#DiverseBookbloggersDiscuss: How ADHD affects my reading

 

Ceillie.pngHello guys !

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 12, but the diagnosis didn’t really surprise me, or my parents. I’ve always been impulsive, overeager, and regularly either hyperfocused or unfocused. I would often tell people “oh yeah, I know how to do this thing,” whether that thing was playing the guitar, swimming, or reading aloud. It often got me into trouble, and embarrassed when it was proven I couldn’t actually do the thing I said I could. Not being able to swim as well as I said I could as a kid meant that I had several very unsafe experiences in the deep end of pools.

Those traits follow me into every part of my life, and affect how I read more than you might think.

Hyperfocus makes me a dedicated reader, when I can focus on anything at all. I read at a comparatively high speed, and often tune everything else out when I get really into a book. I love it when I can hyperfocus on a book, because I absorb everything I can from that novel. That book would almost always be a book that I fall in love with. Being able to hyperfocus on it is often the sign of a book that would get a five star rating, back when I used to rate with stars on my blog. Now that it’s foxes, they still tend to be the books I love more than others.

However, I can’t always control what books I can hyperfocus, or even just plain focus, on. If there’s a lot of sound nearby, or the texture of my clothes are wrong, or I’m not in the right reading position, it often leaves me as unfocused as a bored toddler. It also means that if I’m not enjoying a book, I can rarely bring myself to pick it back up.

One thing that I do to help myself focus on a book is read whatever it is as an audiobook. Audiobooks don’t help me focus on them if I’m not doing something else, but if I’m driving or knitting, things that don’t require a ton of brainpower, it’s just enough to make my brain kick into gear and be able to do both things with relative ease. Audiobooks are also helpful because of my day job schedule, but that’s a discussion for another post.

My impulsivity also helps, and hurts, my reading. It leads me to pick up books that are probably not the best choices for me, or to not fully read the synopsis (or the publisher name) before I request them as a reviewer. This means that I read books by publishers that I know I won’t enjoy – or I would have known, had I, you know, read the name before requesting. (I’m looking at you Jessica Kingsley Publishers. I’m looking directly at you.) However, on occasion, it also leads me to books that I wouldn’t have thought I’d love, but I actually do. It’s both great and terrible. I also pick up books based on their cover art on occasion, thanks to my graphic design background in college, and love of good art. Give me a good cover, and I’m at least fifty percent more likely to pick up a book. It’s just how my brain works.

Overeagerness is my favorite trait when it comes to reading. Overeagerness is what leads me to overbook myself on my blog schedule and do as much as I do, and I love it. Even when it gets to be too much, I love to be busy, and to multitask on whatever I’m working on. This does tend to lead me to overwork myself, but I love what I do – if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to do as much as I do.

Multitasking also leads me to be a regular presence on Twitter, even when I shouldn’t be. However, I use an app called Forest to help keep me off of Twitter when I absolutely need to be working on something else – like, say a blog post, or an article for work. I also have to keep myself organized with a couple of different apps that you can find in this post.

I’ve seen a lot of people say they’d look for a cure for their learning disabilities, or their mental health issues, and I can’t say that I blame them. I just know I wouldn’t, because this is part of who I am and always will be. And I love that.


Ceillie sig

Book blogger @ Candid Ceillie

Ceillie is a county reporter by day, and blogger whenever she gets the chance. She is the parent of two furballs – a cat named Luke and a dog named Moose, and the soon-to-be-wife of a great guy. She’s queer, neurodivergent and cisgender, and she loves to meet and support new people, and can most often be found on Twitter at @CandidCeillie.

Notable posts:

Diverse Book Bloggers Discuss is a way to boost diverse bloggers who are brilliant and have a lot to say but have smaller platforms and don’t really get as much reach as they deserve. What this is, is basically a guest post feature where twice a month diverse book bloggers will discuss things they are passionate about on my blog. 

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WORD WONDERS’ TBR EXPANSION : Book with Anxiety representation

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Hello guys !

A whole month has gone by and it’s time again for a recommendations’ list and this month’s isn’t as extensive as the previous ones and definitely not as extensive as I would’ve wanted it to be. This month’s theme is Books with Anxiety representation because October 10th was Mental Health Awarness and even though I’m a few days late that’s what sparked this post. And while researching for it, aside from the fact that anxiety rep is severely lacking as a whole (which I expected but still surprised me) I came to two realizations:

  1. Anxious POC are almost inexistant in books.
  2. Anxiety in SFF doesn’t exist either.

I will try to include content warnings for as many of them. The ones that I couldn’t find content warnings for will have a (*) in front of their titles. Continue reading

#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: Seeking a Home – A Call for Adoption Narratives in Fiction

Lili

Salutations dear readers!

Before I get started on my topic, thank you again to the lovely Fadwa for hosting me, I wanted to talk a little about myself. Just to give you some background information that I don’t even know if I’ve shared on my own blog. Talk about exclusive. I was adopted from China when I was young, like five months young, and grew up in the United States until I eventually came to Germany to do my Masters. So that being said, I want to talk today about a hole I still find in diverse YA/all fiction: adopted main characters. Continue reading

WORD WONDERS’ TBR EXPANSION : Books with Bisexual Main Characters

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Hello guys !

Weird post title, huh? Well, today I’m here with a new feature that I clearly failed at naming but we’ll role with it. As the name “Word Wonders’ TBR Expansion” says, I’m bringing this new feature to expand your TBRs, you’ll hopefully love me for it, but your wallets and bank accounts might hate me afterwards. Once a month, I will be recommending diverse books that fall under the same theme or type of representation, and since I know that if I rely on the books I’ve read only the list wouldn’t be that long so I decided I’ll ask Twitter friends for help and they delivered.

I wanted to start with books with Muslim representation (for obvious reasons) but since I already have a couple of posts where I recommend books with Muslim main characters (see here and here) I thought that if would be repetitive so I decided to skip that one for the time being. For this month, I chose books with Bisexual Main Characters and I have quite the few.

I will try to include content warnings for as many of them. The ones that I couldn’t find content warnings for will have a (*) in front of their titles. Continue reading

Reviewing Books Outside your Lane

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Hello guys !

As more and more people pick up diverse books, more of us are reviewing them. And besides the obvious characters, plot, writing, pacing, worldbulding (when it’s SFF), there’s the added element of representation, because when we say diverse books, we say diverse characters, which means minorities are represented, and well… we want those to be good and accurate. But “reviewing” representation can be complicated, especially when the book is ownvoices (a book representing a marginalization the author is part of, which you can learn more about here, on the creator’s page) and even more when we as reviewers are not part of the minority.

What I’ve noticed (and also have been guilty of before) is that we sometimes get carried away and nitpick representation that actually is accurate and personal to the author and people who live the same circumstances, and some reviews can fall right into offensive territory because of the lack of sensitivity. This is not me saying that we shouldn’t be critical of ownvoices books, I just think that the marginalizations should be left to ownvoices reviewers to dissect, which I’ll explain the why and how of a little further down the post.

Continue reading

Why is Diversity Important ?

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Hello guys !

