Books to Read for AAPI Heritage Month

If you didn’t know, May is AAPI (Asian-American and Pacific Islander) Heritage month, which is something I didn’t realize until recently. I’m a first generation Indian-American so this is something I’m really happy to participate in and spread more awareness of books centered around Asian voices and characters.

Diversity in literature is so important for readers everywhere and can introduce you to new cultures, identities, struggles, and more. It’s a great way to learn more about the world and about people whose lives may be different than yours. I think it’s important to highlight these books and encourage everyone to branch out regardless of what they usually read and try something new.

I will be recommending books centered around AAPI characters and/or written by AAPI authors. I’ve read all the books on this list of recommendations and at the end will list books I personally have not read yet but are on my TBR and sounds amazing if you’re interested in reading them 💙

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10 Popular Books That are Worth the Hype

We all know the feeling of being excited to read a book because it’s been receiving high praise from everyone you know. Then, you read the book and…it wasn’t what you’d expected. You feel disappointed and start to question if you read the same book everyone else did.

Well, this list is full of books that had the exact opposite effect! These are all popular books that you’ve most definitely heard of if you’ve been a part of the online book community. Some of them I was hesitant about while others I knew before even starting that they would become instant faves. What they all have in common is I absolutely loved them.

A little disclaimer before we start: Obviously not every book is going to be to everyone’s liking. Every book gets its fair share of criticism because we all have our own thoughts! These are just my opinions 💙 ALSO, I’m going to try not to mention popular books I have talked about in previous posts. For example, I often talk about Six of Crows, Crescent City, etc. as being books I love so they won’t be mentioned here.

Anyways, let’s get into it!

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OTHER WORDS FOR HOME | (short) book review

# of pages: 352

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Title: Other Words for Home

Author: Jasmine Warga

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary

Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.
At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

“Hoping, I’m starting to think, might be the bravest thing a person can do.”

When I saw Other Words for Home was available at my library, I checked it out thinking it would be a pretty average read. Mainly, I loved the cover. However, I am happy to say that this book is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the out, and was easily one of the best books I have read. 

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All the Books I Read in 2020

So, this post is coming very late and well after the New Year, but better late then never! I made a list of the Best Books I Read in 2020 and My Most Disappointing Reads of 2020, but there are so many other good books I read which I didn’t get a chance to highlight in those posts. Overall, 2020 was not the best year for me when it came to reading (and pretty much everything else 🙃). I managed to finish 41 books, which I’d say is pretty damn good considering I was in a reading slump for a solid few months.

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