have no chill and am so hyped (and also need to get a review up hehe) but dm me all your thoughts whenever you read it ❤ (unless you have access to a copy rn/would drop everything to start tomorrow lmao?)

      i'm really hoping i love love from a to z as well!! you're definitely one of the people i associate with that book 🥰 and yay for supporting asian and/or muslim authors! i hope all the books you read are amazing 💕

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  9. Good luck on the readathon! I’m a major mood reader so the thought of creating a TBR like this seems impossible! But I’m so happy to see some of my favorite books from last year on your TBR! I absolutely adored Love From A to Z! It’s definitely a cute, romancey book (but don’t come for my toes if you don’t love it!)

    And Little Fires Everywhere was just masterfully done. I loved it so much that I gave it to my mother to read. The way I know that she’s enjoying it is that she got super busy and didn’t have time to read, so she lent it to a friend (after asking me if I was okay with it first). Then when the quarantine came around and she couldn’t get the book back she bought another copy so that she could finish it, now that she had the time to read! I hope you end up loving it and have a wonderful month!

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    1. thank you so much, malka!! i do pretty terribly at tbrs but i try to do it for may and june (for pride) so it’s like i’m trying to trick my brain into thinking it’s only for 2 months out of the year… but aahh i am REALLY excited to read love from a to z! the love for it seems endless tbh and i love that!!

      and i’m glad to hear you loved little fires everywhere too! honestly i have no idea what to expect from it, especially since i forget blurbs very easily?? but i’ve read everything i never told you by celeste ng and it was also really great, so i know celeste is an amazing writer!

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  10. Ooh this sounds interesting! Don’t know yet if I’d join or not. Maybe I’ll just give it a try, but first I have to search for any book written by Asian authors.

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  11. I’ve read a handful of these titles, and really enjoyed most of them. I really really hope you’ll end up loving The Bone Witch. It has become one of my favorite dark fantasies since I read it last month!! For this May, I am reading The Poppy War, Steel Crow Saga, America is in the Heart, America is not the Heart, and actually there’s a lot more in my list haha I’d love for you to check out my TBR blog post 😁

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    1. ah i’m so glad to hear you enjoyed most of these, rose!! and i’m a little nervous for the bone witch but still holding out hope for it ❤ and YES for reading the poppy war — it's my favorite book of the year and i want everyone to read it haha. and i'd love to check out your blog, but can you provide a link to it? it doesn't seem to be linked to your name! 💗


  12. i also am horrendous at sticking to a tbr BUT I have complied a few Asian rep books to read this month. aaaahhhhhhhhh AKEMI DAWN BOWMANNNN. THE HENNA WARSSSSS. LIKE A LOVE STORY,,,, OML It comes out in 2(TWO!) daysssssss and I cannot waittttt. are you buddy reading it with anyone???

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      1. AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! yeah omg i don’t know if i will??? i just got round to finishing Summer Bird Blue… so I’m not too sure,, Like a Love Story is my GOAL for the month tbh!!! so glad to hear that you enjoyed it tho!! ❤

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  13. I want to read all of these books too, and I can’t wait to know your thoughts on them!! I’m actually pretty confident that you’ll like Love From A to Z. It’s such an unapologetically happy book that’s still filled with important messages and representation. I feel so bad that I rated it 3 stars because it was too slice-of-life and cheesy for me :(( However, I still recommend it to absolutely everyone ❤ and I just saw that you rated The Henna Wars highly on Goodreads, & I'm very happy you enjoyed it! Words cannot express how pumped I am to read about brown girls in love 🥺

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    1. ah i just finished love from a to z, and i really loved it!! it was super cute and had lots of really great messages 🥺 i’m sorry that it wasn’t for you, but i’m glad you still liked it enough to give it 3 stars and recommend it to people ❤ and YES!! it was so good! i feel like i didn't quite vibe with the writing at times, but i think i just connected a lot to nishat and really loved her as a character in general so that made up for it 🥰💖 i hope you love it just as much as i did!!

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  14. All these sound wonderful! I just finished reading I Love You So Mochi and it really adorable, I hope you like it too 😀 Happy reading! ^^

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  15. Ahh May this is such a wonderful TBR, so many exciting reads here! I also have high hopes for the Henna Wars, this book sounds SO good and I am a little bit in love with that cover. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on Little Fires Everywhere, I feel like this book is so! hyped! and… I haven’t read it ahah so I am curious! 🙂
    Happy reading! ❤


  16. I feel you on the inability to stick to TBRs, I joke that as soon as I decide I am going to read a book it is the last thing I want to read. So frustrating! This is a great list of books though and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on all of them. Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

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