A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about how drastically my reading habits have changed over this last year and it hit me that around this time last year is when I decided I had to make a conscious effort to read more diverse books, and I wrote a post about My Diverse Reading – Or Lack There Of (please don’t read it, it’s awful haha) and I was impressed with myself and really proud of the changes I have made to my reading and how that changed me as a person and made me see things about myself I was subconsciously ignoring.

I actually wrote that post exactly a year ago -and I swear it is purely coincidental that I’m writing this now- and had even set a little TBR for myself to start off of. I only read 3/10 from that TBR –More Happy than Not, When Michael Met Mina and Written in the Stars– all of which I adored (all 5 stars I believe). I know that might seem like a small number but since then the number of diverse books I read in a month has been increasing until I started reading them exclusively in January 2017. Now every book I read has some kind of marginalisation in it and I find that my enjoyment of the books I read has increased a lot.

In the last year, I went from being intimidated by these books (because I knew I wasn’t doing right by them) to reading them, to screaming at the top of my lungs about them and it’s been quite the journey. One I loved being on even if some of it was hard, which I didn’t expect. Anyway, enough ramblings ! All of this to say that that’s what inspired this post, my journey from reading no diverse books at all a year ago, to reading them exclusively right now. This will be a basics as well as appreciation post for Diverse Books because they are important to me and to thousands of other people.

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I remember I had included some kind of definition in that post from a year ago but you know, I was a noob and even though it was pretty good, it was lacking in some ways. So here’s the updated and somehow more condensed version:

Diverse books are books of which the MAIN CHARACTER (yes not side characters, spare me with that nonesense) is part of one marginalized group or more. May it be race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, physical disability, learning disability, mental illness… If the main character is part of a minority group then the book is diverse.

The definition is a bit more complicated than this when you start taking into account the author’s marginalizations (or lack thereof) but for the sake of simplicity, this is it.

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That’s how the world is

The world is such a rich place, in cultures, in religions, in genders and sexualities, in experiences that are specific to those marginalizations. And we cannot forget about intersectionalities, I’m one example of them. I am part of more than one group and those shape my life significantly and make my experiences different from those of people who are part of other groups, only share one group with me, or are part of no group at all.

Once you actually broaden your vision of the world and try to look at things beyond what’s seen as the norm, you see that there’s a lot more to the world than the able-bodied allocishet white person with no mental illnesses, the rest of us exist too, a non negligible number of us, and we deserve to be seen as well. The sad thing is, I never knew I had a choice in reading beyond that until I was shown otherwise and even that I had a lot of internalized bigotry to work through and deconstruct to actually be able to see that it is okay to feel represented by a book, that it is more than okay, it is great and I as well as many others need more of it.

Just to give you an example of how that impacted me growing up, I was a Young brown Muslim kid who wrote exclusively in the “norm” because she didn’t think she had a right to write outside of that, a right to see herself in books, a right to be happy about that. It is actually sad that I only realized all of that at 19 years old, but it’s better late than never.

Erasure is real

If we are to compare the numbers of books written by/about white people to the ones written by/about people of color (ALL POCS combined) the number for the latter is ridiculously small. Same goes for allosexual/alloromantic vs. asexual/aromantic, straight vs non-straight (gay, bi, pan…), cisgender vs. transgender, able bodied vs. disabled, and the list goes on. Every minority is crushed under the weight of what’s seen as normal and that goes beyond books as well. People from all minorities are erased, overlooked, oppressed and pressured to assimilate, and what happens when you think you’re alone in this situation (re: when you lack representation) ?

  1. You think there’s something wrong with you and keep trying to fix it (which was the case for me).
  2. You never stand up for yourself because you don’t think you have a right to/ because you’re abnormal. (Guess what? me.)
  3. You fold in on yourself and try to hide all parts of you that are different from what makes other people comfortable, and pretend those parts of you don’t exist (also me)

This is what I meant by internalized bigotry, when you keep being erased and told that there’s something wrong with you, you end up believing it, and unbelieving it is hard. Incredibly hard. And THIS is why we need more diversity, we need to not have to justify our existences, we need them to be normalized, and books play a big role in doing that.

Diverse stories/authors are as good as the rest

Better in my opinion. Hear me out. There’s just so much you can do with a trope when the main characters are pretty much the same, as I said, marginalizations and intersections play a big role in shaping one’s world so that would make any given book trope different. ANY one of them. I double dare you to prove me wrong *grins*. They just offer new perspectives, perspectives that can be unknown to a lot if not brought to light by media, and in our case, books.

There’s also the issue of creating spaces for marginalized authors because we cannot deny that publishining is dominated by non-marginalized writers and no this is not a case of “taking away from them” just making MORE space, so that marginalized authors can get their stories out there. The more stories are put out there, the more they are read and the more spaces are created because publishers realize that there IS a market for our stories (yes, hi, hello, we’re here!).

I also want to put out there that they do not have to write ownvoices stories for their stories to matter, and even their ownvoices stories can’t cater to everyone. I think that as long as they proceed with care and with extensive research (yes, even when the story is ownvoices). And that for various reasons among which is the fact that some people aren’t ready to share about themselves as well as when the author isn’t out/ doesn’t want to be outed when it comes to gender and/or sexuality so they don’t feel comfortable labelling their work as ownvoices and that’s fine too. As I said, as long as it is done with care and doesn’t butcher any marginalization, there’s not problem to it.

We deserve representation

Do you know how many books I read that represent all of me, not parts of me, not me having to pick and choose which part I want to see but ALL of me, all my intersections? NONE. Zero. Not one book. Hopefully, one is coming my way soon but even one is not enough. ONE. OOOONE. I shouldn’t have to choose what part of me I want to read about because when I do that, the representation isn’t as close to me as it could be. As an example, a queer muslim’s experiences will not be the same as an allocishet muslim’s or as a queer non-muslim’s, they’re entertwined. So what we need more of are:

  • Characters of all skin colors
  • Native characters, indigenous characters, latinx, asians (East, South East, West…), africans, middle easterns… as well as multiracial characters.
  • Trans characters, bi characters, pan characters, aro/ace characters, non-binary characters, etc…
  • Muslim characters, jewish characters, hindu characters, etc…
  • Characters with mental and physical disabilities
  • Fat characters

But most of all, intersectionality. Characters with multiple marginalizations are close to my heart because more often than not, that’s how we are, multiple pieces of our identities come together to make us who we are.

So pals, this is why diversity is important. This is why I’ll forever be grateful to this community for helping me discover I would’ve never picked up otherwise, books that today, mean the world to me.


That’s it until next time.

Share your story, why do diverse books matter to YOU? What books you feel represent you?

What are your favorite diverse books?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Intersectional Feminism: Different Perspectives + Book recommendations

Life Talk

Hello guys !

This month being Women History Month I thought I’d do something that’s fitting for the occasion, and talk about something that I didn’t know how to approach on the blog until a few days ago when it suddenly dawned on me, seriously, one minute it wasn’t there and just as I was getting ready to sleep, it appeared. Thank you midnight thoughts, you’ve done well this time!

In case you haven’t guessed what the subject is, it’s Feminism. Yes, the big ugly word that a lot us fear but that I came to understand, love and cherish over the past few months. I’m going to talk to you about my own experience, and as you might guess it, it will get pretty personal, but I will introduce other women’s experiences as well, because it’s important to get as many perspectives as possible when talking about things that are subjective and for which the meaning can change from one person to the other. And I want this post to be universal, I want women from different backgrounds to read and nod because they can see themselves in some of these things.

