18 Diverse Books to Look for in 2018

Written by Kiran Gokal

It’s a new year and that calls for changes: new tastes, authors to discover, and a new reading goal on Goodreads that, secretly, we’re all praying we reach. For every reader and book lover out there, there is a certain goal—whether it is new to you or not—that one should aspire to realize, and that goal is to read more diversely. Reading about people, cultures, and sexualities different from your own will not only broaden your knowledge but will also foster empathy, understanding, and respect, which is something the world always needs more of. In 2018, we must advocate for diversity and that includes consciously reading stories about characters different from us. Even as a Pakistani-American Muslim woman, I need reminding to be aware of what I’m reading and to read more diversely every now and then. It’s easy to get lost in the buzz of the new popular novel that hit the shelves and to only want to read books you know you’ll enjoy. But I hope you’ll take the risk with me because the feeling of reading a truly amazing novel about a character or an experience that you normally would never encounter or have the opportunity to experience otherwise is one of the most inspiring and profound moments I have had in my life as a reader.

To get you started, here are a few diverse titles coming out in the new year. As important as it is to read about diverse people, it is just as important to read diverse authors who know their experience the best. Furthermore, the list compiled here strives to incorporate a manifold of stories, characters, and authors of all different walks of life and genres. Enjoy and happy diverse reading!

  1. Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
  2. All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy    
  3. Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester
  4. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh, Elsie Chapman, Melissa de La Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Renee Ahdieh, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, and Cindy Pon
  5. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
  6. Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai
  7. If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim  
  8. Not The Girls You’re Looking for by Aminah Mae Safi         
  9. Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao  
  10. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu     
  11. America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
  12. Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
  13. A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee
  14. Go Home by by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Viet Nguyen, Alexander Chee, Chang-rae Lee, Marilyn Chin, Mia Alvar, Kimiko Hahn
  15. Mouths Don’t Speak by Katie D. Ulysse
  16. The Court Dancer by Kyung-Sook Shin  
  17. The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar  
  18. Cult X by Fuminori Nakamura, Kalau Almony (Translator)

 

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