Seven Cosy Reads for Autumn by BIPOC Authors
By Leanne Francis, Ho Jia Wen and Michelle Ye
As the days become colder and leaves start to change colour, there is nothing better than warming up with a hot drink and a book in your hands. In this issue, we bring you seven cosy reads by BIPOC authors to put you in the perfect mood for autumn.
How Kyoto Breaks Your Heart by Florentyna Leow
In her debut book, Florentyna Leow is a Malaysian author who has found a second home in Japan. Told in a series of essays, this book is a love letter to the city, but also about the vulnerability that love brings. The heartbreak from loss of a close friendship is narrated through vignettes of Kyoto’s sights and food, starting with persimmons then tea, kakigori and eggs.
This is a perfect autumn read, especially when the first page of the book reads like this: “...early October now, a warm, sunny afternoon with a dreamlike cast, and we’re harvesting persimmons.”
What You Are Looking For is in the Library by Michiko Aoyama, translated by Alison Watts
Set in a library in Tokyo, Michiko Aoyama’s warm-hearted novel, What You Are Looking For is in the Library, is an inspiring and uplifting tale about listening to our hearts, following our dreams and nestling into a good book. Sayuri Komachi is no ordinary librarian. She is able to sense exactly what someone is searching for in life and provides the perfect book recommendation to help them find it. In this endearing novel, we meet five visitors at a crossroads, from a restless customer assistant to a retired salaryman on a quest for a newfound purpose. Komachi's unique book recommendations propel these visitors to discover exactly what they need in order to achieve their dreams.
A Phở Love Story by Lean Le
As the weather slowly turns colder, there is nothing better than a hot bowl of phở and a heart-warming enemies-to-lovers romance. Bao Nguyen and Linh Mai are from neighbouring phở restaurants that have been rivals since day one. Both are also polar opposites: Bao is steady but slightly boring, while Linh is passionate and lively. They have always avoided each other, but one day, something brings Bao and Linh together. Amidst bowls and bowls of warm phở, sparks fly, and love starts to blossom from the hatred.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
Sangu Mandanna’s The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches brings together magic, family and mysterious dangers. Mika Moon has always hidden her magic and stayed under the radar. However, her efforts seem to have been in vain when she receives a message pleading for magical teaching assistance. Departing from her carefully planned life, Mika travels to Nowhere House and builds relationships with an archaeologist, a retired actor, caretakers and an attractive yet antagonistic librarian. But this sense of belonging comes under threat and Mika must decide how important her found family is in a constantly shifting world.
Sinner’s Isle by Angela Montoya
Coming to bookshops in October, Sinner’s Isle by Angela Montoya is an enchanting tale of star-crossed love between a witch and a pirate. In this spellbinding romantic fantasy, Rosalinda, a powerful witch, is trapped on Sinner’s Isle, an island filled with young women like her. Rosalinda will do anything to escape – even blackmail a notorious, charming pirate named Mariano, who washes up on shore. Marooned on Sinner’s Isle with only an enchanted chain meant to lead him to his heart’s desire, Mariano falls into the hands of the brazen – yet bewitching – Rosa. Together, they must use their wits to escape the perils of Sinner’s Isle.
Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews
Combining the warmth of a bakery with an ominous murder, Against the Currant encompasses every aspect of autumn. Tucked away in a West-Indian bakery, Lyndsay Murray honours her Grenadian roots while supplying her community with delicious pastries. But this idyll is disrupted by the sudden death of Claudio Fabrizi, a rival baker, and Lyndsay is the prime suspect. In order to keep herself and her bakery out of suspicion, Lyndsay embarks on her own investigative journey, determined to unveil the truth.
Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto
If you need a cozy murder mystery to complete your list of autumn reads, look no further than Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers. The novel follows Vera Wong, a sixty-year-old tea expert, and captures the moment in which her meticulous routine is disrupted by a dead body in her tea shop. The inept police leave Vera with a problem even tea can’t fix, and she takes matters into her own hands. But as Vera gets to know her suspects, she begins to hope that she will never find the killer.