May Staff Picks

Staff-recommended reading from the Alexandria Library Catalog. Check back each month for a new list. Need some recommended titles? Tell us five titles you have enjoyed and we'll send you a list of five more that we think you will like. Also check out our new Goodreads Group for reviews, online bookclubs, and more!



Human acts: a novel

By Kang Han

When a young boy named Dong-ho is shockingly killed in the midst of a violent student uprising in South Korea, the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre. Through their collective heartbreak and acts of hope unfolds the tale of a brutalized people in search of a voice.




Snow falling on cedars

By David Gutterson

In Washington State, the trial of Kabuo Miyomoto, a Japanese-American fisherman accused of murdering another fisherman, Carl Heine. The prosecution charges the murder was committed as revenge for the Heine family taking Miyomoto's land at the outbreak of World War II and the novel traces the different reaction of the white and yellow communities. 


Big little man : in search of my Asian self

By Alex Tizon

Why do so many people find Asian women sexy but Asian men sexless? Alex Tizon's family emigrated from the Philippines when he was four. He quickly learned to be ashamed of his face, his skin color, his height. In movies and on television he saw Asian men as 'servants, villains, or geeks, one-dimensional, powerless, sneaky little men.' His observations of sex and the Asian American male -- as funny as they are fierce -- include the story of his own quest for love during college in the 1980s. It was a tortured tutorial on stereotypes that still make it hard for Asian men to get the girl. 


Yellow: race in America beyond Black and White

By Frank H. Wu

In the tradition of W.E.B. Du Bois, Cornel West, and other public intellectuals who confronted the "color line" of the twentieth century, journalist, law professor, and activist Frank H. Wu offers a unique perspective on how changing ideas of racial identity will affect race relations in the new century. Often provocative and always thoughtful, this book addresses some of the most controversial contemporary issues: discrimination, immigration, diversity, globalization, and the mixed-race movement, introducing the example of Asian Americans to shed new light on the current debates. 



Where the mountain meets the moon

By Grace Lin

A neat children's story about a young girl, Minli, travelling on a journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him to change her family's fortune and the many magical creatures she encounters.




Everything I never told you

By Celeste Ng.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.



The sacred willow : four generations in the life of a Vietnamese family

By Duong Van Mai Elliott

The author tells the story of four generations of her family, from the nineteenth century through the 1990s, in an effort to show the impact of historical events and politics on Vietnamese families.



Crazy rich Asians

By Kevin Kwan

Envisioning a summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming clan that strongly opposes their son's relationship with an American girl.



When the emperor was divine : a novel

By Julie Otsuka

A Japanese American family, learning Japanese immigrants have become "reclassified" as enemy aliens during a routine trip to the post office, experience life in an American internment camp in Utah.



Millicent Min : girl genius

By Lisa Yee

In a series of journal entries, eleven-year-old child prodigy Millicent Min records her struggles to learn to play volleyball, tutor her enemy, deal with her grandmother's departure, and make friends over the course of a tumultuous summer.