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The ReadDown

Must-Read Books for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, celebrate the many cultures and stories within the AAPI community with books by authors of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage and cultures. #ReadAsianAuthors and uplift AAPI stories, this month and every month!

  1. 1
    Heart and Seoul Book Cover Picture
    Heart and Seoul Book Cover Picture

    Heart and Seoul

    by Jen Frederick

    As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows. Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family. Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is love—a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home…or destroy her chance of finding one.
    Heart and Seoul Book Cover Picture
    Heart and Seoul Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

  2. 2
    The Farm Book Cover Picture
    The Farm Book Cover Picture

    The Farm

    by Joanne Ramos

    Nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a “Host” at Golden Oaks. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside.
    The Farm Book Cover Picture
    The Farm Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  3. 3
    The Joy Luck Club Book Cover Picture
    The Joy Luck Club Book Cover Picture

    The Joy Luck Club

    by Amy Tan

    Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s “saying” the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club.
    The Joy Luck Club Book Cover Picture
    The Joy Luck Club Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  4. 4
    Eat a Peach Book Cover Picture
    Eat a Peach Book Cover Picture

    Eat a Peach

    by David Chang and Gabe Ulla

    From the chef behind Momofuku and star of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious—an intimate account of the making of a chef, the story of the modern restaurant world that he helped shape, and how he discovered that success can be much harder to understand than failure.
    Eat a Peach Book Cover Picture
    Eat a Peach Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

    Also available from:

  5. 5
    Interior Chinatown Book Cover Picture
    Interior Chinatown Book Cover Picture

    Interior Chinatown

    by Charles Yu

    Interior Chinatown Book Cover Picture
    Interior Chinatown Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

  6. 6
    Whereabouts Book Cover Picture
    Whereabouts Book Cover Picture

    Whereabouts

    by Jhumpa Lahiri

    Whereabouts Book Cover Picture
    Whereabouts Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $24.00

    Also available from:

  7. 7
    Family in Six Tones Book Cover Picture
    Family in Six Tones Book Cover Picture

    Family in Six Tones

    by Lan Cao and Harlan Margaret Van Cao

    A dual first-person memoir by the acclaimed Vietnamese-American novelist and her American teenage daughter. Family in Six Tones speaks both to the unique struggles of refugees and to the universal tug-of-war between mothers and daughters. The journey of an immigrant–away from war and loss toward peace and a new life–and the journey of a mother raising a child to be secure and happy are both steep paths filled with detours and stumbling blocks. Through explosive fights and painful setbacks, mother and daughter search for a way to accept the past and face the future together.
    Family in Six Tones Book Cover Picture
    Family in Six Tones Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

    Also available from:

  8. 8
    Things We Lost to the Water Book Cover Picture
    Things We Lost to the Water Book Cover Picture

    Things We Lost to the Water

    by Eric Nguyen

    A stunning debut novel about an immigrant Vietnamese family who settles in New Orleans and struggles to remain connected to one another as their lives are inextricably reshaped.
    Things We Lost to the Water Book Cover Picture
    Things We Lost to the Water Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.95

    Also available from:

  9. 9
    The Bad Muslim Discount Book Cover Picture
    The Bad Muslim Discount Book Cover Picture

    The Bad Muslim Discount

    by Syed M. Masood

    Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, The Bad Muslim Discount is an inclusive, comic novel about Muslim immigrants finding their way in modern America.
    The Bad Muslim Discount Book Cover Picture
    The Bad Muslim Discount Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.95

    Also available from:

  10. 10
    A Place for Us Book Cover Picture
    A Place for Us Book Cover Picture

    A Place for Us

    by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family’s life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla’s own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children—each in their own way—tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home.
    A Place for Us Book Cover Picture
    A Place for Us Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  11. 11
    Fairest Book Cover Picture
    Fairest Book Cover Picture

    Fairest

    by Meredith Talusan

    A singular, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir of a Filipino boy with albinism whose story travels from an immigrant childhood to Harvard to a gender transition and illuminates the illusions of race, disability, and gender.
    Fairest Book Cover Picture
    Fairest Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  12. 12
    Dear Girls Book Cover Picture
    Dear Girls Book Cover Picture

    Dear Girls

    by Ali Wong

    Ali Wong’s heartfelt and hilarious letters to her daughters (the two she put to work while they were still in utero) cover everything they need to know in life, like the unpleasant details of dating, how to be a working mom in a male-dominated profession, and how she trapped their dad.
    Dear Girls Book Cover Picture
    Dear Girls Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

    Also available from:

  13. 13
    My Year Abroad Book Cover Picture
    My Year Abroad Book Cover Picture

    My Year Abroad

    by Chang-rae Lee

    Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.
    My Year Abroad Book Cover Picture
    My Year Abroad Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

    Also available from:

  14. 14
    Not Quite Not White Book Cover Picture
    Not Quite Not White Book Cover Picture

