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Diverse Books

The Best Books by Asian Authors of 2024

Immerse yourself in diverse cultures, personal struggles, and triumphant tales – a testament to the power of literature to unite us all.

Last Updated on May 9, 2024 by BiblioLifestyle

May, known for the vibrant celebration of AANHPI Heritage Month, is not just a time to acknowledge the incredible achievements and contributions of the Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities to our shared history; it’s also a fantastic opportunity to immerse ourselves in the rich tapestry of stories they’ve woven through literature. This 2024, the literary world has been graced with an outstanding selection of books by Asian authors, each offering a unique gateway into the heartbeats of diverse cultures, personal struggles for identity, and triumphant tales of heritage. So whether you’re seeking to broaden your understanding, find representation, or simply enjoy exquisite storytelling, these books for AAPI month of 2024 are not to be missed. They stand as a testament to the power of words in uniting us across different walks of life, inviting us to explore worlds beyond our own, and inspiring us with stories of resilience and hope.

Note: Though we are celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month, this list is not limited to only American authors.

P.S. I will be updating this list throughout the year as I continue to read more books.

The Best Books by Asian Authors of 2024

LITERARY FICTION BOOKS BY ASIAN AUTHORS

River East, River West by Aube Rey Lescure

Set in modern China, “River East, River West” weaves a captivating tale of two generations seeking belonging amidst a changing world. Alva, raised by her American mother, dreams of a better life in America until unexpected events alter her path. Lu Fang, a clerk in Qingdao, faces upheaval when he meets an American woman. This poignant literary fiction novel explores race, class, and the pursuit of the American Dream against China’s political backdrop.

You can get a copy of River East, River West by Aube Rey Lescure on Amazon or Bookshop.

The Stone Home by Crystal Hana Kim

A poetic family drama set in South Korea uncovers a dark history through a community living in a reformatory center. Eunju’s encounter with a stranger ties her to a past she tried to forget. The story follows Eunju and her mother’s struggles in a violent reformatory center, alongside two brothers facing harrowing choices. The Stone Home portrays love, survival, and the lasting impact of historical violence with grace and depth.

You can get a copy of The Stone Home by Crystal Hana Kim on Amazon or Bookshop.

The Fetishist by Katherine Min

In Katherine Min’s novel, “The Fetishist,” a young woman named Kyoko seeks revenge against Daniel, the man responsible for her mother’s death, setting off a chain of unforeseen events. On a mission to kidnap Daniel, Kyoko’s plans quickly unravel, entangling the lives of three individuals: Kyoko herself, a Japanese American punk-rock singer; Daniel, a philandering violinist; and Alma, a Korean American cello prodigy and Daniel’s true love. This provocative story delves into themes of race, complicity, visibility, and femininity. Completed before Min’s death in 2019, “The Fetishist” is a powerful and insightful novel that showcases her unique voice and perspective.

You can get a copy of The Fetishist by Katherine Min on Amazon or Bookshop.

Memory Piece by Lisa Ko

In the novel Memory Piece, three teenagers, Giselle, Jackie, and Ellen, are brought together by their shared sense of alienation and desire for something more. As they grow into adults, their dreams become more complex. Giselle, a performance artist, navigates an elite social world. Jackie, a coder, grapples with the internet’s shift towards monetization and surveillance. Ellen, a community activist, confronts gentrification and policing. Their friendship evolves, their definitions of success become complicated, and they strive to build satisfying lives in a world that differs greatly from what they expected. The story spans from the 1980s to the 2040s, exploring art, technology, and the value of a meaningful life.

You can get a copy of Memory Piece by Lisa Ko on Amazon or Bookshop

Real Americans by Rachel Khong

From the award-winning author of “Goodbye, Vitamin” comes “Real Americans,” an exhilarating novel that explores American identity across three generations of one family. Set on the cusp of Y2K in New York City, the story follows Lily Chen, a young intern, as she falls in love with Matthew, the heir to a pharmaceutical empire. Years later, their son Nick embarks on a journey to find his biological father, uncovering hidden truths along the way. Rachel Khong crafts a profound tale of class, race, and family, exploring themes of trust, forgiveness, and the search for belonging. “Real Americans” is a thought-provoking social novel that challenges the notion of destiny and the power of personal agency.

You can get a copy of Real Americans by Rachel Khong on Amazon or Bookshop

Real Americans by Rachel Khong is a Read with Jenna Book Club pick.

