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2018 Challenge - General > Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Reads

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message 1: by Eujean2 (last edited Apr 30, 2018 02:24PM) (new)

Eujean2 | 249 comments Like with Black History Month & Women's History Month, I thought it might be nice to have a place for people to talk about/share ideas for any reads they might be doing in May for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Personally I'm hoping to read the following books:
- Interpreter of Maladies
(Works for #32: celebrity book club & #110: recommended by someone doing the Pop Sugar challenge)
- Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
(Works for #9: villain or antihero)
- The Woman Warrior
(Works for #22: alliteration in the title)
- Monstress
(Works for #13: also a stage play)
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
(Works for #39: involves a bookstore or a library)
- Dear Cyborgs
(I'm using it for #38: ugly cover)

And the following comics:
- Paper Girls, Vol. 2
(Works #29: set at Halloween)
- Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 1: The Ronin
(I'm using it for a Read Harder challenge. It does take place in Japan, if that country fascinates you.)
- Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood
(I'm using it for a Read Harder & a ATY challenge.)
- Mae Vol. 1
(I'm using it for #37: as I meant to read it in 2017.)

If I have time, I might also read another volume of Squirrel Girl.

Does anyone else have any reading plans for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.


Thegirlintheafternoon Thank you for this thread!

I've decided to bump The Descendants up my TBR and read it this month. This will count as my "book based on a movie I've already seen."


message 3: by Nadine in NY (last edited May 01, 2018 04:54AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6905 comments Mod
Thank you for this post, I had completely forgotten about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. I'm not sure what I will read! I have a lot of Asian authors in my TBR list, but not many Asian-American authors.

What are everyone's thoughts on whether reading an Asian author is still in the spirit of May? I've got Death's End by Liu Cixin on my TBR list ...

Other possible reads (none of these are really for the Challenge) from American authors:
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Boxers by Gene Luen Yang (this one is probably what I'll start with, since it's a graphic novel)
On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee
When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities poetry by Chen Chen
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (this would fulfill "weather word in title" too! which is a category I've yet to fulfill)

But most of these books look very serious, and right now I'm looking to read something FUN. Maybe I will read a romance from Courtney Milan.

I look forward to seeing everyone else's ideas - maybe I will get inspired!!


message 4: by Mike (new)

Mike | 443 comments I highly recommend First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung. I read it last year for the challenge.


message 5: by Christy (new)

Christy | 351 comments Thanks for starting the thread, Eujean! I've had The Woman Warrior and The Sympathizer on my TBR shelf for over a year now, so this will be the perfect motivation to get to them.


message 6: by Eujean2 (last edited May 01, 2018 10:18AM) (new)

Eujean2 | 249 comments Nadine wrote: "Thank you for this post, I had completely forgotten about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. I'm not sure what I will read! I have a lot of Asian authors in my TBR list, but not many Asian-Amer..."

Boxers & Saints are great, and great read together.

A couple lighter reads by Asian American authors. All could be used for the recommended by someone else (me) taking the Pop Sugar challenge prompt:
- Heroine Complex
(I really love this book series! The third one doesn't come out until July, or I would be reading it this month. Kick ass female superhero.)
- Not Your Sidekick
(A fun superhero story I read earlier this year. Recommended to me by the author of Heroine Complex.)
- The Ghost Bride
(Not quite as fluffy as the others listed, but a fabulous, engrossing read.)
- Pashmina
(I love this artist and this is her first graphic novel.)
- The Prince and the Dressmaker
(I loved this graphic novel. Published in 2018.)
- The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power
(One of my absolute favorite superheroes, at least in the hands of Ryan North & Erica Henderson. So playful, so fun.)
- The Best We Could Do
(A memoir of parenthood and her family's immigration from Vietnam. Not as light as the other graphic novels listed.)

Also, I just found Buzz Feed article about essential Asian American writers and my TBR list got longer:
https://www.buzzfeed.com/jarrylee/ess...

And now I will stop going on about books I love, so that other people can talk about books they love.


Thegirlintheafternoon Nadine wrote: right now I'm looking to read something FUN. Maybe I will read a romance from Courtney Milan.

Courtney Milan's Trade Me has an Asian-American heroine - I've not read that particular book by her, but I've liked everything of hers I've read.


message 8: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy | 369 comments My plans for this month include Pachinko and The Devotion of Suspect X and maybe I can fit in The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, Interpreter of Maladies and/or Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening. These aren’t all Asian-American authors, but I think diversifying my reading in this direction is a positive anyway.


message 9: by Idarah (new)

Idarah (ginghampanda) Chrissy wrote: "My plans for this month include Pachinko and The Devotion of Suspect X and maybe I can fit in The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, [book:Interpreter..."

