Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! May marks the official celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Established in 1990, the month of May was specifically chosen to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in the U.S. in May 1843, as well as to honor the Chinese immigrants who worked to complete the transcontinental railroad in May 1869. (Read more history here!)
In recognizing the varied experiences of all AAPI individuals and communities, we’ve selected 13 books from across different genres to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander authors from our collections at FSU Libraries. Our list brings together contemporary titles that highlight distinct AAPI voices and raise important questions about culture and identity in the United States.
From cozy cat mysteries to critical essays, all of the resources included can be checked out or accessed online through our website with an FSUID. Whether you’re in Tallahassee or elsewhere this month, join us in celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with these notable books!
From the indie rock sensation known as Japanese Breakfast, an unforgettable memoir about family, food, grief, love, and growing up Korean American. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.
“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”
Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.
Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche—and of a writer’s search to both uncover and speak the truth.
Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, The Bad Muslim Discount is an inclusive, comic novel about Muslim immigrants finding their way in modern America. With deep insight, warmth, and an irreverent sense of humor, Syed M. Masood examines universal questions of identity, faith (or lack thereof), and belonging through the lens of Muslim Americans.
In a stunning collection that announces the arrival of an incredible talent, Kristiana Kahakauwila travels the islands of Hawai’i, making the fabled place her own. Exploring the deep tensions between local and tourist, tradition and expectation, façade and authentic self, This Is Paradise provides an unforgettable portrait of life as it’s truly being lived on Maui, Oahu, Kaua’i and the Big Island.
A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei’s childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon — and America itself — in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.
Seamlessly transitioning between the absurd and the tenderhearted, balancing acerbic humor with sharp emotional depth, Afterparties offers an expansive portrait of the lives of Cambodian-Americans. As the children of refugees carve out radical new paths for themselves in California, they shoulder the inherited weight of the Khmer Rouge genocide and grapple with the complexities of race, sexuality, friendship, and family.
This sassy cat mystery by Jennifer Chow follows the adventures of Mimi Lee, owner of Hollywoof – a new pet grooming business in Los Angeles. When a local breeder is found dead, Mimi must enlist her dreamy neighbor Josh and fluffy cat Marshmallow to clear her name and save her shop. A fun read with plenty of intrigue!
A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into a cult’s acts of terrorism. Haunting and intense, The Incendiaries is a fractured love story that explores what can befall those who lose what they love most.
At the age of 12, Sharmila Sen emigrated from India to the U.S. The year was 1982, and everywhere she turned, she was asked to self-report her race – on INS forms, at the doctor’s office, in middle school. Never identifying with a race in the India of her childhood, she rejects her new “not quite” designation – not quite white, not quite black, not quite Asian — and spends much of her life attempting to blend into American whiteness. Part memoir, part manifesto, Not Quite Not White is a searing appraisal of race and a path forward for the next not quite not white generation –a witty and sharply honest story of discovering that not-whiteness can be the very thing that makes us American.
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them? With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Nicole Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.
Alisha Rai’s viral novel follows a reclusive Katrina King as she’s flung reluctantly into the spotlight of the Internet. Haunted by her traumatic past, Katrina escapes with her bodyguard Jas Singh into the country for refuge. Looming threats to Katrina’s safety reveal not-so-unrequited feelings, blurring the lines between the duo forever. This is a romantic and exciting read about family, healing, and trust.
Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the women of both past and present who make a difference in our lives. It’s a time to champion the progress we’ve made, and to challenge ourselves to go further in the fight for safety, visibility, and equality for every woman.
With so much to celebrate, what better way to learn about women’s history than to check out a book by a woman author? We’ve selected 13 different books from our catalog to get you started on your Women’s History Month reads.
This display highlights books from across time, place, and culture that each share diverse perspectives and experiences of womanhood. Below, you’ll find classic, must-read novels like Mrs. Dalloway and The Bluest Eye alongside popular modern works like the New York Times Bestseller, Mexican Gothic. For the more academically inclined, we’ve selected essential feminist writings by Audre Lorde and bell hooks; and for those seeking a gripping story, we’ve got Cristina García’s Dreaming in Cuban and Radclyffe Hall’s once-banned lesbian novel, The Well of Loneliness. You’ll find everything from laugh-out-loud comics like Alison Bechdel’s jaunty Dykes to Watch Out For, to compelling dramas like The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
There is something for everyone this Women’s History Month!
Each book featured here can be checked out at Strozier Library or retrieved online through the FSU Libraries website. To search for more women’s books, browse our online catalog.
