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!).
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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.)
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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?