I announced the launch of Asian Lit Bingo yesterday, and since then, I’ve been busy putting together my own tentative TBR for the challenge. It’s a good opportunity to read a lot of the books I’ve had sitting on my shelves but haven’t gotten around to because of reasons. So without further ado, here is my super ambitious TBR!
East Asian MC – The Emperor’s Riddle by Kat Zhang – #ownvoices, MG, Contemporary, Adventure, Chinese American MC
Asian Refugee MC – The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen – #ownvoices, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Vietnamese MCs
Asian Immigrant MC – Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, Undocumented Filipina American MC
Asian MC with a Disability – Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, Asian American MC w/ OCD/anxiety
Multiracial/Multiethnic Asian MC – Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, Biracial white/Korean American MC
LGBTQIAP+ Asian MC – Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee – #ownvoices, YA, Fantasy, M/M Romance, Bisexual Vietnamese American MC
West Asian MC – Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah – YA, Contemporary, Lebanese-Australian MC
Asian Muslim AC – That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, Pakistani American MC
Religious Asian MC – A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki – #ownvoices, iterary Fiction, Magical Realism, Zen Buddhist Japanese American MC
Poor or Working Class Asian MC – One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi – #ownvoices, MG, Contemporary, Afghan MC
SFF with Asian MC – The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana – #ownvoices, YA, Fantasy, Indian MC
Historical Fiction with Asian MC – It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas – #ownvoices, MG, Iranian American MC in the 70s
Free Space – The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard – #ownvoices, Fantasy, French Vietnamese MC
Retelling with Asian MC – The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – #ownvoices, Fantasy, Retelling of the Mahabharata, Indian MC
Contemporary with Asian MC – She’s So Money by Cherry Cheva – #ownvoices, YA, Thai American MC
Graphic Novel with Asian MC – Monstress Vol. 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Queer Romance with Asian MC – Flowers of Luna by Jennifer Linsky – #ownvoices, Science Fiction, F/F Romance, Biracial Japanese MC
Romance w/ POC/Indigenous Love Interest – It’s Not LIke It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, F/F Romance, Japanese American MC, Latina LI
Central Asian MC – Jamilia by Chingiz Aitmatov – #ownvoices, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Kyrgyz MC
Translated Work by an Asian Author – Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara – #ownvoices, YA, Fantasy, Japanese MC
Southeast Asian MC – Roots and Wings by Many Ly – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, Cambodian American MC
Asian Superhero MC – The Shadow Hero by Gene Yang and Sonny Liew – #ownvoices, Chinese American MC
Asian Transracial Adoptee MC – The Leavers by Lisa Ko – #ownvoices, Literary Fiction, Chinese American MC
Non-Fiction by an Asian Author – The Making of Asian America by Erika Lee
South Asian MC – Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai – #ownvoices, YA, Historical Fiction, M/M Romance, Sri Lankan MC
I shared it on Twitter a while ago, but I participated in a discussion (hosted by Puput at Sparkling Letters) with some other Asian bloggers from different backgrounds about Asian representation in YA and books. We talked about topics like common misconceptions, things to avoid when describing Asian characters, our wish list for what we want to see more of in Asian rep, books with problematic Asian rep, and recommended books with good Asian rep. I highly recommend reading the post. You can find it here. 🙂
I finally shoved all of the stray books in my room onto my bookshelves so I could take a picture of my complete fiction collection. There are a few autobiographies and memoirs thrown in here and there, but this is 99% fiction. My book collection has changed a lot in the past two years. I got rid of/donated a ton of books (about 300) that were for early readers and started buying a bunch of newer, mostly diverse YA, NA, literary fiction titles to replace them. I don’t think my diverse book count is greater than my non-diverse book count yet, but it’s getting there.
How I Organize My Books:
The overarching organization scheme is alphabetically by author’s last name.
Books in a series are placed together and arranged in chronological order.
Books by the same author are arranged either by publication order or by size from smallest to largest.
Anthologies in which the stories are all by the same author are grouped with books by that author.
