Diverse Reading Part 2 – TBRs

As Part 2 of my Diverse Reading challenge from livs_little_library and sazlouereads, here are the books I haven’t read yet, and what prompts they align with. Check out my next reads below:

A non-fiction book by a Black author:

Pitch Black: The Story of Black British Footballers by Emy Onuora

My husband has converted me into a football supporter (Come on You Blues!), and I’m looking forward to reading this nonfiction book about the history of Black players in English football and the effect they’ve had on the game. With racialised abuse still so common in football circles, I think it’s going to be an important read.

A book by a Latinx author:

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Everyone is raving about this novel written in verse exploring the relationship between two Latinx women discovering they are sisters. I hope to get stuck into it soon!

A book by a Native/Indigenous Peoples author:

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

This is being described as Big Little Lies meets Get Out, exploring the relationships between four Native American men. I’m so excited for this one.

A book by a non-binary person:

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

This book, about a young Nigerian woman finding herself as she moves around the world, sounds fascinating, and is grounded in indigenous Igbo beliefs.

A book by an LGBT author from a country other than yours:

Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski – Attitude

I haven’t read any Polish authors that I know of and really know very little about the culture and history of Poland, so I’m quite eager to read this novel, a coming-of-age/gay romance set in 1980s Warsaw.

A book about mental illness:

Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan

Research for this prompt made me discover this intriguing book, reflecting the author’s own experiences spending 10 years in involuntary mental health care.

A book by an author with a disability:

Good Kings, Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum

Another intriguing find specifically from research for this! Nussbaum is a longtime disability rights advocate and has gotten lots of positive reception for this book, about a group of friends in a group home for teenagers with disabilities.

A medical memoir:

Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America – A Memoir by Elizabeth Wurtzel

I know it’s a bit of an oldie by now, but I find the social history of medicine really interesting and I’m eager to read one of the classics of the topic.

An OwnVoices nonfiction book:

In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park

This book is getting a ton of buzz on Bookstagram lately. I really enjoyed Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy, a well-researched look at North Korean life outside of the artefice of Pyongyang, but it did feel a bit distant as an American journalist recounting stories from the few defectors she could track down. So as an alternative, I’m excited to read Park’s firsthand account of escaping North Korea when she was just a teenager.

A book by a female author from a continent different to yours:

Swallow by Sefi Atta

I stumbled across this book, set in 1980s Lagos, Nigeria and a young woman pushed into drug trafficking, and keep meaning to get to it. Now’s my chance!

A book by an immigrant author:

You People by Nikita Lalwani

Lalwani was born in India, emigrated to Wales with her family, and now lives in London. Her international perspective appears to have influenced her latest novel, about a West London pizzeria and the immigrant staff who work there.

A book about gender identity:

Paul Takes the Form of A Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor

I saw this historical fiction set among a group of queer activists in the 1990s at my library in the Before Times when I already had too many other things to read (ha) and hope to start it soon.

Historical fiction book not set in WWI/WWII:

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

This has been on my to-be-read list for a while, about a Black female FBI agent who works to take down the Communist leader of Burkina Faso in the 1980s. I really learned nothing about the Cold War in school outside of US-Russia conflicts, so I think this will be a really interesting read.

A nonfiction book about history not included in the British curriculum:

The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple

I used to work at a maritime history museum, so I’m very eager to start this nonfiction history of the East India Company and their role in the development of Asia. It made Barack Obama’s favourite books of 2019 list, so I think that’s endorsement enough.

A book by a Pacific Islander author:

Sharks in the Time of Saviours by Kawai Strong Washburn

I’m eager to read this well-reviewed novel exploring an Indigenous Hawaiian family and the effects of Hawaii’s economic downturn on their lives.

A memoir/autobiography from a prominent BIPOC activist:

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele

The events of the past few months have made me realise that just supporting a movement isn’t enough–I should work to educate myself more on the cause and this memoir sounds like a great place to start. Khan-Cullors is one of the founders of BLM in the United States, and her work has obviously had a global impact.

A book with a transgender character:

Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman by Abby Chava Stein

A memoir about a transgender woman who was an Orthodox rabbi before coming out and transitioning–this sounds absolutely fascinating, even if it doesn’t 100% fit the prompt as a nonfiction book. While I’ve read a lot of YA featuring trans characters, none of them were written by trans authors so I would prefer to read something that reflects an authentic trans experience. Especially in light of…. *general motioning at JK Rowling*

An autobiography/memoir by a person of colour:

March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

This challenge and Rep. Lewis’ recent passing have inspired me to finally get around to this one, which I had read bits and pieces of when I interned at a museum that used it as part of its educational programmes, but never actually read the whole thing cover to cover.

A book with an illustrator of colour:

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Much like March, I read bits of this in a high school class on global history but never read the whole thing. Persepolis recounts the author’s childhood straddling pre- and post-Revolution Iran, and her eventual move to Europe.

A book about climate change:

Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life by George Monbiot

I saw this on Instagram a while back and it looks really interesting–especially living in a city that has such an interesting relationship with the natural world and its inhabitants.

A folktale/mythology from another culture:

The Bone People by Keri Hulme

This might not be exactly folklore, but a lot of elements of this Booker-Prize-winning novel are based on Maori mythology, Hulme was the first New Zealander to win the Booker, and she remains the only Kiwi winner of Maori descent to win.

A book outside your usual genre:

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

I’ve read plenty of books with romance in them that I’ve enjoyed, but when it comes to the specific genre of romance, I’m usually not a fan. But I’ve seen some positive buzz about this one, about a retired gymnast who returns to train an up-and-coming star. While it suffered some unfortunate timing (the release was originally supposed to intersect with the 2020 Olympics), it’s also said to address issues of abuse within gymnastics, so it sounds a bit more substantial than other romance books I’ve tried. We’ll see!

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