If, like me, you like to spend your evenings discovering new books to add to your already much-too-long list of books to read, you might know Cindy from the withcindy channel. Every year she organises an online literary event with thousands of participants and the aim is simple: to shine a light on books written by Asian authors. Known as the Asian Readathon, it takes place in May, and this year I’m participating! In this article, I briefly explain the concept, the categories, give you some useful links, and my reading list.
What is the Asian Readathon ?
The Asian Readathon is “a month-long reading marathon dedicated to reading books by Asian authors. It is an online event that is intended to be easy and accessible to all.” Announced by Cindy on her Youtube channel (the video is just below), all the relevant information can also be found on a Google Doc available here.
This reading marathon consists of 5 challenges:
- Read any book written by an Asian author.
- Read any book featuring an Asian protagonist.
- Read any book written by an Asian author in your favorite genre.
- Read any nonfiction book written by an Asian author.
- Read any book written by an Asian author that’s not US-centric.
You can combine challenges and read in any order; however, EACH book you read should feature a character or author of a different Asian ethnicity. This is to encourage cultural diversity.
Example: I can read a Japanese book to combine challenges #1, #2, and #3. But if I read a second Japanese book, that would not count for any other challenge, therefore I still need to read about a different ethnicity to cover challenges #4 and #5.
My TBR list for the #AsianReadathon2021
My article is a bit late as it’s already the 3rd of May but I’ve started my challenge! This month, I plan to read :
Warcross by Marie Lu
Young adult, science fiction (fit for challenges 1 and 2)
Already spotted a few months ago, Warcross is a sci-fi duology that focuses on the story of Emika Chen, a young hacker who struggles to make ends meet as she works as a bounty hunter and tracks down gamblers who illegally bet on Warcross, the game that everyone has been passionate about for years. Warcross is not just a game, it’s a way of life. In order to make a quick buck, Emika hijacks the opening match of the international Warcross championship and finds herself in the middle of an adventure overnight…
Chop Suey Nation by Ann Hui
Nonfiction, food (fit for challenges 1, 2 and 4)
In 2016, Globe and Mail reporter Ann Hui drove across Canada to answer two questions: Why is there a Chinese restaurant in every small town? And who are the families who run them? Only after the story was published did she discover that her own family might have been included – her parents had run their own Chinese restaurant, The Legion Cafe, before she was born. This discovery set her on an urgent mission to understand how her own family ended up in Canada. I chose this book for three reasons: I love food, I love Canada, and I’m curious to learn more about the world of Chinese restaurants.
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo
Fiction, contemporary, feminist (fit for challenges 1, 2 and 5)
This novel is one of the most famous novels in South Korea as it launched the new Korean feminist movement. Cho Nam-Joo tells the story of a normal Korean woman from her birth in 1982 to 2016, the year the book was published in its original Korean version. Kim Ji-young experiences systemic misogyny at every stage of her life, whether as a child in her own family, at school and university, in the workplace and also as a wife and mother. It is a very intriguing read that I am looking forward to.
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Fantasy, historical (fit for challenges 1, 2, 3 and 5)
Sold as a sort of cross between Six of Crows and The Da Vinci Code, I had to pick this book in my selection. Written by an American author of Filipino and Indian origin, this 3-book series (the last volume of which will be released in September 2021) features a diverse cast of characters and a super interesting plot as the story takes place in alternate 1889 Paris, France.
So, I hope I’ll reach my goal and I’ll do a review of these reads next month! And you, are you going to participate in the challenge? If only by reading a book! You don’t have to read as many as me of course 🙂