Sunday, June 5, 2016

#DiverseBookBloggers: The Diverse Books Tag

Today's tag post is an extension of the #DiverseBookBloggers Twitter movement that is being spearheaded by Naz of Read Diverse Books and Demelza Griffiths of Books ft. Politics. It aims to bring together and lift up the voices of bloggers from marginalized groups as well as allies promoting diverse books (more on this later). 

The Diverse Books Tag is a bit like a scavenger hunt. You are tasked with finding a book (that you have read or intend to) that fits each of the specific criteria listed below. 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.
Find a book starring a lesbian character.
Sara Farizan's Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel is on my to-read list for two reasons - The fact that it's an #OwnVoices read and the intersection of race + sexuality(queer POC) makes it a must read for me!
Find a book with a Muslim protagonist.
Reading Ayisha Malik's Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged was like finding home. This amazing #OwnVoices novel features a South Asian Hijabi Muslim heroine and is an excellent example of nuanced representation of Muslims (especially, Hijabis) in literature.
Find a book set in Latin America.
This one was a toughie for me because much to my dismay, I found out that I had serious lack of Latin American novels in my TBR. After a lot of hunting on Goodreads, I added Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango's The Queen of Water to my to-read list. This novel is an exploration of racism and classism and while it's not technically an #OwnVoices book it appears to be written in collaboration with Farinango who's story this novel tells. 
Find a book about a person with a disability.
Padma Venkatraman's A Time To Dance explores the intersection of race, ethnicity and disability in this intriguing verse novel set in India. Also bharatanatyam(a classical Indian dance form - I've had the pleasure of seeing some performances live by Sri Lankan Hindu dancers who've also mastered this beautiful art)! I got this for my birthday and intend to read it in the upcoming weeks of Ramadan.
Find a Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a POC protagonist.
G. Willow Wilson's Alif the Unseen, another birthday gift to myself (aren't they the best? heh) is a sci-fi novel set in Saudi Arabia. You probably know Wilson as the author of NYT best-selling comic, Ms Marvel (which I have yet to read! *hides*).
Find a book set in (or about) any country in Africa.
For this category I chose to add Nnedi Okorafor's Zahrah the Windseeker. I was initially drawn in by the gorgeous illustrated cover which promises a riveting story but reviews do suggest that book does in fact deliver on this promise.
Find a book written by an Indigenous or Native author.
Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was the first book that came to my mind - Read it sometime last year and absolutely loved it!
Find a book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.).
For this category I picked Martin Wickramasinghe's Gamperaliya (The Uprooted), an extraordinary piece of literature from my own homeland! Wickramasinghe's portrayal of Sri Lankan society is both authentic and vivid. He masters the art of capturing the complex cultural nuances and class divide between the village gentry class and the rising middle class in this incredible piece. Madol Doova is another book of his that I've read and loved a countless times!
Find a book with a biracial protagonist.
Randa Jarrar's A Map of Home follows the story of the daughter of an Egyptian-Greek mother and a Palestinian father in the 1970s during the Iraqi invasion (not entirely sure but reviews suggest that protagonist is also bi). Adding it to my wishlist now!
Find a book starring a transgender character or about transgender issues.
Alex Gino's George sounds like an excellent book to start with for someone who has not read that many books that focus on transgender issues. Also #OwnVoices so yay!


See any of your favorite diverse books here? What's your take on promoting #OwnVoices books? There's an embarrassing lack of Native, Latin American and African authors in my shelves so all recommendations (both YA and adult) are welcome!

Have a recommendation? Leave a comment below or tweet your recs at @wordcontessa and let me know, I'll be sure to add them to my TBR! :)


  1. I've seen A Time To Dance in quite a few of these lists and it's definitely time I add it to my TBR!
    I also hadn't heard of Alif the Unseen. I also added it.
    Four of these books were new to me, so thanks for introducing me to them and thanks for doing the tag. :D

  2. Love the books you chose!! I have Farizan's other book on my tbr, but this one sounds so amazing too. AlsoA Time To Dance is such a great pick, hadn't even heard of it so happy you chose it!
    Haven't read this one yet, but definitely recommend all by Okorafor :) And Alif is on my tbr as well, also her other novel. Ahh I still have to read so much!
    I rarely read Latin Am lit too, I focus on US latina if I go in that direction. But I chose Liz Argentina Chiriboga for the tag, an Afro-Ecuadorian writing bout women's agency, slavery and racism.

  3. i need to read Uprooted! 😢😢

  4. Great choice of books. A time to dance sounds very interesting. Hope you get to read all of these too soon.


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