YARC 2019 + 5 Asian-Author Book Recs

As if the /r/Fantasy Bingo wasn’t enough, I’m announcing my participation in a second reading challenge: The Year of the Asian Reading Challenge! The Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019, or YARC 2019 for short, is a year-long reading challenge hosted by CW, Lily, Shealea, and Vicky with the express goal to read as many books by Asian authors as possible. All books by Asian authors are fair game, any format, any genre. The only rule is that the book must have been started and finished in 2019.

The organizers have also put together a series of super cute badges you can collect for the number of books read. I’m currently aiming for the Giant Panda (31-40 books). It’s a little ambitious but I think I can do it! The abundance of Chinese web serials I recently discovered is sure to help.

For more information about this challenge and to sign up yourself, check out Shealea’s post.

I’ll be keeping a running progress tracker on my blog, which you can check out here. I’ve also got a dedicated Goodreads shelf, which you can view here.

To celebrate the kickoff of this reading challenge, I’m recommending five books written by Asian authors that I loved!

Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee



A Korean-inspired Sci-Fi series with some of the most imaginative worldbuilding and compelling characters I’ve come across, with beautifully math-y writing.


The Story of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang


A collection of thought-provoking short stories that make you contemplate math, linguistics, and life, including the short story that inspired the movie Arrival.


In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard


A sapphic Beauty and the Beast retelling with set in a post-apocalyptic Vietnamese backdrop with a side of morbidly trippy alien technology. Covers themes of motherhood and the significance of children leaving the nest.


The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation (魔道祖师) by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu (墨香铜臭)


A translated Chinese wuxia epic fantasy web serial, equal parts a comedy and tragedy, following the (mis)adventures a necromancer summoned from the dead and his lover who’s been pining for the last thirteen years. Read it here!


Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa


A YA novel set in feudal Japan that reads literally like an anime (kitsune MC, edgy male lead half possessed by a demon sword, A GUY WITH WHITE HAIR (RIP)) that had me screaming and cheering as I read.

6 thoughts on “YARC 2019 + 5 Asian-Author Book Recs

  1. I’m excited to watch everyone’s progress with this challenge! I kind of wanted to join in but I know I’d get hypercompetitive and want to try for the tiger level and I already have a bunch of other challenges lol. Will still be picking up and reading a lot of Asian authors this year!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s