Monday, August 4, 2014

#Diversiverse Spotlight: Resources for Reading Diversely

In the last reading resources post leading up to sign-ups for A More Diverse Universe (the sign-up post will be live this SUNDAY), I thought I would tackle the wider problem of how you find books, generally, that are by diverse authors, rather than giving you a list of books that meet the criteria in certain genres.  In the spirit of teach a man to fish and all that.

It can feel very awkward to seek out books based on an author's identity.  I think Eva covered this ground beautifully in this post and then in an author guest post by Silvio Sirias back in 2010, so I shall not rehash.  Suffice it to say - if you one day Google'd "Nicaraguan authors to read" and Sirias' name came up, and you decided to read his book and then you loved it and then you started reading more of his books and then you started reading every author who influenced him, this would not offend him.  (Or, I suspect, anyone else.)

But in case you don't want to do that, I thought I would give you a list of the resources I use to ensure that my reading is more global in scope than it would otherwise be.  Unfortunately, some of these resources are no longer updated, but the archives are still great and you could spend hours digging through them.

One of my favorite ways to learn about new authors is to follow websites that focus on certain cultures.  They often have book reviews or interviews with authors, and it's a great way to keep an eye out.  My favorites are:

The Aerogram
Angry Asian Man
Sofrito For Your Soul

World Literature Today is a newsletter/website I just found out about and have subscribed to.  Not much information to share with you yet, but the title is pretty promising!

As a member of the Chicago Public Library, I have easy access to a host of African-American literature at the click of a button.  Though you may not live in Chicago, there is no reason you can't use this resource to look for books:
Popular African-American Authors

My beloved library also puts together lists of staff picks, indie publishers, and other recommendations that are fantastically diverse if you want to search by subject.  I recommend the monthly Staff Picks as a good place to start.

And speaking of public libraries with great resources, the New York Public Library lets you search its collection by region (see the middle-to-low left hand side of your screen).  The Los Angeles Public Library has a lot of lists, too, including one on Muslim Journeys.

Here on BookLust, you can find books that qualify using the #diversiverse tag.

One of the newest and most popular sites on the web for finding books by diverse authors (not just racially, but with disabled, LGBT, and other protagonists) is the We Need Diverse Books campaign.  While the site focuses on children's and young adult literature, it has regular updates and a fantastic Tumblr feed and is managed by a passionate team.

Eva has a fantastic directory of her reads by nationality.

mdbrady at Me, You, and Books has one of the most diverse and inspiring blog feeds I know.  She has introduced me to so many new authors (including one of my new favorites, Malla Nunn), and I think her feed is excellent for people who want to read more widely but don't have the time to always look for new authors.

Biblioglobal is on a quest to read a book from every country, so has a great set of archives, and Around the World in 80 Books is reading proportionally to population and has a lovely graphic of all the books on his list.  And Kinna Reads has a great focus on African literature.

Any other resources you recommend?  Let us know in the comments!

16 comments:

  1. This is such an important, helpful post, Aarti! Thank you so much. Off to share.

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    1. Thanks, Andi - hopefully next year, there will be even more resources to share!

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  2. This is a great resource, thank you for taking the time to put it together.

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    1. Of course - if it helps people feel more comfortable and less nervous about diversifying their reading, I'm happy to do it.

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  3. That's a great list of resources! I've been enjoying exploring the ones I wasn't familiar with. (And thanks for including me!)

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    1. Thanks for taking on such a great project! I hope you participate in the challenge.

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  4. Thanks for this Aarti! I especially second the We Need Diverse Books site, and also would like to add that they have some widgets you can get there to add to one's blog expressing support for book diversity.

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    1. Thanks, Jill! I do like the We Need Diverse Books site a ton, especially as it came up so recently and so fast!
      Sadly, the resources for adult literature are far more limited. I absolutely agree it's important for kids to read diversely, but adults can use some help, too. Maybe the campaign will spread :-)

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  5. Thanks very much for this. I had not been tracking this info on the books I read so far this year, so when I went back to tag my books in Goodreads, I realized that I was just basically Googling every author I didn't know and trying to figure out their race, and that just got...weird. Following more blogs and reading lists, though? Sign me up!

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  6. You're the best, Aarti, as usual. This is a great resource.

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  7. Great list of resources, Aarti. Definitely feel that I need to read from a wider area, so will be dipping into these frequently. Many thanks!

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  8. Do you have any resources specific to science fiction or fantasy?

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    1. Sarah, #diversiverse used to be completely science fiction and fantasy based, so if you click on the #diversiverse link above, there will be several posts with links to and suggestions for books within those genres.

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    2. Here are the posts specifically that have SFF suggestions or links to reviews:
      http://www.aartichapati.com/2012/09/reading-suggestions-more-diverse.html
      http://www.aartichapati.com/2012/09/a-more-diverse-universe-schedule.html
      http://www.aartichapati.com/2013/09/tss-more-diverse-universe-revisited.html
      http://www.aartichapati.com/2013/11/a-more-diverse-universe-link-post.html

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    3. Thank you for the lists!

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