Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for February 19th, 2019 is: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads.
As every good Asian blogger is wont to do, I squealed with excitement when the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge was announced by the wonderful hosts – Vicky, Shealea, CW and Lily. I also started Stars and Sorcery, a book club on Twitter, with the express wish to read more sci-fi and fantasy by authors of colour. My co-hosts Shruti, Charvi and Aditi are hatching plans with me to bring back Indian Lit Readathon around the same time this year too. 2019 will definitely turn out to be the Year of the Asian for me because of these three reasons but if you’re also looking forward to doing that, I wanted to give you a little nudge in the right direction by putting together a list of recommendations. I’d mentioned in my post about reading challenges a few weeks back that I’d do recommendations for all the challenges and here is the first one in the series. I have teamed up with 9 amazing Asian book bloggers to help you achieve the highest attainable level in this reading challenge – the Bengali Tiger. Please note that I’ve mentioned the rep wherever possible – I’ve only mentioned the main character’s Asian identity, and in some cases, the author is Asian but hasn’t written about Asian characters, so I have left those intentionally blank.
Author: Kevin Kwan
Age Range: 18+
Published: By Doubleday on June 11th, 2013
Content Warning: Tough love parents, anxiety
Format I Read: Audiobook
Grade: Exceeds expectations
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the ‘It Girl’ of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should – and should not – marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
Author: Natasha Ngan
Age Range: 13+
Published: By Hodder & Stoughton on November 6th, 2018
Content Warning: Sexual assault, rape, violence and death
Format I Read: Kindle e-book
Grade: Exceeds expectations
Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after – the girl with the golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable – she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for February 5th, 2019 is: Upcoming Releases I’m On the Fence About. I’m tweaking the topic a little to help you put these amazing books on your TBR.
Happy February to all my wonderful readers! January was over within the span of a breath and I find myself writing another wrap-up post. However, there isn’t much to say as I didn’t get a lot done. I had very lofty ideas on how to make drastic changes in several aspects of my life and some of them never happened. Nevertheless, I’m going to redouble my efforts this month and hope for the best! For now, let me update you on how my January was.
Author: Emily X. R. Pan
Genre: Contemporary, magical realism
Age Range: 13+
Published: By Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on March 20th, 2018
Content Warning: Depression, suicide, death of a parent
Format I Read: Hardcover
Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.
Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.
Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, this is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.