2020 Asian Readathon Recommendations & TBR

The Asian Readathon is a month long readathon taking place during Asian Heritage Month (May) and is hosted by readwithcindy. This year’s challenges are as follows:

1. Read any book by an Asian author.
2. Read a book featuring an Asian character or written by an Asian author who you can relate to.
3. Read a book featuring an Asian character or written by an Asian author who is different from you.
4. Read a book recommended by an Asian.
5. OPTIONAL: Read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and participate in the #LittleFiresReadalong and #LittleFiresWatchalong

For more information click here.

I’ve put together some of my favourite books by Asian authors, and since I’m Asian all these recommendations meet challenge #4.

Anna K by Jenny Lee
❥Jenny Lee is Korean
❥Features half-Korean main characters, and Thai characters

Anna K is a young adult retelling of Anna Karenina, but with all the glam and drama of Gossip Girl and Crazy Rich Asians and will probably make my best of 2020 list. I read Anna Karenina for the first time this year and I have to say I prefer this retelling.

Anything by Lisa See (my personal favourite Lisa See novel is The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane)
❥Lisa See is of Chinese heritage
❥Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Shanghai Girls, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, and Peony in Love take place in China and feature Chinese characters
❥The Island of Sea Women takes place in Korea and features Korean and Japanese main characters
❥China Dolls takes place in the States and features Chinese and Japanese main characters
❥On Gold Mountain is a non-fiction novel exploring See’s heritage

Manga is one of my personal favourite forms of storytelling, my personal favourites, all written by Japanese mangaka and featuring Japanese characters are:
❥Yona of the Dawn by Mizuho Kusanagi: fantasy quest story, setting inspired by the Three Kingdoms of Korea period
❥Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi: the original magical girl, takes place in Toyko
❥Highschool Debut and My Love Story!! by Kazune Kawahara: slice-of-life, romances taking place in high school in Japan
❥Ao Haru Ride by Io Sakisaka: slice-of-life romance taking place in high school in Japan (Sakisaka’s works is a great place to start with shoujo manga)

Little Fires Everywhere is the obvious choice given it’s the readathon book; it is written by Celeste Ng whose is Chinese-American and features Chinese characters.

Everything I Never Told You is also by Ng and also features Chinese-American characters.

Some of my other favourites and soon to be released titles are as follows.

Contemporary
❥Love From A to Z by S. K. Ali (Indian-Canadian author, Indian, Chinese, and Pakistani representation)
❥Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (own-voices Japanese representation)
❥The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan (own-voices Taiwanese representation)
❥This Time Will Be Different by Lisa Sugiura (own-voices Japanese representation)

Middle Grade
❥Stargazing by Jen Wang (Taiwanese author, Chinese representation)

Fantasy
❥The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Filipino-Indian-American author, novel inspired by Indian culture)
❥The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (own-voices Indian representation)

Historical Fiction
❥Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (own-voices Korean representation)
❥A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (own-voices Indian representation) (my blog is named after this book!)

Romance
❥The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (own-voices Vietnamese representation)
❥When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (own-voices Indian representation)

Non-fiction
❥When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (own-voices Indian representation)
❥The Girl With Seven Names (own-voices Korean representation)
❥In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park (own-voices Korean representation)

Up-coming novels/recently published novels (none of which I have read):
❥Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Too (own-voices Korean representation) April 14, 2020
❥If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha (Chinese-Korean-American(?) author, Korean representation) April 21, 2020
❥The Silence of Bones by June Hur (own-voices Korean representation) April 21, 2020
❥The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar (own-voices Bangladeshi representation, this book also features a f/f romance!) May 12, 2020
❥My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong (own-voices Chinese representation) May 12, 2020

And of course I thought I’d share with you what I plan on reading:

My TBR:
❥When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller (own-voices Korean representation) meets challenges 1 and 3
❥Trade Me by Courtney Milan (own-voices Chinese representation) meets challenges 1, 3, and 4 and was recommended by In Love & Words
❥Reread: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (own-voices Chinese representation) meets challenges 1, 3, 4, and 5
❥Reread: The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini (own-voices Afghan representation) meets challenges 1 and 3
❥Reread: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Filipino-Indian-American author, novel inspired by Indian culture) meets challenges 1, 2, and 3

And to top things off here are some of my favourite Asian Booktubers and Bloggers:
A Clockwork Reader
A Court of Crowns and Quills
Alexa Loves Books
Books With Chloe
Carla’s Book Bits
Forever and Everly
In Love & Words
meltotheany
Monica Kim
Nish and Ngoc
Paper Blots
readwithcindy
thebookbasement

I’d love to hear some of your favourite Asian books, booktubers, and bloggers.
Happy reading! ♥

11 thoughts on “2020 Asian Readathon Recommendations & TBR

  1. Omg I’ve been DYING to get my hands on Anna K – looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it! Ahhhh I read Snow Flower & The Secret Fan when I was in high school, that book was a work of ART, honestly!! I love all your recommendations – I’m not participating but will keep these reads in mind for the remainder of the year 😍

    And thank you so much for mentioning us, you’re way too kind 😭❤️

    Happy reading!

    💛 Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! Try Haruki Murakami’s writing! And for more Indian writers try Sudha Murthy. That lady writes beautifully!
    Btw I too blog @ The Confessions Of A Music And Book Addict and would appreciate some support!
    Stay safe dear
    -Prutha xoxo

    Like

  3. I completely forgot about Trade Me!!! it’s available from my elibrary right now so I may not even have the patience to wait until May hahah

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am excited for this readathon! I love your TBR picks. I have already curated my list and I’ve included many Filipino authors in mine ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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