Category: Asia

Magic Ramen: The Story Of Momofuku Ando by Andrea Wang & Kana Urbanowicz

I was exceedingly tickled when my older twin, 7 year-old Joseph, came rushing home from school to show me the two library books he’d picked out. One (which I’ll hopefully get to review later) is about a trumpet player like his older brother. The other was this terrific picture book about one of our favorite …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/12/magic-ramen-the-story-of-momofuku-ando-by-andrea-wang-kana-urbanowicz/

Iron Widow (Iron Widow #1) by Xiran Jay Zhao

Yooooo. I love any book with an unapologetically, righteously angry female lead and this one did not disappoint! Also, Zetian is a disabled heroine who kicks ass! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with such positive disability rep, which is partly on me but, let’s face it, mostly on publishing. Add to that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/27/iron-widow-iron-widow-1-by-xiran-jay-zhao/

Amok by Anna Tan

The world-building of this Nusantara-set novel is exemplary, seamlessly incorporating elements of all the cultures that meld and mingle in Malaysia and its neighbors to present a truly fascinating fantasy world. The main nation is Terang, a collection of three city-states, each with its own mystical focus. Suci, the holy city, is known for a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/07/06/amok-by-anna-tan/

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

It’s weird feeling like I’m perfectly suited to review this book as a diaspora Malaysian but also feeling inadequate to review this book for that very same reason. The experience of reading Black Water Sister was like stepping back into old, comfy clothes and wandering around my hometown, but a small part of me was …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/11/black-water-sister-by-zen-cho/

Genghis Khan by Leo de Hartog

I’m glad that Leo de Hartog did not title this biography A Life of Genghis Khan because there is astonishingly little life between its covers. I would have thought the biography of someone who rose from a tribal noble to rule the largest land empire this world has ever known would be positively gripping, but …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/04/14/genghis-khan-by-leo-de-hartog/

The Empress Of Salt And Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle #1) by Nghi Vo

I’m so glad I managed to sneak in this novella between work assignments! It’s a swift read, tho the first few pages require the reader to make several quick adjustments as Nghi Vo drops us directly into her Asian-inspired milieu. It’s well worth it tho, as Ms Vo packs a whole lot more into this …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/03/17/the-empress-of-salt-and-fortune-the-singing-hills-cycle-1-by-nghi-vo/

White Ivy by Susie Yang

I had a very Lucille Bluth moment at the end, reading the final sentence and saying aloud, “Good for her!” even as I wished I had a martini in hand. Whether to celebrate or to sedate with is a good question, tho. The weird thing is that while I was cheering her on, I didn’t …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/12/30/white-ivy-by-susie-yang/

Bluebeard’s First Wife by Ha Seong-nan

Happy December, everyone! Let’s start the month with a chilling read! I have a bad habit of not remembering why I picked up certain volumes, not helped by the often considerable lag time between me deciding I want to read a book and me actually getting the opportunity to read it. So I vaguely recall …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/12/02/bluebeards-first-wife-by-ha-seong-nan/

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

From the very first pages, I was completely blown away by how lovely the prose of this novel is! In all honesty, pretty phrasing isn’t high on my list when it comes to what makes a novel entertaining, but Shveta Thakrar’s beautiful descriptive writing, coupled with her gift for presenting absolutely natural dialog and emotion, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/19/star-daughter-by-shveta-thakrar/

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1) by Chloe Gong

So there are some really good bits in Chloe Gong’s retelling of Romeo And Juliet, set in 1920s Shanghai and featuring the scions of two rival gang families needing to team up to defeat a supernatural threat to the city. First and foremost is the lived-in character of Juliette Cai, heir to the Scarlet Gang, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/17/these-violent-delights-these-violent-delights-1-by-chloe-gong/