This May, as we celebrate Asian Heritage Month in Toronto, we highlight books that reflect the variety of cultures, customs and traditions of Asians, both in their native countries and abroad.
There are many very well written, serious books about issues in many of these countries. But there is also lighter fare that still shows us what life in many countries around the world can be like.
As the weather (finally!) starts to warm up, you may be looking forward to some fun, light reads you could sit out on the patio with, or take along if you're on a beach vacation.
Here are some beach reads with Asian Heritage Month in mind.
Crazy, Rich Asians
by Kevin Kwan, 2013
A juicy, gossipy novel that is a fun read. It's all about - you guessed it - some extremely elite and wealthy Asians. The families in Kwan's book are all about high fashion, exclusive parties, and some pretty serious rivalries.
Five Star Billionaire
by Tash Aw, 2013
In a similar vein as Kwan's book, Five Star Billionaire follows five characters as they make their way towards fame and fortune in the bustling city of Shanghai. Tash Aw really sets the scene, making the city and its people come alive.
Girls of Riyadh
by Rajaa al-Sanea, 2007
Although this is an older book, it's still worth a quick read if you haven't picked it up. It tells the story of some of the most hidden women in the world and reads like a Gossip Girl novel set in The Kingdom.
by Nadine Dajani, 2008
Cutting Loose is a fun, easy read about three young women who cross paths in sultry, sleek Miami and find that sometimes letting go is the best way to find who you are.
by Jennifer Zobair, 2013
Described as The Namesake meets Sex and the City, Painted Hands introduces us to Amra and Zainab as they try and balance their cultural backgrounds with demands of their professional jobs.
Have another beach read set in an Asian country or featuring Asian characters? Leave a suggestion!
If you're looking for more Asian Heritage Month reading suggestions, be sure to check out our previous list!