Reading Diversity

As you load up your book bags and reading devices for the holiday weekend, remember this also a good time to explore titles to nominate for LibraryReads.

My own resolution is to read upcoming books that fall under the awkward and difficult-to-define term “diversity.” I want to hear new voices and read about cultures I’m not familiar with. As a resource, we’ve created EarlyWord “Diverse Titles for LibraryReads Consideration,” drawn from several sources, including GalleyChats and titles being featured at the upcoming Book Expo and ALA Annual.

We’ve included notes to help you find titles you may want to try. Below are some I’ve loaded onto my Nook (or will, as soon as I get around the pesky authentication issue):

Dawson, Erica, When Rap Spoke Straight to God

This will definitely take me outside of my own reading predilections. It’s a book-length poem, something I wouldn’t read unless I was led to it, which Jennifer Egan did by picking it as a book she is excited about in an interview with New York.

Zoboi, Ibi, Pride

As one of the few librarians who is not a fan of Jane Austen (sorry, so many shameful admissions in a single post), a book based on Pride and Prejudice would not grab me. This one is different, however. The story of a black family dealing with gentrification in present day Brooklyn, the opening line sells it, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when white people move into a neighborhood that’s already been a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up.” As I sit here in Brooklyn, listening to the sounds of dozens of new buildings under construction and old ones under renovation, this appeals to me. In addition, the author’s previous book, American Street, was a 2017 National Book Award finalist in Young People’s Literature.

Publishers Marketplace, Book Buzz Fall/Winter 2018

While I’m trying to figure out how to get DRCs on to my Nook, this serves as a partial solution because it downloads easily from the B&N site. While excerpts can be frustrating, those from short story collections are complete stories, so they are more satisfying.  I was intrigued by the collection Friday Black by a student of George Saunders, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. The title story takes the idea of Black Friday madness to a new, surreal level.

What are you reading? Have you identified any titles not on our list? Let us know in the comments section, below.

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