Top Ten Tuesday: Books with an Asian Setting

Posted August 13, 2013 by Kara in Kara, Lyn, Top Ten Tuesday / 40 Comments

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a heme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic: Favorite Settings! This week, we will share our favorite Asian settings.

This week, we discuss our favorite books within a certain setting. I know Kara loves Asian culture, and she jumped right on this subject when this week rolled around. However, I never touch on this topic, but there are Asian-setting books that I do enjoy. This week, we present the Asian-flavored top ten picks.

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Lyn’s Picks

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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin – A wonderful Newbery Honor book! Lin takes a lovely Chinese fairytale and fuses the myth with the Wizard of Oz to create a beautiful and whimsical story.

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff – Set in a fantasy world based on Asian culture. I completely admit it is the love of Buruu that landed this one on the list.

The Samurai’s Daughter by Robert D. San Souci and Stephen T. Johnson – Set in Japan, this wonderful picture book shares a certain Mulan-style storyline about a girl set to save her disgraced father.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – This book is based in a post-apocalytic world of New Beijing. Two words: Prince Kai.

Eon by Alison Goodman – Another Asian fantasy book. This story centers on the use of dragons of the Asian culture to create a very unique story.

Kara’s Picks
Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell-This covers Malaysia, Cambodia, and Laos. It’s not a particularly memorable book but it sure is a lot of fun!
The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman-Only the beginning of this is in China and the rest is in San Francisco, but what it offers the reader in Asian culture is something to behold.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See-An utterly depressing novel but what I learned about Chinese culture in a historical setting was absolutely worth it.
When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney-Only half of this is set in Japan but I love the representation of Tokyo in this book. It was very well done.
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden-Still this author’s only book, the setting in this book is what set off my love of Asian fiction. I LOVED historical Japan and the Geisha culture in this novel. Fascinating.

What did you list this week? What topic did you pick? Leave a link below!

40 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Books with an Asian Setting

  1. I love Asian settings, especially The Fire Horse Girl, When You Were Here, Eon, Cinder, and Stormdancer. I also really liked the settings of Shadows of the Moon which is another Asian novel and even The Painted Veil. Wonderful Top Ten List, ladies!

    • I need to read Fire Horse Girl. Kara rags and rags on it.

      I had forgotten about these books until I looked over my Read shelf – it was a lot of fun stepping into Kara’s territory!

    • Thank you! I contemplated Shadows on the Moon, but I went with Asian settings that were real, not fantasy. Which is also why I left out Stormdancer. I bought a copy of Eon/Eona a few days ago so I am really looking forward to those!

  2. I’ve only read two of these books. FAIL.

    Also, Arthur Golden still doesn’t have another book? What the heck? He and Jandy Nelson need to get with it. :-p

  3. I didn’t have a TT today but have thought along the same lines. Only mine would be set in Australia. I agree with When You Were Here, Kara. I absolutely loved how clear the surroundings were all thanks to Whitney’s words.

    Great list, ladies!

    • Ooooh! Australian settings would be awesome! I haven’t read enough books set there yet, but I would like to cover that topic at some point!

      When You Were Here was such a fantastic book, I agree.

      Thanks, Joy!

  4. I love Memoirs of a Geisha. I remember when Kara first read the Fire Horse Girl and I loved her reaction, so I might be interested in reading it in the future. I wasn’t really into Stormdancer but I loved Cinder, and I would really like to read Eon.

  5. Yes! Stormdancer and Eon are what I would say immediately when asked what oriental-set books are my favourites.

    Thanks for telling me about When You Were Here! Will definitely read it now.

    My TTT.

  6. I’ve heard great things about so many of these but have only actually read one… Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my all time favorites though. Great list, ladies!

  7. The only one of both of your lists I’ve read is Cinder. And the Asian setting was nice, though I wish there’d been more of it. I’m looking forward to the settings in the next Lunar Chronicles books though.

    Memoirs of a Geisha again. I remember that from your Meet the Bloggers post. And from at least another post, I think. I feel like such a fail when I see you mention it time after time. And there’s only one solution for that… 🙂

  8. *adds to list*
    I’ve read only 3 from the list. I used to read more books with Asian settings when I was in high school, but seldom in English.

    P.S. May I recommend Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Ogiwara Noriko? It’s a translated book so the writing is a bit stiff but the story is great. 🙂

  9. Randomly stumbled across this post while looking for Silk Road Fantasy recs. I never realised Cinders was set in a (vaguely?) Chinese city. Gotta check it out now.

    I’ve heard terrible things about Stormdancer though. Apparently Jay continually mixes up Japanese & Chinese culture, having characters saying things like “aiya!”? And makes a complete mess of the bits of Japanese he uses in the book? I remember reading reviews that said something like that, anyway. Haven’t read the book myself.

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