Readers’ Advisory – Diverse Reads

Diversity in literature quite often focuses on skin deep qualities such as ethnicity and race, but it is much broader than that, including sexuality, gender, disability, political persuasion, and religion.  Diverse literature exposes the reader to experiences that are not their own, and hopefully, broadens their understanding and knowledge of those experiences.

*(CL) means that these titles are available through Cloud Library, but if you prefer the hard copy version, they’re all available for loan, unless otherwise indicated. Simply place a hold on any items you’re interested in through our online library catalogue.

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon King Kong, by James McBride – New York, neighbourhoods, social life, housing

Deacon King Kong is deeply felt, beautifully written and profoundly humane; McBride’s ability to inhabit his characters’ foibled, all-too-human interiority helps transform a fine book into a great one.” —The New York Times Book Review 

 

A Burning, by Megha Majumdar (CL) – India, class, fate, corruption, justice

Where we come from, by Oscar Cásares (CL only) – Mexican-American, trafficking, smuggling, immigrants

Bestiary, by K-Ming Chang (CL) – Taiwanese-American women, migration, queer lineages, girlhood

Lucky boy, by Shanthi Sekaran (CL only) – Mexican border, immigrant detention, motherhood, two mothers

The girl with the louding voice, by Abi Daré (CL only) – Nigerian girl, servitude, equal rights, education

“I’m a big fan of hyper-realistic dialogue and using the sounds of a world to shape the energy of a novel, and so I was immediately drawn to The Girl with the Louding Voice. . . . [Adunni] is a youthful, dynamic guide with serious bite and poetic language.”—Kiley Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Such a Fun Age

The Lauras, by Sara Taylor (CL) – Mother and daughter relationships, pilgrimage, gender identity, family secrets

Love and other consolation prizes, by Jamie Ford (CL) – Families, brothels, friendship

Green Island, by Shawna Yang Ryan (CL) – Taiwan, martial law, Chinese Nationalism, imprisonment, survival

Sour heart, by Jenny Zhang (CL) – Chinese- American, Adolescence, immigration, survival

There there, by Tommy Orange (CL) – Indigenous, multi-generational, violence, recovery, memory, identity

“How do you rewrite the story of a people? This question shapes Tommy Orange’s sorrowful, beautiful debut novel. . . . Even in its tragic details, it is lyrical and playful, shaking and shimmering with energy.” —The Guardian

 

Mexican gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – (CL) – Mexico, 1950’s, secrets, violence, madness

Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu (CL only) – Race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, stereotypes

A knock at midnight, by Brittany K. Barnett – (CL only) – Racial injustice, drugs, legal system

The vanishing half, by Brit Bennett (CL only) – Racial identity, family relations, America’s South

Conjure women, by Afia Atakora (CL) – Black humour, female relationships

“Secrets, heartache, and healing fill this story spanning two generations of women living in the South before and after the Civil War. Atakora’s writing grips you from the first page of this soon-to-be-published novel. It’s no surprise that she is being hailed as a successor to Toni Morrison.”—The Week

 

Well-behaved Indian women, by Saumya Dave – (CL only) -India, women, racism, families, stereotypes

Being Heumann: an unrepentant memoir of a disability rights activist, by Judith Heumann & Kristen Joiner (CL only)- Disabilty Rights, acceptance, inclusion, polio

A woman like her: the story behind the honor killing of a social media star, by Sanam Maher – Pakistan, social media, celebrity, models, internet personalities, harassment, cultural divide

Hillbilly elegy: a memoir of a family and culture in crisis, by J. D. Vance (CL) – White working-class America, class decline, cultural decline, abuse, alcoholism, poverty, trauma

Fairest: a memoir, by Meredith Talusan (CL only) – Filipino boy, albinism, gender transition, race, disability, gender, immigrant

“A searching, rigorously self-examining memoir, Fairest grapples beautifully and seriously with questions of gender, race, colorism, migration, colonialism, queerness, privilege, class, and belonging.  A debut luminous with insight.”
—R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

 

