25 Books by Asian Authors to Read in 2020

Representation matters and to make sure your TBR pile is as diverse as your reading tastes, we rounded up 25 books by Asian authors hitting shelves in 2020. Whether you prefer romance, YA, mystery, literary fiction, or fantasy, there’s a book here for you. And if you find yourself adding most of these to your to-read list, consider joining the book-blogger hosted Year of the Asian 2020 Reading Challenge!

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

Set in India, this debut novel follows a boy and his two friends as they begin to investigate the disappearance of a classmate using the knowledge he’s pulled from watching cops on TV.

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

This YA duology opener follows a group of magicians as they compete to be the star of the Conquering Circus. But ambition becomes dangerous once magicians start to go missing.

Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier

Jean Kyoung Frazier’s debut novel follows a pregnant 18-year-old pizza delivery girl living in Los Angeles who connects with a stay-at-home mom she makes weekly deliveries to.

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

If you haven’t started reading R.F. Kuang’s fantasy series yet, now is the perfect time to begin so you’re fully caught up by the fall when the third and final book hits shelves.

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

Kevin Kwan is back this summer with a novel that draws inspiration from A Room with a View. Fans of Crazy Rich Asians won’t want to miss the glitz, glam, and drama of Lucie Churchill and George Zao reconnecting years after they first met in Capri.

Temporary Wife Temptation by Jayci Lee

If the fake relationship trope leaves you swooning, you won’t want to miss this first book in the Heirs of Hansol series. Garrett Song and Natalie Sobol strike a deal to pose as a married couple, and end up growing closer than they ever could’ve imagined.

Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

Inspired by medieval India, this YA fantasy novel is set in a world where a star-shaped birthmark is a death sentence. Gul, whose arm is marked by a star, keeps her head down to try to stay alive, but she’s about to meet someone who will change everything.

Once Upon a Sunset by Tif Marcelo

Diana Gallagher-Cary is in need of a change when her mother stumbles across letters from the 1940s that reveal a family member they believed died in World War II actually survived. Diana makes her way to the Philippines in search of her family and finds more than she ever imagined.

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev

Sonali Dev brings Jane Austen’s Persuasion into the present day with this new romance, which follows Chef Ashna Raje and Rico Silva after they’re paired together on the reality tv show Cooking with the Stars.

Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas

Let Lady Sherlock solve the case of what mystery you pick up next! The fifth installment in this Victorian-set series hits shelves in the fall with Charlotte Holmes stepping up to help an inspector in trouble.

Burning Roses by S.L. Huang

September brings a novella fairytale retelling from S.L. Huang. When sunbirds begin to tear apart the countryside, Hou Yi the Archer and Rosa (Red Riding Hood) come together on a quest to stop them.

I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee

In this YA debut, Skye Shin enters a reality TV competition to become the next K-Pop star and finds herself thrust into the spotlight. Throughout the show, she pushes back against fat-phobic beauty standards and starts to fall for competitor Henry Cho.

Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang

If you’re looking for a historical mystery, dive into this novel set in New York City in 1899. Tillie Pembroke is on the hunt for her sister’s killer, who seems to want the world to believe the death was the work of a vampire.

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

In this romance novel, a viral tweet sends Katrina and her bodyguard Jas into hiding, forcing them to finally reveal their feelings for each other. Read the book and then check out our interview with Rai!

A Burning by Megha Majumdar

On shelves this June, Megha Majumdar’s debut novel follows three characters whose lives are changed when one of them speaks out against the government and is then falsely accused of committing an act of terrorism.

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

Hugo Award–winner Zen Cho has you covered if you’re looking for a fantasy novella this summer. This found-family story follows Guet Imm, a nun of the Pure Moon Order who joins a group of bandits after they save her.

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Elizabeth Lim’s YA fantasy series continues with Unravel the Dusk. Maia Tamarin finds herself engaged to the emperor, all the while working to protect her family and keep war from coming to her kingdom.

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon

Needing a break from parental scrutiny, Pinky asks Samir to pose as her boyfriend for the summer, knowing her judgmental parents will fall head over heels for her organized, Harvard-bound classmate. The last thing she expects is to fall for him too.

The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel

Sajni Patel’s The Trouble with Hating You follows Liya after she discovers the lawyer hired to save her company is the same man her parents want her to marry. Check out our interview with Patel and three other 2020 debut authors here!

Haunted Heroine by Sarah Kuhn

Sarah Kuhn’s fantasy series has seen Evie Tanaka go from being an assistant to a superhero to being a hero in her own right. The fourth installment picks up with news of a haunting at a women’s college that Evie’s called to investigate.

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

Layla Patel discovers her meddling father arranged a series of blind dates for her in this romance from Sara Desai.

Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee

Also a May’s Most-Anticipated Book, this mystery follows Sam Wyndham through two cases: one from London in 1905 and the other in India in 1922.

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

This fall you can dive into the first installment in the Drowning Empire series, which follows Lin, the heir to the emperor, on her journey to reclaim her throne.

The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung

Psychoanalytic psychotherapist Maxine Mei-Fung Chung’s debut novel is a thriller exploring mental health through the eyes of Alexa Wú and her psychiatrist, Daniel Rosenstein.

The White Coat Diaries by Madi Sinha

Norah Kapadia is ready to start the medical residency of her dreams. At least, that’s what she thought. When an ethical dilemma comes up at work, she begins to question if she’s truly where she’s meant to be.

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

1 Comment
  1. For nonfiction, I highly recommend’Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning’ by Cathy Park Hong. The essay collection is absolutely wonderful and thought-provoking!

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