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.
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.
Everyone can do this tag, even people who don’t own or haven’t read any books that fit the descriptions below. So there’s no excuse! 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.
Find a book starring a lesbian character.
One I’ve read: Ammonite – Nicola Griffith
Centuries ago, a virus wiped out the men and altered the surviving women. A book that questions gender.
To read: Palimpset – Catherynne Valente
Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest. To get there is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curse—a voyage permitted only to those who’ve always believed there’s another world than the one that meets the eye. Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single orgasmic night. To this kingdom of ghost trains, lion-priests, living kanji, and cream-filled canals come four travelers: Oleg, a New York locksmith; the beekeeper November; Ludovico, a binder of rare books; and a young Japanese woman named Sei. They’ve each lost something important—a wife, a lover, a sister, a direction in life—and what they will find in Palimpsest is more than they could ever imagine.
Find a book with a Muslim protagonist.
I’ve read: The Ms Marvel series – G Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
I love this comic! That is all.
To read: Throne of the Crescent Moon – Saladin Ahmed
The Bones of Grace – Tahmima Anam
Well I cannot be 100% sure that these books feature Muslim protagonists! I’ve never read Saladin Ahmed (who is Muslim) but I’ve been eyeing this book for a while. As for Anam, this is the third of her books in a series loosely tied together, A Golden Age and The Good Muslim are her other two books, fantastic reads set in Bangladesh.
Find a book set in Latin America.
A book I’ve read: Delirium – Laura Restrepo
This book set in Colombia would also qualify for the book about a person with a disability as it begins with a man who returns home to find his wife in the throes of insanity.
To read: The Complete Stories – Clarice Lispector
Because I have never read anything by this Brazilian writer (although she was born in Western Ukraine).
Find a book about a person with a disability.
A book I’ve read: Inheritance – Balli Kaur Jaswal
One of my favourite books set in Singapore. This work of fiction highlights a number of minority voices in Singapore, a Sikh family (Singapore is majority Chinese), a gay man, and one with mental illness (schizophrenia).
I’d like to read: Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity – Andrew Solomon
“Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love Solomon documents in every chapter.”
Find a Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a POC protagonist.
A book I’ve read: Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho
One of my favourite books! Zen Cho is Malaysian and one of her characters is a Malaysian vampire, but the main characters are a freed black slave who is the Sorcerer Royal and a half-Indian woman (this is set in a sort of Regency England where you know, white men run things).
(Also this was such a hard one to pick just ONE, because I am a HUGE fan of NK Jemisin, from the first time I read her Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in 2012. And have since read all her books! And also, there is Nnedi Okorafor, whose Binti is perfection and Zahrah the Windseeker makes me wish I had a daughter to read that to – ok maybe I can still read that to my sons!)
To read: An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
The Grace of Kings – Ken Liu
Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.
Find a book set in (or about) any country in Africa.
A book I’ve read: The Book of Memory – Pettna Gappah
I loved this book set largely in a prison in Zimbabwe, where a woman has been convicted of killing her adopted father, who is white.
I’m also going to mention, the fascinating and very weird Memoirs of a Porcupine by Alain Mabanckou, because I don’t think enough people have heard of this book, which has as its narrator the porcupine double of a man (my thoughts).
To read: And After Many Days – Jowhor Ile
Mostly because I have this book sitting on my tbr shelf. It is set in Nigeria. (Also here is a list of 25 new books by African writers via Lit Hub)
Find a book written by an Aboriginal or American Indian author.
One I’ve read: Monkey Beach – Eden Robinson
Eden Robinson is from Haisla First Nation, an Indigenous nation in British Columbia, Canada. And oh my word, this book is a beauty. (My thoughts)
To read: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian – Sherman Alexie
The odd thing is that while I have read several of Alexie’s books, I have yet to read what is probably his most famous one!
Find a book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.).
One I’ve read: Chef – Jaspreet Singh
This book is set in Kashmir and is not a book to read on an empty stomach. Of course, since it is set in Kashmir that is violence and politics. Mournful and devastating.
To read: The Scatter Here Is Too Great by Bilal Tanweer
A vivid and intricate novel-in-stories, The Scatter Here Is Too Great explores the complicated lives of ordinary people whose fates unexpectedly converge after a deadly bomb blast at the Karachi train station: an old communist poet; his wealthy, middle-aged son; a young man caught in an unpleasant, dead-end job; a girl who spins engaging tales to conceal her heartbreak; and a grief-stricken writer, who struggles to make sense of this devastating tragedy.
Find a book with a biracial protagonist.
One I’ve read: Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
Don’t think this book needs much introduction. If you haven’t read it yet, go! Get to your bookstore or library or just buy it online and read it already!
To read: Half-blood Blues – Esi Edugyan
The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero’s bandmate and the only witness that day, is going back to Berlin. Persuaded by his old friend Chip, Sid discovers there’s more to the journey than he thought.
Find a book starring a transgender character or about transgender issues.
One I’ve read: A+@ 4ever – I. Merey
Asher Machnik is a teenage boy cursed with a beautiful androgynous face. Guys punch him, girls slag him and by high school he’s developed an intense fear of being touched. Art remains his only escape from an otherwise emotionally empty life. Eulalie Mason is the lonely, tough-talking dyke from school who befriends Ash. The only one to see and accept all of his sides as a loner, a fellow artist and a best friend, she’s starting to wonder if ash is ever going to see all of her…. a + e 4EVER is a graphic novel set in that ambiguous crossroads where love and friendship, boy and girl, straight and gay meet. It goes where few books have ventured, into genderqueer life, where affections aren’t black and white
To read: Redefining Realness – Janet Mock
In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Those twenty-three hundred words were life-altering for the People.com editor, turning her into an influential and outspoken public figure and a desperately needed voice for an often voiceless community. In these pages, she offers a bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural, economically challenged, and transgender in America.
Thanks Naz! That was fun!
I’m going to tag….
Please try to tag at least 5 other people if you do choose to participate! Hope you join in!