Tag Archives: Diverse Books Reading Challenge 2017

Monthly Forecast: August 2017

Image Description: A large metallalic sculpture of a Balloon Dog, in a dark-orange colour, being presented inside of an art gallery

Contemporary Fiction: Contemporary literature is literature with its setting generally after World War II. So, everything post WWII is counted, except for non-fiction.

This is the monthly forecast for August, which includes three reading challenges I probably won’t complete, I doubt I’ll get through all the books listed here but I’m going to make an attempt. I’m also participating in another Reading Challenge, why? Because I Hate myself (details down below).

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge:
The Australian Women Writer’s Challenge is a reading challenge to help promote books written by Australian women. Here’s my reading recommendations for the month:
~The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier
Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

~My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

RMFAO Genre Challenge – Contemporary:
~The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

~Paper Towns by John Green
Amazon| Book Depository | Kobo Books

Diverse Books Reading Challenge 2017 – Non-Western Setting:
~The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Read At Midnight#TheReadingQuest Sign Up
My Character Class: Mage
Bingo Sheet:
Image Description: A bingo sheet template with dark purple background and two layers of bingo-blocks. The first layer, the outer layer of bingo blocks are lavender blocks, there are nine blocks in the centre which are a lilac colour, all the blocks have prompts for books written in the squares. In each corner of the bingo-chart are an illustrated avatar of the character classes (in a clockwise direction): knight, Bard, Rogue and Mage.
CW @ Read, Think, Ponder did the amazing illustrations. Aren’t they adorable? The avatars are freaking adorable :D.

My List of Books
~First Book In A Series:
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
Format: Ebook

~A Book Set In A Different World:
Dreadnought by April Daniels
Format: Ebook

~A Book Based on Mythology:
The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer
Format: Audio-book

~A Book That Contains Magic:
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Format: Paperback

~A Book With A One Word Title:
Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
Format: Ebook

~A Book With Two Authors:
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Format: Paperback or Audio-book

~Time Warp – A Book That Has Been Set In The Past or The Future:
On The Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
Format: Audio-book

~Expansion – A Short Story or Companion Novel:
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Format: Ebook

~Multiplayer – Buddy Read A Book:
Honestly… IDK what do for this one.

~Open World – Free Choice:
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Format: Ebook

~Mini-Game – Graphic Novel or Short Story:
Bleach – Volume 1 by Tite Kubo
Format: Paperback

~Grind – A Book With 500 pages:\
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Format: Paperback or Audio-book

~Respawn – Read a Book You DNF:
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Format: Ebook

~Animal Companion – Book With an Animal Reference in the Title:
Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
Format: Ebook

Out on Good Behaviour by Dahlia Adler

Image Description: The book cover of Out on Good Behaviour by Dahlia Adler. The cover has two white women with brown hair, cuddled up together, face to face, on a checked picnic blanket. The woman on the left is wearing a scarf and a coat, while the other woman is wearing a black shirt with plunging neck line that reveals two rose tattoos on both sides of her chest.
Title: Out on Good Behaviour (Book 3 in the Radleigh University series)
Author: Dahlia Adler
Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and WordPress Blog
Publisher: Self-published via Smashwords
Format and Price: Ebook at $3.61
Rating: 4 out of 5

About The Author:
Dahlia Adler is an Associate Editor of Mathematics by day, a blogger for B&N Teens by night, and writes Contemporary YA and NA at every spare moment in between. She’s the author of Under The Lights, Behind The Scenes, Just Visiting, and the Radleigh University series, as well as over five billion tweets as @MissDahlELama. She lives in New York City with her husband and their overstuffed bookshelves.

About The Book:
Frankie Bellisario knows she can get anyone she sets her sights on, but just because she can doesn’t mean she should—not when the person she’s eyeing is Samara Kazarian, the daughter of a southern Republican mayor. No matter how badly Frankie wants to test her powers of persuasion, even she recognizes some lines aren’t meant to be crossed. But when Frankie learns she’s been on Samara’s mind too, the idea of hooking up with her grows too strong to resist. Only Sam’s not looking for a hookup; she wants—needs—the real thing, and she’s afraid she’ll never find it as long as Frankie’s in her head.
Forced to choose between her first relationship and losing the girl who’s been clawing her way under her skin, Frankie opts to try monogamy…under her own condition: 30 days of keeping things on the down low and remaining abstinent. If she fails as hard at girlfriending as she’s afraid she might, she doesn’t want to throw Samara’s life into upheaval for nothing. But when neither the month nor Frankie’s heart go according to plan, she may be the one stuck fighting for the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.

