New Book Club Books to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month


With the new month comes new books and new opportunities to make space for and celebrate what’s important to us. Among the things we make space for this month are Asian American and Pacific Islander stories. I always appreciate the reminder to step outside of my own experience and learn from others who have a different perspective that heritage months provide — especially since our education in the United States is so white-centric.

With that said, I’m always aware of language and what’s being said and not said, and I think that grouping Asian Americans, which is already an enormous group, with Pacific Islanders is flattening. Just within Asian Americans, there are so many different experiences that are had within the U.S. that are influenced by language, culture, and even skin tone, and adding Pacific Islanders to that category is just too reductive, in my opinion.

I hope that the language changes one day soon in a way that gives people their due. Until then, I’ve got some great AAPI book club books below that will be sure to fuel your discussions.

Nibbles and Sips: Strawberry Bowl Cake

I’ve never heard of strawberry bowl cake, but it sounds delicious and seems relatively easy to make. For it, you’ll need the usual cake ingredients, plus strawberries, heavy creams, lemon juice, and milk. For the full list of ingredients and instructions, visit u_tastekitchen’s Instagram.

cover of Private Equity by Carrie Sun

Private Equity: A Memoir by Carrie Sun

Carrie Sun has always worked hard. She excelled in school, graduated early from MIT, and entered the corporate world, all in the name of the American Dream her parents wished for her when they immigrated to the U.S. from China. But once she hits 29, she starts feeling like something’s missing. So, she drops out of a master’s program and quits her job. When she gets the opportunity to work for one of the most respected hedge funds in the world, she jumps at it. Soon, luxury and privilege like she’s never known are opened up to her, but it also starts to swallow her whole.

cover of DRAGONFRUIT BY MAKIIA LUCIER

Dragonfruit by Makiia Lucier

The titular dragonfruit in this Pacific Islander-inspired romantasy is the egg of a seadragon that’s said to hold the power to undo great sorrow. That’s why, when Hanalei’s father steals a seadragon egg meant for a sick princess, her entire family is exiled. After years pass in exile, one day, an encounter with a female dragon shows Hanalei it’s possible to return home. Meanwhile, Samahtitamahenele is the last prince of Tamarind but can’t inherit the matriarchal throne. With his mother sick and his grandmother’s time as sovereign almost up, Sam’s choices are few. But when a childhood friend returns home, she brings with her hope for the future.

cover ofThe Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan

The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan

In Malaya in 1945, Cecily Alcantara is walking on a tightrope trying to keep (what’s left of) her family intact during a brutal Japanese occupation. Her son is missing, her eldest daughter has to contend with drunk Japanese soldiers at the tea house where she works, and Cecily’s youngest daughter is kept in the basement to stop her from becoming a comfort woman. But Cecily can’t really complain because everything is kind of her fault…

cover of Into the Sunken City Dinesh Thiru

Into the Sunken City by Dinesh Thiru

Five hundred years from now, climate change results in a drowning world. In this dystopian future, even in places like Arizona, the rain never stops. It’s in this moist, hellish landscape that 18-year-old Jin Haldar is trying her best to keep her and her sister Thara afloat without their parents. Desperation leads to Thara accepting a job offered by an eccentric stranger, and even though Jin swore off diving since their father’s death, she agrees too. And, as with any good heist, a spicy crew is assembled. As the group tries to get the gold score of a lifetime from a submerged Las Vegas, they’ll encounter sea beasts, pirates, and mysterious figures.

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