“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” It’s one of the most famous opening lines in literature, that of Virginia Woolf’s beloved masterpiece of time, memory, and the city. In the wake of World War I and the 1918 flu pandemic, Clarissa Dalloway, elegant and vivacious, is preparing for a party and remembering those she once loved. In another part of London, Septimus Smith is suffering from shell-shock and on the brink of madness. Their days interweave and their lives converge as the party reaches its glittering climax. In a novel in which she perfects the interior monologue and recapitulates the life cycle in the hours of the day, from first light to the dark of night, Woolf achieves an uncanny simulacrum of consciousness, bringing past, present, and future together, and recording, impression by impression, minute by minute, the feel of life itself.
Virginia Woolf co-owned and operated a publishing company, The Hogarth Press, which published both her works and those of her contemporaries- authors like T.S. Eliot, Sigmund Freud, and E.M. Forster. As such, the Woolfs’ house became something of a cultural hub for London artists of the time.
bell hooks establishes what feminism is truly about through Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics. The book analytically explores feminism from an intelligent perspective, shining light on the successes and shortcomings of the feminist movement. Removing the strong sexual appetite from the topic of love, the author explores ways to end oppression and sexism. Consider the book a simple guide to understanding feminism.
Pecola Breedlove, a young eleven-year-old black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dreams grow more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity.
In the 1960s, Toni Morrison worked as one of the first Black fiction editors at Random House, where she gave voice to other Black authors such as Angela Davis and Gayl Jones by acquiring and editing their books. In 1993, she became the first Black recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Settle in to this wittily illustrated soap opera (Bechdel calls it “half op-ed column and half endless serialized Victorian novel”) of the lives, loves, and politics of Mo, Lois, Sydney, Sparrow, Ginger, Stuart, Clarice, and the rest of the cast of cult-fav characters. Most of them are lesbians, living in a midsize American city that may or may not be Minneapolis. Bechdel’s brilliantly imagined countercultural band of friends—academics, social workers, bookstore clerks—fall in and out of love, negotiate friendships, raise children, switch careers, and cope with aging parents. Bechdel fuses high and low culture—from foreign policy to domestic routine, hot sex to postmodern theory—in a serial graphic narrative “suitable for humanists of all persuasions.”
A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia. Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence. Through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown, the novel draws readers into its rich and memorable portrayals of Celie, Nettie, Shug Avery and Sofia and their experience. The Color Purple broke the silence around domestic and sexual abuse, narrating the lives of women through their pain and struggle, companionship and growth, resilience and bravery. Deeply compassionate and beautifully imagined, Alice Walker’s epic carries readers on a spirit-affirming journey towards redemption and love.
Alice Walker participated in the historic March on Washington at which Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. In 1966, she moved to Mississippi to help local African Americans register to vote and much of her life was devoted to the fight for civil rights.
My Home As I Remember describes literary and artistic achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Metis women across Canada and the United States, including contributions from New Zealand and Mexico. Their voices and creative expression of identity and place are richly varied, reflecting the depth of the culturally diverse energy found on these continents. Over 60 writers and visual artists are represented from nearly 25 nations, including writers such as Lee Maracle, Chrystos and Louise Bernice Halfe, and visual artists Joane Cardinal-Schubert, Teresa Marshall, Kenojuak Ashevak, Doreen Jensen and Shelley Niro; and some who are published for the first time in this landmark volume. Lee Maracle is the author of numerous books, including Ravensong. Sandra Laronde, writer/actor, is Executive Director of Native Women in the Arts.
Cristina García’s acclaimed book is the haunting, bittersweet story of a family experiencing a country’s revolution and the revelations that follow. The lives of Celia del Pino and her husband, daughters, and grandchildren mirror the magical realism of Cuba itself, a landscape of beauty and poverty, idealism and corruption. Dreaming in Cuban is “a work that possesses both the intimacy of a Chekov story and the hallucinatory magic of a novel by Gabriel García Márquez” (The New York Times). In celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the novel’s original publication, this edition features a new introduction by the author.
The Well of Loneliness tells the story of tomboyish Stephen, who hunts, wears trousers and cuts her hair short – and who gradually comes to realise that she is attracted to women. Charting her romantic and professional adventures during the First World War and beyond, the novel provoked a furore on first publication in 1928 for its lesbian heroine and led to a notorious legal trial for obscenity. Hall herself, however, saw the book as a pioneer work and today it is recognised as a landmark work of gay fiction.
Because of the book’s queer themes, Radclyffe Halle was put on trial for obscenity. She lost her case; the book was banned; and all copies were ordered to be destroyed. Still, The Well of Loneliness survives as one of the most important lesbian texts of the 20th century.
Fairest is a memoir about a precocious boy with albinism, a “sun child” from a rural Philippine village, who would grow up to become a woman in America. Coping with the strain of parental neglect and the elusive promise of U.S. citizenship, Talusan found comfort from her devoted grandmother, a grounding force as she was treated by others with special preference or public curiosity. As an immigrant to the United States, Talusan came to be perceived as white, and further access to elite circles of privilege but required Talusan to navigate through the complex spheres of race, class, sexuality, and queerness. Questioning the boundaries of gender, Talusan realized she did not want to be confined to a prescribed role as a man, and transitioned to become a woman, despite the risk of losing a man she deeply loved. Throughout her journey, Talusan shares poignant and powerful episodes of desirability and love that will remind readers of works such as Call Me By Your Name and Giovanni’s Room.