Exhibit by R. O. Kwon

From bestselling author R. O. Kwon comes an exhilarating novel about a woman torn between her desires and her life. Jin Han, a talented photographer, meets the captivating Lidija Jung, a world-class ballerina on hiatus. As their intense artistic drives bring them closer, Jin reveals a long-held family curse, risking everything. As they explore hidden desires, Jin’s life is irrevocably changed. But can she escape the curse’s shadow? With bold storytelling, Exhibit explores the limits of ambition and the risks of self-discovery.

You can get a copy of Exhibit by R. O. Kwon on Amazon or Bookshop

The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo

In “The Fox Wife” by Yangsze Choo, set in the late Qing Empire, a mysterious courtesan’s death rumored to be caused by fox spirits leads detective Bao to investigate her identity. The narrative intertwines with a family cursed to lose their eldest sons before their 24th birthdays and the entrance of a secretive servant, Snow, who seeks vengeance for her lost child. As Snow hunts a murderer from China to Japan, with Bao trailing, they navigate the myths of fox spirits, encountering allies and adversaries. This epic tale explores mortals and spirits, human and beast, highlighting themes of love, revenge, and the veracity of ancient folktales.

You can get a copy of The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo on Amazon or Bookshop.

Listen to my interview with Yangsze Choo on The Reader’s Couch podcast.

HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS BY ASIAN AUTHORS

The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan

In “The Storm We Made,” set in Malaya, 1945, an ordinary housewife, Cecily Alcantara, becomes a spy, leading to dire consequences for her family. Her involvement in espionage during the Japanese occupation brings danger to her children, with one missing, another hidden away, and the eldest embroiled in anger. Battling guilt and desperate to protect her family, Cecily’s past actions during the war threaten to destroy them. The novel explores the complexities of war, colonial relationships, and the moral ambiguities faced when survival is on the line, through the perspectives of four unforgettable characters.

You can get a copy of The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan on Amazon or Bookshop.

The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan was also a Good Morning America Book Club pick.

Daughters of Shandong by Eve J. Chung

“Daughters of Shandong” is a compelling novel based on a true story, following a mother and her daughters as they escape to Taiwan during the Communist revolution in China. Set against the backdrop of civil war and societal expectations, the story explores themes of resilience, family love, and the pursuit of freedom. Through vivid prose and well-drawn characters, the book tells a powerful tale of women’s strength during wartime and the sacrifices made for future generations.

You can get a copy of Daughters of Shandong by Eve J. Chung from Amazon or Bookshop

FRIENDSHIP FICTION BOOKS BY ASIAN AUTHORS

Women of Good Fortune by Sophie Wan

In this dazzling and humorous novel reminiscent of Crazy Rich Asians, a reluctant bride named Lulu plans to marry into wealth to solve her family’s financial woes, despite not loving her fiancé. Alongside her two best friends, she concocts a daring plan to steal the cash gifts from her lavish wedding, believing it will solve all their problems. With the help of a luxury goods counterfeiter and a getaway driver, they embark on their risky heist. However, as their scheme becomes more intricate, personal relationships suffer, forcing them to reckon with the true cost of their actions.

You can get a copy of Women of Good Fortune by Sophie Wan on Amazon or Bookshop.

Never Been Better by Leanne Toshiko Simpson

A woman with bipolar disorder attends her friends’ seaside wedding in Turks and Caicos, struggling with her feelings for the groom, whom she’s loved since their time in the psych ward. As she navigates the celebrations with her sister, she faces a dilemma: confessing her love and potentially disrupting the wedding, or prioritizing her recovery and the trio’s friendship. The story explores themes of love, friendship, and the journey towards healing.

You can get a copy of Never Been Better by Leanne Toshiko Simpson on Amazon or Bookshop.

You Know What You Did by K. T. Nguyen

MYSTERIES & THRILLER BOOKS BY ASIAN AUTHORS

You Know What You Did by K. T. Nguyen

Annie “Anh Le” Shaw, a first-generation Vietnamese American artist, appears to have it all – a successful career, a beautiful home, and a loving family. However, when her mother passes away, Annie’s carefully constructed life begins to unravel. Her past trauma resurfaces, and she finds herself at the center of a mysterious investigation. Struggling with her own mental health, Annie becomes increasingly disconnected from her loved ones. As the police close in on her, Annie is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her daughter, even if it means losing herself in the process.

You can get a copy of You Know What You Did by K. T. Nguyen on Amazon or Bookshop

SCIENCE FICTION FANTASY BOOKS

A Quantum Love Story by Mike Chen

In this cozy sci-fi novel by the bestselling author of “Star Wars: Brotherhood,” neuroscientist Mariana Pineda is grieving her best friend’s death and ready to leave her career behind. That changes when she meets Carter Cho, who claims they’ve met before due to a time loop. As Mariana and Carter relive the same four days repeatedly, they try to make sense of their situation. However, when Carter begins to lose his memories of the loop, they must find a way to break free from their temporal cycle to save their chance at happiness.