    Not Quite Not White

    by Sharmila Sen

    At the age of 12, Sharmila Sen emigrated from India to the U.S. The year was 1982, and everywhere she turned, she was asked to self-report her race – on INS forms, at the doctor’s office, in middle school. After her teen years trying to assimilate, she is forced to reckon with the hard questions: What does it mean to be white, why does whiteness retain the magic cloak of invisibility while other colors are made hypervisible, and how much does whiteness figure into Americanness?
    Not Quite Not White Book Cover Picture
    Not Quite Not White Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

  15. 15
    Heart of Fire Book Cover Picture
    Heart of Fire Book Cover Picture

    Heart of Fire

    by Mazie K. Hirono

    Mazie Hirono is one of the most fiercely outspoken Democrats in Congress, but her journey to the U.S. Senate was far from likely. The compelling and moving account of a woman coming into her own power over the course of a lifetime in public service, and of the mother whose courageous choices made her life possible, Heart of Fire is the story of a uniquely American journey, told by one of those fighting hardest to ensure that a story like hers is still possible in this country.
    Heart of Fire Book Cover Picture
    Heart of Fire Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

    Also available from:

  16. 16
    Exhalation Book Cover Picture
    Exhalation Book Cover Picture

    Exhalation

    by Ted Chiang

    In these nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories, Ted Chiang tackles some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only he could imagine.
    Exhalation Book Cover Picture
    Exhalation Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

    Also available from:

  17. 17
    Know My Name Book Cover Picture
    Know My Name Book Cover Picture

    Know My Name

    by Chanel Miller

    Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.
    Know My Name Book Cover Picture
    Know My Name Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

    Also available from:

  18. 18
    America Is Not the Heart Book Cover Picture
    America Is Not the Heart Book Cover Picture

    America Is Not the Heart

    by Elaine Castillo

    An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history.
    America Is Not the Heart Book Cover Picture
    America Is Not the Heart Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

    Also available from:

  19. 19
    Gold Diggers Book Cover Picture
    Gold Diggers Book Cover Picture

    Gold Diggers

    by Sanjena Sathian

    A floundering second-generation teenager growing up in the Bush-era Atlanta suburbs, Neil Narayan is funny and smart but struggles to bear the weight of expectations of his family and their Asian American enclave. He tries to want their version of success, but mostly, Neil just wants his neighbor across the cul-de-sac, Anita Dayal. When he discovers that Anita is the beneficiary of an ancient, alchemical potion made from stolen gold—a “lemonade” that harnesses the ambition of the gold’s original owner—Neil sees his chance to get ahead. But events spiral into a tragedy that rips their community apart. Years later in the Bay Area, Neil still bristles against his community’s expectations—and finds he might need one more hit of that lemonade, no matter the cost.
    Gold Diggers Book Cover Picture
    Gold Diggers Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $27.00

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  20. 20
    White Chrysanthemum Book Cover Picture
    White Chrysanthemum Book Cover Picture

    White Chrysanthemum

    by Mary Lynn Bracht

    For fans of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko and Lilac Girls, the heartbreaking history of Korea is brought to life in this deeply moving and redemptive debut that follows two sisters separated by World War II.
    White Chrysanthemum Book Cover Picture
    White Chrysanthemum Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

  21. 21
    Where Reasons End Book Cover Picture
    Where Reasons End Book Cover Picture

    Where Reasons End

    by Yiyun Li

    Yiyun Li meets life’s deepest sorrows as she imagines a conversation between a mother and child in a timeless world. Composed in the months after she lost a child to suicide, Where Reasons End trespasses into the space between life and death as mother and child talk, free from old images and narratives. Deeply moving, these conversations portray the love and complexity of a relationship.
    Where Reasons End Book Cover Picture
    Where Reasons End Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

  22. 22
    Crying in H Mart Book Cover Picture
    Crying in H Mart Book Cover Picture

    Crying in H Mart

    by Michelle Zauner

    From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.
    Crying in H Mart Book Cover Picture
    Crying in H Mart Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.95

    Also available from:

  23. 23
    Last Boat Out of Shanghai Book Cover Picture
    Last Boat Out of Shanghai Book Cover Picture

    Last Boat Out of Shanghai

    by Helen Zia

    The dramatic real life stories of four young people caught up in the mass exodus of Shanghai in the wake of China’s 1949 Communist revolution—a heartrending precursor to the struggles faced by emigrants today.
    Last Boat Out of Shanghai Book Cover Picture
    Last Boat Out of Shanghai Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

    Also available from:

  24. 24
    Home Remedies Book Cover Picture
    Home Remedies Book Cover Picture

    Home Remedies

    by Xuan Juliana Wang

    The twelve stories in Xuan Juliana Wang’s remarkable debut collection capture the unheard voices of a new generation of Chinese youth. A generation for whom the Cultural Revolution is a distant memory, WeChat is king, and life glitters with the possibility of love, travel, technology, and, above all, new identities.
    Home Remedies Book Cover Picture
    Home Remedies Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $25.00

    Also available from:

  25. 25
    This Is Paradise Book Cover Picture
    This Is Paradise Book Cover Picture

