Step into the dynamic world of Asian American literature and join our engaging reading community! Join us for our exclusive events featuring various AAPI authors. Prepare to be captivated by stories of culture, identity, and unforgettable experiences. Engage in meaningful and thoughtful literary discussions that explore various cultural, political, social, and personal issues related to Asian and Asian American experiences. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to connect with fellow readers and celebrate the rich diversity of Asian American voices!

Spring 2024

Click the "Upcoming/Recent Book Club Events" tab to see who's coming to the AACC! 

Upcoming/Recent Book Club Events

Tuesday, February 6th, 2024

Lisa Kwong

About the Artist:

  • Born and raised in Radford, Virginia
  • Grew up working class under a family who owned a Chinese restaurant
  • Appalachian State University:
    • B.A. in English, Minor in Music
  • Indiana University:
    • M.F.A in Poetry
  • "Searching for Wonton Soup" - Sundress Publication's 2019 Poetry Broadside Contest Winner
  • Current lecturer for Asian American Studies at Indiana University
Becoming AppalAsian

A Collection of poems written by a Southern women of Asian descent detailing her parents, ancestors, ancestral land, homeland, and chosen land. 

Summary: "She is AppalAsian: a Southern woman of Asian descent raised in Appalachia who lays claim to soul food, a southern drawl chicken feet, and dumplings. Her poetry offers fresh language to express the complexities of her identity". 



 Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024
Curtis Chin

About the Artist:

 A co-founder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York City, Curtis Chin served as the non-profits’ first Executive Director. He went on to write for network and cable television before transitioning to social justice documentaries. Chin has screened his films at over 600 venues in twenty countries. He has written for CNN, Bon Appetit, the Detroit Free Press and the Emancipator/Boston Globe. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Chin has received awards from ABC/Disney Television, New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and more. His memoir, "Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant" will be published by Little, Brown in Fall 2023. His essay in Bon Appetit was just selected for Best Food Writing in America 2023.

Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant

A memoir by Curtis Chin describing his experience growing up as a gay Chinese American in Detroit during the 1980s



Previous Book Club Books

Spring 2022 Book Club

Jai Chakrabarti will discuss his first novel, A Play for the End of the World. This event is a collaboration with the International and Area Studies Library and is the last event of our South Asian American Leadership Conference.

March 3, 2022 - 4pm-5pm CST
Zoom & In-Person in the AACC Lounge

Book cover: orange background, two arms are outstretched towards each other but not touching. The title is written in white script between the arms.

Fall 2020 Book Club

For Fall 2020 of the AACC Book Club, we collaborated with Purdue University's Asian American and Asian Resource and Cultural Center and Indiana University's Asian Culture Center! We read "Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning" by Cathy Park Hong and hosted a virtual discussion. We also hosted a virtual Meet and Greet with author, Cathy Park Hong on Friday, October 2 at 11:30am CST.

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning book cover with orange title text looking like flames and blue author name text

Virtual Events

  • Virtual discussion on "United" and "Stand Up"
    Monday, September 14 at 11:30am cst
    Register here: (Past Event)
  • Virtual discussion on "The End of White Innocence" and "Bad English"
    Monday, September 21 at 11:30am cst
    Register here: (Past Event)
  • Virtual discussion on "An Education." "The Portrait of an Artist" and "The Indebted"
    Monday, September 28 at 11:30am cst
    Register here: (Past Event) 
  • Virtual Meet and Greet with Cathy Park Hong
    Date & Time: Friday, October 2 at 11:30am cst
    Register here: (Past Event)

Other Past Books

2019 Big Read poster featuring white text against pinkish background with floral art patterns in upper right and lower left corners

2019 Big Read: The Namesake

by Jhupa Lahiri

January 27-March 10
Champaign-Urbana campus

Book Club Discussion poster featuring overhead desk view of book open with photo of author on left hand page

Book Club Discussion: Asian Americans In The Media

AACC Food For Thought

Phil Yu, Founder of
November 13th, 12pm - 1pm
1210 W Nevada St

When the Emperor Was Divine poster featuring image of the book cover and line art purple background

When the Emperor Was Divine

by Julie Otsuka

  • Tues., Oct. 3, 2017, 7-9pm: "Good Luck Soup" Documentary
    Screening with panel discussion at Champaign Public Library
  • Wed., Oct. 11, 2017, 7-8pm: Book Discussion: "Identities"
    At Urbana Library
  • Wed., Oct. 18, 2017, 7-8pm: Book Discussion: "Immigration and Discrimination"
    At Champaign Library
  • Mon., Oct. 23, 2017, 6-6:45pm: Origami Craft & Story Time for Families
    At Urbana Library
  • Wed., Nov. 15, 2017, 7-8pm: Keynote Lecture with Karen Su & Yuki Llewellyn
    At Champaign Library

Presented by the AACC Book Club & YWCA's Community Read.

Thank you to the following sponsors! School of Information Sciences, International Student Support Services, SharePower
This program is made possible in part by a grant from Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.
With further thanks to the School of Social Work for their support!

From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant poster featuring illustration of thread and needle on light blue background

From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant

by Alex Gilvarry

  • Author Meet & Greet
    Date & Time: Monday, November 7th 5:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Author Visit - Public Book Reading from the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant
    Date & Time: Tuesday, November 8th at 12:00pm-1:00 pm
  • Location: Asian American Cultural Center
    1210 W. Nevada Street, Urbana 61801

Sponsored by the Asian American Cultural Center, Philippine Student Association, Residence Hall Libraries, International and Area Studies Library, and the Student Cultural Programming Fee.

In the Absence of Sun poster featuring book cover image and black and white photo of author

In the Absence of Sun

Helie Lee, Author, Speaker & Documentary Filmmaker
Helie Lee, a Korean-American author of national bestseller, will be joining us on Monday, March 16th and Tuesday, March 17th to discuss her book, In the Absence of Sun.

  • Book Club Kickoff Cafe | Date: Tuesday, February 24th | Time: 4:30pm - 5:30pm
  • Author Meet & Greet | Date: Monday, March 16th | Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Food For Thought with Helie Lee | Date: Tuesday, March 17th | Time: 12:00pm - 1:00 pm

All events are held at the Asian American Cultural Center, 1210 West Nevada Street, Urbana. Books available for $10 at the AACC Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.

Presented by the Asian American Cultural Center, Liberty in North Korea, KAOA, Korean Student Association, Residence Hall Libraries, International and Area Studies Library. Paid for in part by SCPF.

The Choke Artist book cover featuring child in lower left corner and red text agains yellow background

The Choke Artist - confessions of a chronic underachiever

David Yoo

"David Yoo's voice is so witty and charming." - Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn

'Shattered' poster featuring text about the book and events as well as comic book figure shapes silhouetted against blue background

Shattered - The Asian American Comics Anthology

Edited by Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow, & Jerry Ma

Author/Editor Keith Chow will be joining us on Tuesday, December 3rd to discuss Shattered, the second volume in the ground-breaking anthology of original Asian American graphic fiction, Secret Identities. Over 50 Asian American writers and artists have contributed stories that subvert, upend, satirize, and shatter the stereotypes that have obscured the Asian image since throughout history: the stoic BRUTE, the prodigious BRAIN, the exotic TEMPTRESS, the inscrutable ALIEN, and the MANIPULATOR.

Book Club Schedule

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

  • Food For Thought, 12:00pm
    Public Reading of Shattered
  • Meet + Greet, 5:00pm
    Dinner & discussion with Keith Chow

Books available for $10 at the AACC, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm

Presented by the Asian American Cultural Center Book Club
1210 W. Nevada St., Urbana, IL 61801