Minor Feelings is a collection of essays that is at once an autobiography and a scathing cultural critique. I would be unsurprised to find it taught in Asian American Studies or Sociology classes in the near future. Hong's writing is unapologetic as she works through topics such as racial self-hatred, the model minority myth, and feeling of indebtedness towards activists of generations past.
Chen's debut collection of stories explores the lives of the average Chinese citizen, those living across China as well as abroad. In my favorite story, “New Fruit,” a village is introduced to a fruit that improves everyone's moods and inspires sudden acts of kindness. But fruit comes and goes with the seasons, and the villagers are lost without it. This collection is perfect for anyone who enjoys short stories that hit upon big questions.
Alexis Hall writes some of the most relatable characters I've found in LGBTQ+ fiction. Luc isn't the perfect protagonist because of his lack of flaws, but rather because of them. Luc's flaws certainly translate into his narration, and getting to know Oliver through his perspective is a treat. This is the perfect book for someone craving a lighthearted romance that will at times make you laugh out loud.
Asian Americans are becoming increasingly visible, between popular movies starring Asian American actors and resistance against the "model minority" stereotype. In Interior Chinatown, Charles Yu shows us how toxic and detrimental it is to be boiled down to a simple stereotype. Both hopeful and depressingly realistic, this book presents a story about race from a perspective that is still fairly uncommonly heard.
If you've watched Ali's Netflix specials, how have you not read this book yet? In classic Ali fashion, the humor is raunchy, and among the laughter you'll find invaluable tips. For example, if your Asian restaurant doesn't look like it's going to give you food poisoning, you're not in the right place. This book had me laughing in public like a crazy person, and I guarantee you're going to want to share it with all of the women in your life!
This is a love story. But don't just take it at face value, because it's not the love story that you're expecting. Although the main characters are straight, both are female, and the men play a surprisingly small role throughout the story. The story is cute, but be ready with the tissues! Though it won't be winning any literary awards, if you want a quick, light read, definitely give this book a try!
If you're looking for a lighthearted, quick read, look no further! 21 Truths About Love is a cute story written entirely in lists. I appreciated how relatable the narrator was throughout the story, and was surprised by how strong his voice and personality remained throughout the story without relying on the traditional prose format. So if you want a laugh (or two or twenty), definitely don't pass on this book!
Whether you're an adoptee, the parent, family member, or friend of an adoptee, or have ever wondered what it feels like to grow up as a transracial adoptee, this is a great place to start. Many of the worries, fears, and the positive thoughts Nicole writes about are echoes of conversations I have had with other adoptees, and I enjoyed her openness in regards to what is often such an emotionally charged and personal topic.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane explores some of the complexities and emotions surrounding international adoption. Told from the point of view of a mother who must abandon her child, this book is both heart-wrenching and heartwarming. In my opinion, See also does a great job getting at some of the complex emotions my fellow adoptees feel toward family and the sense of wanting to belong.
Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, because she always does an exceptional job exploring contemporary moral issues. In this book, she looks at racism and challenges the reader’s knowledge and understanding of both sides of the spectrum. As usual, Small Great Things gives fair treatment to both sides; while sometimes infuriating, it’s also great because it truly lets us readers make our own judgments.