Diversity is representation. And everybody in this world has a right to be represented. Everybody has the right to have that one character or that one story that they relate to and can identify with. Me, being white, British and straight; have never had any trouble seeing myself in books, but if anything that frustrates me even more because it narrows my view on the world and the people in it.
Whether we realise it or not we learn from books. They help us understand what we don’t experience for ourselves. As J.K Rowling said…
That is why I am taking part in this monday to monday readathon, because making a conscious effort to read diversely is imperative.
I am not only going to give you my TBR but I’m also going to give you a few ideas of what you can read this upcoming week. The readathons hosts have created a google spreadsheet full of diverse books so if you need more help here’s the link.
Looking at my shelves to see what books I had read that counts as diverse, I found a surprising lack of options. So this readathon will hopefully kick start a new mindset when it comes to picking what books I buy and read in the future.
The Shock Of The Fall: This deals with mental illness after the main character loses his little brother when he was young. The author actually works with mental health patients as a day job so the character is very accurately portrayed.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: Not only is this a fantastic story it is also a coming of age story following a gay main character. And there’s a sequel coming out (hopefully next year) so there was never a better time to read it.
Everything I Never Told You: This follows a Chinese-American family in 1970’s America who are struggling with their identity in a community mostly made up of Americans. I definitely recommend this for the readathon, it’s amazing.
Khaled Housseini: His books are set in Kabul, Afghanistan, which is where he was born. They follow important themes such as rape, war and how the women are treated by the Taliban.
The Art of Being Normal: The main character in this is struggling with his gender identity as he wishes to be a she.
Perks of Being a Wallflower: This follows themes of mental health and LGBT+. Plus, it’s one of my favourite books of all time.
The Help: I technically have 100 pages of this to go but I have watched the movie before and so far the writting and story pacing has been fantastic. It follows how black Americans were treated in the 1960’s, while segregation was still legal.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time: This is the only book I have ever read where the main character suffers from the developmental disorder ‘Asperger’s Syndrome.’ It was really interesting to read from his perspective as it was written as if the main character had written it, but the author doesn’t actually have it himself so I don’t know how accurately he’s portrayed.
Wonder: This follows a young boy with a face disfigurement and his experience with going to school for the first time. It also shows the perspectives of the people around him. Highly recommend this.
To Kill A Mockingbird: While the main characters aren’t actually diverse themselves, it does follow a white American lawyer in the 1950’s who decides to defend a black American because he believes he is innocent and see’s the injustice in how he is treated. It is also set during the great depression.
The Wrath and the Dawn: Sadly, this is the only fantasy novel on my entire shelf (that I’d read) that I could see counted as diverse. I feel like this is the genre that needs the most progression in the future, but anyway. This story follows a POC and has a very Aladin type feel to it.
Top Girls: I don’t actually own this one but it is a play (published as a script) that follows 5 women from 5 different times and cultures who were invited to a dinner party to tell their stories.
My Diverseathon TBR
The Color Purple: I’ve technically read this before but I can’t remember anything that happens.
Half of a Yellow Sun: All of Adichie’s books are highly praised so I can’t wait to finally read something by her.
I Know Why The Caged Birds Sing: Maya Angelou is seen as an inspiration yet I know nothing about her. So I can’t wait to learn something.
Memoir of a Geisha: I have never read a book set in Japan before so this is going to be very interesting.
Geisha Of Gion: This follows the true story of the geisha who was behind Memoirs of a Geisha. Basically the author of Memoirs of a Geisha interviewed Mineko Iwasaki for the book and promised to keep her identity a secret, however, for the promotion of the book, he broke his promise. So, Iwasaki published the story herself and it will be interesting to compare the two.
So those are my diverse reads that I am going to aim to read next week.
Thanks for reading