    This Is Paradise

    by Kristiana Kahakauwila

    In a stunning collection that announces the arrival of an incredible talent, Kristiana Kahakauwila travels the islands of Hawai’i, making the fabled place her own. Exploring the deep tensions between local and tourist, tradition and expectation, façade and authentic self, This Is Paradise provides an unforgettable portrait of life as it’s truly being lived on Maui, Oahu, Kaua’i and the Big Island.
    This Is Paradise Book Cover Picture
    This Is Paradise Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

  26. 26
    Speak, Okinawa Book Cover Picture
    Speak, Okinawa Book Cover Picture

    Speak, Okinawa

    by Elizabeth Miki Brina

    A searing, deeply candid memoir about a young woman’s journey to understanding her complicated parents—her mother an Okinawan war bride, her father a Vietnam veteran—and her own, fraught cultural heritage.
    Speak, Okinawa Book Cover Picture
    Speak, Okinawa Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.95

    Also available from:

  27. 27
    In the Country Book Cover Picture
    In the Country Book Cover Picture

    In the Country

    by Mia Alvar

    In these nine globe-trotting tales, Mia Alvar gives voice to the women and men of the Philippines and its diaspora. From teachers to housemaids, from mothers to sons, Alvar’s stories explore the universal experiences of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined. In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home—and marks the arrival of a formidable new voice in literature.
    In the Country Book Cover Picture
    In the Country Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

    Also available from:

  28. 28
    What We Carry Book Cover Picture
    What We Carry Book Cover Picture

    What We Carry

    by Maya Shanbhag Lang

    Maya Shanbhag Lang grew up idolizing her brilliant mother, an accomplished physician who immigrated to the United States from India and completed her residency all while raising her children and keeping a traditional Indian home. Absorbing, moving, and raw, What We Carry is a memoir about mothers and daughters, lies and truths, receiving and giving care, and how we cannot grow up until we fully understand the people who raised us. It is a beautiful examination of the weight we shoulder as women and an exploration of how to finally set our burdens down.
    What We Carry Book Cover Picture
    What We Carry Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  29. 29
    Good Talk Book Cover Picture
    Good Talk Book Cover Picture

    Good Talk

    by Mira Jacob

    Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she’s gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love. Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation—and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions.
    Good Talk Book Cover Picture
    Good Talk Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $20.00

    Also available from:

  30. 30
    If I Had Your Face Book Cover Picture
    If I Had Your Face Book Cover Picture

    If I Had Your Face

    by Frances Cha

    A riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania.
    If I Had Your Face Book Cover Picture
    If I Had Your Face Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  31. 31
    How Much of These Hills Is Gold Book Cover Picture
    How Much of These Hills Is Gold Book Cover Picture

    How Much of These Hills Is Gold

    by C Pam Zhang

    How Much of These Hills Is Gold Book Cover Picture
    How Much of These Hills Is Gold Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

  32. 32
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Book Cover Picture
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Book Cover Picture

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

    by Jamie Ford

    In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe.
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Book Cover Picture
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  33. 33
    Minor Feelings Book Cover Picture
    Minor Feelings Book Cover Picture

    Minor Feelings

    by Cathy Park Hong

    Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative—and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world.
    Minor Feelings Book Cover Picture
    Minor Feelings Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

    Also available from:

  34. 34
    On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous Book Cover Picture
    On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous Book Cover Picture

    On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

    by Ocean Vuong

    On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity.
    On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous Book Cover Picture
    On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  35. 35
    The Woman Warrior Book Cover Picture
    The Woman Warrior Book Cover Picture

    The Woman Warrior

    by Maxine Hong Kingston

    In her award-winning book The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston created an entirely new form—an exhilarating blend of autobiography and mythology, of world and self, of hot rage and cool analysis. First published in 1976, it has become a classic in its innovative portrayal of multiple and intersecting identities—immigrant, female, Chinese, American.
    The Woman Warrior Book Cover Picture
    The Woman Warrior Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $15.95

    Also available from:

  36. 36
    A Tale for the Time Being Book Cover Picture
    A Tale for the Time Being Book Cover Picture

    A Tale for the Time Being

    by Ruth Ozeki

    Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.
    A Tale for the Time Being Book Cover Picture
    A Tale for the Time Being Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

    Also available from:

  37. 37
    Last Tang Standing Book Cover Picture
    Last Tang Standing Book Cover Picture

    Last Tang Standing

    by Lauren Ho

    At thirty-three, Andrea Tang is living the dream: She has a successful career as a lawyer, a posh condo, and a clutch of fun-loving friends who are always in the know about Singapore’s hottest clubs. And if she’s about to become the lone unmarried member of her generation in the Tang clan, well, she doesn’t need a man to complete her. Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones’s Diary in this funny and irresistible novel about the pursuit of happiness, surviving one’s thirties intact, and opening oneself up to love.
    Last Tang Standing Book Cover Picture
    Last Tang Standing Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

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