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Discover great books by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Authors in every genre

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
How are you celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month? Start with a few book clubs reading AAPI authors.BookTok creator Books.with.Lee founded the Diversify & Amplify Book Club to uplift marginalized voices. The club is reading “Four Treasures of the Sky,” Jenny Tinghui Zhang’s dazzling debut novel about a Chinese girl fighting to claim her place in the 1880s American West. Nearly 250 readers joined Books.with.Lee’s Reading Across Asia challenge this year, collecting more than 700 books from authors around the world. “I hope to challenge harmful stereotypes that are wrongfully perpetuated by media as well as build empathy,” she concluded about this reading marathon, helping us “read outside of your comfort zone.” TikTok creator Selene Velez (moongirlreads) runs Fable's YA Book Club, and launched her club on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with "Last Night at the Telegraph Club," a novel by Asian American author Malinda Lo. You can join Selene's book club, or check out others, here.Lo's writing is especially important this month. She co-founded Diversity in YA, a site that championed inclusion in young adult books, from race to sexual orientation to gender identity and disability. That site published a number of essays about the AAPI community, all excellent reading for AAPI Heritage Month!And if you'd like to see more content on Fable from Selene, watch her conversation with Yang-Sze Choo and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni hosted by Fable's own Padma Warrior on our events page.

Publishing needs diverse voices

May gives us an opportunity to celebrate a community of diverse ethnicities and cultures, but we should be reading AAPI authors all year long.Young adult fiction author Stacey Lee recalled how hard it was to find books by AAPI voices as a young reader: 

“Many of us have grown up trying to downplay our heritage. When you grow up lacking books or other media that represent you, you start thinking that being anything other than white is a drawback...I think it’s important to show Asian Americans where you don’t usually see them. If we don’t do that, we erase them.”

This month, we rounded up book recommendations from AAPI authors, activists, entrepreneurs, and readers. These books highlight the AAPI community and its stories for all readers, opening new horizons and empowering new voices. 

Book Recommendations from the AAPI Community

To help the Fable and AAPI community discover great books, we regularly share Fable Folios—exceptional books handpicked by tastemakers, experts, acclaimed authors, world-class athletes, and industry titans.This month, a few of these creative collections will guide you through great stories written by AAPI authors, ranging from classic novels to heartbreaking love stories. Each curator offers you a unique and inspiring reading journey.

Living With Intent: Mallika Chopra

Mallika Chopra book recommendationsMallika Chopra curated this Folio with books that inspired her to follow her own teachings to find balance in her life and live in the present moment. These books also influenced her own book “Living With Intent.”Chopra is a mom, media entrepreneur, author, and public speaker. Along with “Living With Intent,” she also wrote the “Just Be” series.

“A few years ago, I was giving tips to a group of women on how to live a more balanced life. As I spoke about the benefits of being present, my mind wandered to my to-do list...As a busy mom of 2 preteens and an entrepreneur, I was preaching balance, but not living it.”

Short Story Masters: Mimi Lok

Mimi Lok book recommendationsMimi Lok curated this Folio with books of short stories providing numerous perspectives, thoughtful transitions, and life-altering ideas.Lok is the author of the story collection “Last Of Her Name.” She is the winner of a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award and the 2020 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.

“A great short story is like a great song—it has the power to be an instant mood changer.”

The Immigrant Story is an American Story: Chitra Divakaruni

Chitra Divakaruni book recommendationsChitra Divakaruni curated this Folio with the American immigrant experience in mind, showcasing the hardships and triumphs that shaped a young and diverse country.Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet, activist, and author of 18 books.

“For centuries, people from many nations have arrived in America, carrying in their hearts excitement and trepidation — and memories of the cultures they have left behind. America has transformed them, and they, in turn, have transformed America.”

Padma’s Picks: Padmasree Warrior

Padmasree Warrior book recommendationsPadmasree Warrior curated this folio with the intent of featuring a wide genre of books, giving readers a sense of the Fable experience.Warrior is a businesswoman and technology executive, and the founder of Fable.

“This is a great place to start if you are looking for something interesting to read...I can confidently say I've been reading a lot more these past few months, which helped me feel less vulnerable and more resilient.”

Explore authors from the Asian American and Pacific Islander community

To help you find more books to read, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite lists of AAPI authors in different genres. Share links to your favorite lists on social media and we’ll add them to our list of lists!36 Excellent Science Fiction And Fantasy Books From AAPI AuthorsRomance Recommendations by AAPI AuthorsAAPI Mystery Book Recommendations9 Nonfiction Books by AAPI Authors That Should be on Your Reading ListBest Asian American and Pacific Islander MemoirsAdult Fantasy Books Written by AAPI AuthorsMiddle Grade and YA Fantasy Books by AAPI Authors8 Picture Books To Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month25 Amazing Books by Asian American and Pacific Islander Authors You Need to ReadThe Best Books About Asian American Identity, According to Experts20 New Asian American Books to Read Right NowReading List to Celebrate Asian Authors, From Members of TIME's Asian Community13 Books by Pacific Islanders13 Books by Asian and Pacific Islanders That Should be Required Reading

AAPI books being made into movies or TV shows

There are lots of new shows and movies adapted from great books by AAPI authors—all streaming across platforms, from Hulu to Apple TV to Netflix to Amazon.

“Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee

Based in the early 1900s, the teenage daughter of a crippled fisherman finds herself pregnant after falling for a wealthy stranger visiting her neighborhood in Korea. After discovering her lover is married, she accepts the marriage proposal of a sickly minister on his way to Japan. But her connection to the wealthy man through her son and her choice to leave home does not come without side effects. Keep an eye out for the television version on Apple TV+ and then read Pachinko by Min Jin Lee on Fable.

“The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Soon to be developed as a TV series by A24, this Pulitzer Prize-winning spy novel follows the story of a Communist double agent living in America after the Fall of Saigon. The character is still secretly in contact with his communist leaders in Vietnam while living as a refugee in Los Angeles. The writing has been compared to Graham Greene and Vladimir Nabokov.Watch the video and then read The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen on Fable.

Help stop AAPI Hate!

Asian Americans from all 50 states reported incidents of hate in recent years, and these reports spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of our mission to share stories for everyone and improve mental well-being, we’ve created a special list of books in the Fable Store by writers from the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community.There are other ways you can help the Asian Americans in your community during this difficult time. Most importantly, you can report hate incidents, helping to prevent future attacks. As we continue to celebrate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month, don’t forget to consider the diverse characteristics and struggles of their different lands and cultures. We hope these stories shine even more light on these diverse perspectives!

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