Asian American Literature Fans discussion

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Favorites of 2017 & Anticipated in 2018

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message 1: by Ming (last edited Dec 31, 2017 04:08PM) (new)

Ming | 55 comments A highlight of the outgoing year was the number of books written by Americans of South Asian, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander and Asian descent.

My favorites in 2017 included:

Swimmer Among the Stars: Stories

Deceit and Other Possibilities

Lonesome Lies Before Us

Temporary People

The Mountain


And in 2018, I look forward to:

Girls Burn Brighter

The River Of Stars

Inscrutable Belongings: Queer Asian North American Fiction

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

America Is Not the Heart


What titles are on your 2017 favorites and/or 2018 anticipated lists?


message 2: by Jenna (last edited Dec 31, 2017 04:57PM) (new)

Jenna (jennale) | 34 comments Great thread, Ming! Thanks for starting it.

My favorite book of 2017 by an Asian American author was, far and away, Thi Bui's graphic memoir The Best We Could Do.

I reviewed two 2017 poetry books by Asian American poets this year, which I think many would enjoy: Mai Der Vang's Afterland and Lena Khalaf Tuffaha's Water and Salt.

This year I also finally read -- and greatly admired -- Viet Thanh Nguyen's 2015 novel The Sympathizer.

Among children's picture books by Asian American authors that I read in 2017, I would highly recommend A Different Pond (2017), written by Bao Phi and illustrated by Thi Bui, and Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko (2016), with text and translations by Sally Ito, Michiko Tsuboi, and David Jacobson and (very beautiful!) illustrations by Toshikado Hajiri.


message 3: by Ming (new)

Ming | 55 comments @Jenna, thanks for sharing your favorites and recommendations.

what are your best sources for discovering new books?


message 4: by Jenna (last edited Jan 04, 2018 04:24AM) (new)

Jenna (jennale) | 34 comments For me, a lot of it is word of mouth from friends on social media, writers' Facebook groups, etc. For poetry books, sometimes I hear about them in the context of them winning a publication prize -- that was how Afterland caught my eye, for example. Or an editor assigns me the book to review. Or I stumble upon it while browsing a bookstore. Also, websites like Lithub. So, a mix of things. :-) How about you (and anyone else who wants to chime in)?


message 5: by Ming (last edited Jan 12, 2018 01:12PM) (new)

Ming | 55 comments Jenna wrote: "For me, a lot of it is word of mouth from friends on social media, writers' Facebook groups, etc. -..."

I tap a combination of sources to find books. These include a few GoodReads groups and lists, and many GR members/authors or “friends.” The Smithsonian BookDragon and the Asian American Literature Fans blogs have been very good resources. I subscribe to Asian American Writers Workshop, Asian American Literary Review and Asian Canadian Writers Workshop websites. I remotely (and selectively) monitor a few bloggers/writers and lit websites.

I also do a lot of browsing of “new books” shelves at the public libraries and the local indie bookstores. Lastly, Amazon Recommendations has generated intriguing finds, meanwhile GoodReads Recommendations have been completely useless.

Other AALF folks, your best sources for titles/books?


message 6: by Ava (new)

Ava Pendleton (avarpendleton) | 1 comments My favorite book of 2017 was Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.


message 7: by Ming (new)

Ming | 55 comments Ava wrote: "My favorite book of 2017 was Pachinko by Min Jin Lee."

Oh yes! That was an excellent book. I hope she is working on her next book.


message 8: by Stephen (new)

Stephen | 23 comments Mod
Ming: my book is cultural criticism.. I apologize in advance if it functions better as a sleep aid than anything compelling. I'm trying to rectify my critical style in my next book... LOL... thanks for the post here!


message 9: by Ming (new)

Ming | 55 comments Stephen wrote: "Ming: my book is cultural criticism..."

Eyes wide open here. I look forward to reading it.


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