General Observations:
~Diverse Books Reading Challenge 2017 – Pansexual Main Character: Frankie is an openly pansexual character, where as Samara is a closeted lesbian who (at the beginning of the novel) isn’t comfortable with coming out just yet because of her conservative parents and conservative friends back home in North Carolina.

~Character VS Plot: This is a book with a primary character focus, with a heavy emphasis on relationships and how those relationships affect other people. As a result, this novel has very little plot, and when there is a plot moment, it’s almost anti-climatically resolved. The element the author did well was the great friendship-bonds between Frankie, Lizzie and Cait.

The scenes with the three of them feel genuine and they were amusing to read. Lizzie and Cait have no problems intervening with Frankie when they think it’s appropriate (and it usually is) but they also know when to give Frankie space so she can figure things out for herself. Frankie’s friendships with other women is why I rated this book four stars instead of three.

~Sweet and Fluffy: On the Sliding Scale of Romance VS Smut, this books sits more towards the romance end of the spectrum. That might sound as though this book is devoid of smut, this is not true, there is an adequate level of smut, it’s just this novel tends to spend most it’s time focusing on “What did she mean when she said X?” introspective moments.

I enjoyed reading those chapters were Frankie and Samara were honest with each other and told each other directly what they wanted, because Frankie and Samara spent most of the book dancing around the subject. This inability to “Spit It Out” is entirely human and understandable, however, it got irritating towards the end.  

I don’t enjoy a lot of introspective character moments and, if an author is going to use introspective a lot, it should involve both romantic parties. I enjoy alternating POV’s, like a chapter from Frankie’s perspective, and then one from Samara’s perspective, instead the novel is entirely from Frankie’s POV. I would have preferred to read both points of view.

All in all, a sweet and fluffy character-driven romance with a good supporting-cast of characters and a strong emphasis on friendship and mutual support. If readers want to make Reading Recommendations of other books with pansexual MC’s written by pansexual authors, please feel free to let me know in the comments section down below.

Available For Purchase: Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo Books

Monthly Forcast: June 2017

Image Description: an image of a bookshelf filled to over-full from an unknown library. The books displayed on the shelves are a mixture of reference books in paperback and hardback formats of various sizes, colours and languages.

This is the monthly forecast for June, which includes three reading challenges I probably won’t complete, I doubt I’ll get through all the books listed here (especially since I need to finish my Novel Outline for Volume II: Orion by the end of June), but I will at least attempt to eliminate a few books that have been on my TBR pile for a long time. If you’d like to join me, and read along as well, let me know in the comments section down below.

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge:
The Australian Women Writer’s Challenge is a reading challenge to help promote books written by Australian women.

Image Description: The book-cover of Damned Whores and God's Police. The cover features a white woman with shoulder-length brown hair and 70's style aviator glasses, there is a yellow filter over the cover with the title and author text in white.Damned Whores and God’s Police by Anne Summers
Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Image Description: the book cover of Reckoning: A Memoir by Magda Szubanski. It's a head and torso photo of Magda Szubanski, whom is also wearing round black glasses, a black long sleeved shirt and leaning against a doorframe.

Reckoning: A Memoir by Magda Szubanski
Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

RMFAO Genre Challenge – Non-Fiction:
The monthly theme for the RMFAO Genre Challenge is Non-Fiction, I’ve chosen Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano and The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher.

Image Description: The book-cover of Whipping Girl by Julia Serano. The cover of the book is simple in design, it's got a solid red background with the title text and author text in a large white sans-serif font, between the the title and the author's name is a yellow box of text with read writing, the text is as follows Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano
Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Image Description: The book-cover of The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. The background is red, while the foreground contains a close-up, side-long image of Carrie Fisher dressed as Princess Leia Organa (from the movie Star Wars) with a pen through one of her coiled buns of hair. The title and author text are imposed on top of the picture.The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Diverse Books Reading Challenge 2017 – Sexuality and Gender Identity:
Sexuality and Gender Identity books are LGBTQIA+ books (books about them and books written by them) and I decided to pick Out on Good Behaviour by Dahlia Adler and The Stillwater Files: Asylum by K. A. Cook.

