I’m planning to participate in a Harry Potter themed readathon for the first two weeks of January, from the 1st to the 15th. It’s being hosted by Aentee at Read at Midnight. Basically, you join a Hogwarts House, pick your books based on the seven different spell prompts, and then read the books to earn points for your House. There are ways to earn extra points that are listed in the link above.
My Hogwarts House is Ravenclaw!
My Book Picks for Each Prompt
My Pick: Lightspeed Magazine’s People of Colo(u)r Destroy Fantasy! Special Issue, Guest Edited by Daniel Jose Older
My favorite genre is fantasy, no competition. It’s so hard to find SFF by POC that I’m super excited to read an entire anthology dedicated to fantasy by POC. I actually backed the original Kickstarter campaign to make it (as well as POC Destroy Science Fiction! and POC Destroy Horror!) happen, and the original goal was to fund the SciFi issue with the Fantasy issue as a stretch goal. I’m glad that the Fantasy stretch goal was reached because now I have two speculative fiction anthologies to read. 🙂
My Pick: In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
This book takes place during the Cambodian civil war and genocide. It’s not often you see Cambodian characters in fiction. Cambodian Americans are among the most marginalized ethnic groups under the Asian American umbrella. Because the majority of first generation Cambodian Americans were refugees, they did not have the elite backgrounds of the Asian immigrants who came under the provisions of the 1965 Immigration Act that gave preference to highly educated immigrants. On average, Cambodian Americans have lower rates of higher education completion, higher rates of poverty, etc. Most of what I know about Cambodian history is from my Asian American studies classes, plus documentaries I watched in 2015 and 2016: The Killing Fields of Haing S. Ngor, directed by Arthur Dong and New Year Baby, directed by Socheata Poeuv. This will be my first #ownvoices book by a Cambodian author.
My Pick: When Fox is a Thousand by Larissa Lai
Larissa Lai is a Chinese Canadian author, and I’ve had her two novels, Salt Fish Girl and When Fox is a Thousand, on my TBR forever. I bought them in summer of 2015, but my TBR pile is so enormous that I just never got around to them. When Fox Is A Thousand features a fox spirit, and since I love the mythology surrounding fox spirits in Chinese folklore, I knew I had to read this book.
My Pick: Dove Arising by Karen Bao
This is another book I’ve had sitting on my TBR forever. It’s a YA scifi novel set in the future, when humans have colonized the moon. The main character is of Chinese descent, but the story isn’t about her being Chinese, which is cool. Her mother gets arrested, and all of a sudden her plans for the future get thrown into disarray.
My Pick: Song of the Cuckoo Bird by Amulya Malladi
Also had this on my TBR for a while. It’s a historical fiction novel that begins in the 1940s and spans decades, telling the story of a young Indian girl who chooses to flee her marriage and begin a life at an ashram (a monastery). There, she becomes a part of a family of women who are outcasts.
My Pick: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
I just bought this book a week or two ago. I can’t wait to actually read it since it’s been on my radar a long time. It’s a fantasy book set in an alternate Regency era England where there’s a society dedicated to maintaining the magic of the kingdom. It features POC as main characters, which is great because a lot of people seem to think POC sprang up circa 1965 when we’ve been around forever.
My Pick: Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, edited by
I’ve found out about the existence of this anthology a while back but forgot about it for some time until Glaiza recommended one of the short stories included in it, Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon by Ken Liu. It’s a lesbian retelling of a Chinese myth. The 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese calendar is the Qixi Festival, also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day, which marks the reunion of the Cowherd and the Weaver (Altair and Vega), who were placed in the sky as constellations and separated by the Silver River (The Milky Way) as a punishment for their forbidden love.