If you didn’t know, May is AAPI Heritage Month. Come celebrate with us by reading from one of these amazing AAPI authors. This is in no way an exhaustive list but is a good place to start if you’re stumped on what to read next. These books explore a multitude of topics, like mental health, media, and Cantonese cuisine, that broaden the larger conversation around AAPI identity and representation. Whether you’re trying to gain tools to help navigate your mental wellbeing or want to escape into another world, there’s a book on this list that’s sure to spark some inspiration.
In this final installment of the Drowning Empire series, Lin Sukai gets a sweet first victory as Emperor, but the future of the Phoenix Empire hangs in a delicate balance. As her own governors plot treason, Lin is dangerously short of allies. Her circumstances turn even worse when she discovers her old nemesis Nisong teaming with the rogue Alanga, Ragan; both on a mission for her death. But there’s hope. Lin must search for the seven mythic sword, forged in centuries past, if she wants any possibility of turning the tide.
In this first book of an exciting science fantasy trilogy, we’re brought into a world that was long ravaged by war. As a result, nations have Grievar Knights, who represent their nations’ interests in brutal hand-to-hand combat. One famed Knight, Murray Pearson, suffered a loss that crippled his homeland and now he’s looking for the next champion. He stumbles upon Cego, an orphaned boy trying to make a name for himself in the underground combat rings. If he wants to make it, he’ll need to survive first.
Won Lee, the first Asian American in the NBA, stuns the world in a seven-game winning streak and is dubbed “The Wonder”, much to Won’s chagrin. But Won still struggles while trying to get attention from his coach, fans, and, most importantly, Powerball!, his hero who happens to also be Won’s teammate and captain. While covering Won’s stardom, sportswriter Robert Sung also reflects on his own missed hoop opportunities and his place in the media. Carrie Sung, a big producer, is right alongside Won and tries juggling this new relationship and bringing K-drama into the industry.
Filmmaker and activist Curtis Chin brings us into his world in this part memoir, part invitation: how Chung’s Cantonese cuisine plays a huge role in his life, where he learned to embrace his identity as a gay ABC, and where he realized just how much he had to offer the world, his family, and himself. Readers will feel like they’ve got a glimpse of what it’d be like to grow up with him and maybe even share something off the secret menu.
During AAPI month, we’re not only celebrating Asian identity but also investigating its relationship to the broader American culture, particularly cultural narratives around mental health. Dr. Jenny T. Wang weaves together her personal narrative as a Taiwanese American with her insights as a clinician and offers readers the permission to let their feelings fill up space. This resource will ultimately guide readers to wholeness by helping them return closer to a place of acceptance, belonging, and healing.
Unsure of what to do this summer? Look no further and check out Los Angeles through the eyes of Teena Apeles, a local who knows the ins and outs of the city and its history. This guide has tips on cool experiences around the city, ideas for day trips and weekend getaways, and tips to help you have the best trip.
This genre-bending short story collection blends horror, sci-fi, fairytales, and speculative fiction and brings an energy that will have you racing through the stories. In “The Head”, a woman is haunted by her own bodily waste. In another story, a young monster is forced into underground fight rings. Creatures take unexpected shapes and lurk in the everyday, making this a read that will haunt you beyond these pages.
Emily Hoang is a writer and editor, who is obsessed with haunted houses, ghosts, and dreams. More info can be found on her website.