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30 Entertaining and Enlightening Books by Asian Authors

30 Entertaining and Enlightening Books by Asian Authors

By Good Housekeeping

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About the list

Love books? Well, Friendspire crafted this list of books for you on 21 April 2021.
Have you ever thought about why you like to read?  What makes you so interested in reading books vs just "watching" a book? I mean the "Harry Potter" books and movies are about the same, right? (The answer to that question is no. Dear God, the answer is definitely no.) Well then, what makes you a bibliophile? Is it that smell of paperback novels or the feeling of turning the next page? Do you get exc
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Minor Feelings

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2020 | Cathy Park Hong

Rated by 1 people

A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness and the struggle to be human "Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human." --Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen 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. Binding these essays together is Hong's theory of "minor feelings." As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these "minor feelings" occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality--when you believe the lies you're told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they're dissonant--and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her. With sly humor and a poet's searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche--and of a writer's search to both uncover and speak the truth.

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Trick Mirror

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2019 | Jia Tolentino

Rated by 6 people

A breakout writer at The New Yorker examines the fractures at the center of contemporary culture with verve, deftness, and intellectual ferocity--for readers who've wondered what Susan Sontag would have been like if she had brain damage from the internet. "A whip-smart, challenging book."--Zadie Smith Jia Tolentino is a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define us and our time. Now, in this dazzling collection of nine entirely original essays, written with a rare combination of give and sharpness, wit and fearlessness, she delves into the forces that warp our vision, demonstrating an unparalleled stylistic potency and critical dexterity. Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine's journey from brave to blank to bitter; the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die. Gleaming with Tolentino's sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet. Advance praise for Trick Mirror "Jia Tolentino is the best young essayist at work in the United States, one I've consistently admired and learned from, and I was exhilarated to get a whole lot of her at once in Trick Mirror. In these nine essays, she rethinks troubling ingredients of modern life, from the internet to mind-altering drugs to wedding culture. All through the book, single sentences flash like lightning to show something familiar in a startling way, but she also builds extended arguments with her usual, unusual blend of lyricism and skepticism. In the end, we have a picture of America that was as missing as it was needed."--Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things to Me

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Book Journal: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel by Ocean Vuong

NOT A BOOK

A COMPANION JOURNAL! So you're reading "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous"! Great, because having a book journal with you will have its many benefits. In such a fast-past world, there's something to be said about actually keeping a book journal and writing on it. When you're reading a book, it isn't just enough to read & highlight without taking certain notes, which is exactly what the purpose of this "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" book journal is. 3 reasons why you would need this book journal: It helps you remember the plot of a story or what a book is about It gives you space to take note of your thoughts on a certain passage of a book You can organize every aspect about the book in complete organization 4 main features of using this "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" book journal: You can always go back to it when you forget what a book is about. You don't have to re-read an entire book just to summarize it. All your needed details are in your journal. Physical benefits of keeping a book journal: It's aesthetically pleasing to look at. Organizes your thoughts and your feelings on a certain book. It's not expensive to have. It's convenient and it isn't bulky to bring with you. Writing on paper helps you remember things. In general, a lot of people would find that having a book journal with them is very handy and useful. In forgetting details after writing a book, you don't have to feel bad about this. You'd be surprised how many writers and authors use book journals just to keep a record of their thoughts and details of the book they read. In using a book journal, you can be sentimental in going back to a book you loved reading and keeping all the significant details all to yourself. A book journal can also be useful for when you have to summarize a book for a book report at school to help gather all your needed information. Basically, it really doesn't matter if you're a reader because a book journal is for everyone. In addition, I'm sure there are moments where you've read a book that you've loved so much & the sequel came a year after, & you forgot the entire story of the book. With this book journal you don't have to go through the hassle of re-reading it again. This is where book journals would be so helpful. It's also a great tool to have to contribute to social media posts, blogs, podcasts, book reviews, book clubs, or just conversations with friends! This book journal helps you take notes of important details of "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous". To have the ability to remember the plot of the story, have a space to write your thoughts on "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous", and have a way to summarize this book in your own words, scroll to the top and click or tap "Buy Now". Whether you want to write a quote from the book, your thoughts on a specific scene, the plot summary, or you just want to analyze the strengths & weaknesses of this book and compare it to another book of the same genre, this journal is for you!

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Little Fires Everywhere

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2017 | Celeste Ng

Rated by 167 people

The #1 New York Times bestseller! Now a Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. "I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting." --Jodi Picoult "To say I love this book is an understatement. It's a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears." --Reese Witherspoon "Extraordinary . . . books like Little Fires Everywhere don't come along often." --John Green From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned--from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren--an enigmatic artist and single mother--who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs. Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood--and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster. Named a Best Book of the Year by: People, The Washington Post, Bustle, Esquire, Southern Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads, Library Reads, Book of the Month, Paste, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many more... Perfect for book clubs! Visit celesteng.com for discussion guides and more.

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Crying in H Mart

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2021 | Michelle Zauner

Rated by 2 people

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A Best Book of 2021: Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, Wall Street Journal, and more 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. In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band--and meeting the man who would become her husband--her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her. Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.

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