Image Description: The book cover of Out on Good Behaviour by Dahlia Adler. The cover has two white women with brown hair, cuddled up together, face to face, on a checked picnic blanket. The woman on the left is wearing a scarf and a coat, while the other woman is wearing a black shirt with plunging neck line that reveals two rose tattoos on both sides of her chest.Out on Good Behaviour by Dahlia Adler
Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo BooksImage Description: The book-cover of The Stillwater Files: Asylum by K. A. Cook. The book-cover has a stained-brown colour (much like an old map) with a large black vintage style key placed between the title-text and the author-text.The Stillwater Files: Asylum by K. A. Cook
Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo Books

Monthly Forecast: May 2017


Image Description: the image appears to the cluttered surface of a desk. There’s an old vintage style map and on top of the map is a pair of  black thick-rimmed glasses, three black and white photos and two journals. One journal is closed and one journal is open to a blank page with a pencil resting on top.

I take part in multiple Reading Challenges. Why? Mostly because I think I’m more capable than I really am and because I thought having extra structuring for my blog would help me keep to regular reading schedule and a regular posting schedule. My brain is not in a happy place now and I’m sure this post and my more recent posts show it. I’m sorry about that. I’ll attempt to improve but at this point, I’m seriously contemplating shutting down my blog for a while, because a Book-Blog without book reviews isn’t justifiable.

RMFAO Genre Challenge: May – Classic and/or Literary
The monthly theme for the RMFAO Genre Challenge is Classic or Literary. The definitions of a “Classic” or “Literary” book are as follows:

Classics: A classic stands the test of time. The work is usually considered to be a representation of the period in which it was written; and the work merits lasting recognition. In other words, if the book was published in the recent past, the work is not a classic.
A classic has a certain universal appeal. Great works of literature touch us to our very core beings–partly because they integrate themes that are understood by readers from a wide range of backgrounds and levels of experience. Themes of love, hate, death, life, and faith touch upon some of our most basic emotional responses.

Literary Fiction: Literary fiction is a term that has come into common usage in the early 1960s. The term is principally used to distinguish “serious fiction” which is a work that claims to hold literary merit, in comparison from genre fiction and popular fiction. The name literature is sometimes used for this genre, although it can also refer to a broader category of writing.

So I decided I would read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Why? Well mostly because I lack subtlety, the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, strap yourselves in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Besides, I’ve meant to read these two books for a while and I figured now was an appropriate time. Here’s links to the books if you’re interested in reading along (or not, it’s cool, you do you).


Amazon
| Book Depository | Kobo Books

Image Description: The Peguin Classics book-cover of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It features an angry looking brunette-haired woman wearing a black vintage-style dress with a white collar and white cuffs, she is cradling to her chest a brunette-curly-haired infant in white swaddling clothes and/or a white sheet.
Amazon
| Book Depository | Kobo Books

Diverse Books Reading Challenge 2017:
Another reading challenge with a monthly theme and the theme for May is Religious Diversity. I probably won’t get around to reading these, but if I could make a couple of recommendations, they would probably be And I Darken by Kiersten White and If You Could be Mine by Sara Farizan. Here’s links to the books if you’re interested in participating in the Diverse Books Reading Challenge:

And I Darken by Kiersten White | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

If You Could be Mine by Sara Farizan | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Book Haul:
I bought some books in April and March (too many books to be honest, really need to curb my impulse shopping habit) and, as it’s my birthday in April, I was also given some books as well. It’s a long list, so I won’t include book-cover pictures, but I will divide the books up into formats.

Audio-book Format:
On The Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

I have been trying to read Otherbound and On The Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis for a while now, I have both books as Ebooks already, but since I’ve entered into a reading slump, it’s been difficult for me to read Ebooks and Paperbacks alike, however, I’ve had some success with Audio-books in the past, so I figured I’d give this one a go.

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer | Amazon

I was surprised and happy to find an audio-version of The Dark Wife available from Audible, as I’ve tried to find a physical copy of this book for ages, I can only find a Kindle version for it and as I’m not a big fan of Amazon Kindle, I decided I’d go with the Audio-book format first and check out the Kindle version later.

