July 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday 7/21/15

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity.

Diversity is the new watch-word in literature these days. And I get it. It's important for readers to read about people who look like them or sound like them or feel like them.

Here's my problem with the whole diversity thing. It's such a buzz word, that I feel like it's going to be replaced by the next big thing in a couple of years and diversity will be old news.

So many people don't even really know what it means. You can't just toss a couple of females in your story, or Chinese folks, or whatever, and then have them act like straight, white, guys. That's not diversity. Ugh!

I don't know if I can find 10 books that celebrate diversity, but I'll give it a shot.

  1. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson - I'm still reading this, and I'm not really very far into it, really, but one of the main characters is a woman in space who is really badass with robots and saves the life of another badass spacewoman with her robot skillz. Also, the commander of the International Space Station in the story is a Chinese woman. And these women act like women. They have real female emotions and they get together and do stuff women do.

  2. Lock In by John Scalzi - This book is about a guy with disabilities. As in, his body doesn't work at all. He controls a robot with his mind, but his body lives on life support in a room somewhere. The point is that handicapped people are more than what you think they are.

  3. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes - This one takes place in a Johannesburg where people convicted of crimes have spirit animals assigned to them that they can't be separated from. Zoo City is the section of the city where the "zoos" (convicts) are forced to live. The main character is a black woman with a sloth animal who finds missing stuff. She is hardcore. She lives in the ghetto and does more than just survive.

  4. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz - Oscar is a teenage Dominican boy in New Jersey who just doesn't fit in with the Latino kids who were mostly born in America.

  5. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - Yeah, yeah, I know. The Kite Runner yadda yadda yadda. That was good. It is. But this one. It's about these two women married to the same horrible guy in Afghanistan. I loved this book so much. But I'm not gonna lie... this book made me hungry for Indian food.

  6. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina - More Latinas. This poor kid changes schools to this really tough school and a girl decides she doesn't like her. I don't think the events described would have to be relegated to a Hispanic population. They could happen in any demographic, but these characters are unashamedly Latina. They're beautiful.

  7. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - This is the first book about Native Americans living on a reservation I had ever read. I have since read several more. The story is about a teenage boy on a reservation who gets an opportunity to go to a better school in the white community. He is shunned by his friends and others on the reservation for turning his back on them, and he is also "other" in the white school because he is so very different.

So the following books are just written by non-white or LGBTQ authors. I haven't necessarily read the books, so this is kind of all I know about them.

  1. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters - Sarah is a lesbian author who usually writes books with lesbian characters. This one takes place in World War II.

  2. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa - Kagawa is of Japanese descent. This book is a dystopian vampire YA novel.

  3. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Written by a Nigerian author writing in America.

So there are 10 books with diversity. Got any to add to the list?