In my search for my Chinese American roots, I have been reading Amy Tan. I re-read the Joy Luck Club, and found that very touching. I remember when I was in my pre-teens, that book was painful to read, because it elaborated on the Chinese mother-daughter relationships in such a way that was on the spot about her and my misunderstandings about each other.
Because I talked to my partner at work (also a Chinese American woman, Toisanese) about it, she lent me The Hundred Secret Senses. I haven't finished this one yet, but I find the character named Kwan absolutely hilarious. There's a touch of fantasy in it, despite the historical fictional parts, about residents of the afterlife.
This brings me to the book I read most recently before these two: Food of the Gods, by Cassandra Khaw. It's meant for us - and by us, I mean Asian American audiences - because the protagonist keeps referring to the readers as ang moh. I know it's a Chinese word, because later in the story, it gets revealed that the protagonist is a Chinese man, not to mention all the gods from the Buddhist pantheon. However, I never figured out the direct translation for ang moh, which may be why the author doesn't even try. And now I'm fascinated with the afterlife, as well (or is that my third-life crisis speaking? since I'm 31).
I want more, so Buzzfeed has a list of Asian authors here. Maybe I'll find an abridged version of Journey to the West to read sometime, while I'm at it.
Growing up, I always watched the Chinese TVB channel with mom, but watching TV just doesn't get me to immerse in the world nearly as well as books do. Still, it happens sometimes, and one of my favorites is Heart of Greed II: Moonlight Resonance. Also, in terms of ancient Chinese dramas, we loved My Fair Princess. I no longer live in an apartment with a TV, but I can always stream series online.
Now if only I can carve out time to re-learn and learn anew the Chinese characters, and maybe learn to write well enough to practice calligraphy.