Diverse Books Tag

I think that there are a ton of these “diverse books tags” floating around there, but I saw this tag a little while ago. I decided to do it because it combined finding new books to read with talking about some books I have already read and liked. This tag was created by Naz at Read Diverse Books, and I saw it on Rose Read‘s blog.

The Rules:

  1. The Diverse Books Tag is a bit like a scavenger hunt. I will task you to find a book that fits a specific criteria and you will have to show us a book you have read or want to read.
  2. If you can’t think of a book that fits the specific category, then I encourage you to go look for one. A quick Google search will provide you with many books that will fit the bill. (Also, Goodreads lists are your friends.) Find one you are genuinely interested in reading and move on to the next category.
  3. Everyone can do this tag, even people who don’t own or haven’t read any boks that fit the descriptions below.

 

Find a book starring a lesbian character.

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I feel kind of bad putting this, because I’m basically copying the person who did this before me, but The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth has been on to-read list for almost a year now. I really need to get to this book this year, because I hear nothing but great things. I’ve read other books that have lesbian characters, but I haven’t read one with a lesbian protagonist. I definitely need to spend some more time finding lesbian protagonists in literature.

Find a book with a Muslim protagonist. 

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Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji is one of my favorite books of all time. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it as much, because I read it some years ago. It’s an amazing story of
Tehran right before the Iranian revolution. It ends up being sort of a mystery, as it follows teenagers as they grow up through the revolution. This should be required reading.

Find a book set in Latin America. 

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One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is another book that I need to read before the end of the year. I’m sensing a pattern here… This is a classic that I’ve had on my shelf for too long. I hear a lot of mixed options about Garcia Marquez’s writing style, but I’ll have to figure this one out on my own.

Find a book about a person with a disability. 

Made You Up

I want to give a head nod to Francesca Zappia and Made You Up for a book about a person with a disability. I’ve actually read a large number of books about individuals with disabilities this year, but I think that this book was particularly well written and by a young author. The protagonist in the story suffers from schizophrenia, and the reader has a fairly unreliable narrator to try to figure out exactly what is happening in the story. It’s a good book that covers mental illness is a pretty good way.

Find a Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a POC (person of color) protagonist. 

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I wrote a blog post earlier this year, sort of criticizing Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger. However, after reading several more books by mainstream, majority authors – I have to give Bracken a nod where she gets credit. I think she did a good job of mentioning Nicholas’s race and some of the struggles that he must face in the 19th century. Where many books I’ve read have steered away from the topic of race, Bracken wasn’t afriad to at least broach the subject. It wasn’t my favorite book, but people into time travel and fantasy would probably love it.

Find a book set in (or about) any country in Africa.

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I have to list Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. If you haven’ read this book, you are really missing out. This is classic African literature that talks about the struggles of European colonialism and the clash of cultures. This is one of the few books that I’ve read a couple of times, and with each time I gain more insight. Achebe is a phenomenal author.

Find a book written by an Indigenous or Native author. 

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This was a category that I needed to do a little research on. I don’t think I’ve read a book written by an indigenous author. I also had no idea that Sherman Alexie has written so many books! I feel truly ignorant. Since I’m a big fan of short stories, I’m choosing to highlight Ten Little Indians by him. This book is composed of 9 short stories of people who have reached a crossroad in their lives. It seems really interesting, and I’m immediately adding it to my to-read list.

Find a book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.) 

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I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Conor Grennan speak about his experiences in Nepal and writing his book Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal. At face value, I never like books like this. They always seem so self-serving, and only sponsored by their wealth and desire to look like a good person. However, Grennan writes a truly funny memoir about his experiences and when his self-serving attitude changed into something different. I learned a decent amount about Nepal from this book, which is always a plus when reading something. I also think that for a memoir of sorts, Grennan’s story is inspiring and causes the reader to think about how they are truly living their life.

Find a book with a biracial protagonist. 

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon features Maddy a biracial protagonist. I really enjoyed this story, which is about a teenager who is allergic to the world around her. She has a very rare autoimmune disease that prevents her from leaving the house or having normal contact. When a family moves in next door, things begin to change for Maddy when she becomes smitten with the teenage son.

I can only think of 2 books with biracial protagonists. I’ll need to work harder on finding others, because I think it could add an important element to the story. I don’t think it effected this story at all, becasue race was basically minimized other than a brief mention.

Find a book starring a transgender character or about transgender issues. 

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If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo is an #ownvoices work about a trans girl who moves to a new high school. There’s a story of her moving to live with her father, transitioning, and the past she left behind. I really enjoyed this book, because it was a mostly light-hearted contemporary romance. This book is also written by a trans woman, which I think is really important. Kudos for it taking place in the South!

 

Well that’s it for this book tag. I really enjoyed it, because it’s important to expand your reading habits and see what you may be inadvertently leaving out.

Until Next Time World…

 

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5 thoughts on “Diverse Books Tag

  1. Yet another great list!
    A few of these books were new to me too, so thanks for that!
    Yes, Sherman Alexie is such a prolific writer! I have only read a couple of his works, but definitely plan to read more. I like short stories too, so I’m glad he wrote 10 Little Indians.

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    1. I just read your review, and I agree with many of your points. But, I think you also have to look at the audience and author. I honestly haven’t read a YA book that didn’t gloss over large portions of mental illness treatment or symptom discovery. The fact that this book was written by someone in high school while they were in high school, does change the way I critique when reading. I think as an adult reading YA, I have to be careful about the difference between education and exposure. I also think there’s a difference in how we critique publisher’s on their lack of editing versus writers, particularly if they are young. I absolutely believe that Zappia pulled from her own high school experience, because she was in high school when she wrote the book. To me, I think this book is absolutely acceptable for 14-16/17 year olds to read, which is some of my followership. If one of my colleagues was going to ask me to read a book particularly about schizophrenia there are plenty of non-fiction sources to read and recommend.

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