You can get a copy of A Quantum Love Story by Mike Chen on Amazon or Bookshop.

Tales of the Celestial Kingdom by Sue Lynn Tan, Illustrated by Kelly Chong

Dive back into Sue Lynn Tan’s Celestial Kingdom with a new collection of stories expanding the beloved fantasy romance duology. This compilation includes nine tales, featuring two previously published and seven original stories, complete with an epilogue and black and white illustrations by Kelly Chong. The book covers events before, during, and after “Daughter of the Moon Goddess” and “Heart of the Sun Warrior,” offering new adventures in a world of gods, magic, and mythical creatures. Through the eyes of characters like Chang’e and Liwei, experience a journey of valor, danger, and love, all beautifully complemented by Kelly Chong’s art.

You can get a copy of Tales of the Celestial Kingdom by Sue Lynn Tan, Illustrated by Kelly Chong on Amazon or Bookshop.

To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chan

In “To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods,” Ruying, born in a world conquered by technologically advanced invaders, possesses a deadly Gift from Death itself. When her ability to drain life is discovered, an enemy prince proposes a harrowing deal: become his assassin to secure her family’s safety and potentially aid her people. Torn between using her feared power and the risk of betrayal, Ruying faces a dilemma of trust and sacrifice in a story of magic, politics, and survival.

You can get a copy of To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chan on Amazon or Bookshop.

The God and the Gumiho by Sophie Kim

In a contemporary fantasy setting in Korea, the notorious nine-tailed fox, Kim Hani, teams up with Seokga, a trickster god-turned-detective, to track down a dangerous demon threatening the mortal world. Hani, now living a quieter life and working in a coffee shop, and Seokga, seeking redemption to regain his godhood, find themselves entangled in a complex mission filled with mayhem, violence, and an unexpected bond. As they navigate their case, the pair must balance their growing attraction with the need to keep their secrets and prevent an apocalypse.

You can get a copy of The God and the Gumiho by Sophie Kim on Amazon or Bookshop.

SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS BY ASIAN AUTHORS

Green Frog by Gina Chung

A compelling short story collection that delves into Korean American womanhood, exploring themes of bodies, animals, and transformation. With a blend of the fantastical and the real, Chung’s stories range from talking dolls aiding twins’ escape to a woman reassessing her father’s legacy. Masterful in evoking emotion, Chung’s characters, both human and animal, offer a narrative that is both hopeful and heartbreaking, weaving danger and joy seamlessly.

You can get a copy of Green Frog by Gina Chung on Amazon or Bookshop.

Ninetails by Sally Wen Mao

Ninetails, by Sally Wen Mao, presents nine tales that reimagine the Asian folklore fox spirit as a symbol of vengeance, solidarity, and liberation. These stories explore themes of identity, belonging, and resistance against oppression, through a diverse cast of characters, from awakened silicone sex dolls to women confronting their desires and challenges. The collection melds vibrant fantasy with cultural tradition and contemporary political relevance, echoing the styles of Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Oyeyemi, and Han Kang.

You can get a copy of Ninetails by Sally Wen Mao on Amazon or Bookshop.

ROMANCE BOOKS BY ASIAN AUTHORS

Red String Theory by Lauren Kung Jessen

In this charming rom-com about two star-crossed lovers, Rooney Gao, an artist who believes in the red string of fate, meets Jack Liu, a skeptic. After a magical date, they face the challenge of convincing Jack to believe in fate.

You can get a copy of Red String Theory by Lauren Kung Jessen on Amazon or Bookshop.

Say You’ll Be Mine by Naina Kumar

A teacher and an engineer team up to survive an ex’s wedding by faking an engagement to escape family pressure. As they navigate this pretend relationship, unexpected feelings emerge. Say You’ll Be Mine offers a charming blend of romance and cultural exploration.

You can get a copy of Say You’ll Be Mine by Naina Kumar Amazon or Bookshop.

The Catch by Amy Lea

Boston fashion influencer Melanie Karlsen heads to a Canadian fishing village to rescue her brand. Mistaken for the local fisherman’s fiancée, she agrees to a fake engagement to help solve a family feud. As they spend time together, real feelings emerge. Will Mel choose city life or a wild love adventure?

You can get a copy of The Catch by Amy Lea on Amazon or Bookshop.

