Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Diverse Reads!

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They feature a different top ten list every week. This week's topic is books that celebrate diversity!

1. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson - I really, really loved this book about a transgender character. David's transformation and his longing to be a girl was heartbreaking. Such an important book to read.

2. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan - I just finished this one and it was hands down one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It is about two boys trying to break the Guinness World Record for longest kiss (over thirty two hours). Oh . . . and it's narrated by a chorus of the generation of men who have died from AIDS. Loved this!
3. Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen - This is one of the best books I have read this year, hands down. In this book, the main character has to come to terms with the fact that her father is gay and the fact that he is dying of AIDS. I cried buckets with this one.
4. Salvage The Bones by Jesmyn Ward - If you haven't read this one, do it! This is a fictional story of a lower class black family in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. The daughter is fourteen and pregnant and the family actually raises pitbulls to fight other dogs. This book is so incredibly heartbreaking, yet riveting. 

5. What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi - I just read this one and it was so different and so good. It was the story of a teen pregnancy told from the father's perspective! I had a few issues with it, but I was still so happy with it overall. 
6. Black Iris by Leah Raeder - I will use any excuse to rave about this book. The main character is bisexual and dealing with bullying and the death of her mother, who was mentally ill. Laney is about as messed up a character as I have ever seen, but I still love her.
7. Shanghai Girls by Lisa Lee - I loved this book way more than I thought I would. It starts in 1937 China where two sisters (Pearl and May) are sold by their father to men who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides. The story tells of their journey from China to America and continues with them trying to make a life for themselves in America. I really, really, REALLY loved reading the story of these two girls.
8. I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios - There are just not enough books that deal with PTSD, but this book does it well. Josh has PTSD and he has lost his leg in the war. I loved the realistic way his issues were addressed and loved the romance between him and Skylar.
9. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines - This is another book that I was surprised to like as much as I did. A young black man is an unwitting accomplice to a liquor store robbery that leaves three men dead. He is then sentenced to death. His aunt and godmother convince another young black man (a teacher) to visit Jefferson in jail and give him some pride before going to the electric chair. This one was so sad. 
10. Tell The Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt - One of my favorites from last year! This book takes place during a time when people knew very little about HIV and were very scared of it. When June's uncle dies from the illness, she reaches out to his partner (also dying of the disease) and forms a friendship, despite the wishes of her parents.

Bonus:

11. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moscowitz - Okay, so I just finished this one today (after this list was already drafted), but I just had to include it. It was so incredibly good. A girl who doesn't feel she is white enough, straight enough, gay enough, thin enough, etc, etc. I absolutely loved this book about a girl trying to make her own rules and form her own identity. 


What are a few of your favorite books dealing with diversity? I really want to know!

32 comments :

  1. So many good books, as always Cynthia! :-) I really want to read What You Left Behind. Thank you for stopping by My TTT!

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    1. Thanks Chrissi! What You Left Behind is awesome. :)

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  2. I completely forgot about Two Boys Kissing! I really enjoyed how that was written. And the storyline was incredibly unique as well! The cover for Skyscraping looks amazing. :O If it's your favourite read of the year so far then I definitely have to check it out. :D

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    1. Thanks Laura. Yes, you must check out Skyscraping for sure. It was so beautiful.

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  3. I've been wanting to read The Art of Being Normal for so long now, it seems incredible!! I'd never heard of Shanghai Girls before but it sounds amazing, thanks for adding another book to the TBR haha
    Great List :)

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    1. Thanks so much bookenthral! My TBR has already grown by a lot by looking at everyone else's lists, so it only feels right to return the favor. :)

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  4. Tell the Wolves I'm Home may be my all time favorite book. It is up there. Didn't even think about it as a diverse book but you're so right! So many other ones on here I want to read - Great list!

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    1. Thanks Grace! That was one of my favorite books read last year. So good.

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  5. Two Boys Kissing sounds very interesting.

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    1. Heather, it really is. And it's so beautiful.

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  6. I haven't read ANY of these yet! What is up with me? Lots of them are on my TBR, though, and this week's topic is inspiring me to read them soon!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I know Nicole, everyone's lists are inspiring me to read all these diverse books ASAP!!

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  7. The Art of Being Normal Sounds Great, definitely going to check it out. Awesome Post!!Check out my Top Ten Tuesday

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    1. Thanks Tori. It was such an awesome book!

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  8. Oh my love love love this list. I haven't read any of these books and now they are all going right on my TBR pile! The Art of Being Normal looks really really really good.

    My TTT http://mommywantstoread.blogspot.com/2015/07/top-ten-tuesday-books-weing-igth.html

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    1. Melissa, I really hope you get to The Art of Being Normal and you love it as much as I did. It was so good!

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  9. Oooh, I haven't read any of these but quite a few are on my TBR! Awesome.

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  10. This list is full of titles I want to read! And I will - your recommendations are always so good! <3

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    1. Thanks Ramona! All of these titles are amazing. :)

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  11. So many good ones! I really want to read Shanghai Girls. Sounds fascinating.

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    1. Thanks Bookmark Dragons. Shanghai Girls is so good. I hope you read it!

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  12. Tell the Wolves I'm Home. <3 My heart. My heart.

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    1. Oh yes Joy, one of my favorite books I read last year. It was so good!

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  13. Skyscraping!! I haven't read it, but I really want to read it. It looks like one I would love! I loved the looks of Tell the Wolves I'm Home too. :)

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    1. Thanks Kaitlin. I really hope you read Skyscraping soon. It was so good! And Tell the wolves I'm home was one of my favorite books from last year. You must read both of them! Ha

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  14. Fabulous list! I want to read Skyscraping ASAP! And What You Left Behind, goodness, I have wanted to read that one for SO LONG- it is almost out, right? I can't take it anymore ;) Tell the Wolves I'm Home sounds so interesting, I will have to check that out. And so much love for I'll Meet You There!!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Shannon, oh you must read Tell the wolves I'm home! It was one of my favorites from last year. So good. And I keep pushing Skyscraping on everyone. Hope you read it soon. :)

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  15. ARG I am so angry I didn't buy Skyscraping when I spotted it the other day! It looks amazing. And The Art of Being Normal is new to me, so I am adding that one to my wish list as well.

    Thank you for the recommendations!

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    1. Thanks Lyn! I hope you read both Skyscraping and The Art of Being Normal soon. The art of being normal has not gotten nearly enough love, in my opinion. I am not sure why because it was so good.

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  16. Wow, I can't believe I haven't read a single one of these. They sound terrific. I love that so many different kind of people and experiences are visible in books today. It is so important to find yourself reflected in literature, AND it is one of the best ways to build empathy, to read from another's point of view.

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    1. Thanks so much Wendy. I have been trying really hard to diversify my reading this year. I don't want to JUST read about people that are just like me. :)

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