Shepherd of Solitude

Asian Readathon TBR

In May in the United States it is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and in honour of that Cindy from WithCindy on YouTube created a readathon where the main aim is to read books by Asian authors. I think this is the second or third year of the readathon, but this is the first time I’m participating. Her announcement video explains it all really well and she also has a Google Doc with extra info and resources and there’s a Twitter account for the readathon too.

There are five challenges in this readathon and any amount of them can be combined to make things easier for yourself:
– 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 favourite genre.
– Read any nonfiction book written by an Asian author.
– Read any book written by an Asian author that’s not US-centric.

There is a twist to combining the prompts though. 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. Books by Chinese, Korean, and Japanese authors do tend to be more common or popular here in the UK, so I think this is a great way to encourage people to read more diversely. Because like any ethnicity, Asians aren’t one huge monolith.

Thanks to my Read the World Project I’ve already read books from authors from over thirty different Asian countries – in fact I think Asia is the continent I’ve read the most books from. You can check out my Read the World Project masterpost to see all the countries and books I’ve read so far and links to all the reviews.

Like any readathon, my TBR is going to be far too big but I wanted to use this moment to highlight books by authors of different nationalities and backgrounds. I also used this readathon to order some books from both the library and bookshops that I’d been thinking of for a while so some of these haven’t arrived yet and a couple are on my kindle. I’m going to be (hopefully) reading books in all formats for this readathon.

Shepherd of Solitude: Selected Poems by Amjad Nasser, translated by Khaled Mattawa (Jordan)
This is a poetry collection and is the first English collection of Amjad Nasser’s work. The poems are from various collections originally in Arabic published between 1979 – 2004.

Palestine +100 edited by Basma Ghalayini, translated by Raph Cormack, Mohamed Ghalaieny, Andrew Leber, Thoraya El-Rayyes, Yasmine Seale and Jonathan Wright (Palestine)
A collection of short soties from twelve Palestinian writers imagining what their country might be like in the year 2048. These stories are in a whole range of genres including sci-fi, dystopia and farce.

The Silent Steppe: The Story of a Kazakh Nomad under Stalin by Mukhamet Shayakhmetov, translated by Jan Butler (Kazakhstan)
This is a memoir from Mukhamet Shayakhmetov, who was born into a family of nomadic herdsman in 1922, about life under Stalin’s rule.

QuixotiQ by Ali Al Saeed (Bahrain)
I’m not even sure what this book is about. It hasn’t arrived yet and all I’ve got from Waterstones and Goodreads is that it’s about two men whose lives take dramatic turns. It’s also the only book I could find in English by an author from Bahrain.

Armenian Golgotha by Grigoris Balakian, translated by Peter Balakian (Armenia)
A memoir about Grigoris Balakian’s eyewitness account of the Armenian Genocide which happened from 1915-1918.

Mama Hissa’s Mice by Saud Alsanousi, translated by Sawad Hussain (Kuwait)
Three friends who share neither ethnic origin nor religious denomination, get involved in a protest group and one of their grandmothers, Mama Hissa, warns them against it.

Mother’s Beloved: Stories from Laos by Outhine Bounyavong (Laos)
This collection of short stories is the first collection of Lao short stories to be published in English. I think this collection has both the English translation and the short stories in the original language and I really like when books do this. This is one I’m waiting to pick up from Waterstones.

The Tale of Aypi by Ak Welsapar, translated by W.M. Coulson (Turkmenistan)
The story of a group of Turkmen fishermen who are trying to save their ancestral home from the ruling powers who are attempting to confiscate their land.

Looking at my books here and the challenges, the only one I’m unsure if I’ll complete is “book written by an Asian author in your favourite genre” mainly because I’m not even sure what my favourite genre is anymore, though I do like some hard-hitting non-fiction which is certainly here so those books could count for that.

Are you taking part in the Asian Readathon? Or do you have any books by Asian authors on your TBR in general? I would love to hear about them.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Spring 2021 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a TBR of the books you’d like to read in the next few months. These are my favourite kind of Top Ten Tuesday posts as I like to go back and see how often the same books appear on my TBRs and if/when I actually read these books. If you’ve been to my blog before you might recognise some of these books because I’m pretty sure they have been on TBRs before. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump these past few months, but I hope to get out of it and reading more soon.

Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
I read Six of Crows years ago and with all the buzz of the Netflix show coming next month it made me want to finish that duology and give the original trilogy a go. I finished Shadow and Bone at the weekend and I’m kinda cheating with this TBR as I’m now over a third way through Siege and Storm so I think I’m going to finish the series soon.

A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovska
Tome Topple, a readathon focussing on books 500 pages or more, started yesterday and my copy of A Spare Life is 490 so that’s close enough! Once I’ve finished the Grisha trilogy I hope Tome Topple will give me the motivation to read A Spare Life.

Shepherd of Solitude: Selected Poems, 1979-2004 by Amjad Nasser
While I’m still not a huge lover of poetry, I do like how quick poetry collections are to get through so they can be a good way to kickstart my reading when I’m in a reading slump.

The Cost of Sugar by Cynthia McLeod
I think it’s taken me a while to get to this as it’s an ebook and I go through phases of reading books on my kindle, and it’s been a while since I’ve actually picked up and charged my kindle.

An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie
This book has been on various TBR’s a few times now and I do still really want to read it! Like a lot of non-fiction, I think I get a bit intimidated by the idea of it but I know once I start reading it I’ll be really into it.

Angel Mage by Garth Nix
Angel Mage is another chunky book I hope Tome Topple will give me the motivation to read.

Beyond the Rice Fields by Naivo
This is the first novel from Madagascar to ever be translated into English and it’s set in the nineteenth century and it’s about the relationship between a slave and his master’s daughter. Think this is another one I haven’t picked up even when I intended to because it’s an ebook and haven’t been in an ebook kinda mood for a while.

Hawkeye: Freefall by Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt
I love Hawkeye and this is the most recent bindup of a Hawkeye story and I cant wait to read it.

Palestine +100: Stories from a century after the Nakba by Basma Ghalayini
Like with poetry, I think short story collections are good way to help me out of a reading slump and a way to read something, even if it’s just one short story, each day.

What books are you hoping to pick up soon?