How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang

Helen Zhang and Grant Shepard, two writers with a complicated past linked by a tragic accident 13 years ago, unexpectedly reunite in the writers’ room of a TV show based on Helen’s young adult novels. Despite their unresolved history and personal struggles, including Helen’s imposter syndrome and Grant’s panic attacks, they must navigate working together in an environment filled with old emotions and new tensions. As secrets emerge and they face pressure from Helen’s unforgiving parents, Helen and Grant confront the reality that their relationship might not be a traditional love story. Yet, they discover that embracing their connection in the present could be the key to healing and moving forward.

You can get a copy of How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang on Amazon or Bookshop.

How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang is also a Reese’s Book Club pick.

One Last Word by Suzanne Park

One Last Word by Sara Chae is a novel about an app that sends messages posthumously, only to accidentally release messages early to Sara’s mother, ex-best friend, and high school crush due to a mix-up. Amidst this chaos, Sara enters a venture capital mentorship, discovering her mentor is her old crush, Harry Shim. As she navigates this upheaval, Sara learns to confront her past and assert herself, making it a humorous and empowering read for fans of Annabel Monaghan, Alisha Rai, and Jenny Han.

You can get a copy of One Last Word by Suzanne Park on Amazon or Bookshop.

COOKBOOKS BY ASIAN AUTHORS

Tiffy Cooks by Tiffy Chen

Tiffy Chen, the popular blogger and TikTok star behind Tiffy Cooks, shares 88 Asian family-style recipes in her debut cookbook. Drawing from her Taiwanese upbringing and culinary influences from across Southeast Asia, Tiffy presents easy, everyday dishes like the Taiwanese Breakfast Sandwich, Sesame Chicken Rice, Drunken Chicken, and Braised Sticky Pork Belly, alongside freezer-friendly favorites such as bao, buns, wontons, and dumplings. The book combines rich cultural anecdotes, travel stories, and step-by-step photography, celebrating Asian cuisine and the importance of family through food which is why I selected it as one of the best cookbooks of 2024.

You can get a copy of Tiffy Cooks by Tiffy Chen on Amazon or Bookshop.

Sesame, Soy, Spice by Remy Morimoto Park

Remy Morimoto Park, the social media star, recipe developer, and health blogger behind Veggiekins, shares her journey from struggling with an eating disorder and addiction to embracing a vegan and gluten-free lifestyle inspired by her diverse Pan-Asian heritage. In her inspirational book, she offers easy-to-make plant-based versions of international and Asian dishes, turning her old comfort foods into new, healthy recipes. Through her culinary creations, Remy reconnects with her family, culture, and wellness, exploring traditional vegan diets from Korean temple food to Japanese Buddhist cuisine and Taiwanese faux meats. Sesame, Soy, Spice is a collection of standout vegan and gluten-free recipes, reflecting on family, culture, and the healing power of food.

You can get a copy of Sesame, Soy, Spice by Remy Morimoto Park on Amazon or Bookshop.

Newt by Newt Nguyen

Newt’s debut cookbook bursts onto the scene with over 75 beginner-friendly recipes, encapsulating the charm and humor that skyrocketed him to internet fame. From his humble beginnings in a mobile-home kitchen to becoming a TikTok sensation, Newt proves that anyone can create culinary masterpieces regardless of their resources. The book is filled with Newt’s favorite dishes, viral hits, and a variety of meals from starters to desserts, all designed to be accessible and satisfying. With chapters covering everything from fried chicken to Vietnamese family recipes, this cookbook invites readers to embark on a flavorful adventure, guided by Newt’s signature encouragement and wit.

You can get a copy of Newt by Newt Nguyen on Amazon or Bookshop.

Koreaworld by Deuki Hong, Matt Rodbard

Koreaworld is an engaging journey through Korean cuisine’s global evolution, led by chef Deuki Hong and journalist Matt Rodbard. Exploring the dynamic Korean food scene from traditional recipes in Korea to modern interpretations in Koreatowns worldwide, this book offers over 75 bold recipes. It delves into the history and modern-day allure of Korean cooking, from ancient Buddhist dishes to the latest in barbecue and street food innovations. With visits to Seoul, Jeju Island, and the rural Jeolla-do, as well as insights into how chefs in the U.S. are reimagining Korean classics, Koreaworld is a vibrant exploration of Korean food’s past, present, and future, complete with stunning photography and captivating stories.

You can get a copy of Koreaworld by Deuki Hong, Matt Rodbard on Amazon or Bookshop.

What do you think about these books by Asian authors?

Have you read any of these books?  Are any of these books on your TBR?  What 2024 books by Asian authors would you add to this list?  Let’s talk about it in the comments.

MORE READING:

2024 Books by Asian Authors To Add To Your TBR

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