I thoroughly enjoyed Suspect X. I've never read a book or mystery like it!


message 10: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6905 comments Mod
I just discovered that I actually own "Trade Me"!! LOL I didnt even realize. Milan's e-books go on 99 cents sales a lot and I snap them up whenever I see it. Usually I keep track of what I own but I guess I never marked this title down. Good thing Amazon keeps track or I'd be buying multiple copies of books!!


message 11: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Morrison | 145 comments I plan on reading Ghost in the Shell this month as my cyberpunk book.

I have already read The Ghost Bride this year and loved it. I did not use it in this challenge, but it would fulfill #10 or #15. I also read The Silent Dead which I used to fulfill #5 Nordic noir.


message 12: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Morrison | 145 comments Eujean2 wrote: "Like with Black History Month & Women's History Month, I thought it might be nice to have a place for people to talk about/share ideas for any reads they might be doing in May for Asian Pacific Ame..."

I forgot Paper Girls, Vol. 2 was set at Halloween. I think I might make a change to my plan because I’ve read vol. 1 but haven’t continued yet.


message 13: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1319 comments I don't think I can fit another book into this month, but I have wanted to read The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. It's the only fiction Pulitzer Prize winner of the past five years that I haven't read yet. Maybe I can squeeze it in.


message 14: by Jan (new)

Jan Bu | 6 comments Eujean2 wrote: "Like with Black History MontThe Young Elitesh & Women's History Month, I thought it might be nice to have a place for people to talk about/share ideas for any reads they might be doing in May for Asian Pacific Ame..."

Thanks so much for starting this thread! Everyone's given great suggestions. I'm going to try my hand at some YA and read some Marie Lu starting with The Young Elites


message 15: by poshpenny (new)

poshpenny  (poshpenny) | 1851 comments Nadine wrote: "What are everyone's thoughts on whether reading an Asian author is still in the spirit of May?"

I've found for the heritage/history months so far I've enjoyed reading a mix of stories from throughout the world/diaspora.

I don't know what I'll read for the month yet, but here's what I'm looking at so far:

APA Books I Own:
Amina's Voice - Hena Khan
Shanghai Girls - Lisa See
The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan
The Abundance - Amit Majmudar (Poet Laureate of Ohio)
Diamond Head - Cecily Wong

APA I Don't Own:
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers - Loung Ung
We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future
The Night Gardener - Terry Fan
Ocean Meets Sky - Terry Fan

Asian/Pacific Not American:
The Translation of Love - Lynne Kutsukake
The Decagon House Murders - Yukito Ayatsuji
The Whale Rider - Witi Ihimaera
An Unnecessary Woman - Rabih Alameddine
The Green Bicycle - Haifaa al Mansour
The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's Story - Hyeonseo Lee
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story


Things I've Read:
Book Scavenger series - middle grade puzzle-solving adventures. The best friend/co-puzzle-solver is Chinese American.

Greenglass House - Protagonist is Chinese adopted to white parents.

The Refugees - Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Great Passage - Shion Miura

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America


message 16: by poshpenny (last edited May 11, 2018 02:11PM) (new)

poshpenny  (poshpenny) | 1851 comments I found a handy-dandy source of winning #OwnVoices reads

Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature
Winners list on Wikipedia
APALA lists including this year


message 17: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (thecatsm3ow) | 8 comments The Astonishing Color of After is written by a Taiwanese American author and features a Taiwanese American main character. It also fits into the "book about death or grief" prompt.


message 18: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments My 1001 list group are doing reads to this theme this month and I actually have all four of them: Kokoro and Democracy on ebook and The Siege of Krishnapur and Paradise of the Blind as interlibrary loans. Since I only have the second two for 42 days, I intend to get through them but maybe not before May is over. Te same with the ebooks. I’m trying to read books by authors at DCC this year and so far there are 51 listed as attending, so that may take up pretty much all of my reading time.


message 19: by poshpenny (last edited May 29, 2018 08:28PM) (new)

poshpenny  (poshpenny) | 1851 comments Recap!

Looking back, I didn't read a single book in my possibilities post haha. I did try to mix it up with various parts of Asia/Pacific and American/non-American but I didn't get as wide a mix as I'd hoped. I also found it difficult to find enough Audible books! I tried many of the winners from the APALA awards and most of them weren't even available.

