July 2024
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#diversiverse: Amazing Diverse Reads

diversiverse 2014Like a lot of others, I reviewed last year’s reading and realized I was reading way too many white authors, and to be honest, have been for all of my life so far. This bothers me. I want to ensure I’m experiencing viewpoints of lots of different people, not just one specific type of person, and that means diversifying my reading by deliberately choosing to read more authors of color. It’s one of the ways in which reading helps us grow and learn – it’s impossible for me to experience how the world works for other people directly because of my own gender, ethnicity and viewpoint, but I can certainly read to experience as much of the rest as possible and come closer to understanding the worlds of others (and sometimes in fantasy worlds too). But, as Aarti puts in the #diversiverse intro post, sometimes finding those books is hard. Here are a few of the diverse books that I’ve enjoyed across genres to help you get started or just push my favorite books a little more into your hands:

  • The Book of Unknown Americans and The World in Half by Cristina Henriquez – these are beautiful books and I have reviewed both of them. The first one in particular is getting lots of coverage at the moment, but Henriquez’s first book was just stunning too and blew me away.the book of unknown americans
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – A fantastic book about finding roots and retaining identity in a completely different country populated with completely different people. I loved this so much, which struck me even more after I’d failed to connect with Adichie’s work in the past.
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki – I so loved this book. I had so much trouble leaving the train to go to work while I was reading it because I didn’t want to put it down and couldn’t wait to get back to it. It has a slight science fiction edge and is written extremely well, playing with the concept of time and space. I regret not reviewing this so I could actually share better what I thought but I’ll just recommend it extremely strongly.
  • Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed – Excellent swords and sorcery fantasy novel.
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms plus everything else by N. K. Jemisin – Seriously, everything. Jemisin writes deeply thought out fantasy worlds with complex, fascinating characters. I can’t wait for her next book to come out.
  • The Iron King and rest of series by Julie Kagawa – I haven’t managed to write about these books, but they’re solid YA fantasy with a heavy dose of romance. I’ve really enjoyed them, enough to have the next two waiting for me to find time.
  • Fledgling by Octavia Butler – I read this for this event two years ago and it has actually stuck with me – I have been meaning to read more Octavia Butler ever since, although she’s still on the copious TBR pile.
  • Anything by Nalini Singh – In all honesty these books can be a little too steamy for me, but if you enjoy paranormal romance, you’re really making a mistake not venturing into her Psy/Changeling universe. I just returned to it and was surprised by how much I enjoyed sinking back into this world.
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – Ishiguro is a pre-blogging discovery but I love this book so much that I have pushed it on literally every person I know who I think has even a chance of enjoying it. Never Let Me Go is probably more popular now, as it fits a bit better into a culture comfortable with science fiction, but I adored this book to absolute pieces. I have one book left that I haven’t read by Ishiguro (The Unconsoled) and I am not going to read it until a new one comes out. I can’t bear the fact that there isn’t any more.

There you go – 7 standalone books and 3 potential series for you to start with. If you read any of them, let me know and we’ll talk! I am still just starting out myself and diverse authors don’t make up nearly a large enough fraction of my reading, so if you have any suggestions for me to try next, fire them at me. I am always looking.


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