Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular blog meme, Top Ten Tuesday. This week they ask us to share lists on:
July 21: Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters (example: features minority/religious minority, socioeconomic diversity, disabled MC, neurotypical character, LGBTQ etc etc.)
This week’s list is being typed up with two bandaged fingers so I am not responsible for typos… Damn newly sharpened knives. Anyway. This week I wasn’t sure I could pull off a list, and I am going to cheat a bit and include some non-fiction books, I was pleased to discover that I do upon occasion venture into books that promote diversity in one way or another. Actually I think the paranormal and sci-fi genres do a pretty good job of including characters that are different from societal norms; you after all writing about different species or characters set in strange settings already. To be honest though I usually don’t notice if a character’s ethnicity or cultural background when reading a story, unless of course the author feels the need to beat the reader over the head with it… I do support diversity in characters though, and feel there should be more of them, after all we all want to be able to read about characters that we can identify with.
Ten books I’ve read that helped to expand my horizons.
- Star Trek has long been known for its support and portrayal of diverse characters, it was Roddenberry’s goal to show us a world where we had left behind all the problems society is currently facing. In this series I was surprised and intrigued to find my first gender neutral or combined character, Burgoyne 172. I’m not sure exactly all the details yet, s/he has just been introduced in book two.
- This paranormal author has done an excellent job of giving readers a diverse cast of characters in her world. She also does it flawlessly. Natural and not like she is trying to force the issue. She just gives us a paranormal romance that features characters of all sorts of different ethic backgrounds rather than just one token ethnic character.
- This is a fun series or duo of reads. The main character has a form of Autism and is a great example of how someone with a disorder may approach life differently, but in the end isn’t that different from you or I in our needs and wants.
- This is another series that does a nice job of featuring a cast of characters that revel in their diversity. She doesn’t sugar coat anything though. Take this book for example, Ms. Ward shows us the struggle it can be to live differently from those around us. This is also the first book I’ve read featuring a gay relationship, something I should probably do more of.
- Ms. Ward gets two spots on this week’s list as the first book in this series features a lead character that is physically handicapped. Wrath is known as the Blind King, and we get to see his struggles throughout the series as he comes to terms with that and finds a way to overcome and adjust to limitations.
- This book was an interesting look at artificial intelligence and society.
- This book is not my favorite by this author. None of his books are happy reads, but they do an excellent job of showing Westerners what it is like to live in a strict Islamic society.
- This book deals with a sensitive topic for most Turks, Armenian Genocide. It also deals with other sensitive topics, rape and incest, but it has been a long time since I’ve read it to go much deeper than that. I applaud the author for writing a book dealing with a topic that is so heavily disputed in her society. It is the artists among us that hold up a mirror to show society what it truly is or could be.
- Now to my two non-fiction selections. I picked this book because it deals with the topic of reincarnation. Something that I personally believe in, but tends to go against most people’s ideas of what happens after we die.
- I’m child-free by choice. A choice that is often NOT represented in romance books. It is also a choice that is questioned and criticized quite often by people whose business is none of. I wish there were more characters in fiction that represented my choice to not have children, but the books featuring characters like that are often hard to find. (Hint: please suggest titles in comments if you know of them)
There you have my list this week. I look forward to seeing what titles you all pick for your lists.