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February 2017


“Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.”

Toni Morrison, The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993

“Doctor Who: You want weapons? We’re in a library. Books are the best weapon in the world. This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!

(from Tooth and Claw in Season 2)”

Russell T. Davies

This month, arm yourself with diverse reading.

How diverse is your reading?  Are you reading about people who are different to you? Are you watching films and documentaries about diverse subjects and ideas.

We need diverse books because we are all different and more diverse reading can help us see our communities and environments differently.  It can make us more understanding of others.

This month is #diverseread, but we hope that for every other theme this year you will be making them a #diverseread as it makes all reading more interesting.  It is also a great idea for watching and playing too.

When did you last read:

  • a horror book
  • a nonfiction book about science
  • a collection of essays
  • a book out loud to someone else
  • a children’s book
  • poetry
  • a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel
  • a book originally published in the decade you were born
  • listen to an audiobook
  • a book over 500 pages long
  • a book under 100 pages  
  • a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender
  • a book that is set in the Middle East  
  • a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia
  • a book of historical fiction set before 1900
  • the first book in a series by a person of colour
  • a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years
  • a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie
  • a book which has been translated from another language (and preferably written in the last ten years)
  • a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes
  • a book with a main character that has a mental illness
  • a book with a character with a disability
  • a book by an Indigenous person
  • a book by someone from your town?

Thanks to Bookriot for their list which was used as the basis for the above one.

For fiction, do the characters you read about reflect the diversity of what is possible and the diversity of who is in the world as well as who is in your community? For non-fiction are you sure you are getting the whole story?

There are some wonderful young adult books to read…
2005 Powwow

In the USA there has been a lot of coverage about the need for diverse books, all readers need diverse books, and diverse watching and playing.

There is much to explore in fantasy, …and if you are still not sure what to tryGoodreads presents a brilliant range of diverse reading too.

There will be a Twitter discussion on 28 February starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am BST.  Note this is a staggered discussion.

Use the tags #diverseread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of #diverseread, so others can join in the conversation too.

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