Clare Kendry is living on the edge. Light-skinned, elegant, and ambitious, she is married to a racist white man unaware of her African American heritage, and has severed all ties to her past after deciding to “pass” as a white woman. Clare’s childhood friend, Irene Redfield, just as light-skinned, has chosen to remain within the African American community, and is simultaneously allured and repelled by Clare’s risky decision to engage in racial masquerade for personal and societal gain. After frequenting African American-centric gatherings together in Harlem, Clare’s interest in Irene turns into a homoerotic longing for Irene’s black identity that she abandoned and can never embrace again, and she is forced to grapple with her decision to pass for white in a way that is both tragic and telling.
Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative—and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world.
In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde-scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde’s philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published. These landmark writings are, in Lorde’s own words, a call to “never close our eyes to the terror, to the chaos which is Black which is creative which is female which is dark which is rejected which is messy which is . . . ”
In March, the Libraries at Florida State University are celebrating “Stories From Around the Globe” by promoting diverse international voices! Our carefully curated collection of books and movies includes multicultural stories, translations, and works by renowned international authors in their original languages. Explore these online resources available through the Libraries, or stop by our physical display on Strozier Library’s main floor, which will be up all month!
We have the perfect cure for those feeling homesick: our Postcards at the Library events! Join us at Strozier on Wednesday, March 22, and Dirac on Wednesday, March 29 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm to send a postcard to your loved ones anywhere in the world. Join us for snacks and an all-around fun time! Take advantage of this exciting opportunity!
Kindred spirits, Varda and JR share a lifelong passion for images and how they are created, displayed, and shared. Together they travel around the villages of France in JR’s photo truck meeting locals, learning their stories, and producing epic-size portraits of them. The photos are prominently displayed on houses, barns, storefronts, and trains revealing the humanity in their subjects, and themselves. Faces Places documents these heartwarming encounters as well as the unlikely, tender friendship they formed along the way.
This film festival favorite follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage. When their story goes viral, the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight. However, when a natural disaster strikes their country, Favio must find a way to keep the orchestra intact and provide a source of hope for their town. The film is a testament to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit.
One of the most ancient cultures on our planet is undergoing a major change. The Ju’Hoansi Bushmen in Namibia are not allowed to hunt anymore and need to converge with our so called “civilized” lifestyle. For the first time the Ju’Hoansi Bushmen travel through the Kalahari and then right into the heart of Europe, leading to a fascinating look at our Western lifestyle.
A 45-year-old Palestinian woman gets a new neighbor when the Israeli minister of defense builds a house next to hers. The lemon trees that her family planted generations ago are a security risk to the minister, and he demands they be cut down. She attempts to fight his orders and develops an unlikely ally in the minister’s dissatisfied wife.
To access Swank, click “Find my Institution”, find Florida State University, & log in with your FSUID.
Image courtesy of IMBb. Description provided through Swank, 2008.
A Korean-American family moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. Amidst the challenges of this new life in the strange and rugged Ozarks, they find the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
To access Swank, click “Find my Institution”, find Florida State University, & log in with your FSUID.
Image courtesy of IMBb. Description provided through Swank, 2021.
Harry Haller has all the insight, all the leisure, all the material goods he needs, yet he is not at peace with his life. A potent combination of Eastern and Western insights into the human search for meaning is given new life in a fresh translation.
You can access this resource through the Libraries’ catalog by logging in with your FSUID.
I Am a Cat satirizes the foolishness of upper-middle-class Japanese society during the Meiji era. With acerbic wit and a sardonic perspective, it follows the whimsical adventures of a world-weary stray kitten who comments on the follies and foibles of the people around him.
You can access this resource through the Libraries’ catalog by logging in with your FSUID.
This extraordinary historical French gothic novel, set in Medieval Paris under the twin towers of its greatest structure and supreme symbol, the cathedral of Notre-Dame, is the haunting drama of Quasimodo, the disabled bell-ringer of Notre-Dame, as he struggles to stand up to his ableist guardian Claude Frollo, who also wants to commit genocide against Paris’ Romani population.
You can access this resource through the Libraries’ catalog by logging in with your FSUID.
Happy Spring! With classes just starting, it’s a perfect time to do some reading for fun before the semester gets too busy. FSU Libraries has many popular and bestselling books from lists like the New York Times available for students to check out for free. With TikTok and the hashtag #BookTok on the rise, we’ve compiled a list of 10 trending books to help you find your next read!