Anthologies that are by multiple authors are groued seall together at the very end of my collection, after the Zs, and arranged in order by [first] editor’s last name
If I didn’t arrange my books this way, I’d never be able to find anything. Haven’t updated my inventory in a while, so I’m not sure exactly how many books I have (some of these are omnibus editions so they’re actually more than one book). My best estimate is somewhere around 500. I’ve been reading and collecting YA books since circa 2003, so this is some 13-odd years’ worth of books (granted, I purchased a lot of them in the past two years, but a decent number were published years ago and/or I first read them during the 2003-2014 time period). I might update this with my book count later on.
Sorry for the bad picture quality, my camera sucks. =___=
So even as fast as I read, there are books that I haven’t gotten around to even though I’ve had them on my TBR list and/or on my actual bookshelf for a while (like, over a year in some cases).
The top of the list would be various POC who write adult SFF. I’m mostly a YA person, I guess because adult lit bores me a lot of the time (though I may just be biased because we spent so much of secondary school reading adult lit “classics,” i.e. books by long-dead, cishet white dudes). Maybe I just like escapism but speculative fiction, particularly fantasy, is my favorite genre. I don’t have anything against contemporary/realistic fiction, and I read a decent amount of it (for the POC representation! Also school life romcoms are fun), but SFF is what I live and breathe.
These are the adult SFF authors I need to read:
Nnedi Okorafor – She writes both YA and adult SFF, and I’m about to read Akata Witch very soon for #DiversityDecBingo, but I need to get into her other books too. I own most of them already.
N.K. Jemisin – I own all of her books except The Obelisk Gate and I need to read them. The covers are gorgeous.
Ken Liu – I read his short story, Paper Menagerie, a while ago and I was like ;__; and then when I found out that the Grace of Kings+sequels are a wuxia-style series I was like “sign me up yesterday,” but also it’s really hella long so I put it off. One of my friends said his writing is kinda dry, but we’ll see how I feel once I get to reading it.
Yoon Ha Lee – I found out about his existence through a short story anthology that he was included in that I bought, and I was like “whoa Asian writing adult SFF, cool!” But I haven’t read said short story yet. Conservation of Shadows and Ninefox Gambit are sitting on my wishlist.
Daniel Jose Older – I LOVED Shadowshaper, his YA debut, and can’t wait for the sequel. I have the first two books of the Bone Street Rumba series (adult urban fantasy) on my shelf. The covers feature kickass POC. Just need to read them.
Kate Elliott – I have the ebooks of the Jaran Series and physical copies of the Crown of Stars series, The Spiritwalker Trilogy, and The Crossroads Trilogy. Haven’t read them. Also have Court of Fives, her YA novel, so I’m starting with that one because YA.
For YA, here are a few I’ve put off for Reasons:
Adaptation and Inheritance by Malinda Lo – I loved Ash and Huntress, so I put these two on my TBR once I knew they existed. And then left them there…possibly because they’re scifi, which I don’t like as much as fantasy, and also because the main character is white (I just outed myself as a reverse racist, didn’t I? Just kidding). But she’s bisexual and one of the love interests is an Asian American dude so I should really, actually, read this series. Especially while waiting on Malinda Lo’s upcoming A Line in the Dark, which is a YA thriller with an Asian American protagonist.
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – I’m about to read Six of Crows for #DiversityDecBingo, actually, but despite knowing about its existence I put it off. The author is white, and I felt kind of meh about The Grisha Trilogy. But then I found out that the new series features a diverse cast of characters, so I was like “I’ll give this one a shot.” If I don’t like it then it’ll be a waste because I paid full price for the books and got them signed and personalized at the Texas Teen Book Festival a few months ago.
Gates of Thread and Stone and The Infinite by Lori M. Lee – I have no excuse for this considering it’s fantasy by an Asian American author. Shame on me.
The Penryn and the End of Days Trilogy by Susan Ee – I knew the author is Korean, but I didn’t realize that Penryn was Asian until I read a description of her on Wikia or something. Bumping it up for #ownvoices.