My May TBR for Asian Heritage Month!!

It’s almost one of my favorite times of the year!

Every year during Asian Heritage Month in May, I try to read only books by Asian authors. I read these throughout the whole year, of course, so this is just a special month dedicated to only Asian stories! And I think I have an especially amazing list for this year. I tried to pick from a wide range of authors (aka ensuring I’m not reading only East Asian authors) and included a nonfiction book for the first time, and I honestly feel like I’m going to love most—if not all—of these books!!

A note on why I say Asian Heritage Month instead of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month: 1) while Asian and Asian American experiences are different, I think a month celebrating Asian people and identity shouldn’t exclude non-Americans, and 2) Pacific Islanders have discussed issues with being grouped with Asians in the term AAPI before, and also, this list doesn’t have any PI authors so using that term would be misleading!

Also, shoutout to Julianna for buddy reading like half of these with me (and shoutout because she just came back from hiatus and you should check her blog out!). 

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ARCS

The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms, #1)THE JASMINE THRONE

This is one of my MOST anticipated releases, and I’m so excited to read it!! For one, everyone I know has absolutely adored this and I’d be lying if I said I don’t give in to the hype. But also… this is morally grey Indian lesbian enemies to lovers PLUS dysfunctional sibling dynamic… it’s going to be everything! Tasha Suri is giving the gaysians everything we’ve ever wanted.

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The Tangleroot Palace: StoriesTHE TANGLEROOT PALACE

I am super excited for this one! It’s a short story collection from the writer of the Monstress comics, which I adore. I think Marjorie Liu’s storytelling from Monstress is so unique and fascinating, and I can’t wait to see what her writing will be like in prose form. The summary shows that the stories promise some monsters and sapphics, and and magic. Also, look at the absolutely stunning cover!!

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Black Water SisterBLACK WATER SISTER

I’m always looking for Southeast Asian sapphics because whenever I read them in books, they always hit different, and this book fits perfectly! It’s a contemporary fantasy about a closeted Malaysian lesbian who returns to Malaysia only to find “gods, ghosts, and family secrets” and I think I’m definitely going to adore it.

subdividerYou've Reached SamYOU’VE REACHED SAM

I won an ARC of this from a Goodreads giveaway, and it is honestly even more gorgeous in person! The book sounds like it’s going to break my heart, especially with the comparison to the movie Your Name, and I’m excited. Most people I’ve seen have loved and cried over this, but some of my friends despised it. So I’m very interested to see what my thoughts will be!

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The Chosen and the BeautifulTHE CHOSEN AND THE BEAUTIFUL

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year, but I started reading it in January and never finished. It was… boring for me, and I don’t know why I expected it not to be since the source material (The Great Gastby) was also boring to me. However, it’s still an ARC so I’d like to finish it! (But if I have to skip one book on this list, it’d probably be this one since I already have low motivation to read it.)

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Mornings in JeninMORNINGS IN JENIN

For so long now, I’ve been telling my friend Jia that I’ll read this book, and now that time has finally come! I think it is going to break my heart and make me sob, and I honestly can’t wait to read it. The book follows four generations of a Palestinian family after they were exiled by Zionists. Historical fiction typically isn’t my thing but I think I will adore this one.

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A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy, #1)A SPARK OF WHITE FIRE

I’ve seen super high praises for this book (so high that I can’t believe how few ratings there are on Goodreads for it!) and it makes me so excited to read this book. It sounds absolutely amazing—a sci-fi fantasy inspired by the Mahabharata with morally grey characters, gods, and sentient spaceships. I’ve heard that it’s an Experience to read these books, and I can’t wait to see what everyone loves so much about it!

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The Ones We're Meant to FindTHE ONES WE’RE MEANT TO FIND

I just finished reading Descendant of the Crane by the same author and unfortunately didn’t love it, so I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy this one more! Lots of my friends have adored it, so fingers crossed. So many things about this book sound amazing, especially the sister relationship and conversations about environmental issues, climate change, and capitalism. Also that cover is absolutely gorgeous!

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A Wish in the DarkA WISH IN THE DARK

I’ve been wanting to reread this book for over a year now, and I’m really excited that I’m finally getting around to it! I’ll be reading it with a big group of friends and I’m extra excited to watch them all fall in love with the book as I did. This is one of my favorite books, and it’s both so meaningful and comforting to me, and I can’t wait to experience this masterpiece again!

