The Diverse Books Tag

So I found this tag through Naz, who runs Read Diverse Books, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some of the books I’ve read and want to read. I’m doubling up and doing both a book I’ve read and a book I want to read for each category, where possible.


The Rules

  1. Credit the original creator, Read Diverse Books.
  2. The Diverse Books Tag is a bit like a scavenger hunt. I will task you to find a book that fits a specific criteria and you will have to show us a book you have read or want to read.
  3. If you can’t think of a book that fits the specific category, then I encourage you to go look for one.A quick Google search will provide you with many books that will fit the bill. (Also, Goodreads lists are your friends.) Find one you are genuinely interested in reading and move on to the next category.

Everyone can do this tag, even people who don’t own or haven’t read any books that fit the descriptions below. So there’s no excuse! The purpose of the tag is to promote the kinds of books that may not get a lot of attention in the book blogging community.

Check out the master post, where I compile the hundreds of book recommendations provided by bloggers who have done the Diverse Books Tag. Click here.


Find a book starring a lesbian character.

A Book I’ve Read:

Huntress by Malinda Lo

huntress

Set in an alternate universe that blends East Asian (mostly Chinese) and Western elements, Huntress is about two girls, Kaede and Taisin, who are sent on a quest to find the Fairy Queen to figure out what is causing the unnatural disturbances in their kingdom. It’s the prequel to Ash (a bisexual Cinderella retelling), but you don’t need to read Ash first to understand Huntress.

A Book I Want to Read:

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

tell-me-again-how-a-crush-should-feel

I’ve had this book on my TBR forever, and I finally bought it earlier this week. It’s a story about Leila, and Iranian American, and her crush on a new student, Saskia. She decides to take risks for the sake of Saskia that  complicate her relationships with her friends and family. It’s so hard to find books about LGBTQ POC, especially #ownvoices books, so I was happy to find out that this book exists.

Find a book with a Muslim protagonist.

A Book I’ve Read:

The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi

the-secret-sky

Set against the political turmoil of present-day Afghanistan, this book is a story of forbidden love between two young people from different ethnic groups and different social classes. Fatima is a Hazara girl from a farming family; Samiullah is the son of the landowners who oversee the Hazara farmers. When they fall in love, they must fight against their families, their cultures, and the Taliban in order to be together.

A Book I Want to Read:

Ticket to India by N.H. Senzai

ticket-to-india

This book was on my wishlist for a long time, and when it was finally released in paperback in November, I bought it. I’m probably waiting until after I finish my 25 books for #DiversityDecBingo to read it.

This  book  its  about a girl named Maya. She  assumes  her family  is from Pakistan,  only to find out from  her  grandmother  that her family has roots  in India.  As  she journeys across India in search of a family treasure,  she discovers  more about her hidden heritage and  the effects of  Partition  on  her people.

Find a book set in Latin America.

It was hard to find one I’ve read before for this category. This is one I really need to work on for my diverse reading quest. But anyway, here are the books!

A Book I’ve Read:

City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende

city-of-the-beasts

Most people know Isabel Allende through her literary fiction, but I was first introduced to her through her fantasy YA trilogy, which starts with City in the Beasts. It takes place in the Amazon rain forest and is about the adventures of Alex Cold and Nadia Santos during Alex’s grandmother’s journalistic trip to document the existence of a fabled creature called The Beast.

It’s been years and years since I’ve read this book, so I can’t vouch for the representation of indigenous people in the book. Also, I might consider re-reading it in the original Spanish to practice my rusty Spanish literacy skills.

A Book I Want to Read:

Uprooting Community: Japanese Mexicans, World War II, and the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands by Selfa A.  Chew

uprooting-community

This is a nonfiction  book,  an academic  one,  actually.  My  friend who  is  third generation Chinese-Mexican  American  gave it to me as a gift because their mother, who’s a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, wrote it, and they know I’m an ethnic studies nerd. A lot of people don’t realize that  Asian  Latinx people  exist.  They do,  and this book explores the devastating impact of  anti-Japanese  sentiment  on  Japanese Mexicans  during World  War II.

