Category: Asia

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

I always really, really want to like Cassandra Khaw’s work more than I do. Ngl, this desire is due in large part to the Malaysian connection, which is enforced in spades by the fact that the entire cast of this book is Malaysian as well! Our five friends — after a fashion — converge on …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2023/01/11/nothing-but-blackened-teeth-by-cassandra-khaw/

Before the West by Ayşe Zarakol

Before the West by Ayşe Zarakol

“How would the history of international relations in ‘the East’ be written,” asks Ayşe Zarakol, “if we did not always read the ending — the rise of the West and the decline of the East — into the past?” (frontispiece) Before the West: The Rise and Fall of Eastern World Orders is her effort to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/22/before-the-west-by-ayse-zarakol/

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Considering a book of scholarly articles about the history Chinese international relations, I wrote that it was “chock full of implied stories” and looked forward to the day that I could read some of them. Shelley Parker-Chan chose a later inflection point from Chinese history to tell the story of She Who Became the Sun, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/09/25/she-who-became-the-sun-by-shelley-parker-chan/

Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard

Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard

Forbidden love between two princesses. Forbidden not because they are both women, but because they are princesses, and relations between their two states are tense and unequal. Thanh is a princess of Bình Hải, in the south, nominally superior to its northern neighbor but falling back in relative power because of the neighbor’s greater access …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/06/11/fireheart-tiger-by-aliette-de-bodard/

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo

It isn’t true that the full title for When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain was originally meant to be When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain With Her Two Tiger Sisters and Considered Eating Cleric Chih but it could have been. Except that at that point it would have been politic to mention the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/28/when-the-tiger-came-down-the-mountain-by-nghi-vo/

Queen Of The Tiles by Hanna Alkaf

Trina Low was the Queen Of The Tiles, the glamorous and hyper-competitive Scrabble champion who died abruptly and unexpectedly towards the end of a championship match when she was only 16. Her death scarred the lives of many of those around her, foremost among them being Najwa Bakri, her best friend and the girl determined …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/04/21/queen-of-the-tiles-by-hanna-alkaf/

Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma by Melanie Lee and Arif Rafhan

Y’all, I did not expect this book to make me cry but it sure did. Ash Tan is a young Singaporean girl stressed out from having the National Exams looming over next year’s horizon, particularly since she isn’t very good at math. When she gets her latest bad grade, her mom takes away her handphone …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/03/amazing-ash-superhero-ah-ma-by-melanie-lee-and-arif-rafhan/

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

Though it contains tales of considerable violence, The Empress of Salt and Fortune remains in my mind as an almost restful story. It’s set at a secluded compound near Lake Scarlet, a nearly perfectly round lake formed by a falling star, and named for a glow that sometimes appears at sunset, starting faintly and then …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/11/26/the-empress-of-salt-and-fortune-by-nghi-vo/

The Last Jews Of Penang by Zayn Gregory & Arif Rafhan

Hey, everyone, my very talented friend Arif Rafhan has illustrated a(nother) terrific book! The Last Jews Of Penang is a slight volume suitable for all ages, that highlights a little known corner of Malaysian and Jewish history. A small but thriving Jewish settlement existed on the island of Penang for well over a century, building …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/11/24/the-last-jews-of-penang-by-zayn-gregory-arif-rafhan/

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/