Diverse Reading Lists

The book blogging community just loves making lists! There are weekly memes surrounding themed lists and the List feature on Goodreads continues to be extremely popular. Lists are always fun but one of my absolute favorite uses for lists in this community is the way folks use the format to building reading lists for diverse authors. Publishing houses disproportionately purchase books from white writers. The small margin of BIPOC that do make the cut are poorly advertised in comparison to their white counterparts. One of the greatest powers in the hands of influencer communities is to share these books via word-of-mouth and help them grow in popularity.

And it works – I promise! One of my favorite stories is about R. F. Kuang, who relied largely on word-of-mouth for marketing of The Poppy War. Now, four years after the first book’s publication, the entire trilogy is getting another printing. If you want to truly diversify your reading, these lists are great places to start. Reading about the experiences of those different than us builds empathy and understanding. From a logistical perspective, popularity and sales of these diverse books or from diverse authors is a concrete indication we can give the industry to show that these types of books will sell. The change is far too slow coming, but we can do our part to help.

Beyond that, these are also excellent lists curated by excellent bloggers and deserve to be perused!

Latino/a/x/e & Hispanic | Black | LGBTQIAP+ | Asian-American and Pacific Islander | Disability | Mental Health | Native American and Indigenous | Female and Female-Identifying | Additional Identities

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Latino/a/x/e & Hispanic Books

Black Books

LGBTQIAP+ Books

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Asian-American and Pacific Islander Books

Directory: Asian Authors Alliance
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhou

Disability Books

Directory: YA Disability Database

Mental Health Representation

Indigenous and Native American Books

Female and Female-Identifying Books

Even More Identities

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Did I miss a well-curated list or (eek) misrepresent anything above? Please let me know so I can adjust accordingly! Any suggestions of lists I should add can be emailed to TheLiteraryPhoenix@Gmail.com and I will add it to the database.

Thank you and happy reading my friends!

Last Updated: 10/03/2022

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One response to “Diverse Reading Lists

  1. Yaari Felber-Seligman

    Hi Literary Phoenix,

    I was excited to discover your site and appreciate the perspectives you shared on considering disability representation in Lackey’s books. I’ve been rereading some of the classic novels I devoured as a teen and had mixed feelings about the portrayals, such as of Amily in the Collegium Chronicles. For your other comments regarding Lackey, I would though like to suggest you consider adding that Lackey does have several gender diverse characters. (Not sure if her hesitation to write a “trans” character was from earlier in her career or a sense that she couldn’t represent well a human-character’s experience or gender journey, but I did want to give her credit for the characters she did create.). I’d actually argue that she has already written a trans character as I personally define this category broadly. Not that I’m saying all her representations are perfect by any means, but they were significant additions in a period with much fewer neutral or positive mentions altogether. I need to see if I can remember any additional characters, but the one that stuck in my mind was Warrl from a species with 3 genders. Warrl is described as “neuter” but identifies as male and is a key companion to the sword sisters Tarma & Kethry (which my young mind happily read as an asexual and romantic couple, also poly for Kethry has sexual and romantic relationships with various men over her life). Warrl first appears in the 1988 The Oathbound. Whatever her other imperfections or poor interview phrasings, I do think she deserves credit for these LGBTQIA+ representations, particularly given what else was available in the 1980s and 1990s – Best, Yaari (they/them)