Find a book about a person with a disability.

This is a category that I’ve read few books from, unfortunately. I’m trying to remedy that.

A  Book  I’ve  Read:

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

a-time-to-dance

Just read  this  yesterday,  and  I’ll be reviewing  it shortly.  It’s a novel-in-verse  that tells the story of Veda,  an  Indian girl whose passion  is for dancing  the traditional Bharatanatyam.  After she  gets in an  accident  that results in her  right leg being amputated  below the  knee,  she must find a way  to cope  and relearn the skills  that once came  easily to her.

A  Book I  Want  to  Read:

Challenger  Deep  by Neal  Shusterman

Challenger Deep.jpg

I’ve read a lot of Neal Shusterman’s work in the past, so when I found out that he wrote a book about mental illness based on his son’s experience with schizophrenia, I put it on my TBR. The book chronicles the story of Caden Bosch, who is in high school but spends a large amount of his time immersed in a world of his mind’s fabrication. It’s illustrated by Brendan Shusterman, Neal Shusterman’s son, which adds an additional visual element to the narrative.

Find a Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a POC protagonist.

A  Book  I’ve  Read:

Silver  Phoenix  by Cindy Pon

book-silver-phoenix

This  was one of the first #ownvoices  Asian fantasy YA  novels I’ve read. It is set in an alternate universe inspired by historical China. I wrote a review for it here.

A  Book I  Want  to  Read:

The  Grace  of  Kings by  Ken Liu

the-grace-of-kings

I’ve had  this on  my TBR  for a while.  It’s probably going to be my first foray  into  adult speculative  fiction.  It’s the first book in a  fantasy  epic  that  supposedly reads  like an wuxia novel. Having grown up on wuxia dramas, this is totally my type of story.

Find a book set in (or about) any country in Africa.

Honestly, I cannot remember reading any books set in Africa besides required reading for school (Heart of Darkness and Cry, the Beloved Country) or books about Egypt written by white people (e.g. the Children of the Lamp series by P.B. Kerr), so it’s high time that I start filling in that gap. Here are two book I’d like to read.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

half-of-a-yellow-sun

I’ve read Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists, so I know her writing/speech is very eloquent, and I’ve been meaning to read her other works, especially Americanah and this book. It is a historical fiction novel that focuses on the personal struggles and political turmoil of eastern Nigeria in the 60s.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

who-fears-death

I actually own several books by Nnedi Okorafor, but my TBR list is so long that I’ve never really gotten around to reading them yet, though I’m about to break that by reading Akata Witch for #DiversityDecBingo. Who Fears Death is about the spiritual journey of a young woman in post-apocalyptic Saharan Africa and an exploration of gender and oppression.

Find a book written by an Indigenous or Native author.

This is also a category that I have little to no experience with. I’m putting down three books I’d like to read.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

the-absolutely-true-diary

Given how well-known this book is, I feel obligated to read it. It focuses on a boy named Junior who moves to an all-white school from the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Feral Nights by Cynthia Leitich Smith

feral-nights

I’m a sucker for animal-related and shape-shifter stories. The main character, Clyde, is a were-possum, and other characters are also were-somethings (were-cat, were-armadillo, etc.). Super cool concept, right? Also, the story takes place in Austin, Texas, the city where I spent the last five years of my life, so reading a book that takes place there will be fun. This book is the first in a trilogy, so I expect to read all three eventually.

Voices from the Mountain: Taiwanese Aboriginal Literature by  Hulusman Vava (Author), Auvini Kadresengan (Author), Badai (Author), and Prof. Shu-hwa Shirley Wu (Translator)

voices-from-the-mountain

So if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m Taiwanese. I’m really interested in the politics and history of Taiwan. Unfortunately, Taiwan’s indigenous population is marginalized in Taiwanese society much like Native Americans are in the U.S. As a non-indigenous Taiwanese, I feel that it’s very important to listen to and uplift the voices of Taiwan’s indigenous people. This collection of short stories seems like a good way to increase my awareness of indigenous cultures and issues.

