Year of the Asian 2020 Reading Challenge Announcement & Possibility Pile

I was waffling on whether I wanted to join this challenge but then I finally caved because #FOMO and I really just want to read more of the Asian authors that exist on my shelves. Seeing as one of my main bookish goals this year is to also read diversely I thought it’d be perfect to join The Year of the Asian 2020 Reading Challenge to hold myself accountable! #YARC is hosted by CW @ The Quiet Pond, Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads, Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea and Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams and the idea of it is pretty simple: read as many books written by Asian authors as you can! These books can be backlist titles (i.e. released in 2019 or earlier), new releases, and ARCs, and they can be books of any genre, format, and length. You can find out more information and sign up here.

Level 2: Indian Cobra (11-20 books)

There are quite a few levels that you can aim for (including a panda!) and I’ve decided to aim for the Indian Cobra (11-20 books). I have a surprising amount of books written by Asian authors just sitting on my shelves and I don’t really have a reason for why I haven’t read them yet, so I’m more than happy to have a great reason to prioritise them now. Here’s what I got:

Young Adult

Adult

I know I have other books by Asian authors sitting on my book shelf but I can’t recall them off the top of my head right now. But I think this is a pretty solid list of 20 to start with. I hope that I’ll be able to get my ass in gear and read all of these–I know some have been languishing on my shelves for way. too. long. #forshame. On that note, I’ll post my progress on my monthly Reading Challenge Updates post that I’ve literally just this second decided to schedule. Hopefully I’ll already have something to update by the end of this month!

Are you participating in the Year of the Asian 2020 Reading Challenge too?
Do we have any of the same books to read? What’s on your list?

Top 5 Saturday: Books with Asian Settings

Hi friends, I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday! Just five minutes ago I discovered a ‘new’ meme on Leelynn’s blog and I’m so excited to take part in it. This Top 5 series was created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s the Saturday meme I’ve been waiting for! The rules are simple:

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated – you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post
  • Tag 5 people

I won’t be tagging five people but I do tag anyone who wants to participate! This week’s topic is: books with Asian settings. I love this prompt but I’m also a little embarrassed to admit that compared to all the other books I read, I actually haven’t read many with Asian settings… It’s not that I don’t want to or that I’m not interested, I actually have quite a few sitting on my shelves, I just don’t make a conscious effort to pick them up? (that probably sounds really bad lol) BUT this year I am making more of an effort to diversify my reads and that means giving high priority to the Asian books on my shelf! For now, here are the books I’ve read and loved with Asian settings:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
One of the best books I’ve read. It’s heartbreaking but hopeful. It’s about family, friendship, and especially forgiveness. I learned so much about the culture and norms in Afghanistan. It’s not an easy read, but it’s a good one! It’s one of my all time favorites.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
This was one of my favorite books last year. I was really surprised by it because I had never heard of the author before and I didn’t really know what to expect. It’s a family saga set in Korea and Japan, and I learned so much about the relationship between the two countries through this book than I ever have anywhere else. It’s so good.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
I read this earlier this year and it broke my heart. While some of it is set in the US, the majority of it is set in Taiwan. Pan’s writing makes it easy to imagine yourself standing in the sweltering humidity of a bustling city. Plus, the food (omg the food) and the culture is so richly illustrated and adds a great deal to the atmosphere of the novel.

Monstress Series by Marjorie M. Liu
Yes I did include a graphic novel on this list. This book is set in a steampunk matriarchal Asian society in the 1900s. It has some of the craziest and darkest world building I’ve ever seen and while some of it, especially the art work, is creepy AF, it’s just so freaking cool! Since the content is pretty dark I wouldn’t say it’s for everyone but if you’re at all curious and want to appreciate stunning art work, pick this up!

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
This was one of the books that I read at uni and I remember falling deep into it. It follows the story of an escaped Australian convict that tries to disappear on the streets of Bombay (modern day Mumbai), and we follow him as he teaches in the slums, appeases the mafia, falls in love with Bombay, bollywood and an enchanting woman. It’s written so vividly that you fell yourself being pulled into the gritty streets of Bombay, and then you surprise yourself by finding that you don’t want to leave. Although it’s really long, it’s worth it.

Do you have any favorite books with Asian settings?
Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!