Unless you’ve been on a months-long digital hiatus, you know that Crazy Rich Asians is the movie of the moment (it’s wonderful, by the way). What you might not know is that the film is based on a 2014 novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. Once you read it—and see the movie—whet your appetite for similar stories with one of these eight great novels. 

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the wangs vs the world jade chang
Cover: Mariner Books; Background: Twenty20

The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang 

Meet the Wangs: a wealthy, Chinese-American family who loses everything in the 2008 financial crisis. In Chang’s bighearted, hilarious debut, they leave their foreclosed Bel Air home and head out on a cross-country road trip in a desperate attempt to start over and save face.

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thw windfall diksha basu
Cover: Broadway Books; Background: Twenty20

The Windfall by Diksha Basu

When they suddenly come into an enormous sum of money, a middle-aged couple in India moves to the rich side of town, where they become eager to fit in, setting off a chain of events that rocks their neighbors and their marriage.

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five star billionaire
Cover: Spiegel & Grau; Background: Twenty20

Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw 

Longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, Aw’s novel follows the disparate paths of Malaysian migrants—including a factory girl, a left-wing activist and a pop star—as they try to settle in China and make new lives for themselves.

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soy sauce for beginners kristin chen
Cover: Amazon Publishing; Background: Twenty20

Soy Sauce for Beginners by Kristin Chen 

Thirty-year-old Gretchen, fresh out of a failed marriage in San Francisco, moves back to her childhood home in Singapore. There, she’s forced all over again to confront her mother’s drinking problem and the controversy surrounding her father’s soy sauce business. 

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the nest cynthia daprix sweeney1
Cover: Ecco; Background: Twenty20

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney 

Three grown siblings are poised to receive $500,000 each from a trust set up by their late father. When the charming and charismatic eldest sibling makes a pretty major mistake, that sum is knocked down to just $50,000 each. How they deal is funny, sad and highly relatable for anyone with a sibling—or three.  

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erotic stories for punjabi widows
Cover: William Morrow Paperbacks; Background: Twenty20

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Nikki is the black sheep in a strict British Sikh family. After dropping out of law school, she begins teaching a writing class for Punjabi widows that quickly evolves into an erotic storytelling workshop…which is as kooky as it sounds. Part mystery, part romance, Jaswal’s terrific third novel will inspire you to topple the patriarchy.

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sarong party girls
Cover: William Morrow Paperbacks; Background: Twenty20

Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan 

Twenty-seven-year-old Jazzy and her best girlfriends, known as the Sarong Party Girls, are on a mission: To meet, fall in love with and marry Western expat men, with whom they’ll have cute kids and live happily ever after. Navigating Singapore’s club scene and social castes, Jazzy ends up discovering more about herself than anything else. 

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what we were promised lucy tan
Cover: Little, Brown and Company; Background: Twenty20

What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan 

After years of chasing the American dream, the Zhen family moves back to China. As they settle into Shanghai’s elite community of Chinese-born, Western-educated professionals, they struggle to reintegrate while reconciling the city’s changing personality and values. 

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