Monday, November 17, 2014

Nonfiction November - Week 3

This week, Nonfiction November is hosted by Becca from I'm Lost in Books (aren't we all Becca, aren't we all). She's got us thinking about diversity in books and she asks:
What does “diversity” in books mean to you? Does it refer to book’s location or subject matter? Or is it the author’s nationality or background? What countries/cultures do you tend to enjoy or read about most in your nonfiction? What countries/cultures would you like nonfiction recommendations for?
Diversity has been a big topic lately, and an important one. I have personally seen the lack of diversity in my own reading and want to make a change. I think of diversity as all of the above. I don't think just reading books set in different countries/cultures is the same than if you also read books by people from different countries/cultures.

I realized that before I began paying attention, most of my "diverse" books were nonfiction. Now, don't get me wrong, there is a huge benefit to reading diverse nonfiction books and I'm not going to stop. It just struck me that there is something wrong with reading diverse books simply to "learn." I want to read diverse books that are fiction and I can fall into the story and see myself at the protagonist, someone who may be different from me but that I can relate to, or maybe not but I am going make an effort to add more diversity to my fiction reads.

When I was in college, I minored in Women's Studies and the classes were heavy with civil rights and diverse books. I fell in love with some of the books that I read in those classes.

The bookshelf where my favorite books from college live.
It wasn't until looking back at my bookshelf that I realized most of the books were fiction. Weird...that's just what I was looking for. One class in particular, "Chicana/Latina Women Writers," rocked my world and I would love to read more nonfiction in that category.

Starting with the new year, I will be taking full advantage of this spreadsheet from Book Riot and paying more attention to the books that I read. In the meantime, I will be stacking my TBR list with all kinds of options.


Shannon @ River City Reading said...

Yay for spreadsheet tracking! It's one of my favorite things...I've been using a spreadsheet similar to the Book Riot one for a few years (it has a few added categories) and it has really made me more aware of my own reading.

Becca said...

I am wanting to use a spreadsheet to track my reading better starting in January. (It felt awkward starting in the middle of the year when I decided I wanted to do it.) I actually have the opposite problem in that most of my diverse reading has been in fiction. We will have to recommend some to each other!

Anonymous said...

I use a spreadsheet to track EVERYTHING in my life that I affectionately call "My Rainman spreadsheet" :-) of course there is a tab devoted to books and reading. :-) good luck!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I think the key to reading more diversely is to make sure you have options. If your TBR is full of diverse choices and your shelves have diverse options, it makes it easier to choose them than if you shelves are full of white authors. That's my strategy anyway -- I'll know once I crunch some numbers in December how well it's working :)