Friday, March 9, 2018

Weres Wanna Know: How do you diversify your TBR?

It's Women's History Month, a time of year when we see a lot of  Best [insert genre here] Books by Women. I've seen the statistics and I understand the need for these lists, but it's still so bizarre to me. I almost exclusively read books by women. Not intentionally, but I would guess I read 5 books by men every year. I counted my 2017 list and I only read 2 out of just over 100 total books. (Unless you count Ilona Andrews who is a husband and wife team. Then it's 6.)

So I've definitely got women covered, but I think I only read 4 books by POCs and 2 or 3 by queer authors last year. Again it wasn't intentional, but I should definitely do better. And those are a little trickier to count because I don't usually read an author's bio before I pick up the book. And even if I did, there's no reason the authors need to tell you their sexual orientation or their ethnic background in their bios. (I think the idea that Own Voices is a label you can only assign yourself is kind of profound.)

I was actually surprised when I found out how few POC authors I read last year because I do feel like I read diverse books. For example, one of the things I love about Nalini Singh is how effortlessly diverse her worlds are. And stories about aliens and supernatural creatures are almost always allegories for racism (or some other -ism.) But I want to support new authors and I want the publishing industry to do representation better. So I suppose what I'm looking for is a way to balance it all.

And here's where I need some suggestions. Given that I'm such a mood reader I can never stick to a monthly TBR list and that I don't read a lot of YA, which is where I see the most Own Voices books, how do I do better in 2018? Give me book recs from marginalized authors. Tell me your favorite tracking methods or where you discover diverse books.

How do you diversify your TBR?

We're participating in the 2018 Discussion Challenge.
Check out all the March discussions!

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