search-icon

Must-Reads to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

by  | May 22
Books on a ledge with trees

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May, we’ve rounded up contemporary fiction page-turners to help you celebrate by reading away! These must-reads span the globe (a perfect start for BookCation!), and provide unique perspectives into different cultures and traditions. We hope you enjoy reading these over the long weekend and for even more recommendations, check out Simon & Schuster’s Page.

Once Upon a Sunset

Once Upon a Sunset

by Tif Marcelo

Diana Gallagher-Cary has been using her OB/GYN career to distract herself from her grief over her granny’s death and her breakup with her long-term boyfriend. But when she makes a medical decision that disparages the hospital, she is forced to go on a short sabbatical and decides to use the break to put order in her life. Then her mother, Margo, stumbles upon a box of strange letters from her grandfather, Antonio Cruz, to her grandmother from the 1940s. They learn that he lived through World War II war, and that they have surviving relatives in the Philippines. Diana becomes determined to connect with the family that she never knew existed and heads out on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that challenges her identity, family history, and her idea of romantic love that could change her life forever.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Love from A to Z

Love from A to Z

by S. K. Ali

When Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, gets suspended for confronting her teacher, who then begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break. Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her. Then her path crosses with Adam’s.

Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister. Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.

Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals. What follows is an unforgettable romance, part The Sun Is Also a Star mixed with Anna and the French Kiss.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
The Majesties

The Majesties

by Tiffany Tsao

Gwendolyn and Estella have always been as close as sisters can be. Growing up in a wealthy, eminent, and sometimes deceitful family, they’ve relied on each other for support and confidence. But now Gwendolyn is lying in a coma, the sole survivor of Estella’s poisoning of their whole clan. As Gwendolyn struggles to regain consciousness, she desperately retraces her memories, trying to uncover the moment that led to this shocking and brutal act.

Traveling from the luxurious world of the rich and powerful in Indonesia to the most spectacular shows at Paris Fashion Week, from the sunny coasts of California to the melting pot of Melbourne’s university scene, The Majesties is a haunting and deeply evocative novel about the dark secrets that can build a family empire—and also bring it crashing down.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (Media Tie-In Edition)

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (Media Tie-In Edition)

by Jenny Han

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Run Me to Earth

Run Me to Earth

by Paul Yoon

Alisak, Prany, and Noi—three orphans united by devastating loss—must do what is necessary to survive the perilous landscape of 1960s Laos. When they take shelter in a bombed out field hospital, they meet Vang, a doctor dedicated to helping the wounded at all costs. Soon the teens are serving as motorcycle couriers, delicately navigating their bikes across the fields filled with unexploded bombs, beneath the indiscriminate barrage from the sky.

In a world where the landscape and the roads have turned into an ocean of bombs, we follow their grueling days of rescuing civilians and searching for medical supplies, until Vang secures their evacuation on the last helicopters leaving the country. It’s a move with irrevocable consequences—and sets them on disparate and treacherous paths across the world.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
The Bride Test

The Bride Test

by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test is a spin-off from Helen Hoang’s bestselling book The Kiss Quotient. Khai is a young Vietnamese man whose meddling mother would love to see him find someone and give her some grandchildren. (Like most Asian mothers). She decides to take matters into her own hands and sets out to find a bride for her son while on a trip in Vietnam. Khai’s mom, Cô Nga meets a young woman who has been working in as a hotel maid in Ho Chi Minh City named Esme. She’s just the type of girl who Cô Nga thinks would be perfect for Khai, so she offers Esme the opportunity to move to the United States and marry Khai.

Esme has no idea what she’s in for when she agrees to come to America to potentially marry Khai. He seems standoffish and sometimes aloof, but she finds him endearing. Khai always knew he was different because of his autism and he doesn’t know how to show his affection. Esme's efforts to seduce him don’t seem to be working on him but she’s falling head over heels. Will Khai realize how to show Esme he cares or will he lose her?

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows is a tale of being stuck between cultures. A first-generation daughter of Indian immigrants, Nikki lives in West London. As a law school dropout, she doesn’t have a lot of cash, so she impulsively takes a job teaching a creative writing class at the Punjabi community center.

She soon discovers that many of the women who signed up for the class thought they were taking an English literacy course, rather than the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories among Nikki’s things, she suggests that those are the kind of stories they should be writing. Nikki learns that the widows have been hiding some steamy fantasies and memories underneath their white dupattas….

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!