Pia’s 10 Picks for #AsianLitBingo

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Have you heard of #AsianLitBingo yet?

Created by Shenwei at READING (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICA and co-hosted by some awesome Asian/diasporic bloggers around the world, #AsianLitBingo highlights Asian stories written by Asian/diasporic authors. See how you can participate and read the official rules here!

I will not be participating in this reading challenge, unfortunately, because I have to devote my focus on an upcoming concern… college graduation! (*gasp!*)

While much of my reading this month will consist of material for research papers, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case for you. So in the spirit of vicariously reading for fun through other people, here are some amazing books that I recommend for your #AsianLitBingo adventures, with the bingo categories it could qualify for:

If you’re piqued by the “a mysterious Japanese diary washes ashore on a remote Canadian beach” scenario…
Read A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki!

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Feminism, Buddhism, anarchism, environmentalism, and quantum mechanics converge in this transcendent piece of Japanese American literature.

  • East Asian MC
  • Asian immigrant MC
  • Religious (Buddhist) Asian MC
  • Poor/working class Asian MC
  • SFF (more like magic realism) with Asian MC

cw: suicidal ideation is a major theme

If you want to be inspired by a Filipina American girl who’s #UndocumentedAndUnafraid… 
Read Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz!

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Overachiever high school senior Jasmine de los Santos finds out that she’s undocumented, but she won’t let it get in the way of her dreams. I admit that this novel kind of simplifies immigration but is also a fun and accessible read. Find my review here.

  • Asian immigrant MC
  • South East Asian MC

If you need more Muslim Pakistani American heroines in your life and you’re emotionally prepared to read about a deceptively arranged marriage…
Read Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed!

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An important narrative that sheds light on arranged marriage and the first book I ever read for this blog. Find this ancient artifact here, but also know cw: rape.

  • Asian Muslim MC
  • Religious Asian MC
  • Romance with POC/indigenous love interest
  • West Asian MC

If you need more Muslim Iranian American heroines in your life and would swoon for a hilarious f/f romance…
Read Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan!

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My recent glowing review of this witty, hilarious book here.

  • Asian Muslim MC
  • West Asian MC
  • Contemporary with Asian MC

If the state of 2017 makes you crave an experimental Asian America dystopia… 
Read On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee.

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You may be familiar with his novel Native Speaker. In On Such a Full Sea, a haunting collective “we” narrator recounts the tale of Fan, the only person to have left her confined agricultural commune and enter the wilds of a post-environmental disaster America.

  • East Asian
  • SFF with Asian MC
  • Romance with POC/Indigenous love interest

If you loved American Born Chinese as a kid but now want to read the wry, kinda raunchy college student iteration
Read Same Difference and Other Short Stories by Derek Kirk Kim!

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I reviewed this for my school’s arts & culture mag here. Perfectly snarky, wistful tales capture Asian American characters’ post-grad ennui.

  • East Asian MC
  • Graphic novel with Asian MC

If you’re looking for a Korean adoptee narrative and prose that gives you goosebumps…
Read The Language of Blood by Jane Jeong Trenka!

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This semi-autobiographical narrative of a Korean adoptee poignantly renders the protagonist’s small-town Midwestern life and her eventual reunion with her biological mother.

  • Asian transracial adoptee MC
  • East Asian MC

cw: attempted sexual assault

If you fall for strong sisters, high school romances, and Asian snacks…
Read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han!

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This is a lighthearted tale that I would argue is more about sisterly love than it is about romantic love. But the point is that it’s suffused with love and is sure to make you smile. Find my full review here.

  • Multiracial/multiethnic Asian MC
  • East Asian MC

If you have any questions at all about present-day conditions of Asian immigrants to the Americas (and even if you don’t)…
Read The Making of Asian America by Erica Lee!

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A comprehensive history about Asian immigrant to the Americas since the 1400s, with careful documentation of different ethnic groups contained within “AAPI”. This book is exceedingly well-analyzed and salient to understanding AAPI racial and socioeconomic position today.

  • Non-fiction by Asian author

If you could use a hero in your life…
Read Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee.

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Confession: This book is on my nightstand right now. I read it when the finals grind gets me down, and I can already attest that it’s a funny and engaging read to turn to. A bisexual Chinese Vietnamese American heroine is the only one in her family who isn’t “extraordinary” in some way – but everything changes when she gets an internship at a technology company that has some dubious projects up its sleeve…

  • Asian superhero MC
  • Multiracial/multiethnic MC
  • LGBTQIAP+ Asian MC
  • SFF with Asian MC
  • Queer romance with Asian MC
  • Romance with POC/Indigenous love interest
  • Southeast Asian MC

What are you up to this busy month of May? Are you participating in #AsianLitBingo? (Do you have any advice for pushing through final exams?)  Let me know in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “Pia’s 10 Picks for #AsianLitBingo

  1. amazing recs! On Such a Full Sea sounds amazing, added it to my TBR right away and the cover is sunning! I love the Lara Jean series Kitty has to be one of my fave characters and the family love is the best, can’t wait to read Always and Forever and see more of Lara Jeans story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah silly me for having just seen this! As someone who doesn’t have little sisters myself, I was definitely surprised by how mischievous and lovable Kitty is. Lara Jean’s entire family just feels so real – I hope you love the sequel!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a tad bit late to the party this year, but I’m definitely going to participate in #AsianLitBingo if it happens next year. I’m bookmarking this page, as it’s an awesome resource. Thank you for such wonderful recommendations.

    I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

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