Happy Sunday everyone. Lady Disdain tagged me to play along and participate in the Diverse Books Tag.
Here is more on the tag from The Diverse Book Blog ….
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.
Here is my list…..
“Find a book starring a lesbian character.”
A saucy, sensuous and multi-layered historical romance, Tipping the Velvet follows the glittering career of Nan King – oyster girl turned music-hall star turned rent boy turned East End ‘tom’.
Nan is captivated by the music hall phenomenon that is Kitty Butler, a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury. Through a friend at the box office, Nan manages to visit all her shows and finally meet her heroine. Soon after, she becomes Kitty’s dresser and the two head for the bright lights of Leicester Square where they start an all-singing and dancing double act. At the same time, behind closed doors, they admit their attraction to each other and their affair begins.
“Find a book with a Muslim protagonist.”
I read In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom by Qanta A. Ahmed, MD years ago when I first began book blogging and SourceBooks provided me with a review copy. Dr. Ahmed’s account was well written, insightful and eye opening.
The decisions that change your life are often the most impulsive ones.
Unexpectedly denied a visa to remain in the United States, Qanta Ahmed, a young British Muslim doctor, becomes an outcast in motion. On a whim, she accepts an exciting position in Saudi Arabia. This is not just a new job; this is a chance at adventure in an exotic land she thinks she understands, a place she hopes she will belong.
What she discovers is vastly different. The Kingdom is a world apart, a land of unparralled contrast. She finds rejection and scorn in the places she believed would most embrace her, but also humor, honesty, loyalty and love.
And for Qanta, more than anything, it is a land of opportunity. A place where she discovers what it takes for one woman to recreate herself in the land of invisible women.
“Find a book set in Latin America.”
Although Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez is set in an unnamed port city somewhere near the Caribbean Sea, I thought it would qualify as being set in Latin America. I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with Gabriel García Márquez. I find his writing to be beautiful, rich and captivating, yet the characters and themes in his stories can be unlikable and unsettling. Love in the Time of Cholera was beautifully written and yet again, I did not find myself particularly liking these characters, but wanting to know more.
In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.
“Find a book about a person with a disability.”
A novel I discovered through Oprah’s Book club, I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb is a beautifully written story about family and mental illness. A book about identical twin brothers, one having severe paranoid schizophrenia to the point of self mutilation, the other brother being his advocate, just pulled at my heart strings. I also wondered how twins could possibly fall on opposite sides of the spectrum this way and I found myself wrapped up in Lamb’s storytelling. I read a few more of this author’s books, but this one stood out the most.
On the afternoon of October 12, 1990, my twin brother, Thomas, entered the Three Rivers, Connecticut, public library, retreated to one of the rear study carrels, and prayed to God the sacrifice he was about to commit would be deemed acceptable. . . .
One of the most acclaimed novels of our time, Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True is a story of alienation and connection, devastation and renewal, at once joyous, heartbreaking, poignant, mystical, and powerfully, profoundly human.
“Find a Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a POC protagonist.”
I have not read this one but it sounds really good and how cool is the cover? I’ve added this to my wishlist. This author has written other books featuring a diverse cast of main characters and I will definitely be on the lookout for his works. Plus his books are set in NYC, what more could you want?
Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.
Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.
With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.
Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaper introduces a heroine and magic unlike anything else in fantasy fiction, and marks the YA debut of a bold new voice.
“Find a book set in (or about) any country in Africa.”
Another Oprah’s Book Club find, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover became a favorite when I read it several years ago. Here is a novel about family and faith that I lived in for a little while as I read it. I highly recommend it.
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
“Find a book written by an Indigenous or Native author (use tribal names if possible).”
On googling this one, I found this article called “20 Native American Authors You Need to Read” and then I found Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Leslie Marmon Silko. This sounds like an interesting read.
Thirty years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Tayo, a World War II veteran of mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation. He is deeply scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power.
“Find a book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.).”
Journey to dazzling seventeenth-century Hindustan, where the reigning emperor, consumed with grief over the tragic death of his beloved wife, commissioned the building of a grand mausoleum as a testament to the marvel of their love. This monument would soon become known as the Taj Mahal—a sight famous around the world for its beauty and the emotions it symbolizes.
Princess Jahanara, the courageous daughter of the emperor and his wife, recounts their mesmerizing tale, while sharing her own parallel story of forbidden love with the celebrated architect of the Taj Mahal. Set during a time of unimaginable wealth and power, murderous sibling rivalries, and cruel despotism, this impressive novel sweeps you away to a historical Hindustan brimming with action and intrigue in an era when, alongside the brutalities of war and oppression, architecture and the art of love and passion reached a pinnacle of perfection.
“Find a book with a biracial protagonist.”
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under.
“Find a book starring a transgender character or about transgender issues.”
This one was hard to find at first. I found this article about transgender non-fiction and then I remembered Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf, whose Mrs. Dalloway is one of my favorite classics. I will have to read Orlando as well.
The book describes the adventures of a poet who changes sex from man to woman and lives for centuries, meeting the key figures of English literary history. Considered a feminist classic, the book has been written about extensively by scholars of women’s writing and gender and transgender studies.
That concludes my list. Have you read any of these books?
Thank you Lady Disdain for tagging me for this important and relevant discussion. I enjoyed putting my list together and discovered a few new books I want to read. It really is important to have diversity in reading and finding books that represent different cultures and ways of life can be a great learning experience for people.
I invite anyone to play along. I will tag a few other bloggers in particular in case they would like to join (no pressure). I would love to see everyone’s picks.
This post was written for the bookworm blog.