Sunday, 11 September 2016

#DiverseAThon TBR

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If you're on twitter you've probably seen that there's been loads of drama about diversity recently. I didn't watch the video but as far as I understand it a guy made a video that was basically awful about how diversity isn't important and obviously twitter responded by listing all the reasons it is, and then as a result of all that a bunch of booktubers (WhittyNovels, SheMightBeMonica, LuLo Fangirl, and SquibblesReads) are hosting #DiverseAThon. 

This is a readathon designed to get us all reading more diversely - the hosts don't specify what that means but instead ask you to think about what it means for you, and for me it means reading more books about people who aren't like me in order to try to understand other people's experiences of the world. 

The readathon runs from September 12th - 19th and you can check out all the excellence on twitter at #DiverseAThon. 

Originally I had a small, manageable TBR of three, but for this readathon there's a spreadsheet where people can submit their recommendations of diverse titles and I had a little browse this morning so obviously my TBR has now doubled! 

Here's what I've picked:


Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is about a girl called Lydia whose father's parents are Chinese immigrants, and the impact that his heritage has on her upbringing. Then her body is found in the local lake and the book looks at how her various family members respond to her death. I've heard such great things about this. and I have no personal experience of being an immigrant so I think this will be great. 

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park - Yeonmi Park and her family risked their lives to flee North Korea. Stories like this are always important because I think it's easy to take my own privilege at living in a (mostly) democratic country where I have freedom of speech and movement and can pretty much do what I want for granted. 

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander - This was last months Social Justice Book Club pick, but it was late coming into the library so I only just got it. Although it focuses on the US I'm interested to read it because it talks about how the American system uses the War on Drugs to oppress people of colour in ways scarily similar to the way it has in the past. 

Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue - retellings of fairytales, many featuring lesbian protagonists. I don't read enough LGBT+ fiction and I already flipped through a few of these a while back and loved them so I'm looking forward to reading some favourite stories from a new perspective. 

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho - I just got this on the Bath Bookshop Crawl and it sounds fantastic. It's about Zacharias Wythe the first African Sorcerer Royal in Regency London. The fairy court is refusing to supply England with magic, and the government needs it so Zacharias has to figure out what's going on, with help from Prunella, a girl who's discovered the greatest magical discovery in centuries. From what I've heard about this it's excellent fantasy and also looks at issues of race and gender equality. 

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence - I found this mentioned on the spreadsheet because the main character is autistic and it also has an elderly character. I thought it would be good to throw some other kinds of diversity into the mix here (as well as just race and gender things) and also so many people have loved this book that I couldn't resist.

Finally I have American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang which Laura gifted me recently. This is a graphic novel (and so will probably be the book I'll start with) which weaves together three tales - the story of Jin Wang, the only Chinese-American student in his school, the Chinese fable of the Monkey King, and the story of Chin-Kee and his cousin Danny. Again this is an experience I will never have and I'm always interested in reading different perspectives. 

Let me know if you're participating, I'd love to see your TBRs! 

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