So because of the personal aspect, I don’t know how structured the post will be, if at all. I’ll just ramble away and hope for the best. So before starting off, let’s lay some basis so that we’re all on the same wave length and we’re all talking about the same thing here.

What is Feminism ?

I think we all know what it is but we’ll go step by step. Feminism is a movement -or group of movements, whichever way you want to look at it– campaigning for women’s rights going off the basis that they -we- face oppression because we are perceived as inherently weaker and “less”. Feminism at its core fights for free choice, for women AND non-binary pals to have complete control over their lives, freedom, education, jobs, equal pays, and for them to basically have the same chances as men in all domains and aspects of life. Either it is staying at home or having big careers, getting married or not, having kids or not, it’s up to them and no one else.

In my opinion, for Feminism to be true and thrive, needs to be intersectional. There’s really no other way to do it, because if it’s not it excludes people and if it excludes people, it really isn’t Feminism.

What is Intersectionality ?

Intersectionality is based off the fact that someone’s identity isn’t just one thing. It isn’t just sexuality, or race, or gender, ethnicity, religion, mental or physical health, social class… All of these things come together to form a person’s identity and cannot be separated, they intersect to make a person who they are. Which means that other than sexism, women and non-binary folks can face racism, xenophobia, ableism, transphobia, homophobia and/or any other kind of bigotry. All of this means that your Feminism needs to include:

  • Trans women (I’m looking at you Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie*).
  • Poor women.
  • Disabled women.
  • Muslim women.
  • Black women.
  • Indigenous/Native women.
  • Non-binary pals. This last one I wasn’t aware of until recently and it makes sense, but they get erased a lot so let’s not forget to include them

* If you weren’t aware of what happened, CNA recently spoke on Trans Women and was she said was really harmful and showed how little knowledge she has about Transgender experiences. This isn’t my place to explain but here’s an article and here’s another one on why Feminism should be Trans-inclusive. I’m just very disappointed.

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I grew up a Feminist, even if I never knew it, even if I never put a label on it. Want to know why? Because my mom is one. My mom is my hero and the biggest influence in my life. She probably doesn’t know it either but she really is. She’s the most hardworking woman I’ve ever met, and she still manages to make time for us, to show that she loves us, she does everything to raise us to be great women as well (my sister and I) and to make everything we need available to us. She’s a superhero. And my number one supporter.

She’s always believed in me, let me go my own way, given me my own space, let me pursue whatever dreams and passions without interfering. And I love her for that. She’s always had hopes and expectations for me but never made them obvious, it got to the point -when I wanted to choose my path after high school- where I’d beg her to tell me what she wanted me to do because I was confused and she always refused because my future, my choice.

As I said, I grew up feeling empowered and as if I could conquer the world. I am very ambitious by nature so that felt freeing. Until I started being very aware of my surroundings and of the society I was growing up in. That was a rough disillusion. I was maybe 12? And everyone -even people I don’t know- had an opinion on who I should be, how I should behave, they were trying to fit me into boxes I didn’t belong in, or I belonged in too many. I wasn’t white enough, thin enough, Muslim enough, too smart, too loud, too honest, too ambitious… And for a long time I made myself small and folded inwards to fit.

Here’s the thing, the society I live in –like many others– is sexist, misogynistic, and inclined on colorism. I’m not generalizing of course but if you grow up surrounded by those things, you’re bound to have some internalized and not-so-internalized biases. As soon as I stepped out of the comfort of my house, the male gaze was upon me. I needed to be desirable but not reveal too much, I needed to strive for an education but I couldn’t be more educated than my potential husband, that my ultimate goal needs to be to settle, get married and have kids? What if I don’t want to? What about the people who don’t want to get married? That’s some damaging thinking.

I’m the type of person who wants everything from life and isn’t afraid of going after it. I want a big career, to be successful in it, to be able to help people. I remember going to my sister’s pediatrician with her last year (which used to be mine) and as we chatted away, he asked what I wanted to do as a specialty, my mom answered and said “A surgeon” -which I’m not even sure of. His response? “But you can’t! That’ll be hard on your domestic life, you won’t be a good wife, won’t see much of your kids” Okay. I know that came for a good place, but who told him that’s what I want from life?

Yes, I want to eventually get married. Yes, I want to eventually have kids. But does that means I have to give up big part of who I am, the ambitious one? the one that has big dreams and want to keep working towards them? I think not. Anyway. As I struggled to balance between what society wanted me to be and what I wanted to be, I became more aware of what Feminism is, of the Feminist in me, because until then, I stirred very clear of it.

In mainstream media, especially where I live, Feminism is portrayed to be this wild, out of control movement where women wanted to be provocative, lacked modesty and didn’t fight for anything important so I didn’t identify as that. And I know most feminists don’t either, but I didn’t know that at the time. But when I started reading up and educating myself, I saw more and more of who I am and what I stand up for portrayed in what the essence of Feminism is. And so I reclaimed that label because I want to fight for my rights, the rights of all women and non-binary people. I want us to be freed of not only sexism but all other forms of oppression and bigotry.

Book recommendation: Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World

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Kirsty, book blogger @ Kirsty’s Book Reviews :

I grew up on the Isle of Skye where there was like one mixed race family I knew and the overwhelming majority of people I knew were white. There also wasn’t really anyone I knew growing up who was anything other than straight.

This was probably why when I would get aroused when I was younger by my mum’s underwear catalogues and my friend’s brother’s naked women posters I didn’t realize that this was an early explanation to my sexuality. No one I knew was queer so I didn’t have an example that people were different to just straight or gay, I only ever saw it on tv. As far as I knew I was attracted to boys so I definitely wasn’t gay. Then someone at my school came out as bi, and everyone just said she was a lesbian, but I paid attention and started to think about myself.

At this time I was also becoming much more involved in internet culture and learning about the world outside of my own community. It took me about 4 years after that initial thought before I read about pansexuality and immediately felt like that was me. I found this by my increasing involvement in the tumblr feminist community (which I’m not part of now because it’s so toxic). I really started to think about the world around me and how insular my childhood was. I thought back to the language I used to use and how everyone took it as acceptable because they were all white, able-bodied, straight and cis.

Feminism has really made me think about myself as a person and how I want to teach children as they grow how the world isn’t exactly how they may take it from their small communities. I feel so empowered at times, but I also feel very upset about my own actions when I see minorities talking about bad experiences. It’s such a learning curve and sometimes I feel like because of my background I have so much more to learn than everyone else, but I love learning so it’s ok.

Book recommendation: Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Sinead, book blogger @ Huntress of Diverse Books :

Am I a feminist? According to the dictionary definition, yes, I am. But I don’t feel comfortable with that word. What do I associate with the term feminism? White feminists.

People who tell me that this is not the time to discuss other forms of discrimination. People who tell me that we’re only focusing on gender equality at the moment, we’re only discussing sexism. This type of feminism doesn’t only occur abroad. It exists in Germany as well. I am not just marginalized because I am a woman. I’m also a woman of color and I don’t speak nor write my father tongue (yes FATHER tongue) perfectly even thought it’s the main language of the country I live in at the moment. I could use the term intersectional feminist. Some people use it as a general term that means they fight against all forms of discrimination. Since the word feminism is part of this term, I feel like the term insinuates that feminism is the combining factor, the main cause, the priority.

