It seems like I can never resist a reading challenge!
Although I’m a bit challenged-out courtesy of the madness that was November, I am quite tempted by Diverse December, hosted by the brilliant Naomi.
#DiverseDecember is a month of reading and recommending books by Black, brown and indigenous writers. It is an opportunity to discover new books, to consider our reading habits and to make a permanent change in what we choose to read.
How do you join in? Read and recommend at least one book by a Black, brown or indigenous writer during December. Use the hashtag #DiverseDecember so your recommendations can be seen and shared.
You can also follow the campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. On those channels, over the next week, Naomi will be highlighting some of the publishers, organisations and individuals who’ve been doing this work for some time.
I decided to have a quick look through the 746 and see what I could read to take part in the challenge. I have a few tempting options…
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
I had this lined up for Novellas in November, but didn’t quite get round to it. It has become a kind of modern classic and I like the sound of the episodic nature of the narrative.
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
This was another Novellas in November almost ran. I haven’t read Baldwin before and I really need to rectify that.
Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
This has been on the 746 for far too long and given that I haven’t read any Oyeyemi before I’m not sure quite what to expect from this story of a writer and his muse.
Sag Harbour by Colson Whitehead
The only other Whitehead I have read is Zone One which I quite enjoyed. I like the sound of this coming-of-age novel set over one long summer holiday.
Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga
Set in Mumbai, Last Man in Tower explores a battle of wits between a property developer who wants to tear down an old tower block and a retired schoolteacher who refuses to leave his home.
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Edugyan’s novel tells the story of Hieronymous Falk, a jazz musician who goes missing in 1940 after the fall of Paris. I’ve heard great things about this one and it’s time I got round to reading it.
I also have a few newer books which I’ve been planning to read and which would fit in nicely with Diverse December:
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Vanishing Half has such a great premise, following the lives of twin black sisters, one of whom is passing as a white person. I hope this lives up to the hype!
Such A Fun Age by Kelly Riley
Another very hyped novel, this explores what happens when a black woman is apprehended for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she is actually babysitting.
Negroland by Margo Jefferson
I adored Jefferson’s short book ‘On Michael Jackson’ and am looking forward to this memoir of her life growing up as a member of the black elite in Chicago.
Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
Akhtar’s critically acclaimed novel blends fact and fiction to tell an epic family drama set in a post 9/11 America.
Leila by Prayaag Akbar
I bought this in India a few years back, simply because I loved the cover! This debut is set in a dystopian future where a mother searches for her lost daughter.
The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
I read Black Water Rising quite a few years ago and enjoyed it very much and I like the sound of this thriller, set in a plantation house museum.
As I was planning a quieter month in December, I’ll only be reading a few of these. Are there any you have read and would recommend?
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!