All of these books are located in the Pop Lit collection in Strozier Library, which is just next to the Starbucks café area inside the library. We also have tons of popular YA titles available in Dirac Library. Check out the libraries’ catalog on our website to search for more titles, and even reserve books online for pickup!
Lily is overwhelmed with passion for the inflexible and proud Ryle. But her too-good-to-be-true romance is suddenly a lot more complicated when her first love, Atlas, suddenly comes back into her life.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding tale of psychological suspense, weaving together Greek mythology, murder, and obsession, that further cements “Michaelides as a major player in the field” (Publishers Weekly).
Running into reclusive author Shane Hall at a literary event, bestselling erotica writer Eva Mercy, over the next seven days, reconnects with this man who broke her heart twenty years earlier until he disappears again, leaving more questions than answers.
As the temperature finally cools off and we experience the whisper of a new season, it’s time to find that perfect book to curl up with in a big cozy chair in a coffee shop or by a fireplace, if you have one. Cozy reads are, of course, different for everyone depending on the books they prefer, but for me they should involve a happy ending, an entertaining cast of characters, a classic who-don-it, and a cat if possible (usually in the real world, curled up on my lap).
Below is a list of cozy stories with elements of love, mystery, and magic for your long and chilly evenings ahead.
Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.
Unlucky-in-love artist Annabelle Britton decides that a visit to the seaside town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the perfect way to get over her problems. But when she stumbles upon a smoky grey cat named Alastair, and follows him into a charming cottage, Annabelle finds herself in a whole spell book full of trouble. Suddenly saddled with a witch’s wand and a furry familiar, Annabelle soon meets a friendly group of women who use their spells, charms and potions to keep the people of Portsmouth safe. But they can’t prevent every wicked deed in town.
When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one. Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence–against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened.
After working with bestselling crime writer Alan Conway for years, editor Susan Ryeland is intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries in sleepy English villages. His traditional formula has proved hugely successful, so successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job. Conway’s latest tale involves a murder at Pye Hall, with dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects. But the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.
THE RULES OF BLACKHEATH: Evelyn Harcastle will be murdered at 11:00p.m. There are eight days , and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. Understood? Then lets begin..
Now he’d fled for a second time, to a city where he believed no one would recognize him, identity secure until confronted by Sara Olson. Maintaining cover demanded he stay away from her while at the same time getting close enough to find out how much she knew. This mission impossible caused him to leave his safe zone to obtain information crucial to keeping his secret …
Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There’s just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.
Willow, the fluffy white Persian cat, gets more than she bargained for when she comes to live at the Nelson Police Station. Nat, the big tabby tom cat, takes her under his wing and starts teaching her the art of the police cat. Before she knows what hit her, Willow finds herself caught up in a web of intrigue, murder, and adventure that will take her to her limit and beyond. With the help of Nat and a curious collection of mysterious alley cats, Willow is on her way to discovering a depth of potential and excitement she never thought possible
This blog post was written by Dianna Bradley, Digital Library Center Metadata Specialist at FSU Libraries.
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month, a time to recognize and highlight the LGBTQ community as well as reflect on the history of the movement. One way to do that is to read books about and written by LGBTQ voices. This month’s pop lit picks will highlight several such fiction and nonfiction books in FSU Libraries’ Pop Lit Collection which include everything from memoirs to romance to science fiction/fantasy. Enjoy these LGBTQ titles this June and all year round!
May is National Pet Month! A time to celebrate our four-legged friends and furry companions! Our digital book display this month features titles that honor pets of all kinds and the wonderful impact they have in our daily lives. With this, we are also celebrating the pets of our library staff! Be sure to check out our digital pet gallery below.
We have a ton of new arrivals just in time for you to pop in and check them out for Spring Break!
We’ve received everything for your spring break reading fancy, from Science fiction to fantasy, romance to true crime, and history to literary fiction. Swing by the Pop Lit section by Starbucks on the first floor of Strozier Library and find your next favorite read for that trip to the beach.
Don’t see something you’d hoped in our Pop Lit section?? Email us your purchase recommendations!!
You’ve made it through another school year, congrats! Take time this summer to unwind and enjoy some mindless entertainment. This display features books that made it to the big screens. Take a look at some of the shows and movies that were created from the book and are now available on popular streaming services!
As Earth Day approaches, we wanted to highlight a climate crisis that is impacting everyone, but not many are aware of. Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is expanding at a crippling rate, causing irreversible damage every day. Land is being taken over for agriculture and development that is destroying the natural ecosystems of Amazonia. Delve into our selection of books, TED Talks, and not-so-fun facts about the Amazon rainforest. The following articles summarize the current crisis, if you’re looking for a brief but well informed read! Why The Amazon Rainforest is Nearly Gone Forests Burn, Soils Dwindle, and People Suffer