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The Rape of NankingTHE RAPE OF NANKING

This year I wanted to read a nonfiction book, to make sure I was going beyond enjoying Asian stories and actually learning about Asian issues/history. I’ve been interested in this one ever since reading The Poppy War, which is based on some of the events described in this book, and I’ve heard great things about it. It talks about the Nanking Massacre committed by Imperial Japanese soldiers during the Second Sino-Japanese War, and it’s definitely going to be a difficult but important read.


shall we chat

are you planning to read any Asian books for May? or what are some books you want to read in May in general? have you read any of the books on my TBR?

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37 thoughts on “My May TBR for Asian Heritage Month!!

  1. I absolutely loved A Spark of White Fire, and am planning on picking up the sequel once the paperback comes out end of the month~ I also can’t wait for Black Water Sister, and I found A Wish in the Dark on Scribd so planning on getting to that soon as well! This looks like such a good TBR, I hope you love them all :)

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    1. i am so excited for a spark of white fire!! it sounds so cool (and heartbreaking). aahh it makes me so happy to hear that you’ll be picking up a wish in the dark soon!! i hope you love it 💖 and thank you so much!

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  2. I’m really interested to read about your thoughts on You’ve Reached Sam!
    I am participating in two read-a-thons in May, and one of them is Asian readathon hosted by Cindy on YouTube. I’m planning to read a lot and I’m most excited about Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman, as the author’s other novel, Summer Bird Blue is one of my favourite books.
    Good luck with your tbr!

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  3. i’ve seen mixed opinions about you’ve reached sam too, but i really hope it lives up to your expectations!! and ahh i’ve heard such great things about a spark of white fire, i really need to pick it up soon! i hope you enjoy it <33 i don't have a set tbr for may but i'm also planning on reading towmtf… if ur not already, do u want to buddy read it? 👀

    this is such a great tbr, and i hope you love all of these books!! 🥰

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    1. i’m definitely a bit hesitant to pick up you’ve reached sam, because either i’ll be heartbroken or i’ll be disappointed lmao! but ahh i hope you enjoy a spark of white fire whenever you get the chance to pick it up. and !! if i wasn’t already planning to buddy read towmtf with some friends i totally would have taken you up on reading it with you 😭😭

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  4. ahh this is such a wonderful TBR May!! i hope you end up loving (or at least enjoying) all of these books 🤩💓 congrats on winning an ARC of You’ve Reached Sam!! it sounds like such a heartbreaking book but i’ll be v interested to hear your thoughts 👀 and i’m hoping to read A Wish in the Dark soon too bc i know how much you love it hehe (i already placed it on hold at my library!)

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    1. thank you so much, dezzy!!! i’m excited but a bit anxious to see how i’ll feel about you’ve reached sam — it seems like it’ll be heartbreak, but it could go either well or badly! and AAAH my heart 😭😭 i hope you love a wish in the dark! feel free to dm me your thoughts <3

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  5. I’m gonna read The Jasmine Throne and The Rape of Nanking as well! Hopefully between finishing my book, I’ll have time but I usually don’t. :( I really want to read these books because I’m so excited for it them and TRoN is important for my classes. I’m so excited to hear your thoughts on all of these!

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  6. Good luck with your TBR, looks like you’ve got a good set of books to read :) I thought that I didn’t have any Asian authors on my TBR for May but when I just looked through, I do have one of Julie Kagawa’s books ready for me to dig into :D

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    1. thank you, kate!! i hope we both love black water sister & the jasmine throne (both look so good) 💘 and YES!!! it makes me so happy to hear about a wish in the dark, i hope you love it whenever you’re able to pick it up 😭😭

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  7. Good luck with your TBR, May! ❤ I also got an Arc of You’ve Reached Sam and I’m very excited to read it though I’ll probably be very emotional and sad 🥺 I also have to finally read the Monstress graphic novels, my library just got them 🥰

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  8. Lots of great books on this list! I’m currently reading The Ones We’re Meant to Find and I’m enjoying it so far!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. the mango queen demands my opinions? i guess i’ll have to give some then

    also i was literally VERY SURPRISED when u referred to me as julianna not ju??? what??? also surprised that your post isn’t like 4k words long. glad to see you’re exploring the realm of the unknown

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  10. I’m very very late to this, but I hope you’ll get to read, if you haven’t already, The Ones We’re Meant To Find and that you will love it. I adored it SO MUCH. <3

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