Readthon TBRs

May 2019 TBR

May 2019 TBR - Women's Prize.jpg


Women’s Prize Longlist Entries:

The Women’s Prize shortlist has now been announced, and three of the remaining books on my TBR for it have in fact been shortlisted, so I’m not overly worried about this list. I will still read and review Number One Chinese Restaurant and Lost Children Archive, as I have been reviewing all of the longlist entries.

1. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – this book is about Celestial and Roy, a pair of newlyweds in America, who are stretched to their limits by certain circumstances. The author explores themes of love, race and justice in this popular piece of contemporary fiction.

Book Depository: Paperback

2. Milkman by Anna Burns – I initially bought this book because it won the Man Booker Prize last year, but never got around to it. When it was longlisted for the Women’s Prize this year, I was slightly apprehensive because I still hadn’t read it. However, now it has been shortlisted, I feel I must read it in the coming month. From what I can gather, it appears to be about avoiding attention in a place where being noticed can be extremely dangerous.

Book Depository: Paperback

3. Number One Chinese Restaurant – this book was on my TBR last month, but sadly I didn’t quite manage to get to it. It is about the inner workings of a family who work in a beloved Chinese restaurant in Maryland and what occurs behind the scenes when professionalism is no longer necessary. There are a lot of negative reviews surrounding this one, so I am nervous, but it does sound like something I would like, so I am not deterred.

Book Depository: Paperback // Hardback

4. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker – this is a retelling of The Iliad from the perspective of the women, and it is an extremely intriguing concept. Despite having not read The Iliad, I am still interested to see what I can take from this book, especially after loving Circe by Madeline Miller.

Book Depository: Paperback // Hardback

5. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli – this book surrounds sound, documentary, immigration and deportation in the US through the medium of a family travelling from New York to the south for both the husband and wife to research something that is important to them. I have already begun reading this book and it is interesting, although somewhat dense. I will post a full review once I have finished it in a few days.

Book Depository: Hardback


May 2019 TBR - Asian Readathon.jpg


Asian Readathon TBR:

This month I am participating in the Asian Readathon, which is hosted by Read with Cindy whose announcement video can be found here if you are also interested in taking part. There are five challenges in total – you can double up on challenges if you would like, but the rule is each book has to be written by an author of a different race, or include a character of a different race. An example would be, if you chose to read a book by a Chinese author for one challenge, you would not be able to read another book by a Chinese author for other challenges. This is a great idea, because it increases the diversity of the readathon as a whole, and allows for the introduction of some new authors into our reading lives. The challenges, and my book choices for each are as follows:

1. Read any book by an Asian author – for this challenge I chose A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman, which consists of the interweaving stories of Latha, a young servant girl who yearns for a finer way of living, and Biso, a mother who flees from an abusive husband. Set in Sri Lanka, this book explores themes of class, prejudice and feminism in a place that has been plagued with conflict. This book is now out of print, so I had to source a secondhand copy from Amazon marketplace.

2. Read a graphic novel featuring an Asian character or written/drawn by an Asian author – for this challenge, you are able to choose manga, so I decided to choose the next installment of Blue Exorcist, which is volume four. Kazue Kato is from Japan, and the Blue Exorcist series follows Rin, a student who has recently discovered he is the son of Satan and wishes to train as an exorcist so he can avenge his foster father.

Book Depository: Paperback

3. Read a book featuring an intersectional Asian character or written by an intersectional Asian author – for this challenge I chose Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee, as I have been in the mood for more science fiction recently. It is about a disgraced captain who must redeem herself with the help of a man who previously massacred two armies, including his own. Can she trust him and at what cost? Yoon Ha Lee is a Korean American transgender man who identifies as queer.

Book Depository: Paperback

4. Read a book by an Asian author that was originally written in their native language – I struggled with this one initially, because most of the translated fiction on my current TBR is either Korean or Japanese, and I have already picked books from these countries for other challenges. Then, as I have been wanting more science fiction recently, I realised I could finally get into the Remembrance of Earth’s Past series by Cixin Liu, as it was originally written in Chinese and translated by Ken Liu. The Three Body Problem is about Ye Wenjie, who witnesses her father’s death and is later accused of sedition and forced to work at an extraterrestrial research facility. The book sounds packed full of science and action in equal measures, and I’m excited to get to it.

Book Depository: Paperback

5. Read the group book – the group book for this readathon is A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh, which is an anthology of stories by prominent Asian authors. It includes fifteen stories of reimagined South and East Asian mythology, so I think it will provide a well rounded insight into the folklore from these areas of the world.

Book Depository: Hardback

That is my TBR for May, although I do have a large amount of other books by Asian authors to dive into if I do manage to finish these ones. Let me know if you are also participating in this readathon, and what you will be reading for it if so. I’m extremely excited for all of these books, and will be posting reviews for most of them over the next few weeks.

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