Asian Booklist: December
Discover new books by British-Asian authors
Update from Kia
Whenever I feel stressed by my to-do list, I think back to two occasions in my life.
The first: April 2003. I was 20 years old and in the last year of my Computer Science degree. For my final year project, I wrote a Java debugger, which was the most stressful thing I’ve ever done academically.
The second: February 2022 when I sold a house, bought a house, moved 250 miles across the country back to my hometown of London, finished and filed Book 4, tied the knot after 12 years with Peter and caught and recovered from Covid.
I’ve had to reach for those occasions several times this year while juggling various deadlines. Since January, I’ve published one novel (Those People Next Door in the UK and Perfectly Nice Neighbors in the US), abridged one novel (cutting 90,000 words down to 20,000 as one of six new titles for Quick Reads 2024) and written two other books (one of which I’ve also edited). This as well as all the events, podcasts, articles and other publicity commitments that come with publishing a book (if you’re lucky).
But, now, I am done. I am officially checking out. I’ll be away from the 12th until the end of the year on my first trip of 2023 – a testament to how busy this year has been (for comparison, in 2022, I visited 15 countries as well as Antarctica and the Arctic). Still, it’s been a fulfilling year and I’m looking forward to the next one.
Without further ado, let’s move on to the list. Sadly, despite callouts on social media and my WhatsApp network, I have only one new release for you this month. I’m hoping this is simply because the callouts didn’t reach many users due to The Algorithm rather than what I fear: that British-Asian authors are sidelined at Christmas to make space for the usual suspects. It’s a trend I’ve seen in the last few years, but I don’t want to end on a sour note. There have been some amazing books by British-Asian authors out this year, including my book of the year (see Editor’s choice below).
I’ll be back in touch in 2024. Until then, read, drink and be merry, my friends.
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New books by British-Asian authors
28 December 2023
This Book May Save Your Life
The hilarious, myth-busting survival guide to the human body from TikTok's favourite General Surgeon. Though the odds are stacked against us, the human body has an extraordinary tendency to survive. Here, Dr Karan Rajan explains the weird and wonderful bodily functions that keep us going, and offers practical advice to help you thrive. Full of everyday health hacks to worry less and live better, This Book May Save Your Life […]
Books out last month
9 November 2023
The debut novel from critically acclaimed writer Huma Qureshi: a poignant story of art and sisterhood, family, marriage and betrayal. Hana has a perfect job, a perfect home, a perfect marriage. It is her younger sister Mira who is a mess. But Hana wants children and her husband is hesitating, and perhaps her control is slipping. Mira dreams of a creative life but she's stuck working at a local café. She hates her flatmate and Hana’s dismissal of her writing. […]
16 November 2023
Made in Bangladesh: Recipes and Stories from a Home Kitchen
Made in Bangladesh explores the delicious cuisine of Bangladesh in 75 tantalising recipes. Taking you through the six Bangladeshi seasons – summer, monsoon, autumn, late autumn, winter and spring – with warming flavours and memories, Dina Begum's Made in Bangladesh teaches modern classics and age-old recipes to home cooks across the world. Puchka (potato & chickpea filled pastry shells with tamarind sauce), Tenga Shira (light and sour fish stew with green tomatoes) […]
23 November 2023
You want to be just like her. But do you really know her? Rani has always felt like an outsider. First growing up among her white, wealthy peers. And now next to her successful, child-free friends. From the tiny rented flat she lives in with her family, she imagines being the kind of woman who owns the beautiful house across the street. Then Natalie moves in. With her expensive clothes, adoring husband and high-powered job, she has everything Rani wants. […]
My book of the year
My book of the year is I’m A Fan by Sheena Patel. I first heard of Sheena through her collective, 4 Brown Girls Who Write, and picked up her novel in Newham Bookshop as soon as it came out in paperback. I knew I’d made a good choice when, a couple of hours later, it was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.
Astute, acerbic and startlingly original, I’m A Fan has been nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award, and won the British Book Awards Discover Book of the Year.
As I said in this tweet, sometimes, you can't even be jealous. You're just like, “Okay, you're better than me and that's alright. I'm just grateful that you and your work exist in this world.” That's how I feel about Sheena Patel and I’m A Fan.