It can be hard to figure out what to get for everyone on your list—with so many loved ones and so many holiday events to attend, gifting becomes one big chore when it should be a celebration of your loved ones. And, many of us want to make our dollars count by buying from companies and brands that we support. Luckily for you, this gift guide is full of book ideas from Asian authors that are sure to be a hit, even with the toughest Good Reads critic.
From fiction to memoirs and everything in between, here are 13 books by Asian authors for the bibliophile in your life.
1. ‘Prehistoric: The Audacious and Improbable Origin Story of the Toronto Raptors’
By Alex Wong
Written by basketball reporter and life-long Raptors fan Alex Wong, this book traces the history and first year of Toronto’s NBA team. — Rebecca Gao
$25. Available at Amazon.ca.
2. ‘For the Love of Cocktails’
By Evelyn Chick
This book by globally acclaimed beverage expert Evelyn Chick features drink recipes for every occasion, including cocktail-hour staples, low-alcohol, zero-proof and canna-curious options. — Madelyn Chung
$34.95. Available at figure1publishing.com.
3. ‘Superfan: How Pop Culture Broke My Heart’
By Jen Sookfong Lee
Jen Sookfong Lee’s memoir-in-pieces showcases how pop culture impacted her as the child of Chinese immigrants in Vancouver, and how it helped her to explore family, identity, belonging, grief and the power of female rage. — M.C.
$24.95. Find retailers at penguinrandomhouse.ca.
4. ‘Permission to Come Home’
By Jenny T. Wang, PhD
This debut book by Jenny T. Wang (a.k.a. the person behind @asiansformentalhealth) examines how cultural expectations impact Asian Americans’ mental health. Weaving her personal narrative as a Taiwanese American together with her insights as a clinician and evidence-based tools, Dr. Wang explores a range of life areas that call for attention, offering readers the permission to question, feel, rage, say no, take up space, choose, play, fail, and grieve. — M.C.
$37. Available at indigo.ca.
5. ‘Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines’
By Natalie Wee
Gift the transformative power of poetry with Natalie Wee’s special edition of ‘Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines,’ (accompanied by a special illustrated print by Wenting Li) a captivating blend of new and reimagined poems, painting the body as a canvas of resistance, lineage, and living testimony. A perfect gift for the reflective soul. — Nathan Sing
$25. Available at tehstudio.ca.
6. ‘The Golden Screen: The Movies That Made Asian America’
By Jeff Yang
This keepsake book celebrates and examines the history of Asian Americans on the big screen, exploring how iconic films have shaped Hollywood, representation, and American culture. With over 100 photographs and original artwork by esteemed Asian illustrators, a foreword by Michelle Yeoh and interviews with Simu Liu, Lulu Wang, Daniel Dae Kim and more, this book is a must-have for any movie lover’s collection. — M.C.
$50. Available at amazon.ca.
7. ‘Mayumu: Filipino American Desserts Remixed’
By Abi Balingit
This colourful and delectable cookbook by Abi Balingit features 75 recipes that blend Filipino flavours with American ones like Halo Halo Baked Alaska and Adobo Chocolate Chip Cookies. With essays that explore Balingit’s heritage, relationship with her family and how food is at the center of it all. — R.G.
$50. Find retailers at harpercollins.ca.
8. ‘Three Holidays and a Wedding’
By Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley
If you’re not already familiar with Uzma Jalaluddin, it’s time. The Toronto author made a name for herself after churning out Jane Austen-inspired classics, including the recent Much Ado About Nada. With this novel, she co-writes alongside friend and fellow author Marissa Stapley, about a special, multi-faith romance that heats up on the rare occasion when Christmas, Ramadan, and Hanukkah fall at the same time. — Sadaf Ahsan
$13. Available at amazon.ca.
9. ‘Yumiverse Mindful Coloring Book’
By Yumi Sakugawa
Gift the joy of tranquility with Yumi Sakugawa’s Yumiverse Mindful Coloring Book, a creative haven filled with serene illustrations and uplifting affirmations. Filled with peaceful figures, mindful meditations, and positive affirmations like ‘Rest is important’ and ‘Taking a break because I love myself,’ this book invites users to colour their way to relaxation and self-love. — N.S.
$17.99. Available at amazon.ca.
10. ‘The Tao of Self-Confidence’
By Sheena Yap Chan
This book serves as a guide for Asian women to tap into their confidence and joy and shine as leaders in today’s world. Author and podcaster Sheena Yap Chan discusses and explores the specific challenges the Asian community faces, including intergenerational and historical trauma, and offers tips on how to rise above stereotypes, tap into inner joy and awaken the leader within.
$20. Available at amazon.ca.
11. ‘Time is a Mother’
By Ocean Vuong
In Time is a Mother, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother’s death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. This deeply intimate poetry collection contends with the meaning of family and the cost of being the product of an American war in America.
$32. Available at indigo.ca.
12. ‘White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Colour‘
By Ruby Hamad
Journalist Ruby Hamad’s debut book of history and cultural criticism is described as ‘required reading for anyone who claims to be an intersectional feminist.’ It powerfully and provocatively reveals how white feminism has been used as a weapon of white supremacy and patriarchy deployed against Black and Indigenous women, and women of colour.
$24. Available at amazon.ca.
13. ‘White Riot’
By Henry Tsang
Based on Henry Tsang’s immersive 360 Riot Walk, ‘White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver’ combines colourized historical photographs, contemporary images, and insightful essays to explore the ongoing impact of systemic racism — an insightful and meaningful gift for anyone committed to understanding the complexities of social justice and historical narratives. — N.S.
$32.95. Available at arsenalpulp.com.
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