Party of two, by Jasmine Guillory Inter-racial relationships

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy (CL) – India, interpersonal relations, self-realization

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (CL) – Nigerians, America, immigrants, refugees, love, race

Men explain things to me, by Rebecca Solnit (CL) – Sexism, gender wars, feminism, marriage equality, violence against women

Transcendent kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi -Ghana, immigrant, religion, depression, addiction, grief

“Meticulous, psychologically complex…At once a vivid evocation of the immigrant experience and a sharp delineation of an individual’s inner struggle, the novel brilliantly succeeds on both counts.”
Publishers Weekly [starred review]

 

A little life, by Hanya Yanagihara (CL) – Male bonds, dysfunctional families, memories

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (CL) – America, Race, racial injustice, discrimination, history

A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley (CL only) – Black men and boys, race, gender, class, relationships

Unaccompanied, by Javier Zamora (CL only) – El Salvador, America, border crossing, race, immigration, families

Girl in Translation, by Jean Kwok (CL) – Chinese-American, immigrant, cultural differences, mothers and daughters

“Kwok drops you right inside Kimberly’s head, adding Chinese idioms to crisp dialogue. And the book’s lesson–that every choice comes at the expense of something else–hits home in every language.” — People Magazine

 

This chair rocks: a manifesto against aging, by Ashton Applewhite (CL only) – Ageism, discrimination, prejudice

Cantoras, by Carolina de Robertis (CL only) – Uganda, homosexuality, community

Tomorrow will be different: love, loss, and the fight for trans equality, by Sarah McBride Transgender, identity, LGBTQ community, equal rights

What doesn’t kill you makes you blacker: a memoir in essays, by Damon Young (CL) -Race, culture, masculinity, Blackness, white supremacy

Sissy: a coming-of-gender story,by Jacob Tobia (CL) – Gender, self-acceptance

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, by Ellen Forney [Graphic Novel] – Mood disorders

“Witty and insightful…The long journey of medication and therapy is kept from gloom by Forney’s lively, likable cartooning … Readers struggling with their own mania or depression will find Forney good company, and others searching for insight into the minds of troubled artists will find Forney an engaging storyteller.”
—Starred Publishers Weekly

Hidden figures: the American dream and the untold story of the Black women mathematicians who helped win the space race, by Margot Lee Shetterley (CL) – African American women, sexism, racism, NASA, mathematicians

No one is coming to save us, by Stephanie Powell Watts (CL) – African American family, wealth, social position

Whipping girl: a transsexual woman on sexism, by Julia Serano – Transexualism, Transgenderism, sex and gender entitlement, feminism, cross-dressing

Minor feelings: an Asian American reckoning, by Cathy Park Hong (CL only) – Asian-American, Korea, immigrants, family, friendship, identity, individuality, racial consciousness

Hitting a straight lick with a crooked stick, by Zora Neale Hurston (CL) – African American, Harlem Renaissance, migration, gender, class, racism, sexism

“Read, and you’ll almost wish you were slumped on a wooden chair on Jim’s porch on a hot summer day. Read, because authenticity oozes from every page here and you can’t help but like the men and women in the tales. Read, as author Zora Neale Hurston’s wit shines between biting narrations and comments. . .”  – Miami Times

 

All my mother’s lovers, by Ilana Masad (CL) – Sex, gender, identity, family, relationships

Chemistry, by Weike Wang (CL) – Chinese, chemistry, life paths, goals, discoveries

Golden child, by Claire Adam (CL) – Trinidad, twins, families

Boy Erased, by Garrard Conley (CL only) – Identity, homosexuality, conversion therapy, Christian faith

Lot: stories, by Bryan Washington (CL only) – Inter-racial parents, community, race, class, sexuality

“Bryan Washington gets Houston down on the page in a way I haven’t seen before; the city, in his hands, is revealed in all its strange and righteous glory, a fresh sense of youth that’s a pleasure to read. Bryan is a thrilling new voice in American fiction and one to watch.”
—Amelia Gray, author of 
Isadora and Gutshot

 

 

 

 

 

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