The Diversity Test Book Tag

The Diversity Test Book Tag

Thank you to Kel at A Reader’s Whimsy for tagging me in this! Diversity is something that’s really important in books and I’ve always preached that, but it was interesting when compiling this list to see just how diverse my reading habits are. Check out my answers below.

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A book starring a lesbian character…

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I read Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit at university as part of my ‘The Girl in the Book’ course. Semi-autobiographical, it’s a funny yet sad read as Jeanette struggles to understand her sexuality whilst living in a conservative, Christian community in the 1960’s and 70’s. It’s definitely a book that’s still relevant today as homosexuality isn’t accepted worldwide, especially in more religious countries where it’s seen as a sin. Jeanette’s fight with her faith is a really interesting read.

A book with a Muslim protagonist…

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist is another novel I read at uni and I really enjoyed it, along with the film adaptation. Set just after 9/11, it tells the story of Changez. A smart young man, Changez studies and works in America where he begins to build a successful career for himself. But after the events of 9/11, he finds himself feeling alienated in the country he loves. He faces hostility and distrust from people he once called friends and this inevitably pushes him more towards his home country and his faith. It’s an excellent study in how Islamophobia actually only breeds more violence and more disillusioned radical Islamist’s. I really sympathised with Changez and loved the themes Mohsin Hamid tackled so excellently in this novel.

A book set in Latin America…

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I wanted to include two very different books for this category. The first novel is Graham Greene’s excellent The Power and the Glory, set in Mexico during the time of Catholic persecution. A somewhat un-likeable protagonist, and filled with an abundance of dark humour.

 

 

 

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On the other hand is the second novel in the excellent sci-fi/post-apocalyptic/dystopian Osiris series. This novel travels to South America and I really enjoyed the rich setting and culture. If you haven’t read this series, read it now!

A book about a person with a disability…

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I’ve actually read a fair few novels that depict mental disabilities, but my favourite is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Chbosky handles the subject so sensitively and I just loved this book. As for physical disabilities, I haven’t read that many books that depict things like Cystic Fibrosis etc. I’ve read novels, like the excellent Pure trilogy by Julianna Baggott, where the protagonists are physically disabled due to injuries, but sadly I’ve never read a novel where someone was actually born with a disability. Can anyone suggest a good one?

 

A Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a Person of Color (POC) protagonist…

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There’s definitely a niche for YA fantasy set in Arabian/Persian/Indian inspired settings right now and I’m loving it! I’ve read other fantasy YA books set in worlds based on Japanese culture, such as Across the Nightingale Floor (which is a series I really need to finish), but Rebel of the Sands is definitely my favourite fantasy novel with a POC protagonist. Amani is such a great character; strong, reckless, passionate, I loved this book. You can find my review for it here.

A book written by an Indigenous or Native author…

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Now this one was a lot harder and it’s made me realise I need to broaden my literary horizons a little. However, I think this novel counts: The Woman Warrior. Autobiographical, but blended with fantastical elements and Chinese folklore, Maxine Hong Kingston depicts what it was like to grow up in America as one of the first Chinese-Americans, and what it was like for her Chinese mother, who never quite adapts to American culture. This was a really interesting read.

A book set in South Asia…

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(Not to be confused with South-East Asian novels, South Asia is India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan etc.) This was another category where I pretty much failed. I didn’t manage to read much of Kanthapura when I studied it at uni. I’ve read short stories set in India before that I really enjoyed, but never a full novel. I suppose I could include The Reluctant Fundamentalist in this, however.

A book with a multi-racial protagonist…

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I have a love for zombie novels, and this is one that I really enjoyed. The protagonist, Benny Imura, is half-White half-Japanese. His Japanese heritage and his older Japanese half-brother Tom play a big part in the book which I loved. You can find my review for it here.

A book with a transgender character or transgender issues…

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Another novel that I studied for my ‘The Girl in the Book’ course, The Well of Loneliness is once again a semi-autobiographical novel that tells the story of Stephen. Named after the son her parents were expecting, Stephen dresses like a man, loves women, and destroys gender boundaries. The novel was banned when it was originally released.

 

 

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I’m not going to tag anyone in particular for this as I think it’s something a lot of people will enjoy doing, exploring how diverse your reading habits are. So, consider all of you tagged! If you do this tag, just link me in your post so I can check it out!

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