Cyndy Aleo

Four Little Bees Writing & Editing

author, freelance writing, editing, and a little bit of web development, helping clients with content development, book editing, and blog set-up and customization

Diverse Books in 2015

The good people over at We Need Diverse Books have asked people to make a pledge to reading diverse books in 2015.

Problem for me is that I'm a book reviewer, and I never know how many diverse books I'm going to be able to get my grubby little mitts on during the year, nor how much time I'll have for pleasure reading.

So today I spent a couple of hours going over my TBR and Already Read piles on Goodreads, and I created a bookshelf I'm just calling "diverse." I've marked the books I have to read yet as well as the ones I've already read. For those, they've already been reviewed. Some I thought were great; others not so much.

I had to make some really tough choices on what I was going to include on there. I read a lot of romance and erotica as part of the whole "book reviewer" thing, but I included no romance or erotica that wasn't written by a LGBTQ+ author. Tough call, but I was trying to separate diverse from possible fetishization even though some of the books I've read are PHENOMENAL, don't even come close to fetishizing, and might be even better than some by queer authors. 

When it comes to diverse characters, I went with "has to be a main character the plot can't live without." It's why you'll see some books you KNOW have diverse characters (for example, James Dashner's Maze Runner series) not on there. 

A few non-fiction books appear as well, and those are books I think everyone should read. 

Lastly, I did not even attempt to venture into the area of the non-neurotypical when it comes to diversity. I'd like to find some really great books that specify what they're about, but I found some books others loved to be caricature and borderline offensive, so I just ignored this category altogether.

It's an imperfect shelf, but I'm trying, and I do pledge to continue reviewing all the diverse books I can in 2015. For a couple of books that fall under this category coming out this month, check out my "Best Things I Read This Year" post.