DIVE INTO DIVERSITY Reading Challenge 2015


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.

  1. 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.
  2. Little Peach by Peggy Kern. A short but haunting story about child prostitution, Little Peach will be published in March 2015.
  3. Endangered by Lamar GilesA 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Ready Player One by Ernest ClineI’ve heard nothing but good about this one. Looking forward to reading it!
  6. Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen OyeyemiNormally 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.
  7. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste NgThe 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.
  8. Tiny Pretty Things – Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle ClaytonThough 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!
  9. Mambo in Chinatown – Jean KwokWritten by the best-selling author of Girl in Translation. Thanks Rebecca for the recommendation!
  10. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia MarquezThis 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!
  11. The Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin TalleyThanks, Helen, for the recommendation! Excited to read this one.
  12. Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki MurakamiJust 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 🙂

8 thoughts on “DIVE INTO DIVERSITY Reading Challenge 2015

  1. Welcome the challenge! I hope you’ll have fun discovering and reading diversity. I’ve yet to read them myself, but I’ve heard good things about these non-YA’s and you might want to check them out:

    Monkey Beach: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/292706.Monkey_Beach
    The Lesser Blessed: A Novel: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/589995.The_Lesser_Blessed
    Mambo in Chinatown (features dancing): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18693922-mambo-in-chinatown
    The author’s YA also looks amazing: Girl In Translation.

    Another dance/diversity title that might interest you: Pointe by Brandy Colbert (I’ve yet to read it, but it’s high on my wish list and I’ve only read amazing things about it).

    Jasper Jones (which I’ve read and mentioned in the sign-up post) is somewhere between YA/Adult. The protagonist is 14 (I think?), but it has crossover appeal and I can see why YA readers would enjoy it. I found my copy in the Adult section of the library.

    Hope these rec’s have helped and you enjoy them, if you give them a go! Happy reading 🙂

  2. It’s technically YA but you should look at Lies We Tell Ourselves a debut from last year by Robin Talley. It’s centered around a group of black teens integrating in to an all white school in the South. There’s also an LGBQT aspect to the story. It was one of my favorite books of last year, making my top ten list.

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