#OwnVoices · Asian Literature · Books · readathon

The Birthday Book Challenge

October is usually the only month out of the year that I enjoy immensely. Aside from it being my birthday month, it’s also the first full month of Autumn, which is one of my favourite seasons. It’s a wonderful excuse to wear sweaters and boots, drink hot chocolate, and eat pumpkin spice flavoured everything. I find a lot of comfort and cosiness in those things.

This year I decided to go ahead and start a new book challenge for myself. I want to be able to share in that comfy and cosy atmosphere with reading! Starting this month, I will choose either a genre or a small group of books with a common theme, and spend the entire month reading titles that match the chosen criteria.

My first group of books will consist of books written by Asian authors. Most of them will be #OwnVoices since I own quite a lot of #OwnVoices Asian literature, but they don’t necessarily have to be. This DOES NOT mean reading books with Asian characters, or about Asian cultures written by a non-Asian. Strictly books authored by Asian people. Asian literature, specifically Japanese literature, is my favourite genre next to science fiction and fantasy, so I figured it be perfect for the initial challenge!

There are a couple of miniature challenges that I will try to attempt during October in addition to just reading Asian literature, as well as two exceptions.

Mini-Challenges:
  1. Read 1 book at a time. Because of my ADHD, I tend to read multiple books simultaneously. For October, I’m only going to read one book at a time. I’m hopeful that this will help me give my full attention to the titles I’m reading and as such I’ll absorb it and appreciate the narrative much more.
  2. NO TBR! Since Creating TBRs with a time limit (monthly, seasonal, etc.) always put me into a reading slump, I will not be creating one for my bookish challenge. I’m just going to wing it and grab whatever books seem to fit my mood in that moment.
  3. Multi-mediums. I won’t only stick to fiction novels. I’ll pickup some comics and non-fiction titles as well. Since manga are Japanese graphic novels, they will also be allowed during the challenge.
Exceptions:
  1. Betrothed Book Challenge. This is a monthly to bi-monthly book challenge I participate in with Sir Betrothed where we give each other a book from our respective shelves to complete within the month. Currently we are buddy reading The Legends of Dune Trilogy by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. I will keep up with this buddy read throughout October.
  2. Spookathon Readathon. Mid-October there will be a week-long readathon where the goal is to read scary books for Halloween. This year I wanted to participate and read through all six of the Resident Evil novels. I’m super excited to participate in this readathon.

Well, that just about does it for the Birthday Book Challenge! If y’all have suggestions for books authored by Asian people, please leave them in the comments section. I’m generating a huge list so I can have tons of options to choose from. Thank you!

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6 thoughts on “The Birthday Book Challenge

  1. This sounds like a lovely challenge, Neha! I recommend Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani, No More Heroes by Michelle Kan, Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok, and Saree by Su Dharmapala. Would you like trigger warnings? I especially recommend checking them for Saree.

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  2. My knowledge of Asian literature is extremely small. I know Murakami is big for Japan, and then there’s the Monogatari series, of which I’ve only read part 1 of Nisemonogatari. For Chinese authors there’s Amy Tan and Lisa See. From India, I’m aware of Tell a Thousand Lies by Rasana Atreya. I haven’t read most of these, so I can’t vouch for how good or bad they are. Sorry.

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