With the violence against Asian American becoming more apparent and hate crimes up here in the UK, it right to discuss books that are by Asian authors. As the month closes, it is also good to note that it is AAPI Heritage Month as well. While researching for this post, I realised how little I had read by Asian authors in general and I need to continue reading books by Asian authors from a variety of different places. If you would like to know more about issues regarding Anti-Asian violence please do so here. So let's get to the list...
When I Grow Up I Want To Be A List Of Impossibles by Chen Chen
I discovered Chen Chen by watching uncarley's YouTube channel and after reading his poem, Summer, I knew I had to read his collection. It was really raw and impactful and there were so many poems that I thought were well written and I connected too. Many of them discuss the intersections of being Chinese and gay and how he navigates life which I enjoyed.
Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong
So a lot of people love Ocean Vuong so this is not a surprising recommendation. I do think that a lot of people have read his novel but the poetry collection is also worth the read. Again he knows how to write a poem that pulls on your emotions and creates so much empathy. I tabbed some of the poems because I loved them as they are so lyrical in their approach.
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
This was one of the first graphic novels that I read and it details their life moving through from Vietnam to America. It is an important part and discusses what war is like and how it remains with a person. The illustrations are also great and I loved the colour that was used throughout.
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
I know that so many people do not like this book and I can kind of see why, but I did. So much so that it was one of my favourite books of last year. I love the illustration style and seeing all the characters evolve over the novel. Also, it has a sense of quiet that I love in the novel as nothing much happens but it is still great to read about.
Blue Flag by Kaito
I have loved this manga series since last year and not many have read it which is why it is on this list. This series follows a group of friends who basically all like each other. Girls liking girls. Boys liking boys and boys liking girls. All of this makes for an interesting love square and I love reading about it. All of the characters are so sweet and I love reading about their very complex friendship dynamics.
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu
I didn't love Mooncakes, I know so many other people did and for good reason. The book describes the story of a Werewolf and a witch as they become friends and try to discover some secrets. One of the characters is also non-binary which is perfect for anyone who is looking for a queer graphic novel.
My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata
One of my favourite books of last year, this book is tender and raw as we are Kabi Nagata's head. This book follows her life as she deals with being gay in a family that doesn't accept it as well as discussing her depression. I felt this book was really relatable and I got so much from it and I know others will too.
Let me know some of your favourite Asian books in the comments below!
See you soon,