2015 Diversity in Reading Update

I talked about pursuing diverse books last month, looking at my track record for both gender and racial diversity. It’s hard work. Diversity doesn’t just happen.

So far this year I haven’t been consciously picking diverse books (choosing a book because it’s written by a woman or a person of color as opposed to a white guy), but I have been lining up more diverse books in the lists of what I want to read.

Basically I want to read more diverse books without going so far the other way that I refuse to read something written by a white guy.

Here’s where I’m at so far:

  • 17 of 24 female authors
  • 11 of 24 POC characters or authors

Not bad. The slant to women authors is probably more coincidental. I honestly thought there would be more people of color so far, but this is more proof of how you have to work for it. Most of the POC reads have been books I intentionally sought out. Only one was an “accident” (a book featuring a main character of color that I didn’t know about ahead of time).

It’s also clear just how hard it is to find good diversity in books. I’ve been searching and I continue to search for more sources and recommendations. I’m thankful for organizations like We Need Diverse Books that move beyond the rallying cry and offer resources and solutions. I’m especially looking for good chapter books to read to my kids.

Favorite book so far? Probably the Parable of the Sower/Talents series by Octavia Butler. Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson is a close second.