Books for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Book cover showing a bowl of flowers with a candle floating on the water.

*These books were selected by Garima Shah (she/her, Junior) and Elizabeth Whimore (she/her, Sophomore), two Student Library Engagement Ambassadors at the University of Michigan.

More about Garima: Hello! I am a rising junior studying Computer Science. I have a passion for reading and encouraging others to read as well. I can’t wait to showcase all the amazing resources, staff, and faculty the University of Michigan libraries have. In my free time I enjoy dancing, baking, and traveling. 

More about Elizabeth: I really enjoy encouraging students, faculty, and staff to access the resources and events at the University of Michigan libraries that are readily available for everyone! Summer 2022 I have the opportunity to help promote and add to our growing collection. When I have free time, I enjoy reading (makes sense), painting, and spending time with family and friends.

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Happy Asian-American and Pacific Islander Month! We’d like to highlight a few of our favorite books with Asian-Amerian and Pacific Islander authors, characters, and content. This representation shouldn’t stop after May is over, and we hope that after you take a peek at our picks, you are encouraged to do your own exploring. Educating ourselves through stories is one way we can have a deeper appreciation and understanding of different cultures and customs. Happy reading, but remember to keep advocating for each other!

Elizabeth's Pick:

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

    A young girl named Minli is inspired by the hopeful stories told by her father, and she ventures out from the Fruitless Mountain to change the fortune of her village, her family, and herself. Assisted by new friends and mystical creatures, Minli is determined to complete her quest. But can one really change their fortune? Especially when it has been resolute for so long?

    I have long enjoyed folktales, legends, and myths, and this book is one of my comfort reads. Lin easily invokes genuine emotion through her characters, and the addition of her beautiful illustrations pull you even deeper into Minli’s adventure.

Garima's Pick: 

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri 

    This collection of nine short stories describes the life of Indian American immigrants and their families in America describing their life as they are torn between their roots and their new life. These short stories illustrate the unique struggles faced by South Asian immigrant families. These tales are thrilling and the author draws you in. As each chapter is its own short story, this book is great to pick up when you have a limited amount of time. 

    As a daughter of two Indian American immigrants I can relate to many of the points brought up in the stories and draw parallels to my own life; however, this book is relatable for everybody as the stories show us the importance of communication in relationships.