31 Day Asian Books Challenge

by - June 15, 2020

Okay, I'm belated in posting this. Now it's June and so I greet you all: Happy Pride Month! Last month, in May, I participated in the Asian Books Challenge hosted by Books and Boba on Twitter.

Each day, I recommended a new book by an Asian author or with an Asian protagonist.

You can find the master thread on Twitter here. (I'm more active there nowadays)


day 1: first book you read by an asian author

bit ridiculous since i’ve been reading asian authors from a young age, but i’ll go with 1q84 — one of my fave haruki murakami novels and one of his better ones! this is a good introduction to him; weird, enjoyable, but not TOO weirdImage

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day 2: favorite 2019 book by an asian author

we hunt the flame by hafsah faizal! this YA arabian fantasy has a special place on my favorites shelf ❤️❤️ it’s enemies to lovers tooImage

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day 3: book with an asian on the cover

how about the wolf of oren-yaro by ks villoso! it’s an adult asian-inspired fantasy with a filipina lead. you dont usually see southeast asians on book covers, much less SFF covers, so this was so lovely ❤️ plus THAT ART!!Image

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day 4: set in an asian country you’ve never been to

the silence of bones. it’s a YA historical murder mystery set in the year 1800, korea. this really transported me to another world — not /just/ another country — because hur’s detailed account of the year 1800 was eye-opening!Image

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day 5: sci-fi novel by an asian author

ignite the stars by maura milan! 5⭐️ to this novel. it's got enemies to lovers, enemies to best friends, and a protagonist who's nicknamed the blood wolf of the skies. isn't that the most badass thing you've heard?Image

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day 6: Asian-inspired fantasy

forest of a thousand lanterns by julie dao. this is a /truly dark/ YA fantasy which tells the story of a xifeng, a peasant girl who will stop at nothing to become empress. she manipulates the courtiers, seduces the emperor, and eats raw hearts πŸ–€Image

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day 7: lgbt asian mc

empress of salt and fortune. this little novella stars chih, a nonbinary cleric whose job it is to catalogue history. an old woman named rabbit tells chih about her life as a handmaiden to the empress she was in love with...Image

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day 8: read the book, watched the adaptation

crazy rich asians! one of the few cases where i loved the movie as much as the book. (i binge-read the first 2 when they came out) it was hilarious, dramatic, and meant a lot to every asian to see it on the big screen <3Image

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day 9: historical fiction with asian mc

the night tiger by yangsze choo. this is a magical novel set in 1930s malaysia. there's romance, mystery, characters chasing their dreams... and an exploration of colonialism, which is often ignored in historical fiction of this timeImage

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day 10: ya novel by an asian author

is it cheating if its co-written? i love burn for burn by jenny han & siobhan vivian. this ya contemporary about girls getting revenge on a boy who wronged them is a rollercoasterπŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯Image

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day 11: translated work by an asian author

convenience store woman by sayaka murata. this one is both a punch to the face AND very funny. recommended reading for any woman who struggles with what is socially acceptable and what her family expects her to becomeImage

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day 12: south asian mc

the devourers. this book isnt for everyone but WOW. it is so much more heartwrenching than i expected. it’s magical & timeless & talks about monsters, humanity, love, gender, sexuality... to the twin backdrops of modern india & 17thc india

tw: rapeImage

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day 13: romance with asian mc

of curses & kisses! this ya contemporary is a romance between an indian princess and the british heir to her family’s sworn enemy. and yes, this is the same author who wrote when dimple met rishi :)Image

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day 14: fave series by an asian author

i’m so bad at finishing series 😭 so im going with a manga! bungou stray dogs. also choosing this because it introduce me to a lot of japanese literature! the characters are all named after famous authors :)Image

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day 15: central asian mc

okay this was hard. i had to rely on google. the kite runner by khaled hosseini, which i read as a child and absolutely wrecked meImage

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day 16: mixed-race asian mc

the gilded wolves. my fave character enrique is spanish-filipino. and while chokshi got a lot mistaken about his culture & ph race relations (lmao) it’s still a very fun book! 2 other MCs are mixed, and another MC is desi :)Image

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day 17: asian retellings

why not a whole anthology? a thousand beginnings and endings features numerous short stories by asian YA authors who have retold myths from their cultures!Image

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day 18: mystery/thriller by an asian

i’ve read so many asian thrillers so IT’S SO HARD TO CHOOSE. but i’m going with smaller and smaller circles. 2 filipino priests track down a serial killer in manila. more than the mystery, it’s also got social commentary on govt corruptionImage

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day 19: southeast asian mc

it's not out yet but i'm so excited for last tang standing, an adult romance set in singapore. andrea is a successful lawyer but her mom is pressuring her to get married... so who does she choose? attractive rival at firm? wealthy businessman? herself?Image

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day 20: MG novel by an asian author

my fate according to the butterfly is a more middle grade child-friendly novel about the philippine drug war & addiction. the manila-based filipina author also set her novel in manila!Image

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day 22: asian muslim mc

mad, bad, & dangerous to know. this ya contemporary features a teen girl who dreams of being an art historian. she goes to paris to study byron, only to discover the untold story of an enigmatic woman who had inspired all the great 19th c authors...Image

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day 23: graphic novel by an asian author

trese! this filipino fantasy noir comic features trese, a female detective who solves supernatural crimes in manila. neil gaiman said he’s a fan too πŸ–€Image

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day 24: asian superhero

does a supervillain disguised as a superhero count? nova artino from the renegades series is half-filipina... and she has my heart ❤️Image

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(i skipped days 25 & 26 because i havent read any, but recs are highly appreciated!)

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day 27: west asian mc

the wrath and the dawn by renee ahdieh. this YA fantasy is a retelling of the arabian nights. a girl named shahrzad marries a caliph who is known for killing all his wives... and plans to take revenge on himImage

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day 28: summer trip to the “motherland”

loveboat, taipei. ever wong dreams of being a dancer, but her strict parents want her to be a doctor. she’s sent to chinese school in taiwan for the summer, where for the first time there’s no parents. just boys, parties, freedom...Image
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day 29: non-fiction by an asian

given the recent historical revisionism on twitter... i’d like to share this article on comfort women. it happened to women all over asia under the japanese occupation and until now, justice has eluded them

TW: RAPE

Read: 


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day 30: 2020 debut by an asian author
i am SO HYPED for these violent delights by chloe gong. romeo & juliet meets the godfather in 1920s shanghai. two rival gang leaders need to work together to stop a supernatural force. enemies to lovers deliciousnessImage
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day 31: next asian book on your tbr

naming multiple because why not

-descendant of the crane (waiting for paperback: sept release)
-want to finish jade city
-the burning god (nov release?)ImageImageImage
You don't have to wait for a certain month to start reading more diversely. So check out these Asian books! Which ones are your favorite?

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