Monday, July 6, 2020

Monday Mention - Mia P. Manansala

Chicago writer Mia P. Manansala is always busy. Winner of the 2018 Hugh Holton Award, the 2018 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, the 2017 William F. Deeck – Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers, and the 2016 Mystery Writers of America/Helen McCloy Scholarship, she is also a 2017 Pitch Wars alum and was a 2018-2019 mentor.

Her highly anticipated debut novel, ARSENIC AND ADOBO (previously titled Love, Loss, and Lumpia) will be available May 4, 2021 through Berkley/Penguin Random House. Culinary cozy mystery ARSENIC AND ADOBO follows a Filipina-American sleuth as she returns home to forget a failed relationship only to find herself in the middle of a murder mystery.

Much like her main character, Mia always has something cooking. Figuratively and literally. ARSENIC AND ADOBO allows Ms. Manansala to combine a few of her many interests and talents, such as cooking and pop culture, but a visit to her website and blog finds even more interesting tidbits. It’s a great destination.

Mia’s most recent post let’s us follow along as she reads fifty-two books by women of color. You can find her thoughts on the first nine books below. After that, I encourage you to visit Mia at MPM the Writer to read the rest.

My reading list this year was inspired by an article in the Daily Kos about challenging yourself to read more books by women of color to broaden your perspectives. As a female writer of color, the majority of my reading is centered around writers of color and women writers, but I thought it would be a good exercise for me to be more intentional about what I’m reading, particularly since my preferred genre of crime fiction can skew very white.

Since we’ve just entered the second half of the year, I thought I’d provide a round-up of the books I’ve read so far since I haven’t had a single miss in my selections. Yes, some I love less than others but they’re all books I’m happy to recommend.

I’m providing affiliate links for each book, but you can also just go to my Bookshop page to see all the titles.

The first half of my 52 Books By Women of Color 2020 Reading Challenge:

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim
Simple yet lyrical. Heartfelt. Delicious!

I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir by Malaka Gharib
Fun, loved the Filipino stuff and clashing of cultures. Quick read.

Iced in Paradise by Naomi Hirahara
Fast read, great updated and diverse cozy. Interested in seeing how the series develops

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
Sexy, funny, and full of ass-kicking

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
So adorable, well-implemented diversity, SQUEE

Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely
Wonderfully character-driven story. Grandmaster for a reason. Political commentary woven in expertly.

God's Will for Monsters by Rachelle Cruz
Need to re-read to better understand. Powerful but I clearly missed a lot. Great start to my initiative to read more poetry.

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
Loved it! So immersive and I loved all the historical details. Guessed the killer fairly early but still enjoyable.

Mimi Lee Gets A Clue by Jennifer J. Chow
Decent start to a fun new series.

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