Find a book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.).

A Book I’ve Read:

Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman

climbing-the-stairs

This book is a historical fiction novel set in India during World War II, when India was still under British rule. The main character, Vidya, is a teenage girl with ambitions to go to college. However, she’s forced to move into her grandfather’s house, where they are conservative and segregate the women’s and men’s quarters. Vidya breaks the rules by going to the second-floor library, where she meets Raman, who treats her as an equal and fosters her intellectual growth. However, her life becomes complicated when her brother makes a decision regarding the ongoing war. It’s a touching book about self discovery, friendship, romance, family, and politics.

A Book I Want to Read:

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything by Uma Krishnaswami

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything.jpg

This one’s a middle grade novel. It features eleven-year-old Dini’s move to India from the U.S. Dini loves Bollywood, but her family isn’t moving to Bombay, they’re moving to an obscure place, Swapnagiri. However, it turns out that this town is home to interesting things, including, it seems, Dini’s favorite Bollywood star.

Aside from liking middle grade fiction a lot in general, I was curious about this book because it has a character who likes Bollywood. My knowledge of Bollywood is pretty small: I know Shah Rukh Khan is a Thing, and I’ve watched clips of/analyzed some Bollywood movies featuring Indian American characters for my Asian American Media Cultures class, and that’s about it. So I think it would be fun to learn a thing or two about Bollywood through a fictional book.

Find a book with a biracial protagonist.

A Book I’ve Read:

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities by Mike Jung

geeks-girls-and-secret-identities

Although the main character, Vincent Wu, is biracial, white and Asian (his ethnicity is never explicitly mentioned in the book, but Wu is a Chinese and Korean last name, though the Korean version is typically spelled Woo), the book isn’t about his race or ethnicity. It’s a superhero story with a genderbending twist. Vincent is one of Captain Stupendous’s biggest fans. When Captain Stupendous is injured in a fight involving professor Mayhem, he ends up collaborating with his crush, Polly Winnicott-Lee (who is mixed white and Korean) to help save his city.

A Book I Want to Read:

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton

full-cicada-moon

This book caught my eye because it features a biracial girl who is mixed Black and Japanese. I have only read one other book that I can think of with a protagonist who’s mixed Black and Asian, and it’s Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything. The vast majority of mixed Asian characters are mixed with white, and I wish there was more representation of those who are mixed with Latinx or Black or Native heritage. When I read the synopsis of Full Cicada Moon, I found out that it’s a historical fiction novel-in-verse set during the age of the Space Race, and the main character, Mimi, is an aspiring astronaut. I was a space nerd as a kid (and majored in aerospace engineering), so this felt like the perfect story for me.

Find a book starring a transgender character or about transgender issues.

A Book I’ve Read:

For Today I am a Boy by Kim Fu

for-today-i-am-a-boy

This is the first and only book I’ve read with an Asian trans character as the protagonist. The main character, Peter, is a Chinese Canadian trans girl. The book focuses on her journey to grow into herself. I first read it a while ago, and I’ve forgotten a lot of the details, so I’d like to reread it to do a thorough review of its trans representation. The author is a cis Chinese Canadian woman.

A Book I Want to Read:

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

symptoms-of-being-human

I need more books with genderfluid representation. This is one of the few I can find. Riley’s gender fluctuates between boy and girl, but they’re not out yet, especially because their father is running for re-election in conservative Orange County. Riley starts an anonymous blog about their life as a gender fluid teenager to vent, but the blog goes viral, and they face the threat of being outed.


Congratulations on making it to the end of this post! I’m tagging everyone who read this. If you’ve already done the tag, feel free to drop a link to your post in the comments. Otherwise, go do this tag, and come back and share your link. 🙂

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