Year of the Asian Reading Challenge Wrap Up

I cannot believe I actually finished this reading challenge. At the end of October I’d only finished 16 books, and I was sure I was going to fail!

In total, I’ve read 5 novellas, 12 books, 1 short story collection, and 13 manga. In addition, I DNFd 1 book.

I’ve included some dot points to tell you a bit about each one, and I’ve linked to my finished reviews.

1. Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇹🇭 Thai

  • Snow Queen retelling
  • Fantastic gender/LGBT+ representation
  • Creepy magic system
  • Novella

2. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇭 Filipina

  • Necromancy and elemental magic
  • LGBT+ representation
  • Monsters
  • Explores gender roles and power
  • Revenge

3. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇭🇮🇳 Filipina-Indian

  • Magical heist
  • Set in France, 1889
  • Racial diversity
  • LGBT+ representation

4. In The Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇻🇳 French- Vietnamese

  • Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
  • Vietnamese inspired world
  • Environmentally damaged world
  • LGBT+ representation
  • Dragon in a mind-bending castle
  • Novella

5. The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇭 Filipina

  • LGBT+ representation
  • Revenge
  • Monsters
  • Necromancy and elemental magic
  • Action packed

6. The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇻🇳 French- Vietnamese

  • Retelling of Sherlock Holmes
  • Main characters are a sentient spaceship with PTSD, and a drug addicted literati with weird interests
  • Fast paced and very short (88 pages if I remember correctly)
  • Tantalising glimpse of Xuya universe
  • Mysterious deaths in space
  • Novella

7. Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇰🇷 South Korean

  • SFF short story collection
  • Inspired by mathematics, physics, philosophy
  • Themes of war, colonialism, language
  • Beautiful writing

8. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇰 Pakistani

  • Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
  • Set in Pakistan
  • Fun, familiar read
  • Explored culture, religion, and gender roles

9. Want by Cindy Pon ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇹🇼 Taiwanese

  • High tech heist
  • Set in future Taipei, Taiwan
  • Pollution, illness, environmental destruction
  • Gap between rich and poor
  • Star crossed lovers (sort of)

10. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao DNF 62% 🇻🇳 Vietnamese

  • Retelling of Snow White/backstory of The Evil Queen
  • Asian inspired setting
  • Court politics

11. The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇫🇯 Fijian

  • Set in fictional city on The Silk Road
  • Racial and religious diversity
  • Djinn + magic
  • Food references
  • Awesome female characters

12. The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇸🇬 Singaporean

  • LGBT+ representation
  • Children are genderless until they choose
  • Elemental magic based on five Chinese elements
  • Rise of industrialisation which threatens magical/political power of elites
  • Rebellion
  • Novella

13. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇨🇳 Chinese

  • Murder mystery
  • Law trial
  • Illegal magic
  • Court intrigue/politics
  • Complicated family relationships

14. Wicked Fox by Kat Cho ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇰🇷

  • Korean mythology
  • Gumiho – nine tailed fox
  • Part romance, part high school drama, part paranormal
  • Felt very much like a Korean drama

15. A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇮🇳

  • Retelling of the Mahabharata
  • Set in space
  • Twisty revenge plot
  • Complicated family dynamics

16. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim 🇨🇳 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Chinese inspired setting
  • European fairytale inspiration
  • Lots of adventure
  • Cool magic system

17 – 23. Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne by Arina Tanemura 🇯🇵 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Gorgeous art
  • Magical girl genre
  • Tugs at heartstrings – characters and their relationships are fairly well developed

24. And Shall Machines Surrender by Benjanun Sriduangkaew 🇹🇭 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • AI/human cyborgs (called haruspices) are committing suicide
  • Doctor (and former spy) is hired to solve the mystery
  • Plot was surprising and fast paced
  • Novella

25. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee 🇨🇳 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • YA Historical Fiction
  • Set in 1890s Atlanta
  • Chinese (American) MC
  • Loved MC – intelligent, sarcastic, industrious, opinionated
  • She faces racism and sexism, and book explore the intersections between the two
  • Love her ‘found family’ – especially Noemi and Old Gin

26. The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco 🇵🇭 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

  • Inspired by Mesopotamian mythology
  • Amazing world building and interesting magic system
  • Four POVs – all interesting
  • Diverse – F/F Romance
  • Themes of climate change
  • Jam packed with adventure

27-32. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takuya ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Volumes 1-6
  • Re-read – it’s my favourite manga series
  • Story inspired by tale of the Chinese zodiac
  • The art improves as it goes along – becomes softer and rounder
  • The characters are really complex and have fantastic development throughout the series

#YARC 2019 Mid Year Check In

As it’s the end of June I thought I’d do a check in of all the books I’ve read so far this year for Year of the Asian Reading Challenge. My list looks pretty dismal, but I only signed up at the end of April.

