The Diverse Books Tag

Okay, so Naz created this tag way back in May, and I have been meaning and wanting to do it, but haven’t had time. And now I do, so I’m doing it even if it is late, late, late.

The Diverse Books Tag

The Rules (as stated by Naz)

  1. Credit the original creator, Read Diverse Books.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Before I begin, I want to point out that I wanted to pick books I have already read, which proved tricky for two categories: a book set in Latin America and a book set in South Asia. Apparently, I have read quite a few books that take place in the US and the other parts of the world, but not any that fully take place in Latin America or South Asia. Or, if I have, I can’t remember them. It’s weird, man. Anyway, I did finish a book that took place fully in Latin America, but my book that takes place in South Asia is one of those hybrid ones. I’m just going with it.

Also, because this is just how I roll, I have copied/pasted my Goodreads reviews.

Find a book starring a lesbian character.

Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 1: Captain Raven and the All-Girl Pirate CrewPrinceless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 1: Captain Raven and the All-Girl Pirate Crew by Jeremy Whitley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, yes, this was much much better than Raven’s introduction in Princeless, Vol. 3: The Pirate Princess since Raven kind of didn’t fit the tone there.

This book/series is definitely YA whereas Princeless could be classified as children’s, middle grade, or lower YA.

Anyway, I am a fan of groups of ladies being generally badass and am an ultrafan of POC women doing the same. Lots of good jokes in here (“not all men” and men’s rights makes an appearance) and a lot of fun. Also violence. And queer girls/women. And girls/women having varied interests (chemistry! cartography! dance! RPG! beating people up!).

Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun.

Find a book with a Muslim protagonist.

EmbroideriesEmbroideries by Marjane Satrapi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a lot of fun to read, and I loved the stories, but it is TOO SHORT. Which is why I gave it a lower rating. Oh yeah, I spite with my reviews. Fifty (or a hundred or…) more pages or so, and it would’ve been perfect.

Find a book set in Latin America.

Pierced by the SunPierced by the Sun by Laura Esquivel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This isn’t the type of book I typically read, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is a fascinating character study, to be sure.

Find a book about a person with a disability.

The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2)The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Attolia is a badass. I love her.

I don’t know why this story is so engaging, but it is even though it contains some of my writing pet peeves. Great characters, some unexpected twists. A lot of heart, definitely.

Find a Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a POC protagonist.

Where the Mountain Meets the MoonWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delightful story about a girl on a quest with a dragon. This book is a love letter to stories and gratitude, and I dug it.

 

Find a book set in (or about) any country in Africa.

The Great Cake Mystery (Precious Ramotswe's Very First Cases #1)The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, that was adorable.

Listened to the audiobook, which is ace. The narrator is A++.

(3.5 stars, rounding up for the narration)

Find a book written by an Indigenous or Native author.

FlightFlight by Sherman Alexie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of those books (like Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred) that I enjoyed but can’t quite suss out a reaction to. The book is deeper than I am, unfortunately, and it’s also kind of…weird. I’m not a huge fan of time travel, but it’s handled well in this novel (as well as Butler’s). The story is definitely engaging. Even when I didn’t know what to make of it, I had to read more. Sherman Alexie is some kind of brilliant, and I really wish there were more writers writing about the experiences of contemporary Native Americans.

Find a book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.).

A House for Happy MothersA House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I got this book free from Kindle First, and It took me over a month to read this book, which says a lot since the language and storytelling are so simplistic.

This was boring, and the characters were not fully fleshed out or interesting at all. Lifelong conflicts and relationships were resolved off page, and none of the secondary characters had any depth beyond “husband cheated on her” or “trophy wife with surprising depth” (which was told and not shown!). I couldn’t picture any of them in my head except Priya and Asha, and I could tell exactly none of the women in the surrogacy house apart nor could I remember or tell apart any of Priya’s friends.

So two stars because I finished the whole thing and didn’t actively hate any of the characters, though I didn’t find any of them particularly compelling either.

Find a book with a biracial protagonist.

CaucasiaCaucasia by Danzy Senna
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so I didn’t actually review this on Goodreads (though I left a rating). Anyway, I read it in grad school, and it’s about these two sisters and their complicated relationship with their family and each other–mainly because one can pass for white and the other can’t. It’s a pretty good book (even if it does suffer a little from what I call MFA writing) and you can tell because I still remember it after all this time.

Find a book starring a transgender character or about transgender issues.

Red: A Crayon's StoryRed: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the children’s story at church today (it’s Pride Sunday), and I loved it so much I had to make sure to rate it here. Excellent.

P.S. I am not trying to be insensitive by choosing this book over one with people characters, but I feel this book so perfectly explains what it means to be transgender in terms that everyone can understand (even adults) that I’m using it. However, if you’re looking for a children’s picture book that explains what it means to be transgender with a person main character, I just added I Am Jazz to my TBR.


 

Naz wants us to tag five people, but, honestly, I can’t remember at this point who has or hasn’t done it, so if you haven’t done it yet, go for it.

 

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7 comments

  1. Ally Bean

    This is an ambitious project. I’ve not thought about my reading quite like this before, so you know I’m intrigued. Now that you’ve got me thinking, off I go to glance at my shelves to see what I have read that fits these criteria. Interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenny @ Reading the End

    “Late” — no such thing! It just means we’re getting a bunch of new recommendations right now instead of earlier in the year. Never too late to spread the bookish joy! Plus you’re making me even more excited for Princeless than I already was, as I previously didn’t realize it was full of queer girls/women, which is awesome!

    Like

  3. Read Diverse Books

    What a fantastic list. I don’t recall seeing any of these books on previous lists!
    I appreciate the inclusion of Alexie’s Flight. It was the first of his books I’ve read and thought it was so cool and novel because it was soo weird.

    Like

  4. Pingback: It’s Monday & I’m more than halfway through the semester | The Englishist

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