ICYMI: 5 Books to Check Out in Celebration of AAPI Voices


Written by:

By Lucie Huang

Books are great ways to connect with different perspectives, learn new knowledge, and celebrate unique voices. Especially amidst all of the social media and technology in our lives, it can be so nourishing, for both your mind and soul, to take some time offline and indulge in reading. And so, in honour of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, here are some great book picks in a variety of genres that will be sure to catch your eye.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

If you’re familiar with Indie-pop artist Japanese Breakfast, you’ll be sure to enjoy this memoir that tells the story of its sole singer, Michelle Zauner, and her journey through the loss of her mother and finding her place in the music world as a Korean-American woman. Though it is only her debut, this book is emotional, heartfelt and intimate, a heartwarming tribute to family that is sure to make you shed a tear or two. 

You can purchase your own copy here: Crying In H Mart, Book by Michelle Zauner (Paperback)

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

The second collection of poems from Vietnamese-American writer Ocean Vuong discusses the complex dynamics of family and love, whilst taking a bold leap into experimental poetry. His deeply thoughtful writing style accompanied by his vivid storytelling illuminates the all-too-common struggles of Asian-American families surviving in America. A testament to the importance of humanity during trying times, you’ll find yourself entranced by every page. 

Pick up yours today, here: Time Is A Mother, Book by Ocean Vuong (Hardcover)

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

South Asian feminist Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers is all about self growth and healing, taking its readers on a journey that celebrates family, identity, and ancestry. Told through the analogy of a flower’s life, every chapter is packed with sweet, short stanzas that inspire a sense of appreciation for every unique quality that makes up you. Because at the end of the day, self love triumphs over all. 

The poetry collection is available for purchase here: Sun and Her Flowers, Book by Rupi Kaur (Paperback) 

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino 

New Yorker Jia Tolentino’s debut is a unique essay collection delving deep into feminism, capitalism, and how culture shapes our everyday lives. Each essay tackles a different yet interconnected topic, her narrative voice incredibly authentic and sharp. It’s thoughtful, critical and, most of all, encourages its readers to self-reflect on the ever-evolving world around them.

Get your hands on it here: Trick Mirror: Reflections On Self-delusion, Book by Jia Tolentino (Paperback) 

Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong

Part essay, part memoir, this book combines personal narratives from Hong, Asian-American history and cultural criticism to form a work like no other. Connecting with her Korean roots, Hong unpacks years of assimilation and melancholy in her personal stories, her words all too relatable and authentic. Intertwined with criticism on westernised culture, she provokes her readers to re-evaluate their relationships and find validity in their own ancestries. 

Buy the ebook here: Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning 

Stay tuned to our socials @EmpowHERto and keep an eye on our blog for more book recommendations this summer.

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