Book Hunters in Brief #74: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

This week, the Book Hunters want to celebrate the contributions to American culture made by people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. And there are plenty. Consider this: were it not for Asian Americans, this land of capitalism with a capital "C" would have no tycoons. Then, consider this: our Marines wouldn't be gung ho. And this: we would have no cousins living out in the boondocks. And finally consider this: without the contributions of Asian Americans, we wouldn't even have that most American of vegetables: ketchup.

Try to imagine America without ketchup. It is impossible. I have tried.

The point is this: we all know about the scientists and the athletes, the entertainers and the writers. The contributions of individuals of Asian and Pacific Islander descent are innumerable. But it is those other contributions--to language, to cuisine, that show that our nation has grown richer in the most important ways.

The Book Hunters suggest these as a jumping off place.

The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu

On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey by G.B. Tran

The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang

Book Hunters are your personal reading consultants. Just tell us what you like and don't like in books and we'll create a reading list to fit your tastes. It's fast and it's always free. Start here.