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#WeNeedDiverseBooks

May 14, 2014

So, there’s a hashtag going around: #WeNeedDiverseBooks.  There’s also a Tumblr. It’s a whole movement. And it reminded me of a conversation I’d had with the boy-type creature a few months ago when we were totaling up our books for 2013. Of the twenty or so books he’d read four or five had been written by authors of color. Of the one hundred and forty-four books I had read… two had been written by authors of color. That was not only embarrassing, it was ridiculous.
photoNow, I can come up with reasons – I read mostly in genre literature and there’s less representation there. I read a bunch of series, so it’s not quite as bad as it looks. But at the end of the day I read mostly white authors. And that bothered me. Even though I wasn’t doing it on purpose, I wasn’t doing anything about it either. So, I took to the internet last week and asked for a reading list.
People responded, as people are wont to do and I’ve got a list now. Granted, not everything people recommended to me looked like something I wanted to read. At the end of the day, I just don’t read much non-fiction or much literary fiction. I’ll work on expanding those horizons later. Maybe. But there are plenty of amazing authors working in speculative fiction and in mystery, which are my two primary genres. So, I’m following my Twitter advice and just buckling down to read.
daoThe first two books (paper and audio) that I’m starting with are The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. These had both been on my list for a while, but I just never got around to picking them up. My kindgomsbookstore didn’t have either just on the shelf and I’m easily distracted, so I just hadn’t gotten around to either one. I’m reading The Lives of Tao and listening to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. They’re both pretty awesome so far. I’ll keep you posted. And, because the internet is an amazing thing, there are interviews with both authors available from Sword & Laser. I’ll post those down below.

 

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