Ebook Format:
The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

I’m certain I read this when I was in primary school, but I can’t remember for certain, oh well, I’ll just have to try to read it again.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about this book, so I figured I’d suss it out for myself, especially since it’s a Diverse Book.

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Apparently, Jasper Jones is an award-winning novel by an Australian author, I’ve never heard of this book before I saw an episode of The Weekly with Charlie Pickering interviewing Hugo Weaving about the movie-adaptation (he stars in the movie) and they talked about small community scapegoating practises. They made the book sound interesting enough to check out.

The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

The Things I Didn’t Say is a book about selective mutism and it’s written by an Australian author, so I was very intrigued, I think it’s a mystery as well, so it ticked all the boxes for me.

Out on Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler | Amazon | Kobo Books

I purchased this book for the Diverse Books Reading Challenge as it has an openly Pansexual Main Character and, thus far, the book has been interesting. Apparently, this is Book 3 in the Radleigh University series, but you don’t need to read the other two books for this one to make sense. The characters do a fair amount of “Explaining stuff that has happened in previous books”, for me this is usually an annoyance but the author has handled it better then most.

The Room Mate by Kendall Ryan | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

The Play Mate by Kendall Ryan | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

The House Mate by Kendall Ryan | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Kobo Books were doing a “Kendall Ryan’s books are super cheap right now” special, so I ended up buying three books in her Roommates series. Yes, I am aware these books look a little trashy, oh well.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

As it turns out, I’m a big fan of Carrie Fisher’s memoirs, so I waited until this one came down in price before I bought it (even though I was itching to get it as soon as possible).

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Everyone in the Book Blogging and Book Vlogging Community has been gushing over this book, so I decided to check it out, the premise is interesting, the cover looks nice and it’s only 155 pages long (in Ebook format anyway), so I figured I’d see what all the fuss was about (yes, I occasionally read things because of Book-Blogger Peer Pressure, I have never proclaimed to be without flaws or weaknesses).

Paperback Format:
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

My partner bought this for me as a Birthday Present. I’ve never heard of this author before, although I’ve heard of her earlier book A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, however, I suspect that my partner bought this novel because of a Burn Notice inside-joke.

So that’s it, I’ll try to post more regularly (but I doubt it will happen), let me know in the comment section if you’ve read any of the books mentioned and what you thought about them.

Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher

Image Description: the book-cover Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher. In the background is a light-pattern that resembles the Aurora borealis, in the foreground is a plastic doll of Princess Leia with the palms of her hands covering her eyes.
Imsge Description: the book-cover Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher. In the background is a light-pattern that resembles the Aurora borealis, in the foreground is a plastic doll of Princess Leia with the palms of her hands covering her eyes.
Title: Shockaholic
Author: Carrie Fisher
Social Media: Twitter and Goodreads
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Format and Price: Ebook at $11.99
Rating: 5 out of 5

About The Book:
Bad news… for anyone who thought Carrie Fisher had finally stopped talking about herself. This time, the electro-convulsive shock therapy she’s been undergoing is threatening to wipe out (what’s left of) her memory. But get ready for a shock of your own. Not only doesn’t she mind paying the second electric bill, she loves the high-voltage treatments. It’s been a roller coaster of a few years for Carrie since her Tony- and Emmy-nominated, one-woman Broadway show and New York Times bestselling book Wishful Drinking. She not only lost her beloved father, but also her once-upon-a-very-brief-time stepmother, Elizabeth Taylor, as well as over forty pounds of unwanted flesh, all the while staying sober and sane-ish. And she wants to tell you, dear reader, all about it. She wants you to someday be able to remind her how Elizabeth Taylor settles a score, how she and Michael Jackson became friends, or how she ended up sparring with Ted Kennedy on a dinner date. And she especially wants to preserve her memories of Eddie Fisher. Shockaholic is laugh-out-loud funny, acerbic, and witty as hell. But it also reveals a new side of Carrie Fisher that may even bring a pleasant shock your way: it is contemplative, vulnerable, and ultimately, quite tender.

General Observations:
~Diverse Books 2017: Alongside Wishful Drinking, I’m nominating this book for the “Main character with an Invisible Disability” category. In this memoir, Carrie Fisher talks about her struggles with addiction, which is connected to her adult-diagnosis of Bi-polar. It was comforting to read about Carrie Fisher’s struggles because, in a way, they were familiar and foreign at at the same time. We need more people like Carrie Fisher in the world, more people who are willing and able to talk about their struggles with mental health because the more we talk about our struggles, the more accessible they become, and gradually our collective stories will destroy the stigma of mental health.

