For once I was tagged and did not just find a tag on Booktube, so thank you, Kirstine from Thoughts in Purplue, for tagging me 😀
- Credit the original creator, Read Diverse Books.
- The Diverse Books Tag is a bit like a scavenger hunt. You are tasked to find a book that fits a specific criteria – and it must be a book you have read or want to read.
- If you can’t think of a book that fits the specific category, then you’re encouraged 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.
Everyone can do this tag, even people who don’t own or haven’t read any books that fit the descriptions below. The purpose of the tag is to promote the kinds of books that may not get a lot of attention in the book blogging community.
1. A book with a lesbian character
Du och jag, Marie Curie by Annika Ruth Persson.
The title means “You and I, Marie Curie” and it is about the young girl Jenny, who falls in love with Filippa and has to deal both with her sexuality and the mixed signals she gets from her crush. I read this when I was about 15, before I myself knew about my sexuality and this was a book my mum had borrowed at the library for me, based on the title because she knew I was interested in chemistry. I do not remember much of the plot, just that the crush felt very chaotic both for the reader and Jenny. I do remember that this might have started the first spark to me finding out I was queer. But except for the whole lesbian theme of the book, it was pretty much a standard Scandinavian youth novel.
2. A book with a Muslim protagonist
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.
One of the most touching graphic novels I have ever read, done with simple art that still manages to illustrate the horrors of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Satrapi’s story of the horrors of the revolution, of humans adapting to completely new rules and laws after having lived in a society that was much more free and of how it is to be a Muslim outside your country to meet all the prejudices that still exists today, in her mix of humour and grave reality is a definite must-read.
3. A book set in Latin America
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
This book was good. Just good. I really like magical realism even though most of it tends to gets so tangled and lost in itself that I cannot keep my focus for that long at a time – I am looking forward to reading 100 Years of Solitude next semester, but oh boy, I need to begin before the semester starts – and this was the same for me. I like the story of the families, but I had to browse back every once in a while in order to keep track of the story whenever it went on a tangent. I would still recommend people to read it.
4. A book about a person with a disability
Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience by Eileen Cronin
I have read a lot of books/graphic novels about mental illness, but I realized that apart from John Green’s The Fault in our Stars, I cannot remember ever reading books about physical disability. So I went on a hunt and I have to say that I am surprised how many books about disabled people are from the perspective of their loved ones rather than the disabled people themselves. And that is why I chose this one. It is Eileen Cronin’s own story of being born with no legs, suffering bullying, and going through self-discovery in regards to her condition not being God’s Will as her catholic parents had taken, but rather a direct cause of their actions and the taboo surrounding this controversy.
In regards to mental illness, I am going to recommend handful of graphic novels as I have found that medium is so powerful in depicting inner states. So you should read the following:
- Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh – Containing comics from Brosh’s blog, this graphic novel will have you laugh your ass off and give you an existential crisis all at the same time.
- Marbles by Ellen Forney – Forney’s inclusion of artwork she had during depressive episodes in her bipolar disorders are unsettling at best and horrifying at worst, and as an artist myself I was touched by her concerns that getting medical treatment would ruin her artistic skills.
- Fun Home and Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel – Bechdel’s two graphic novels about her parents are brutal and the latter one especially had some passages that hit a little too close to home for me.
5. A fantasy or science fiction book with a POC protagonist
One of each as I feel like these genres often get grouped together even though they are vastly different.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (fantasy) and Dawn by Octavia E. Butler (science fiction)
For the fantasy one I was thinking about choosing Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, but I do not think it is ever stated outright that Karou is East Asian, and it might just be something I got from the description of her – black eyes, “creamy skin” and very skinny – so instead I am going with Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea where the protagonist Ged/Sparrowhawk is described as having red brown skin. In fact, the only barbaric primitive race in this series is the white one. Fancy that. Overall I love the world building and the plot and I need to get through the rest of the series soon, because Le Guin just writes so captivating.
For the sci-fi one I am going with a book I have wanted to read forever: Dawn by Octavia E. Butler. The concept of the Earth becoming inhabitable due to nuclear war, only for a few survivors to be picked up by an alien race and becoming part of their plan to repopulate the world, blurring the lines between captors and saviours, is one I really want to read about, especially when the protagonist is a black female.
6. A book set in (or about) any country in Africa
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adichie’s name might ring a bell to you, as she is the author of the TedTalk “We should all be feminists” which has also been published as a book. Americanah mostly works with the topic of identity in relation to nationality and race, when you are forced to leave your home and family behind to remain safe from the political conflicts taking place in your country. It is also a story of star-crossed lovers, one of the most touching ones I have read, about two people who have to leave their home country only to be separated and stuck on two different continent. Go read it.
7. A book written by an Indigenous or Native author
The Round House by Louise Eldrich
Having never read anything by a Native author, I had to confer with my TBR list on Goodreads and found that I only had very few on there as well. Louise Eldrich was an author that appeared a couple of times and I settled for this one as the plot sounds a lot like my jam, though Love Medicine also has me intrigued.
I really do have to check out more Native authors, so if anyone has any suggestions apart from Eldrich, please leave them in the comments to this post.
8. A book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc.)
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Arundhati Roy is one of those authors whose name I have heard about several times, but never have read anything by. So I decided to check out my Goodreads, and one of her books is actually on my To Be Read list. It’s even a Booker Price winner, yet I could not remember having ever heard the premise. I read about it on Goodreads, but that did not give me much, so I went to Wikipedia, and this is an intense book that I cannot believe I have not read before. I am going to make up for that.
9. A book with a biracial protagonist
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
Another one I had to look for, even though I have actually read another one about a biracial girl, The Broken Bridge, but that one is written by a white man (Philip “wrote His Dark Materials” Pullman, more specifically) and I would like to read one from an author who actually is biracial. A biracial girl loses her parents and has to deal with moving to and being raised in a new neighbourhood which consists mostly of African-American people, all while dealing with the loss of her parents. I will be checking this out soon.
Parrotfish is about a transgender boy. I first heard about it a couple of years ago and have been wanting to read it for a while, but have never gotten around to it. As a genderfluid AFAB (assigned female at birth) I feel like I can relate a bit to Grady’s character.
A little over a month ago I first heard about Meredith Russo as she was at BogForum and I watched an interview with her which really left an impression on me, as she spoke about how she needed this kind of book when she was young. Since then I have heard a lot of people say really good things about it so now I am considering reading that as well.