Happy Asian Heritage Month! Based on popular demand, we are hosting another Asian Books Challenge this year. For 2021, we are asking folks to share a book by an Asian or Asian diasporan author for every letter of the English alphabet. You can alphabetize by title and/or authors and fill out the board in whichever order you like.
Make sure to use our hashtag #AsianBooksChallenge and #ABCRecs, so that other book lovers can see what books you’ve recommended on social media. If you’re a book blogger, tag us so that we can include you in our roundup post.
Here is the Instagram story template. You can also find both templates on our Instagram Highlights.
While May is officially called “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month,” we are aware that many Pasifika and Oceanic activists have expressed their wishes to have their own space to celebrate their heritage, history, and trials, which are distinctly unique from Asian experiences. Therefore, we will be focusing on authors of Asian descent for this challenge out of respect.
If you are interested in reading books by Pasifika authors, please check out our Pasifika Writers shelf on our Bookshop.org affiliate page.
We are also not restricting our #AsianBooksChallenge to feature only Asian American authors. The Asian diaspora is broad and diverse. There are some brilliant Asian authors who live outside the U.S. and we would like to give people a chance to spotlight their works. We’re excited to see everyone’s recommendations throughout the month!
Panels, Blogs, and Read-a-thons
- Asian Author Alliance is once again hosting a series of virtual events and panels featuring AAPI authors, illustrators, and creators for the entire month of May. Check out their full lineup and schedule on AsianAuthorAlliance.com.
- 2021 Asian Readathon is a month-long reading marathon dedicated to reading books by Asian authors. To learn more, check out their Google doc. You can also find their directory of Asian books on StoryGraph.
- Subtle Asian Bookclub is reading The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali this month and will be doing a livestream on May 23rd on their YouTube channel. You can also join their discussion on their Discord.
- The Quiet Pond will be interviewing 17 Asian and Pacific Islander authors for the entire month.
COVID-19 Relief for India
We’d like to close this post with some links to help India with their COVID-19 crisis. With less than two percent of the country vaccinated, there has been a catastrophic number of deaths. Hospitals are in desperate need of oxygen concentrators while marginalized communities are left without masks or food. Please consider showing solidarity by donating or sharing resources.
Mission Oxygen is an initiative started by over 250 entrepreneurs in the Delhi area that focuses on raising funds for oxygen concentrators and cylinders across the country. They have donated nearly 4,000 concentrators from China since launching their fundraiser on Ketto.
Rapid Response India is an India-based nonprofit that specializes in disaster management and providing emergency assistance. They have been providing dry food and safety kits to marginalized communities as well as purchasing PPE kits, masks, and hygiene supplies for hospitals.
Oxfam India is donating PPE and safety kits to government institutions. They are also working with local policymakers to aid in vaccine distribution and direct cash transfers to the most marginalized households.
Indian Muslim Relief & Charities (IMRC) is a nonprofit focused on supporting India’s Muslim community. They are currently raising funds on Kindful for family meal packages, medical kits, and stipends for unemployed teachers.
Khalsa Aid is a Sikh humanitarian organization that is raising funds for the purchase and nationwide distribution of oxygen concentrators. You can donate to their cause with their Zelle-compatible website.
For more ongoing fundraisers related to COVID-19 relief in India, check out this extensive Google doc.