So I spent a bunch of time writing this post and now apparently I’ve lost it all, that’ll teach me not to save the text externally. Anyway, today’s post is a little bit unusual for this blog but I want to update you on my progress for Diversity Bingo as a lot of the books I’ve read for the challenge have been books I’ve read for my read the world project.
Diversity Bingo was started by people on twitter, although I’m not sure who but you can follow along with other people who are participating on the #diversitybingo2017 on twitter. Basically everyone gets the same blank bingo card with 36 read challenges which you attempt to complete during the year.
My card currently looks like this:
For non-binary main character I read This is Not a Wardrobe Door by A Merc Rustad, a non-binary author. The short story is Narnia-esque and features a non-binary protagonist. Its charming and wonderful and you can read it for free here.
For SFF with a disabled character I read Among Others by Jo Walton, an #ownvoices fantasy novel about a girl who walks with a cane, talks to fairies and goes to a boarding school. This novel was all kinds of offensive towards Irish people and I did not enjoy it, in fact it really upset me. My full review can be watched here.
For bisexual character (#ownvoices) I read Noteworthy by Riley Redgate which follows a Chinese-American bisexual protagonist who decides to crossdress to join an all male acapella group at her school. Tonnes of fun and surprisingly self aware, one worth preordering if you haven’t already. Redgate is herself bisexual and she is biracial with part of her heritage being Chinese.
For Latinex main character (#ownvoices) I read A Planet for Rent by Yoss, a Cuban author. This was translated from Spanish by David Frye. It follows an ensemble of Cuban characters after contact with other alien races has been made and people from Earth are seen as the lowest of the low and our planet is being exploited. It is a metaphor for Cuba after the fall of the Soviet Union. I have all kinds of conflicted feelings about this one so keep an eye out for my review.
For non-western real world setting I went with Island of Shattered Dreams by Chantal T Spitz, a multigenerational family saga set in French Polynesia and written by a Tahitian author. It’s an unflinching critique of colonialism and an interesting story and you can read my review here.
For #ownvoices I went with Uncle’s Story by Witi Ihimaera. Its a heart breaking tale of a young Maori man who after coming out to his family, realises that the uncle that he never new he had was gay. Ihimaera is himself gay and Maori and much of the book is set in the part of New Zealand where he grew up. Another one I really enjoyed and will be writing a review for soon.
For west Asian setting I went with Embroideries, a graphic novel written and illustrated by Iranian author Marjane Satrapi. This is set in Iran and follows a group of women gossiping and discussing their sex life. Not my usual thing but I did enjoy it so you can expect a review soon.
For author of colour I read Dwellers by Filipino author Eliza Victoria. This one was a creepy fantasy/ murder mystery novella that I thoroughly enjoyed. You can read my review of it here.
For black main character (#ownvoices) I read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Inspired by the black lives matter movement this book follows Starr who is the sole witness to her unarmed friend Khalil being shot and killed by the police. Powerful and important, this is another one to preorder. You can watch my review here.
For LGBTQIA+ main character of colour I read Radio Silence by Alice Oseman which features a biracial (white British and Ethiopian) and bisexual (#ownvoices) main character who is obsessed with an online podcast. One day the creator reaches out to her and asks her to get involved. I have mixed feelings on this one. You can watch my review here.
For indigenous main character (#ownvoices) I read Lightfinder by Aaron Paquette who is a Métis author of Cree, Cherokee and Norwegian heritage. The main character in this YA fantasy is Cree and she teams up with her grandmother and aunt to find her missing brother. I also had somewhat mixed feelings on this one, you can find my review for it here.
For diverse non-fiction I read Born A Crime by Trevor Noah, or more accurately listened to the audiobook. This book examines Trevor Noah’s childhood growing up mixed race in South Africa during and after apartheid. Funny, educational and surprising, I can’t recommend this highly enough. If you need more convincing my review is here.
For PoC on the cover I went with The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. This is a multigenerational story which follows four Chinese women who emigrate to the US and their daughters. Unfortunately it felt more like short stories than a cohesive novel but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
Finally, I’ve read El Deafo by Cece Bell for the D/deaf or hard of hearing square. This is an #ownvoices graphic novel which shares a slightly fictionalised account of Cece Bell’s struggle with hearing loss when she was a young child. Absolutely charming with super cute art and also very educational despite being aimed at middle grade readers, it is one I really recommend!
That’s it for the moment, expect another update in April or May. Also if you want to recommend me books for my incomplete categories feel free!