I do identify as an intersectional feminist and my definition centers on being against sexism and for gender equality, while taking intersections of other forms of discrimination and marginalisations into account. However, if I’m talking about my activism in general, which includes fighting against all forms of discrimination, I don’t use the term ‘intersectional feminist’ as my label. It isn’t the all-encompassing word that I’m looking for. If it works for you, that’s great. I’m feeling rather comfortable with the term ‘social justice activist’ at the moment. Maybe I’ll find a term that resonates with me 100 % one day – I haven’t found it yet, but one day, I might.

Book recommendation: Saree by Su Dharmapala

Kaeley, book blogger @ Spoilers May Apply:

The idea of agency and freedom of choice and expression is something Western cultures are very familiar and intimate with. But for all of that fierceness and freedom, it leaves very little room for women to have freedom of choice and expression. Feminists seemed to have earned a bad rap sheet. And because of that some women feel like feminism isn’t for them for various reasons. But even if you feel like that, it still will fight for your rights and respect. It will still support you and try to make the world a better place for you and every person, male, female and everyone in between, who comes after you.

I think feminism for me, and hopefully for everyone, is very liberating. To me, feminism means I can be whoever I want to be and do whatever I want to do; I can wear what I want to wear and say what I want to say. Feminism means I’m valued for my personality, intellect, and actions rather than what my body can or can’t do for others. That is what feminism, true feminism is. Feminism values everyone, breaks down barriers and allows everyone to be who they want to be; whether that’s masculine, feminine or something in between or entirely different. It’s not about who your siblings, parents, friends, significant other(s), culture or society expect you to be. Feminism is being yourself. Feminism is freedom.

Book recommendation: Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Maya, book blogger @ Maya Hearts Books :

I’m a queer teenager from Spain. I believe in feminism and I need to, because even though I’m pretty privileged, I want to, I feel like I MUST fight for every single one of my sisters and dismantle patriarchy so we can all, both women, non-binary people and men, live our own lives peacefully, being who we want to be.

I want my male friends to be able to say how they feel and my female and non-binary friends to be considered equal to men. I want my fellow LGBT+ people to live and love as the rest. I want every single woman of color to have the same opportunities I have. I want a world where disabled people can live a normal life. Everyone in developing countries, I want them to live life as well as they would in first world countries. I want sex workers to be treated fairly. And only feminism can take us there.

The only true form of feminism is intersectional. We can only move forward if we all work hand in hand, and every hope of success we put in white feminists is futile.

Book recommendation: Nononsense Feminism: Alive and Kicking by Nikki van der Gaag.

Puput, book blogger @ Sparkling Letters :

Feminism to me has always been a controversial topic, mainly because my understanding of it was limited, as well as the influence of my religion. Growing up, my understanding of Islam was always that a man should be the leader. I was afraid that feminism means being superior to men and it might go against what my religion has taught me. But a few years after, I learned that feminism doesn’t mean that one gender has to have more power than the other. Being a feminist doesn’t mean women has to be superior to men. To me, it’s about receiving what we, as human, already deserve. Starting from simple things like education, the right to be ourselves, to be success, to have a career, and most importantly, to choose for ourselves. And that doesn’t mean that we have to push men aside in the process.

I owe my hobby (reading, obviously) to a feminist from my country. Back when we were still under Dutch colonialization women weren’t allowed to go to school. They have to stay home and help the family until they were married off, and then it was up to the husband. There was this one woman, her name was Kartini. She was born into an aristocratic Javanese family and her father was a Regency Chief of Jepara, a region in Central Java. She only attended school until she was 12 years old but secretly she learned to speak Dutch, an unusual accomplishment for Javanese women back then.

During her time at home, Kartini continued to educate herself by reading books, newspaper, and European magazines. They fed her interest in European feminist thinking. A few years later she was married to a fellow noble. She was angry at first, but it turned out her husband shared her passion for education and feminism and supported her dream to build a school for women. That was the first time women were allowed to go to school to learn to read. Without Kartini’s merit, we women probably wouldn’t know how to read.

Back to my point above, being a feminist doesn’t mean we have to be superior to men and push them away. It means there has to be respect for each others regardless of the gender. It takes cooperation and understanding. After all, Kartini successfully did what she did with the help of her husband, but I’m not saying that she wouldn’t be able to success on her own. I’m sure she would be either way, and so would every women in this world.

Book recommendation: Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis (TW: Rape, Sexual Assault, Murder)

Janani, book blogger @ The Shrinkette & on Twitter

I only became actively involved in social justice conversations while living in the States. I’ve attended protests, had conversations with friends who share my ideologies, been in environments where feminism is the default, and generally lived in a feminist bubble in my real life. So, when I moved back in with my parents, and naturally started having these conversation with them. With my friends from college. With my closest friends from school that I grew up with. And my bubble shattered like a Christmas bauble. The transition is…frustrating.

I am jarred by the disconnect between the people I’ve known my whole life and the conversations I’m having online. The gaps are infuriating. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how and why this is, and among several things, a lot has to do with my own expectations. I start these conversations with people expecting them to automatically be in tune with my ideologies and line of thinking. I’ve spent a lot of time fighting, feeling infuriated, and crashing into waves of depression. My passionate rants are met with “the world is harsh and unfair, this is how people are, you’ll just have to accept it” (from my parents) or “what about when ________” from friends (casual misogyny). This frustrates me. It scares me. I don’t want to accept it. The idea that I will go all my life yelling about needing systemic change and bringing down the patriarchy- whether it’s in publishing or elsewhere, without any serious changes actually taking place- haunts me. It makes me question whether all the grief I take from people online and offline is worth it.

So I’ve been thinking about what I could do instead. It’s making me realize my participation in social justice and actions as a feminist need not be on a wide platform. I need to adapt my intentions in accordance with my environment, while keeping my values. If I need to bring about change, ranting at people IRL like making twitter threads or fighting with internet trolls is not only screwing with my mental health. So, I need to start small. To have more 101 conversations. To use relatable examples. Channel some of those feminist values into doing things for the community, instead of waiting to join in the next protest. Taking joy in the small things- like how my sister has been reading some of my books and beginning to grasp the workings of the patriarchy and its ramifications.

Instead of throwing jargon into people’s faces, break it down using relatable stories. I’ll recommend more books by marginalized writers to people who ask for recommendations without making it about their/the characters’ marginalisations. And I’ll take comfort in my feminist bubble online. I’ll write about it. I’ll do the twitter threads and the educating and the learning and the boosting and the ranting. I’m sure it’ll be a long, painful, arduous process, but I’ve come to realize that nothing about this movement was ever meant to be easy.

Book recommendation: Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell Hooks

Jordyn, book blogger @ Jordz the Bibliophile

I guess that one of the reasons that intersectional feminism means so much to be is the fact that I finally feel included. When people talked about sexual inequality, they mentioned that women earned 77 cents to every dollar a man earned, or how likely they were to face harassment. But those statistics were for white women, not for me. When I found out that black women earned 64 cents, Hispanic women less than that, Native American women less than that, it felt like a slap in the face. It felt like the world really didn’t care about women of color like me.

