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Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

4 May

Check out a variety of terrific adult fiction and nonfiction books for AAPI Heritage Month available as ebooks from eLibraryNJ, eBCCLS, and Hoopla. Also available in print from BCCLS libraries.

Adult Fiction
Interior Chinatown
Charles Yu
A deeply personal story about race, pop culture, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play. Willis Wu discovers the secret history of Chinatown & the buried legacy of his own family.

You can also read a previous post about Yu’s How to Live Safely in A Science Fictional Universe.

Win Me Something
Kyle Lucia Wu
A nuanced coming-of age debut story about a biracial Chinese American woman in NJ who asks what it really means to belong and how she might begin to define her own life.

The Verifiers
Jane Pek
A young Chinese American woman is hired by a detective agency to verify people’s online dating personas. But when a client turns up dead, she investigates.

My Year Abroad
Chang-Rae Lee
An entertaining story of a young American whose life is transformed when a Chinese American businessman suddenly takes him under his wing on an adventure across Asia.

A Song Everlasting
Ha Jin
A timely story that follows a famous Chinese singer severed from his country as he tries to find his way in the U.S. and reclaim his ethnic identity and maintain his art.

Homeland Elegies
Ayad Akhtar
A Muslim-American family struggles to survive in the U.S. following the tragedy of 9/11. The compelling story takes us from palatial suites in Europe to guerilla lookouts in the Afghan mountains.

Pachinko
Min Jin Lee
A saga that follows a Korean family from the 1900s through 8 decades & 4 generations. A Korean girl’s unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame her family so she leaves Korea starting a chain of events.

Searching for Sylvie Lee
Jean Kwok
A drama untangling the complicated ties that bind two Chinese sisters and their mother as the eldest daughter disappears and family secrets emerge.

Adult Non-Fiction
Rise: A Pop History of Asian America From the Nineties to Now
Jeff Yang
A mass media and pop culture tribute to Asian Americans. This vivid scrapbook focuses on voices, emotions and memories from an era in which Asian culture was transformed.

On Monday, May 23 at 6:00 pm, join us for a special AAPI Book Club discussing “Rise” led by Jennie Pu, Hoboken Public Library Director in the Small Programming Room (lower level, 500 Park Ave, Main Branch). See the HPL calendar for other great AAPI Heritage Month events!

Crying in the H Mart
Michelle Zauner
A powerful memoir from the indie rock star of Japanese Breakfast fame about growing up Korean-American, losing her mother & finding herself.

The Groom Will Keep His Name
Matt Ortile
A collection of tender essays on sex, dating, and identity from a gay Filipino immigrant learning to navigate race, resistance, and romance in America.

This is What America Looks Like
Ilhman Omar
An intimate memoir by the first African refugee, first Somali-American, & one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Facing the Mountain
Daniel James Brown
A true story of the Japanese-American heroes in WWII. Interviews with the families of 4 soldiers who were part of the Japanese-American Army unit that overcame brutal odds in Europe.

Flying Free
Cecilia Rodriguez Aragon
The compelling story of how Filipino Cecilia Aragon broke barriers and became the first female Latino pilot on the U.S. Aerobatic Team.

Book List Adapted from 2022 AAPI Heritage Month Brochure created by:
Ethan Galvin
Information and Digital Services Librarian

Dazzling Diverse Fantasy: Fevered Star and The Gilded Ones

27 Apr

Myth, legends, and traditions have always worked their way into fantasy, but for years much of what was written in English drew from European history or if it looked elsewhere it was through an “exotic” outsider lens. It is exciting to see so many People of Color, especially women, writing and getting published fantasy works inspired by their own cultures. Here are two powerful works I enjoyed recently.

Fevered Star
Fevered Star is alive with strong willed characters that kept me turning the page. I was especially drawn to Xiala a Teek whose voice has power and Serapio who though literally now a powerful god still manages to have the complexity of a lesser man. This is a second book so the various strands of each main character are interwoven together, but they are distanced from one another. The series is set in a Fantasy American Continent drawing from native myths and legends. I would recommend to other readers starting with Black Sun and then reading Fevered Star to better understand the underlying political dynamics at work. The end of Fevered Star definitely left me hungry for the third book in the series. Rebecca Roanhorse is an African American and Indigenous author. I was provided an advanced copy of Fevered Star by Net Galley/SAGA Press.

The Gilded Ones
The Gilded Ones is the first in a series by Namina Forna. The next book, The Merciless Ones, will be coming out at the end of this month. Forna immigrated from West Africa as a child and her experiences there helped to inspire some of the novel’s story. In The Gilded Ones, women are considered impure if they bleed gold when cut. They must choose between death and becoming warriors whose service to the emperor will purify them. But all is not what it seems, in this inspiring work of feminist fantasy. Although it is listed as a Young Adult work, adults will also enjoy this book. We read it as part of our monthly HPL Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group.

Both series are available from elibraryNJ and in print from BCCLS Libraries.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Service Manager

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