~Expansion Pack: Wishful Drinking kind of gives a basic overview of things, Shockaholic goes into more details on some of the significant events in Carrie Fisher’s life, like waking up next to her white-republican-gay-friend and the sequential drug-addiction problems and, unfortunately, when it comes to addiction, sometimes you have to get to really bad place before you realise something needs to change. Fortunately Carrie Fisher was able to get the help she needed and it eventually lead her to pursue Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and hence the name of the title. Carrie Fisher also uses her book to dispel some of the myths surrounding Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), acknowledging her own previous bias towards it, but she also talks about some of the side-effects as well, such as problems with short term memory.

~Right In The Feels: Her chapters that feature her friendship with Michael Jackson and her relationship with her previous step-mother Elizabeth Taylor were amusing, interesting and insightful, however, it was the chapters that focused on her relationship with her father Eddie Fisher (who she cared for in his later years until he died) was the one that had me tearing up. It was bitter-sweet that Carrie and Eddie were able to reconnect and have the relationship Carrie always wanted with her father later in life. There’s an especially touching moment in the book when Carrie starts talking about how she has a recording of her father singing preserved in her phone, that way she’ll always be able to remember.

In conclusion, just go read it, it’s highly entertaining and you’ll whizz straight through it (I certainly did).

Available for Purchase: Amazon | Audible | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Image Description: A pink and purple coloured button with the text ‘Read Diverse Books 2017’ in white text with the word ‘Diverse’ written in rainbow coloured text. there is also the white outline of a clip-art picture of a laid open book
Image Description: A pink and purple coloured button with the text ‘Read Diverse Books 2017’ in white text with the word ‘Diverse’ written in rainbow coloured text. there is also the white outline of a clip-art picture of a laid open book

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Image Description: the book-cover of Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Title: Wishful Drinking
Author: Carrie Fisher
Social Media: Twitter and Goodreads
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Format and Price: Ebook at $13.99
Rating: 5 out of 5

About The Author:
Carrie Frances Fisher (1956 – 2016) was an American actress, screenwriter and novelist, most famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy.

About The Book:
In Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher tells the true and intoxicating story of her life with inimitable wit. Born to celebrity parents, she was picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars when only 19 years old. “But it isn’t all sweetness and light sabres.” Alas, aside from a demanding career and her role as a single mother (not to mention the hyperspace hairdo), Carrie also spends her free time battling addiction, weathering the wild ride of manic depression and lounging around various mental institutions. It’s an incredible tale – from having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother, to marrying (and divorcing) Paul Simon, from having the father of her daughter leave her for a man, to ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.

General Observations:
~Diverse Books 2017: I’m nominating this book for the “Main character with an Invisable Disability” category. In this memoir, Carrie Fisher talks about her struggles with addiction, which is connected to her adult-diagnosis of Bi-polar. It was comforting to read about Carrie Fisher’s struggles because, in a way, they were familiar and foreign at at the same time. We need more people like Carrie Fisher in the world, more people who are willing and able to talk about their struggles with mental health because the more we talk about our struggles, the more accessible they become, and gradually our collective stories will destroy the stigma of mental health.

~Short and Sweet: The paperback and the ebook version are only 176 pages, I found myself consuming this book rather quickly, which should say something as I’ve been in a reading slump recently and have seriously struggled with motivation to read. I consider Wishful Drinking and Shockaholic to be parts 1 and 2 respectively, they’re both short books (both are 176 pages, which is about the same size as a standard manga volume), and if you liked part 1 but don’t want to continue, that’s okay. But if you want more details on some of the events and experiences that Carrie Fisher brings up in Wishful Drinking, you can continue with Shocaholic, it’s entirely up to you.

~Make ‘Em Laugh: Carrie Fisher had such an amazing sense of humor, I love and truly admire how she could take such pain and misery, and turn it into something worth laughing about.

All in all, it’s a great short read about struggling with mental health and addiction and I think the world can never have too many books like this.