Learning about intersectional feminism just made me feel like there were people out there that felt what I felt, that really could relate to what it was like to grow up as a non-white woman.

Julia Ember, author of Unicorn Tracks and Upcoming The Seafarer’s Kiss

To me, feminism has always been about bolstering the dreams and aspirations of people who are held down by the patriarchy. This absolutely includes women, but it’s so much more than that. Even in 2017, it’s still overwhelmingly the case that the highest paid jobs and positions of political power are held by straight white men. I think in 2017, feminism has changed necessarily to supporting rights for all marginalized people, not just cis women.

Feminism also has to go beyond a throwaway statement of equality. It’s great that so many companies have policies against discrimination – but without actively trying to change the balance, it’s easy for them just to stick to the status quo, then hide behind the shield of “we chose the best applicant.” I think with today’s feminism, we have to support looking beyond obvious biases, into actively promoting and encouraging marginalized people. Passive feminism isn’t good enough. Yes, that may mean that companies have to “pass up” male candidates. But when I graduated university, in 2011, I saw a marked difference between the number of men who got jobs straight out of study and the number of women who did. A lot of the men who got jobs at big banks and corporations had lower GPAs and less work experience than female and POC friends who struggled. They were not better qualified, but their status as white cisgender men played into recruiters expectations of what good candidates looked like.

In the book world, which I am most familiar with, this means we have to go beyond just “accepting work by women, POC, LGBTQIA people” into actively promoting, buying and soliciting submissions for it.

Lila, book blogger @ The Bookkeeper’s Secrets :

Imagine this: A mother and child, living in a household in which the mother is married to a man who abuses her. She has been working up to leaving for a while now. Then something happens one day and it is the last straw. She knows she can not raise her daughter like this and files for divorce. However, in the process of getting a divorce, the woman’s soon to be ex-husband steals the house and all of her money out from under her, leaving her and her child destitute and homeless.

This is my mother’s story and I am her daughter. I want to share something with you about intersectional feminism and the people that everyone so often forgets: the poor and homeless. Women cannot affect and change communities and the world if they do not have the money, the education, the opportunity, or (and I mean this quite literally) the life. Poverty disproportionately affects women and children around the world. Women are pushed into poverty everyday due to wage gaps and societal standards and then trapped in poverty by sexism, racism, and classism.

And maybe you think this isn’t an issue in America, one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Then let me give you a statistic that’ll blow your mind: “The United States has the largest number of homeless women and children among the industrialized nations. Seventy million women and their dependent children are living in or on the brink of poverty.” (Wikipedia, “Feminization of Poverty”)

So what can this community, the literary community and in particular the subgroup of the YA literary community, do to help us? Talk to us. Tell our stories. Most of the time digging your way out of homelessness and poverty isn’t a rags to riches or rags to Harvard story. Its grinding work moving from beng poor or homeless to living in a decent house—not a big house, but a house. Write about us, how we spend hours on buses just to get groceries, go to the doctor, school or work. Write about how our houses might be a little messier because they’re smaller and we don’t have a maid. Tell people how we survived. There is triumph and strength just in that.

I have never read a YA book that has a poor or homeless female heroine. Not one. I only know of one book (Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase series) that has a poor/homeless hero. If no one tells our stories, how will they know what is happening to us? If no one tells our stories, who will combat the negative myths and stereotypes surrounding poverty and homelessness? Telling stories of heroes/heroines who are poor or homeless, is empowering.

It’s not that we don’t have a voice, it’s that no one is listening. We need someone to tell our stories to a larger audience; make them feel and hear us. Make them see us. Please dont read this as just another post. See this as a catalyst an opportunity to give a voice to those of us who have one, but so often feel no one is listening.


That’s it until next time.

Are you a Feminist? Were you aware of Intersectionality?

Do you have recommendations of book that have Feminism either as an underlying or dominant theme?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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Why don’t I see myself? Muslim Representation in Books

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Hello guys!

So… I’m a Muslim.  I know I’ve said it in a couple of posts before but I’ve never really talked about it, and that was a while ago. For the new-comers, hello! I’m Fadwa and I’m a Muslim Moroccan girl –  Arab-Amazighi. That being said, I am not writing this whole post just to introduce myself, fret not, it has another purpose, which is clear from the title, I want to talk about Muslim representation in books. Continue reading

#DiversityBingo2017: My TBR and Recommendations

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Hello Guys !

Today’s post is something I’m so freaking excited about. If you know anything about me, you know how I suck at challenges because I’m a mood reader so a challenge that might sound good to me in the beginning of the year will probably have lost my attention my the time the year ends (2016 is proof of that) but here I am announcing my TBR for a challenge, right? Well, to me, this one is different because it is about Diversity and that is something I care about deeply and I know that that’s not going to change.

So, what’s this challenge about you ask. It is a sheet of 36 “prompts” of books you can read throughout the year and the goal is to complete all the squares by the end of the year. I hope that makes sense haha, but the sheet itself is pretty self explanatory. This was created by the people whose Twitter handles are on the upper right side of the sheet.

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I think this challenge is the perfect place to start for people who want to read more diversely but don’t know where to start and are too intimidated. No pressure, if you ask me. You could either do all of them or some of them to give you a jump-start. You can also use #DiversityBingo2017 on Twitter to find people who are participating as well, chat with them, ask for recommendations etc…

Speaking of recommendations, for the past few weeks while I was completing my own TBR, I worked on gathering quite a few books in each category to make it easier for people who want to do it to make their TBRs so here it is. Most of these books fit in more than one category and you can see from the description for what other categories other than the ones they’re put under you can use them. Also, if any of these don’t fit or have issues, please do tell me so that I can edit my list, and if you have a book you think would fit but aren’t sure you can ask me and I’ll answer you -if I know, or you can use the hashtag.

The books in red are the ones that I’m choosing to read for the challenge. This TBR is just my starting point, knowing me, some of it -if not most- will end up changing.

Note that some of these books aren’t out yet. (Marked with *)

ROMANCE WITH A TRANS MC:

  • If I was your Girl – Meredith Russo : YA, Contemporary, Trans Girl MC, #Ownvoices
  • Coffee Boy – Austin Chant: YA, Contemporary, Trans Boy MC, M/M Romance, #Ownvoices
  • Roller Girl – Vanessa North : Contemporary, Trans Woman, F/F Romance
  • Not your villain* – C.B. Lee (Not your sidekick #2) : YA, SFF, Trans Boy MC
  • Spy Stuff – Matthew J. Metzger : YA, Contemporary, Trans Boy MC, M/M Romance

NON-BINARY MC (OWN VOICES):

  • Roving Pack – Sassafras Lowrey : YA, Contemporary
  • Girl Mans Up – M-E Girard: YA, Contemporary
  • Lizard Radio – Pat Schmatz : YA, SFF (Dystopia)
  • Born Both: An Intersex Life a Hida Viloria : Memoir, Latinx American, intersex Genderfluid

