Diversify your reading list

crossposted from What Tami Said

Are you hip to the Diversity Rocks! 2009 Challenge? It aims to “ensure racial and ethnic diversity in the authors that we read.” Organizer Ali explains:
What if we only read authors who were just like us? How boring would that be?

But when I take a good hard look at the books I’ve read in 2008, most of them happen to be written by white middle class people. Thirty-six out of forty-two, in fact, according to my LibraryThing library.

Not that I turn away from books written by non-white authors–but let’s face it, there aren’t as many (hence the term “minorities”), and they don’t jump off the shelves into my arms. In some bookstores they’re hidden in their own special section. If I’m going to stretch myself–and I mean, beyond Toni Morrison and Amy Tan–I’ll have to make a special effort.

So, I’m setting a challenge for myself for 2009, and I invite you to join me.

…all I’m asking you to do is commit to reading one book. Or, simply add links on my Challenge website to books you review that fit the criteria, to help me and others find them. Or tweak your reading lists, to incorporate one author of color in your other reading challenges.

Want to know more? Click on over and subscribe to Diverse Books! Even if you don’t sign up for the challenge, I’ll be posting diverse reading lists for every genre I can think of–there will be links to book recommendations and reviews–I’m even learning how to use Mr. Linky!

Ali is particularly looking for recommendations of black, Asian, Arab, Native American, Hispanic authors that don’t get the pub that, say, Toni Morrison or Isabel Allende do. Lists include childrens and adult books.
The March reading list at Diversity Rocks! looks good. I’m off to see if The Book of Night Women by Marlon James is available for the Kindle. BTW, I stumbled upon James’ blog. It’s great and so is this post: “The Bigots on my Bookshelf


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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek, Change.org, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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