Diverse Reads

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Billy at Coffee Addicted Writer. Hop on over there for more information about these questions. Here’s today’s question:

Do you read a lot of diverse or own voices books? Why or why not? (submitted by Kitty @ Vicarious Bookworm)

tl;dr response: Yes, because I think it’s important.

Long Answer: I read diversely for a few reasons. First, I am at the intersection of a number of identities (black American, queer, in an interracial relationship, to name a few). Just like anyone, I’m sure, I want to see my identities reflected in the novels I read. Most of the time, anymore, reading diversely isn’t a conscious decision. It’s an, “I want to read a book about this aspect of my identity,” kind of decision.

Really, it is unfortunate that reading representations of my lived experiences is considered reading diversely. I could go on about why, but I won’t right now.

I also read diversely because I know that there are more experiences in this world than just mine, and I want to imagine people complexly, which is hard. I like the reminder that I’m not the center of the universe, you know?

Additionally, because I teach on the US/Mexico border, many of my students identify as Mexican, Mexican-American, Hispanic and/or Latinx. It is important for me, in building relationships with them, to recommend books that both celebrate their cultural identity and heritage, and help them broaden their experiences.

What about you? Do you make a point to read diversely?

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6 thoughts on “Diverse Reads

  1. I’m trying to make a more solid effort to not only read more diversely, but to be a little more conscientious of the books I decide to read. For example, I had Carve the Mark on my TBR, but after seeing how many issues there were with the book, I decided that I wasn’t going to read it anymore.

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  2. You wrote: “Really, it is unfortunate that reading representations of my lived experiences is considered reading diversely.” I hope someday it isn’t considered reading diversely. I truly do. For now though, I think reading diversely is so important, especially in this day and age. I really need to make more of an effort to do so myself. Thank you for sharing!

    I hope you have a great week.

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  3. You are so right when you state that reading about the experiences of people in the groups you’ve mentioned in your post should not be considered “reading diversely”. As to the reason why this situation still exists, I would say because we still live in a bigoted country. The recent election proves this. The recent governmental chaos proves this. Having a “so-called president” who tweets about reality shows and fake wiretapping proves this. It’s unfortunate, but those are the facts.

    On Facebook the other day, I saw a post in my feed about how the history of the Confederacy has been “twisted”. A few days later, the same person posted a picture of a nest of chicks with little Confederate flags all around them. The chicks were also wearing little Confederate uniform hats. This was supposed to be some sort of joke.That’s why the government STILL hasn’t declared the Confederate flag illegal.

    I happen to be Hispanic myself, and would like to see more books reflecting my own experience.

    It’s definitely VERY important to read diversely. In the “Age of Trump”, it’s even more important to do so.

    Thanks for your insightful post! Also, thanks for commenting on my own BBH post!! Have a WONDERFUL week!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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    1. While I think narratives about Hispanic peoples are still underrepresented, I’m excited about the fabulous narratives I have read recently featuring Hispanic/Latinx characters. I am fortunate enough to live on the US/Mexico border, near Cinco Puntos Press, so we get a lot of books from them in our local stores. Unrelated, I wonder if you had similar experiences with commenting on posts this week that I, and a few other bloggers did.

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      1. Hi, again! I meant to come back earlier, as your reply to my comment has really intrigued me. However, I had no time to do so until now. So here I am! 🙂

        I just looked up the term “Latinx”, as I had never heard it before. Of course, I’m familiar with the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino”, but this other one was new to me. I found a very interesting article about the term “Latinx” here:

        http://www.complex.com/life/2016/04/latinx/ungendering-spanish

        Since I’m fluent in Spanish, I know that this language is gendered. And I agree with what this article states, in one of the paragraphs: “Some members of Latin American communities claim this gendered language reinforces patriarchal and heterosexist norms…” Absolutely. However, I wonder whether the Spanish language can ever be “ungendered”. This is just part of the language. It might not make sense to non-Spanish speakers, but, there it is. Of course, Spanish is not the only language to have this feature built right into it. French, Italian, and Portuguese do, as well. These are the only languages I’m a bit familiar with. I’m sure there are others, too.

        It would be interesting to warp into the future — say, 50 years ahead — to see whether languages have changed in order to reflect these more egalitarian, inclusive views.

        As to your and other bloggers’ experiences commenting on posts this week, could you please clarify? I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Hope you’re having an AWESOME week!! 🙂

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