SFF WITH A DISABLED MC

  • Otherbound – Corinne Duyvis: YA, POC MCs, Bi MC, #Ownvoices
  • Stranger – Rachel Manija Brown & Sherwood Smith: YA
  • Accessing the Future: Anthology, some #Ownvoices stories
  • The Unintentional Time Traveler – Everett Maroon: YA, Trans MC with Epilepsia

PRACTICING JEWISH MC

  • Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli : YA, Contemporary, Gay MC, M/M Romance
  • The Rest of us just Live here – Patrick Ness : YA, Fantasy
  • Lauren Vanofsky hates the Holocaust – Leanne Liebermann: YA, Contemporary, #Ownvoices
  • Rules for 50/50 Chances – Kate McGovern : YA, Contemporary
  • Been Here All Along – Sandy Hall : YA, Contemporary, M/M Romance
  • My Year Zero – Rachel Gold : YA, Contemporary, MC from the LGBTQIA+ community, SC with Bipolar Disorder
  • Playlist for the Dead – Michelle Falkoff : YA, Contemporary
  • Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here – Anna Breslaw : YA, Contemporary
  • Hush – Eishes Chayil : YA, Contemporary, #Ownvoices
  • The View from Saturday – E.L. Konigsburg : MG, Contemporary, #Ownvoices

INDIAN MC (OWN VOICES)

  • A time to Dance – Padma Venkatraman : YA, Contemporary, Amputee MC, Written in Verse
  • The Color of our Sky – Amita Trasi : YA, Historical Fiction
  • My Basmati Bat Mitzvah – Paula J. Freedman : MG, Contemporary, Jewish MC
  • Mirror in the Sky – Aditi Khorana: YA, Sci-Fi, Biracial white/Indian American MC
  • Enter Title Here – Rahul Kanakia : YA, Contemporary
  • Child of Spring – Farhana zia : MG, Contemporary
  • Queen of Dreams – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni : Adult, Literary Fiction
  • Soulmated – Shaila Patel : YA, Fantasy

DISPLACED MC

  • The Refugees  – Viet Thanh Nguyen : Adult, Historical Fiction, Vietnamese MC, #Ownvoices
  • The Library of Fates* – Aditi Khoran –YA, Fantasy, Hindu Culture Inspired, #Ownvoices
  • Under a Painted Sky – Stacey Lee : YA, Historical Fiction, Chinese American MC
  • In the Shadow of the Banyan – Vaddey Ratner : Historical Fiction, Cambodian MC, #Ownvoices

MC WITH UNDER-REPRESENTED BODY

  • The Upside of Unrequited* – Becky Albertalli :YA, Contemporary, Jewish MC, F/F Romance
  • Dumplin’ – JuIie Murphy : YA, Contemporary
  • Nimona – Noelle Stevenson : YA, Graphic Novel, Fantasy
  • The Second Mango – Shira Glassman : NA, Fantasy, Jewish MC, F/F Romance, #Ownvoices
  • This Book isn’t fat, it’s fabulous – Nina Beck: YA, Contemporary
  • Fat Girl on a Place – Kathy deVos : YA, Contemporary, #Ownvoices
  • If the Dress fits – Carla De Guzmann: YA, Contemporary, Filipino MC (+Set in the Philippines), #Ownvoices

NEURO-DIVERSE MC (OWN VOICES)

  • Queens of Geeks* -Jen Wilde – YA, Contemporary, Autism, Bisexual MC, F/F Romance
  • Under Rose-Tainted Skies – Louise Gornall : YA, Contemporary, MC with OCD and Agoraphobia
  • History is All you left me – Adam Silvera : YA, Contemporary, MC with OCD

RETELLING WITH MC BELONGING TO LGBTOIA+

  • Beast – Brie Spangler : YA, Contemporary, Beauty& the Beast, Trans MC
  • The Seafarer’s Kiss* -Julia Ember : YA, Fantasy, The Little Mermaid, F/F Romance, #Ownvoices
  • Ash – Melinda Lo : YA, Fantasy, Cinderella, Bisexual MC, F/F Romance, #Ownvoices
  • Braided – Elora Bishop : YA, Fantasy, Rapunzel, Lesbian MC, F/F Romance, #Ownvoices
  • The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist – S.L. Huang : Novella, SFF, The Little Mermaid, F/F Romance

BISEXUAL MC (OWN VOICES)

  • Ida* – Alison Evan: YA, Sci-Fi, Non-Binary Love Interest
  • Our own Private Universe* – Robin Talley : YA, Contemporary, F/F Romance
  • How to Make a Wish* -Ashley Herring Blake : YA, Contemporary, Black Love Interest
  • Hold – Rachel Davidson Leigh : YA, Fantasy, M/M Romance
  • A Darker Shade of Magic : Adult Fantasy, Genderfluid MC, MC of Color

MC WITH INVISIBLE DISABILITY

  • Made you Up a Fransesca Zappia: YA, Contemporary, Schizophrenia
  • Highly Illogical Behavior – John Corey Waley : YA, Contemporary, Agoraphobia
  • 10 Things I can see from here – Carrie Mac : YA, Contemporary, Severe Anxiety
  • Goodbye Days* – Jeff Zentner : YA, Contemporary, Anxiety + Panick Attacks
  • Two Girls Staring at the ceiling – Lucy Frank : YA, Contemporary, in Verse, Crohn’s Disease, #Ownvoices
  • When we Collided – Emery Lord : YA, Contemporary, Bipolar MC, MC with depression, #Ownvoices

MC WITH ANAPHVLACTIC ALLERGY

  • Delicate Monsters – Stephanie Kuehn : YA, Thriller, Food Allergies
  • The Pure Energy Project – C.F Fruzetti: Sci-Fi, Food AIIergies
  • My Year of Epic Rock – Andrea Pyro: MG, Contemporary, Peanut Allergy

MC OF COLOR IN SFF

  • Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho : YA, Fantasy, Black MC
  • The Forbidden Wish -Jessica Khoury : YA, Fantasy, Aladdin Retailing, #Ownvoices
  • Not Vour Sidekick – C. B. Lee : YA, Fantasy, Bisexual Chinese-American MC, #Ownvoices
  • The Young Elites – Marie Lu : YA, Fantasy, POC characters
  • Empress of a Thousand Skies – Roda Belleza : YA, Fantasy, POC Characters
  • Flame in the Mist* – Renee Ahdieh: YA, Fantasy, Mulan Retelling
  • Akata Witch – Nned Dkorafor: YA, Fantasy, Black MC, set in Nigeria, #Ownvoices
  • They Both Die at the End* – Adam Silvera : YA, Sci-Fi, Latinx MC, #Ownvoices
  • Labyrinth Lost – Zoraida Cordova : YA, Fantasy, Latinx MC, #Ownvoices
  • Shadowshaper – Daniel José Older: YA, Fantasy, Puerto Rican MC

OWN VOICES LATINX MC

  • The Education of Margot Sanchez – Lilliam Rivera : YA, Contemporary
  • Juliet takes a Breath – Gabby Rivera: YA, Contemporary, Lesbian MC
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life* – Benjamin Alire Saenz : YA, Contemporary
  • North of Happy – Adi Alsaid : YA, Contemporary
  • Wild Beauty* – Anna-Marie McLemore: YA, Magical Realism, Bisexual MC
  • Out of Darkness – Ashley Hope Perez : YA, Historical Fiction, Mexican American MC, interracial romance
  • The Improbable Rise of Paco Jones – Dominic Carillo : YA, Contemporary, African American Love interest
  • The Memory of Light – Francisco x. Stork : YA, Contemporary, Mental Illness

