I’m so excited to announce that I will be participating in the Asian Lit Bingo Reading Challenge! (I even get to be a host–what, what??)
Basically, pick a row from the fancy graphic (made by co-host Aentee) and read books that fill each box. There are prizes and other awesome things going on throughout the month too, so be sure to check out the official rules on Shenwei’s blog!
I’ll be reading and blogging throughout the month! Part of the challenge for me is being able to do this while still teaching full time. (Of course summer vacation starts as soon as this is over, lol!)
Looking at this bingo sheet, I’m so torn. There are so many books I want to read in each of these categories. But I’ve decided to go through the horizontal line from “SFF with Asian MC” to “Contemporary with Asian MC” because I want to use that free space and get some poetry on my list, and it seems pretty well-rounded in terms of genres.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever read any SFF with an Asian MC. I’ve written/am writing one, but I was never exposed to any. I’ll have a post on my personal relationship with being Asian this month and elaborate more then. Until then, though, I’m excited to finally read some!
Here is my tentative TBR for this month:
SFF with Asian MC: “Mirror in the Sky” by Aditi Khorana
“For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices.”
Funny story, I actually picked this up at the library weeks ago, so now I have another push to read it!
Historical Fiction with Asian MC: “Climbing the Stairs” by PadmaVenkatraman
“During World War II and the last days of British occupation in India, fifteen-year-old Vidya dreams of attending college. But when her forward-thinking father is beaten senseless by the British police, she is forced to live with her grandfather’s large traditional family, where the women live apart from the men and are meant to be married off as soon as possible.
Vidya’s only refuge becomes her grandfather’s upstairs library, which is forbidden to women. There she meets Raman, a young man also living in the house who relishes her intellectual curiosity. But when Vidya’s brother decides to fight with the hated British against the Nazis, and when Raman proposes marriage too soon, Vidya must question all she has believed in.”
Free Space: “The Cowherd’s Son” by Rajiv Mohabir (poetry; winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize)
“Broadening the scope of his award-winning debut to consider the wider Indo-Caribbean community in migration across the Americas and Europe, Rajiv Mohabir uses his queer and mixed-caste identities as grace notes to charm alienation into silence. Mohabir’s inheritance of myths, folk tales, and multilingual translations make a palimpsest of histories that bleed into one another. A descendant of indentureship survivors, the poet-narrator creates an allegorical chronicle of dislocations and relocations, linking India, Guyana, Trinidad, New York, Orlando, Toronto, and Honolulu, combining the amplitude of mythology with direct witness and sensual reckoning, all the while seeking joy in testimony.”
I’ll write a post about the amazing work Kundiman does this month too. Maybe one day I’ll overcome my shyness and actually apply…
Retelling with Asian MC: “The Forbidden Wish” by Jessica Khoury
“When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.
But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?”
Contemporary with Asian MC: “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.”
I’ve wanted to start this series for so long but never did. (The third book in the series is out on May 2nd.)
While you wait, create your own TBR list! Also, check out the other co-hosts!
Shenwei READING (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICA (Created #AsianLitBingo)
Isabella The Book Pandas
Glaiza Paper Wanderer
Janani The Shrinkette
Wendy Written in Wonder
CW Read, Think, Ponder
Sophia Bookwyrming Thoughts
Mish Chasing Faerytales
Hazel Stay Bookish
Sue Hollywood News Source
Stephanie Igniting Pages
Anisha Sprinkled Pages
Sinead Huntress of Diverse Books
Aila One Way Or an Author
Aentee Read at Midnight (Made the awesome graphics!)