My first two books happened to fit. The protagonist's BFF is Chinese American in The Unbreakable Code and The Alcatraz Escape. They are books 2 and 3 in the Book Scavenger series, which is fun.

Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend were fine, but I wasn't into it enough to do the third book in a row. Maybe later. I don't get why people think they are so funny.

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword I wasn't really fully invested in either, but I'm not sure why. I might do the second book when it eventually comes out though. This will also work for Pride next month in June. Author Henry Lien has a pretty interesting story, which I heard about in this video. There is also a video out there of the author performing the song he wrote for the book with Idina Menzel at the book launch.

American Born Chinese was my graphic novel entry

I finally got around to The Sympathizer, which was good.

Still plugging away at Time Traveling with a Hamster in paper, whose protagonist is British Indian

Tonight I start A Long Way Home, the story of Indian Australian Saroo Brierley, which was made into the movie Lion.

Tonight or tomorrow I may set the Hamster aside and read Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood to get a little Iranian French in the mix.

Next year I need to be sure to get some Oceania in there.


message 20: by Nadine in NY (last edited May 30, 2018 04:14AM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6905 comments Mod
Yes this is a good time for a wrap up! I'm really enjoying these culture-focused reading months, I'm going to make this an annual part of my reading (I made GR shelves and everything!) but I really struck out this month. I chose books by Asian American authors in several genres. I discovered two new-to-me poets that I love, enjoyed another romance from an author I already liked, and ... really did not like my other choices. I DNF'ed two of them.

poetry - I LOVED both of these!!:
Engine Empire: Poems by Cathy Park Hong
When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen (I'm still currently reading this, and I'm enjoying it so much that I added it to my Amazon shopping cart to buy my own copy)

romance - a hit and a miss
Trade Me by Courtney Milan - fun and mindless entertainment
The Year of the Crocodile by Courtney Milan - a freebie short included with the "Trade Me" e-book. Ugh. I should not have bothered with this.

sci-fi
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee - NOPE! not for me. If you like your sci-fi confusing and militaristic, this is for YOU! It's new and fresh and inventive, but I DNF'ed.

literary
The Leavers by Lisa Ko - this was my audiobook. I hated this, it was relentlessly negative, I hated everyone in the story, and I DNF'ed halfway through, when another audiobook hold came in.

graphic novel
Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang - this was SO disappointing! I loved "American Born Chinese" so I had high expectations, but this was just Christian propaganda about how persecuted the poor Christian missionaries were during the Boxer Rebellion.

still on deck - I got this out of the library just for this month's reading, and I intend to read it, but I won't finish it in May. But I'm still counting it!
On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee

probably won't get to
Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See - I had this audiobook on hold, but honestly it's not really my kind of book, I only put it on hold for this month's reading. I'll probably delete the hold. I'm keeping it on my TBR for whenever I feel like listening to a family saga type of story (every once in a while, I'm in the mood for that sort of thing).


message 21: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments I didn’t get to much. Lucky Boy has Indian American characters and I read Holi Colors with my daughters.

Paradise of the Blind was amazing. May be the best book I read this year.

I’ve started The Siege of Krishnapur but I won’t finish it in May.


message 22: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy | 369 comments I didn’t get to as many as I had hoped - just 2 really, but I liked them both:
Pachinko, about a Korean family during and after colonization by Japan, was lovely and sad and educational. I didn’t feel the ending, but the rest was great.
Interpreter of Maladies was also lovely. A nice mix of viewpoints and settings, but still felt tied by common themes and cultural references. I often am disappointed by short stories because they can’t manage an ending, but these mostly did.


message 23: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 6905 comments Mod
I know May is over, but I just wanted to add: I ended up getting an audiobook copy of On Such a Full Sea, it starts off kind of slow, but I'm 75% done now and i HIGHLY recommend this book!! I still have my paper library copy too, but I never did open it. I don't know if this book would have been able to hold my attention if I had not started listening to it on a six hour drive. This is so subtle, and slightly odd, and eerie, and fascinating.


message 24: by Stacey (last edited Jun 18, 2018 05:40AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments I know I'm a bit late, but if anyone is looking for any ideas for next year I would recommend checking out books by Lisa See.

I have read several of her novels and they have all been solid 3-4 star reads for me that are out of my typical choice area!

The ones I've read by her are:
Snow Flower And The Secret Fan I used this for weather element in the title prompt
Shanghai Girls
Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls Sequel) I used this for a book about death/grief prompt
Peony in Love


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