NON-WESTERN (REAL WORLD) SETTING

  • And the mountains Echoed –  Khaled Husseini : Historical Fiction, Modern Classic, set in Afghanistan, #Ownvoices
  • The Forty Rules of Love – Elif Shafak : Historical Fiction, set in Turkey, #Ownvoices
  • The Three Body Problem – Cixin Liu: Sc-Fi, set in China, #Ownvoices
  • Want *- Cindy Pon : YA, Sci-Fi, set in Taiwan, #Ownvoices
  • Wolf at the Door – J. Damask/Joyce Chng : Fantasy, set in Singapore, #Ownvoices
  • Beginnner’s Guide – Six de los Reyes: YA, Contemporary, Set in the Philippines, #Ownvoices

OWN VOICES

  • Any of the books in this list marked #Ownvoices

MC WITH CHRONIC PAIN

  • A Little Life – Hanya Vanagihar: Literary Fiction
  • Ascension – Jacqueline Koyanagi : YA, Sci-Fi, POC characters
  • Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo: YA, Fantasy, POC MCs, MCs from the LGBTQIA+ community, M/M Romance, #Ownvoices (Chronic Pain)

WEST ASIAN SETTING

  • The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh : YA, Fantasy, 1001 Arabian Nights Retelling
  • Persepolis – Mariane Satrapi : Memoir, Graphic Novel, set in Iran
  • If You Could be Mine – Sara Farizan : YA, Contemporary, set in Iran, F/F Romance, #Ownvoices
  • Throne of the Crescent Moon – Saladin Ahmed : Fantasy
  • The Turtle of Oman 7 Naomi Shihab Nye : MG, Contemporary, set in Oman
  • An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir : YA, Fantasy

ARAB MC (OWN VOICES)

  • Mirage* – Somaiya Daud : YA, Fantasy, Moroccan MC
  • Where the Streets had a Name a Randa Abdel-Fattah : MG, Contemporary, Palestinian MC
  • The Servant – Fatima Sharafeddine : YA, Contemporary, Lebanese MC
  • In the Language of Miracles – Rajia Hassib : Literary Fiction, Egyptian American MC

MC WITH WHEELCHAIR

  • Push Girl – Chelsie Hill : YA, Contemporary
  • Mia Lee is Wheeling Through Middle School – Melissa Chang : MG, Contemporary, Chinese American MC, #Ownvoices
  • The Last Leaves Falling – Sarah Benwell (Now Fox Benwell) : YA, Contemporary, Japanese MC has ALS

BOOK BY AUTHOR OF COLOR

  • The Star-Touched Queen – Roshani Chokshi: YA, Fantasy, Hindu Culture Inspired, #Ownvoices
  • The Weight of Feathers – Anna-Marie McLemore: YA, Magical Realism, Latinx MC, #Ownvoices
  • The Secret of a Heart Note – Stacey Lee : YA, Contemporary, Multiracial MC
  • The Bastard of Istanbul – Elif Shafak : Historical Fiction, Turkish MC, #Ownvoices
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns – Julie C. Dao : YA, Fantasy, Snow Queen Retelling + Chinese Folklore

BIRACIAL MC (OWN VOICES)

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved before -Jenny Han : YA, Contemporary, White/Korean MC
  • The Girl from Everywhere – Heidi Hellig – YA, Fantasy, White/Chinese MC
  • Heroine Complex – Sarah Kuhn : NA, Sci-Fi, White/japanese MC

PANSEXUAL MC

  • Seven Ways we Lie – Riley Redgate : YA, Contemporary
  • Out on Good Behavior – Dahlia Adler : NA, Contemporary

BLACK MC (OWN VOICES)

  • The Hate u Give* – Angie Thomas : YA, Contemporary
  • Tiny Pretty Things – Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra: YA, Contemporary
  • Allegedly – Tiffany D. Jackson : YA, Mystery
  • The Boy in the Black Suit – Jason Reynolds: YA, Contemporary
  • Piecing me Together – Renée Watson : YA, Contemporary
  • Dear Martin* – Nic Stone: YA, Contemporary
  • Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi: Adult, Historical Fiction

MC ON THE ACE SPECTRUM (OWN VOICES)

  • Tash hearts Tolstoy* – Kathryn Ormsbee : YA, Contemporary
  • Every Heart a Doorway a Seanan Mcguire : YA, Fantasy (very triggering)
  • Interface – Lucy Mihailich: YA, Dystopian
  • The Bone People – Keri Hulme : Literary Fiction, Maori MC

LGBTOIA+ MC OF COLOR

  • Noteworthy* – Riley Redgate : YA, Contemporary, Chinese American Bisexual MC, #Ownvoices
  • Tell me Again how a crush should feel – Sara Farizan : YA, Contemporary, Persian MC, F/F Romance, #Ownvoices
  • More Happy than Not – Adam Silvera: YA, Contemporary, Latinx Gay MC, Depression, #Ownvoices
  • Seven Tears at High Tide – C. B. Lee : YA, Fantasy, Vietnamese American MC, M/M Romance, #Ownvoices
  • Another Words for Happy – Agay Llanera : YA, Contemporary, Gay Filipino MC
  • When the Moon was Ours – Anna-Marie McLemore: YA, Magical Realism, Trans white-pakistani MC, Latinx MC

VISUALLY IMPAIRED MC

  • Run – Kody Keplinger : YA, Contemporary, #Ownvoices
  • Blind Spot – Laura Ellen : YA, Mystery, #Ownvoices
  • Astra – Naomi Foer: YA, Dystopian
  • Not if I see you First – Eric Landstrom: YA, Contemporary
  • All the Light we Cannot see – Anthony Doerr: Adult, Historical Fiction

BOOK SET IN CENTRAL AMERICA

  • The World in Half – Cristina Henriquez : YA, Contemporary, set in Panama, Panamian-American MC, #Ownvoices
  • Daughter of Fortune – Isabel Allende : YA, Historical Fiction, Set in Chile
  • Eight Days: A story of Haiti – Edwidge Dantica: MG, Contemporary, set in Haiti
  • The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist – Margarita Engle : YA, Historical Fiction, in Verse, set in Cuba

CONTEMPORARY WORLD ARRANGED MARRIAGE

  • When Dimple met Rishi* – Sandhya Menon : YA, Contemporary, Indian American MC, #Ownvoices
  • Written in the Stars – Aisha Saeed : YA, Pakistani American, #Ownvoices
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Husseini : Literary Fiction, Afghan MCs, #Ownvoices
  • (Un)Arranger Marriage – Bali Rai : YA, Contemporary, British/Indian MC, #Ownvoices

INDIGENOUS MC (OWN VOICES)

  • The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf – Ambelin Kwaymullina : YA, Dystopian
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie : YA, Contemporary, Spokane MC
  • Love Beyond Body, Space and Time: An indigenous, LGBT, Sci-Fi Anthology
  • Lightfinder – Aaron Paquette : YA, Fantasy, Cree PC
  • Killer of Enemies – Joseph Bruchac : YA, Dystopian, Apache & Abenaki MC

