Once again I’m forgoing a discussion topic but will instead feature two discussions, a review, and an article I recently read that really stood out to me. All of them touch on diversity topics in some way and are all interesting reads. I highly suggest that you visit the blogs to read the posts yourself.
First up is Whitney’s (Brown Books and Green Tea) wonderful review of Fresh Off the Boat, a memoir written by restauranteur Eddie Huang that was made into a TV sitcom earlier this year. I placed it on my TBR soon after the book was published in 2013, but moved it up my TBR list after reading Whitney’s review, which made me reflect on my experiences as an immigrant and as a child of immigrants. I’m curious to know more and would like to experience the book for myself. Whitney’s review mentions the abuse Huang experienced and pressure from his family to always do better.
I then read Cristina’s (My Tiny Obssessions) discussion on the problems international readers encounter when trying to access certain books. I was aware of some of these difficulties (such as lack of certain translated titles), but Cristina also discusses price variations as well as low library selections and lack of certain books in major bookstores abroad (well, in Portugal and Spain, where Cristina has lived). I suggest you take a peek at her discussion if, like me, you’re also unaware of the limited access some international readers have to certain books.
I took a look at Vicky’s (Books & Strips) weekly wrapup and got two great recommendations:
“Maybe we will stop failing so badly at true diversity when we stop thinking that all we need to do is talk about it.” — Marlon James
The first was an article by Marlon James, published on LitHub, about why we should stop talking about diversity. Basically he’s saying that all talk and no action doesn’t help to improve things. I over simplified there so I highly suggest you read the article to see why he wants less talk about diversity at such a crucial time (thinking of the crazy presidential race between Trump and Clinton as well as police shooting Black men and low diversity in publishing). I see what he means, but I don’t fully agree that we should stop talking about diversity. However, I do like his suggestion at the end for a panel on diversity with no minorities on it, thus pushing those on the panel to discuss why the absent voices are needed.
“Because the other problem with diversity, is that it works with segregation extremely well. In fact it gives liberals in particular the opportunity to pay lip service to a thing that they may be unable or unwilling to actually practice.” — Marlon James
I then read a blog post by Naz at Read Diverse Books on the value of using the term Latinx. This was an insightful read for me because I’ve never heard of the term prior to reading the post. Naz explains why it’s best to use this term and interviews members of the Latinx community to see what the term means to them and how they identify themselves.
So there you have some food for thought for your Sunday consumption.
What I’m reading this weekend:
I’m currently juggling 5 books at once. I’m buddy reading Robin Hobb’s Ship of Magic with Emily (Embuhlee liest). So far it’s okay. The story focuses on people who rely on the sea for their livelihood and it’s set in the same world as the Farseer trilogy.
I also picked up Rick Yancey’s The Curse of the Wendigo, the second book in his Monstrumologist series, to get into the Halloween spirit. I don’t celebrate the holiday, but I do like the emphasis on all things magical and scary so I might watch a couple horror flicks too.
Parasites: Tales of Humanity’s Most Unwelcome Guests by Rosemary Drisdelle is a nonfiction book on parasites that I think fits the Halloween mood because parasites are scary. The book discusses the positive and negative benefits of parasites.
I’m listening to the Harry Potter books on audio book, one of the best ideas I’ve had this year, and am now on the Prisoner of Azkaban.
And I picked up Ruth Ozeki’s A Time Code yesterday on my way to an event. I needed a small book that would fit in my clutch. Luckily, I had this. A Time Code is part of a book series by Restless Books called The Face, where each author pens a short memoir based on their face. In A Time Code, Ozeki jots down her thoughts while observing her face for three hours.