Image Description: an illustrated picture of Carrie Fisher as General Organa (from The Force Awakens) standing on the deck of a space-ship with the cosmos and various planets and galactic-bodies in the background. In the corner of the picture is plain black text that reads
Image Description: an illustrated picture of Carrie Fisher as General Organa (from The Force Awakens) standing on the deck of a space-ship with the cosmos and various planets and galactic-bodies in the background. In the corner of the picture is plain black text that reads “drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra. Carrie Fisher, 1956 – 2016”.

Available for purchase at: Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Image Description: A pink and purple coloured button with the text ‘Read Diverse Books 2017’ in white text with the word ‘Diverse’ written in rainbow coloured text. there is also the white outline of a clip-art picture of a laid open book
Image Description: A pink and purple coloured button with the text ‘Read Diverse Books 2017’ in white text with the word ‘Diverse’ written in rainbow coloured text. there is also the white outline of a clip-art picture of a laid open book

The Diverse Books Reading Challenge 2017: The Devil Is In The Details

Image Description: a title page with the words Diverse Books Reading Challenge 2017: The Devil Is In The Details in rainbow coloured word-art with four red roses in each corner Image Description: a title page with the words Diverse Books Reading Challenge 2017: The Devil Is In The Details in rainbow coloured word-art with four red roses in each corner

One of my biggest struggles with academia was that my essays were perfectly clear to me, the reasoning and structure of the article was obvious. It turns out, this is usually never the case, it usually always turns out to be that that my essays only make sense to me. So, my apologies if my previous instructions seemed confusing and difficult to follow.

I have a great love for the movie Nightmare Before Christmas and I also have a strong emotional connection to Jack Skellington: a being with the enthusiasm of a thousand passionate actors but the common sense of a wet cabbage. I’m so eager to begin a project, I forget the finer details required. This post will hopefully flesh out the Terms and Conditions in greater detail, however, please contact me if there is any need for further clarification.

How To Review

In order to meet the Minimum Standard of Review, participants need to include the following:
-A star rating from DNF (did not finish), 1 star, 2 stars, 3 stars, 4 stars and 5 stars.
-One aspect of the book the reader liked
-One aspect of the book the reader didn’t like or thought could be improved
-Answer the question of “Would you recommend this book to others?”

In order to meet the Maximum Standard of Review
-A star rating from DNF (did not finish), 1 star, 2 stars, 3 stars, 4 stars and 5 stars.
-Three aspects of the book the reader liked
-Three aspects of the book the reader didn’t like or thought could be improved
– Answer the question of “Would you recommend this book to others?”

Pictures and gifs can be used in place of words in a review. Participants can also make video reviews and just talk about the book (maximum video length 10 minutes or under), participants will have to provide a hyperlink to the video. Participants can also make audio recordings of their review (maximum audio track length of 10 minutes or under), participants will have to provide a hyperlink to the audio-recording. If participants have an alternative method of reviewing that I have not mentioned, please feel free to contact me and discuss this alternative method with me. My email is brkyle(dot)author(at)gmail(dot)com

The participant then publishes the review either on their social media platform of choice or goodreads.com, they will then click on the little blue-frog icon below

The blue frog will lead to a separate page where participants will be able to add their link to their review.

Books

Any physical format is acceptable, any format of electronic books (for example: epub, pdf, mobi) is acceptable, the main objective here is to connect the potential reader with the author, so if the review is positive and you want to recommend the book to others, you need to leave a hyperlink that allows people to access the book.

When it comes to purchasing physical books, I tend to recommend purchasing via through Book Depository because they offer free delivery to Australia, but I understand that this might not work for everyone, especially for Indie Authors. Kim raised valid points about accessibility and as along as the potential reader can access the book, that’s what counts.

Due to the complexity surrounding Fanfiction, I will have to exclude Fanfiction as reading material for this giveaway (perhaps I will reconsider this for the next giveaway, but not for this one).

What kind of Disability theme/structure am I looking for in a book?

My personal approach to reading Diverse Books is to look at the genre of the book first, then I consider the Diversity element. I don’t want to read books just for the sake of Diversity, if I do that, I’m going to struggle and argue with myself (“I must finish this book, it has diverse characters in it!” “But it’s so boring!”). I like Diversity Books that have the main characters doing things other protagonists do. Disabled people are just like everyone else and the narrative should reflect that.