DIVERSE NON-FICTION

  • When Breath becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi : An Indian-American neurosurgeon’s Memoir
  • Redefining Realness – Janet Mock : Memoir of a Black Trans Woman
  • Lucky Girl – MeiLing Hopgood:  Memoir of a Taiwanese American TransraciaI Adoptee
  • Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I survived and Escaped North Korea – Sunqu Lee : Memoir

POC ON THE COVER

  • The Blazing Star – Imani Josey : YA, Fantasy, Black MC, set in ancient Egypt
  • Amina’s Voice* – Hena Khan : MG, Contemporary, Pakistani-American MC, #Ownvoices
  • I Believe in a Thing called Love* – Maurene Goo : YA, Contemporary, Korean American MC, #Ownvoices
  • Prom Queen Perfect – Clarissa David : YA, Contemporary, Filipino MC
  • That thing we call a heart* – Sheba Karim: YA, Contemporary, Pakistani-American MC

DEAF/HARD OF HEARING MC

  • You’re Welcome Universe* – Whitney Gardner: YA, Contemporary
  • A Quiet kind of Thunder* – Sara Barnard : YA, Contemporary, Selective mute MC, Anxiety
  • 27 Hours* – Tristina Wright : YA, Sci-Fi, LGBTQIA+ & POC Characters
  • Hello, Universe* – Erin Entrada Kelly : MG, Contemporary, Filipino American MC, Japanese American MC

IMMIGRANT OR REFUGEE MC

  • When Michael Met Mina – Randa Abdel-fattah : YA, Contemporary, Afghan Refugee MC
  • American Street – Ibi Zoboi : YA, Contemporary, Haitian Immigrant MC, #Ownvoices
  • Something in Between – Melissa De La Cruz: YA, Contemporary, Filipino immigrant MC
  • The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon : YA, Contemporary, Jamaican Immigrant MC, Korean MC

HIJABI MC

  • Saints and Misfits* – S.K. Ali: YA, Contemporary, Arab Indian-American MC, #Ownvoices
  • She Wore red Trainers – Naima B’ Roberts : YA, Contemporary, British Muslim MC, #Ownvoices
  • Does My head Look Big’ this – Randa Abdel-Fattah : YA, Contemporary, Palestinian American MC, #Ownvoices
  • The Gauntlet* – Karuna Riazi : MG, Fantasy, Bangladeshi American MC, #Ownvoices
  • Sofia Khan is not obliged – Ayisha Malik : Adult, Contemporary, British Muslim MC, #Ownvoices

FREE CHOICE

  • Jerkbait – Mia Siegert: YA, Contemporary, Gay MC
  • The Love Interest* – Cale Dietrich: YA, Thriller, M/M Romance
  • George – Alex Gino : MG, Contemporary, Trans Girl
  • A + E 4ever – I. E. Merey : YA, GN, Contemporary, Gendergueer M
  • The Tiger’s Watch* – Julia Ember : YA, Fantasy, Genderqueer MC, F/F Romance, M/M Romance, GQ/M Romance
  • The symptoms of Being Human – Jeff Garvin : YA, Contemporary, Genderfluid MC
  • Pantomime – Laura Lam : YA, Fantasy, Intersex Genderfluid Bisexual MC
  • A List of Cages – Robin Roe : YA, Contemporary, MC with ADHD
  • We Are Okay* – Nina Lacour : YA, Contemporary, Queer MC
  • Of fire and Stars – Audrey Coulthurst: YA, Fantasy, F/F Romance
  • On the Edge of Gone – Corinne Duyvis: YA, Sci-Fi/Thriller, LGBTQIA+ & POC Characters

Well friends, this is the list! I hope it helps you with your TBRs (for the bingo or in general hehe). And if you know of books you think I should be adding to some of the categories let me know, I’d love to expand the list and keep updating it throughout the year.

One last thing, if you missed my last post, I announced that I’ll be doing a Q&A on Sunday so if you have any questions you might want to ask me leave them in the comments of that post and I’ll be sure to answer.


That’s it until next time.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Do you have any other books that fit these categories?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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TAG #29: This time Next Year

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Hello guys!

I’m not one to usually make new year’s resolutions or anything, because I never stick to them and that just puts additional pressure on yours truely. And I DON’T LIKE THAT. It has been years since I last done that (seriously, I was like 14 or something). But this tag seemed like the perfect way to write down what are some things I wish to achieve by the end of next year without the added pressure because… well because at the end of the day this is a tag. And also the goals I’m setting are very achievable and things I’m actually very excited about. Anyway, Kendra @ Reads and Treats tagged all December babies so it was calling out my name. So, thank you!

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Write your goals for next year.
  • Write how you’re going to achieve your goals.
  • Tag at least 5 of your blogger friends to share their goals.
  • Then if you wish in 365 days write a post for everyone to see if you have been successful or not!

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The way I calculated this number is that I generally read 6 books a month and I want to make at least half of that diverse, which makes it 3 and if I remember anything in maths 3x 12 months = 36. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ll surpass that number because I reach naturally for these books more now than ever and I have a MASSIVE diverse TBR. So besides some series I really want to get to (which I don’t really know if they are diverse or not) most of my reads will hopefully be diverse.

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What I’m talking about here is maybe feminism in books, Muslim representation in books, maybe the correlation between the two, share some of my experiences, etc… And it’s not that I don’t know anything about these things now, I can write these posts, but I just feel like I have a lot to learn, to avoid making certain mistakes, to write more elaborate and more detailed discussions. Don’t worry I’ll still be silly me most of the time, it’s just that some things are important to me and I want to share them with you.

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I’ve been naughty. I worked out non-stop for the last 3 years, I was disciplined and passionate about it but since this uni year started, I slacked A LOT until I just stopped going and canceled my gym membership altogether. Now, 80% of that is because I was trying to figure out a way to fit in everything I want and have to do and this including studying, my intership, reading, blogging, drawing, AND working out… and I had to give up something just until I figure it my schedule. The other 20% is because I didn’t like what I was doing anymore. So next year, I plan on going back to doing martial arts and yoga and if the first proves difficult I’ll take up running.

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The way I’ll do this is simply by not missing a week or if I do, make up for it by posting twice some other week. And I think that if I start having too many reviews on hold, I’ll start posting them more than once a week. Now, I already have a month worth of reviews, all from my November reads so if that keeps accumulating and it gets worse ahah, I’ll do that.

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This is something I am dying to start doing but I’m waiting for the actual journal to get here. I’ve always wanted to write down my thoughts but never knew how to format them. A few week back I stumbled upon some journaling videos on YouTube and I realized that THAT would work for me and that I could do it however I wanted and I don’t have to do it everyday. So yep, as soon as it gets here, I shall start and I’ll make it all artsy and pretty (I hope).

Well, I think those are more than enough haha. I will most definitely write a post in a year to see how everything goes (hopefully, I’ll remember!), how I grow and how some things might change in that time period. Anyway, wish me luck!


I Tag:


That’s it until next time.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? What are some you have for 2017? Do we have any in common?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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