In total I’ve read 3 novellas, 1 short story collection, and 8 novels. In addition I DNF’d one book at 62 percent.

I’ve included some dot points to tell you a bit about each one, and I’ve linked to my finished reviews (sadly, many are still in the process of being written.)

1. Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇹🇭 Thai

  • Snow Queen retelling
  • Fantastic gender/LGBT+ representation
  • Creepy magic system

2. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇭 Filipina

  • Necromancy and elemental magic
  • LGBT+ representation
  • Monsters
  • Explores gender roles and power
  • Revenge

3. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇭🇮🇳 Filipina-Indian

  • Magical heist
  • Set in France, 1889
  • Racial diversity
  • LGBT+ representation

4. In The Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇻🇳 French- Vietnamese

  • Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
  • Vietnamese inspired world
  • Environmentally damaged world
  • LGBT+ representation
  • Dragon in a mind-bending castle

5. The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇭 Filipina

  • LGBT+ representation
  • Revenge
  • Monsters
  • Necromancy and elemental magic
  • Action packed

6. The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇻🇳 French- Vietnamese

  • Retelling of Sherlock Holmes
  • Main characters are a sentient spaceship with PTSD, and a drug addicted literati with weird interests
  • Fast paced and very short (88 pages if I remember correctly)
  • Tantalising glimpse of Xuya universe
  • Mysterious deaths in space

7. Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇰🇷 South Korean

  • SFF short story collection
  • Inspired by mathematics, physics, philosophy
  • Themes of war, colonialism, language
  • Beautiful writing

8. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇵🇰 Pakistani

  • Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
  • Set in Pakistan
  • Fun, familiar read
  • Explored culture, religion, and gender roles

9. Want by Cindy Pon ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇹🇼 Taiwanese

  • High tech heist
  • Set in future Taipei, Taiwan
  • Pollution, illness, environmental destruction
  • Gap between rich and poor
  • Star crossed lovers (sort of)

10. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao DNF 62% 🇻🇳 Vietnamese

  • Retelling of Snow White/backstory of The Evil Queen
  • Asian inspired setting
  • Court politics

11. The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇫🇯 Fijian

  • Set in fictional city on The Silk Road
  • Racial and religious diversity
  • Djinn + magic
  • Food references
  • Awesome female characters

12. The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇸🇬 Singaporean

  • LGBT+ representation
  • Children are genderless until they choose
  • Elemental magic based on five Chinese elements
  • Rise of industrialisation which threatens magical/political power of elites
  • Rebellion
  • Twins

13. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🇨🇳 Chinese

  • Murder mystery
  • Law trial
  • Illegal magic
  • Court intrigue/politics
  • Complicated family relationships

 

Year of the Asian Reading Challenge

I know this is a bit late in the year, but I thought I’d give this reading challenge a whirl. I’m already signed up for 2019 Retellings Reading Challenge, but I have quite a few Asian authored books on my TBR so it only made sense to give this one a go. It runs from 1 January to midnight on 31 December 2019, and the only requirement is to read books by Asian authors. The organisation and dedication the co-hosts have put into this are phenomenal, and I’d like to personally thank them all. You can find the original announcement and sign up post here, and you can follow them on Twitter here.

 

Overall Challenge

There are 6 levels, and I’m aiming to read 31-40 books, so my badge will be this cute-as Giant Panda!

1elMPic

TBR

My TBR for this is soooo long, so I’ll just include my top 10

  1. The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco 🇵🇭
  2. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao🇻🇳
  3. Want by Cindy Pon🇨🇳
  4. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He🇨🇳
  5. Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri🇮🇳
  6. Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra🇮🇳
  7. A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir🇵🇰
  8. The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang🇸🇬
  9. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang🇨🇳
  10. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Divakaruni🇮🇳

 

Progress Tracker

I’ll be posting a monthly on my blog to keep track of my progress. I’ll update this post, as well as doing a separate wrap up post, so be sure to check them out!

Let’s Chat!

Are you participating in any Reading Challenges this year? Do you enjoy year long challenges, or do you prefer shorter readathons? What are some of your favourite Asian authored books? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Progress so far (Yes it’s dismal)

  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi🇮🇳🇵🇭 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew 🇹🇭 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard🇻🇳 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco 🇵🇭⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco 🇵🇭⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee🇰🇷 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal 🇵🇰 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Want by Cindy Pon ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao 🇻🇳
  • The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad 🇫🇯