Kim also offered some good advice:
“I’d actually look at determining what is and isn’t disability fiction via protagonist: if it features a narrating protagonist disabled in some way, it counts. If if doesn’t and is therefore about The Abled Person’s experience, no. Of course, you’ll get stuff that isn’t written by folk with disabilities and is written awfully – *cough*Garth Nix*cough* but the job of a reviewer is to read that and mark it so others don’t, not to read only great representation.”

So, how I verify that I’m reading a book about Disability that meets that criteria?

Well I’m not sure if I can answer that in a definitive way. Unfortunately it’s difficult to determine what type of disability a book is about (Side Note To Authors: Mention the disability you’re writing about directly in the blurb, I’ve had to spend a considerable amount of time reading through reviews to determine which disability a book is about, I shouldn’t have to do that) let alone make sure a disabled person is the main protagonist.

To be honest, I think that the most I can do is make a list of books, list what type of Disability is featured and let people decide if they’re interested or not. I’ve done some researching and I found out that Corinne Duyvis (one of the founders of Disability in Kidlit) has a Goodreads account and a Bookshelf dedicated to books with Disabled Main Characters:

~Corinne Duyvis’s Bookshelf: Disabled Main Characters

So, I used this bookshelf, as well as some recommendations from other book blogs, to make these two Goodreads Bookshelves:

~B.R. Kyle’s Bookshelf: Disability

~B.R. Kyle’s Bookshelf: Mental Health

Now, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to verify all of the books on the Bookshelves via Disability in Kidlit’s reviews and honor roll and I also haven’t read a lot of them myself. There is also a lot of the books on the bookshelf that are classified as belonging to the Young Adult genre, which might not suit everyone, so I’ve tried to balance out the Young Adult novels with Adult Memoirs, but there’s not much else I can do.

Please check out the links and see if those books work for you, but it’s okay if they don’t or you already have your own book list organised. I’ve spent the majority of today and yesterday working a list of books about disability that have been given the Disability in Kidlit Seal of Approval (if people would like to make suggestions, please do so in the comments section below):

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Category: Disability and Own voices
Disability in Kidlit Review

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
Category: Disability (amputee) and POC main character
Disability in Kidlit Review

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
Category: Disability and Own voices
Disability in Kidlit Review

On The Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
Category: Disability and Own voices
Disability in Kidlit Review

Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Category: Disability (Chronic pain and mobility issues) and GSM
Disability in Kidlit Review

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Category: Disability (cancer) and mental illness
Disability in Kidlit Review

What I Couldn’t Tell You by Faye Bird
Category: Disability (selective mutism)
Disability in Kidlit Review

Reaching for Sun by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
Category: Disability (cerebral palsy),
Disability in Kidlit Review

The Elementals by Saundra Mitchell
Category: Disability (One MC is recovering from Polio)
Disability in Kidlit

When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez
Category: Mental Health (Depression and Suicide)
Disability in Kidlit Review

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank
Category: Disability and Mental health
Disability in Kidlit Review

Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane
Category: Disability (Autistic MC)
Disability in Kidlit Review

Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson
Category: Disability and Mental health (OCD)
Disability in Kidlit Review

Five Flavors of Dumb by Anthony John
Category: Disability (Deaf MC)
Disability in Kidlit Review

Blind Spot by Laura Ellen
Category: Disability (Blindness) and Own Voices
Finding Yourself in a Book: Why I Wrote Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle
Category: Disability (Autistic MC)
Disability in Kidlit Review

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Category: Disability and mental health (OCD and Social Anxiety)
Disability in Kidlit Review

When We Collided by Emery Lord
Category: Disability and Mental health (Bi-polar)
Disability in Kidlit Review

Autism Goes to School by Sharon A. Mitchell
Category: Disability (Autistic characters)
L.C. Reviews: Autism Goes to School (YouTube video)

Diverse Books Reading Challenge 2017 – Disability Booklist (PDF)

Diverse Books Reading Challenge 2017 – Disability Booklist (Word Document)

I know that’s probably considered a short list, but I figured it was a good starting point, these are meant to be guidelines and I don’t want to overwhelm people. I also don’t want to start going into “English teacher territory” of telling people what they should and shouldn’t read, however, these are reviews written by disabled people, with disabled people talking about books written about their specific disability, and I think their judgement of what constitutes as acceptable representation is the standard the publishing industry needs to aiming for.

%d bloggers like this: