I’ve been wanting to read more diverse book for a while now but I’m not good at organizing myself so I decided to join Sarah Viehmann and her Diverse Reading Challenge.
I’m always trying to read intersectional rep but it would be nice to have a specific goal to achieve each moth so that I don’t read only one kind of representation and ignore some.
With these kind of challenges is always important to read ownvoices and if you can’t do that, or want to read a specific book that’s not,, then read the reviews of readers that do fit that representation before picking it up, inform yourself if that book is hurting the community or speaking over it.
It does feel a little too USA-centric so I will try to pick some other authors but basically this is it.
Here’s the plan:
JANUARY 2018 – WARM UP/WILD CARD
January is the warm-up month for people to start planning their TBRs. Since there’s no specific theme, pick any kind of diverse book or author you’d like (even if it’s covered later in the year). At the end of the month we’ll share our plans and what diverse books we read on our own in January.
FEBRUARY 2018 – BLACK HISTORY MONTH
February is Black History Month, so do your best to pick up a book by a black writer this month! Authors such as N.K. Jemisin, Justina Ireland, Dhonielle Clayton, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, Roxane Gay, Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angie Thomas, Nic Stone, and others are great options.
MARCH 2018 – WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
For women’s history month, try and read books by women! This comes easier to some than others. It’s especially good to pick up books by women of color in this month. And remember–trans women are women, so they absolutely count. Books by women tend to be easier to find, but if you need recommendations, feel free to ask!
APRIL 2018 – ASIAN-AMERICAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER MONTH
Let’s aim to read books by and about people of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage this month! Technically this is observed in May, but for the purposes of the challenge I bumped it up. Pacific Islander refers to the Polynesian, Micronesian, Melanesian islands. Please note that in American colloquial usage, “Asian” tends to mean East- or Southeast-Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, etc.). Obviously that’s problematic, but it does help narrow down the target a bit for this month. Suggested authors include Heidi Heilig, Malinda Lo, Marie Lu, Renee Ahdieh, Justina Chen, Kendare Blake, George Takei, Celeste Ng, Gene Luen Yang, Kevin Kwan, Erin Summerill, and Julie C. Dao.
MAY 2018 – JEWISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
This month we’re focusing on books by and about Jewish people (they don’t have to be Jewish-American, that’s just the name of the Heritage Month)! While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading books about the Holocaust, I recommend picking up books by Jewish writers that focus on other topics, because it’s not helpful to reduce a group of people to one theme or topic. Anti-Semitism is dangerously active right now, so let’s help combat that in a small way by boosting Jewish writers such as Katherine Locke, Hannah Moscowitz, Dahlia Adler, Laura Silverman, Arthur Miller, Philip Roth, William Goldman, and Alice Hoffman.
JUNE 2018 – PRIDE MONTH
Pick up books by LGBTQIAP+ writers this month! Anything from the acronym is acceptable–but please, if you don’t know whether an author you like is out yet, don’t bother them about it! Suggested authors include V.E. Schwab, Oscar Wilde, Julie Anne Peters, Heidi Heilig, Malinda Lo, amanda lovelace, Kathryn Ormsbee, Adam Silvera, April Daniels, Jazz Jennings, Andrea Dworkin, and David Levithan.
JULY 2018 – INDIAN/SOUTH ASIAN READS
As I mentioned above, the colloquial use of “Asian” is problematic because ASIA IS HUGE. So this month we’re covering more of Asia, specifically South Asia and India. South Asia includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. If you’d like to expand to Central Asia and the other former Soviet republics this month, that’s also encouraged! Suggested authors include Aisha Saeed, Sabaa Tahir, Salman Rushdie, Soman Chainani, Lily Singh, Sandhya Menon, Sona Charaipotra, and Samira Ahmed.
AUGUST 2018 – MUSLIM/WEST ASIAN READS
I was hoping to have this month near Ramadan, but Ramadan is early this year during months where other things are scheduled, so we’re celebrating Muslim writers this month! This month, pick books by Muslim writers, including those from West Asia (aka the Middle East). Suggested writers include S.A. Chakraborty, Aisha Saeed, Randa Abdel-Fattah, Malala Yousafzai, Tahereh Mafi, Sabaa Tahir, and Naguib Mafouz.
SEPTEMBER 2018 – HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
This month is Hispanic Heritage Month, so pick writers from the Hispanic Diaspora! Remember, Latinx is not a synonym for Hispanic, so think about that when discussing writers and books this month. Suggested authors include Adam Silvera, Zoraida Córdova, Anna-Marie McLemore, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Junot Diaz, and Julia Alvarez.
OCTOBER 2018 – DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH
Though this month is meant to focus on employment for disabled people, I thought it would be a good month to read books by disabled authors. This includes authors who deal with mental illness, those with physical disabilities, or other kinds of disabilities. Again, as with Pride Month, don’t force an author to discuss their disability if they’re not comfortable doing so. Also, please choose books by #ActuallyAutistic people if you would like to read about autism. Suggested authors include Leigh Bardugo, S. Jae-Jones, Kody Keplinger, Mishell Baker, Laura Hillenbrand, Sherman Alexie, Ana Mardoll, Philip K. Dick, Carrie Fisher, and Terry Pratchett.
NOVEMBER 2018 – NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
This month we’re reading books by Native American or First Nations authors from North America. Suggested authors include Leslie Marmon Silko, Sherman Alexie, Debra Magpie Earling, Louise Erdrich, Janet Campbell Hale, N. Scott Momaday, and Gerald Vizenor.
DECEMBER 2018 – WRAP-UP/WILD CARD/DIVERSE HOLIDAYS
This month is a wrap-up month, so it’s another wild card! Is there a diverse book you wanted to read this year and didn’t get a chance to? Now’s the time! BONUS CHALLENGE: read a book about a winter holiday you don’t celebrate, ideally by someone who does celebrate it. Early in January we’ll share our reading lists and plan for next year’s challenge!
I’ll try and make an update on the challenge at the end of each month.
This particular challenge seems to cover all the basis but if you think I should add or change anything feel free to tell me!