I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t—and really never have—read all that diversely. My favorite authors are overwhelmingly white and male, and I tend to find a genre I like and then read the crap out of it until I tire of it (which sometimes doesn’t happen; see Stephen King/horror/sci-fi). So this year’s Dive Into Diversity challenge, hosted by hosted by Estelle and Magan at Rather Be Reading and Rebecca from Reading Wishes, will be twofold for me: I hope to read not only more books by more diverse authors, but also read more books with more diverse topics.
My goal will be to read 12 diverse books this year; an average of one per month. I don’t know that it’ll actually work out to one review posted per month, but I’ll try to space them out accordingly.
I checked out Rebecca’s Diversity Bookshelf on Goodreads to find books that I thought might be interesting. Here are a few that I think I might want to read. No guarantees that these will actually be the diverse books I read for the challenge, but they’re my jumping-off point.
- Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. This wasn’t actually on Rebecca’s list, but was just last night recommended to me by a friend. Tayari Jones, a woman of color, is a winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction, and Silver Sparrow was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Fiction.
- Little Peach by Peggy Kern. A short but haunting story about child prostitution, Little Peach will be published in March 2015.
- Endangered by Lamar Giles. A young black girl, Lauren “Panda” Daniels, is an anonymous photoblogger who specializes in busting classmates and teachers in compromising positions. But her secret will be revealed unless she plays along in an increasingly dangerous game of blackmail.
- I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amelie Sarn (translated by Y. Maudet). Eighteen-year-old Sohane loves no one more than her beautiful, carefree younger sister, Djelila. And she hates no one as much. The two have always shared everything. But now, Djelila is embracing her life as a secular teen, and Sohane is becoming more religious. I’m not super into YA, but this one sounds really intriguing.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I’ve heard nothing but good about this one. Looking forward to reading it!
- Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. Normally not really the kind of thing I’d be interested in, but I’m going to give Boy, Snow, Bird a try both for that reason and because it’s written by a female author of color.
- Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng. The topic for this one is a bit more my style—from the Goodreads summary it looks a bit like a murder mystery—so yay. Also written by a female author of color.
- Tiny Pretty Things – Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton. Though I never went to anything like an elite ballet school (tap was much more my style) I did dance for about 14 years when I was growing up…so I know how cutthroat such things can be. Definitely looking forward to reading this one. It doesn’t actually come out until May, but I’ve added it to my wish list!
- Mambo in Chinatown – Jean Kwok. Written by the best-selling author of Girl in Translation. Thanks Rebecca for the recommendation!
- One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This one is also on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list that I’m slowly attempting to work my way through, so if I get it read this year, then double whammy!
- The Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley. Thanks, Helen, for the recommendation! Excited to read this one.
- Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami. Just read a review of this one that made me really want to read it! And with that, I’ve got my 12!
If anyone has any more diverse books to recommend—particularly non-YA, because I think a lot of the books I’ve listed up there are YA—please let me know!! I’ve got 12 on my list now, but I’m always open to recommendations in general 🙂