One of my 2015 reading resolutions is to read more diverse books for me. I’m constantly on the look out for diverse books for my children, but sometimes I forget about myself. I’ve learned that if I don’t go out of my way to search for books about diverse characters or written by writers of color, I miss out. Otherwise I gravitate to publishers’ pitches or what I find on my library shelves.
I’ve created a collection on my Kindle specifically for diverse books. Instead of keeping my to-be-read list to myself, I should share the love, right?
Diverse Books For Adults I’m Excited to Read
The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord: Masterful storyteller is back with a new novel. Don’t let the science fiction label fool you–Lord creates multifaceted characters and twisting plots with social commentary. In The Galaxy Game, students attend the Lyceum, a school for teens who have superhuman mental abilities. Some see the students as a gift to help society while others worry use their abilities to control others. The Lyceum feels more like a prison than a school for some and they plot to escape.
Today only, Lord’s debut novel Redemption in Indigo is the Audible deal of the day. A great way to try out her book for $2.95! I’ve already downloaded it to my phone. I also highly recommend Karen Lord’s The Best of All Possible Worlds. It absolutely blew me away.
A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev: I’ve heard so many great things about Dev’s novel. Though she was promised to her future husband at the age of four, she has not seen him in twenty years. In the interim, her grandmother has allowed her to leave India and study in America for eight months in order to make her the perfect modern wife. While waiting for her husband to come and claim her, Mili meets a Bollywood director that could change her life forever.
Happy are the Happy by Yasmina Reza (translated by John Cullen): Tony Award winning playwright Reza’s novel might be short, but it’s packed with stories and characters interlinked by a Parisian couple. Characters who search for love and intimacy; who struggle with loneliness and despair.
I Am Radar by Reif Larsen: During a 1975 blackout, a black baby is born to his stunned white parents. Though raised in the New Jersey suburbs, Radar becomes quickly entangled in terrible events all over the world: civil wars, Khmer Rouge, Nazi secret missions. The novel is a “sophisticated, highly addictive reading experience that draws on the furthest reaches of quantum physics, forgotten history, and performance art.” I’m sold! (Releases February 24)
The Life of a Banana by PP Wong: Born and raised in London, Xing Li is considered a banana: yellow on the outside and white on the inside. After her mother dies, she moves in with a vindictive grandmother and strange uncle. She’s bullied at school and her only friend is a mixed race Jamaican boy who loves classical music. (Available for pre-order. Releases May 1)
Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson: PEN/Faulkner finalist’s new novel is a satire about four UC Berkeley students who stage a dramatic protest during a Civil War reenactment. D’aron accidentally tells his classmates how his small George town hosts “Patriot Days,” and soon everyone is planning a “performative intervention.” The novel releases February 17. I can’t wait to read it!
The Legacy of Lost Things by Aida Zilelian: This debut novel follows three generations of an Armenian immigrant family living in the United States. The family members struggle between saving their Old World expectations and culture and the modern culture of Queens, New York. ( Releases March 3)
Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile: Having grown up in a Louisiana town surrounded by fields of sugar cane, I was immediately drawn to this novel. Single mother Charley inherits eight hundred acres of sugarcane land. She moves from her daughter from Los Angeles to Louisiana to take over the farm, but soon learns that challenges of an African American running a white man’s business.
Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow: I can’t help but be attracted to stories about my birth state. New York Times journalist Blow shares his tumultuous childhood in Louisiana, whose history of slavery still echos in the state’s racial tensions. He shares everything from a secret childhood abuse to brutal hazing in his black fraternity and how he became the successful journalist he is now.
Want more? Take a look at this extensive list by Karen DeGroot Carter.
What diverse books do you have on your to be read list? I need more on my list!