Tuesday, September 13, 2016

#DiverseAThon | POC (#diversereads)

I'm not sure how I feel about the list I've collected here. Mostly because I feel like most of them are well known books - also a few that aren't by POC, only have POC characters. Which, of course, there's nothing wrong with, but I definitely have got to read more books with POC main characters. 

I'm currently reading Lightspeed: People of Colo(u)r Destory Science Fiction (Issue #73) and I'm only like 125 pages in but I already highly, highly recommend it. (Last year they did Queers Destory SciFi, which I have read one thing from but plan to read more of). There are, of course, some POC author/characters sprinkled in the other two recommendation posts going up this week so be sure to check out those - I list all the diverse themes in the books, with vague plot ideas, most really nothing (I like going in that way and would rather give people the choice of finding out for themselves).

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz - the MC is dominican, as the author himself is, and I am not sure why I loved it so much? Maybe because none of it was anything I think I'll ever experience? And it was beautifully written, just gorgeous, I am at a loss for words on what else to say I just loved it so much.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson - I mean, do I need to say anything? It's written in verse, I think it's won awards. It's beautiful and just - it's so good. (Apparently the audiobook is also amazing? She reads it herself, so when I reread, I'll probably go that route)

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco - the author is from the Philippines, and the whole book is set around a Japanese ghost story. (One I love) I should add that this is a horror book, YA, and has some creepy moment. I really enjoyed it.

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older - the more I think about this book the more I appreciate/love the crap out of it? It was so different then anything else I'd read in a while, at the time, and it's still so different and original. And I'm a little in love with New York and books set there. Let alone art that is more then what it seems. Author and MC POC, with multiple other POC as I remember (I don't remember any white characters but that might be wrong? Or it might of not said). (Also, shallow note,  the cover is fucking gorgeous).

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson - do I need to even say anything else? If you haven't at least read the first volume of this comic and you're a comic reader - what are you doing with your life?

The Wicked and the Divine  - an ongoing comic series. With various POC and queer characters, with an awesome story and gorgeous artwork. If you've been around, you've probably heard about this - if not, go forth and check it out.

Young Avengers - a comic series about this group of teenagers that become known as the Young Avengers. There are characters of color, queer characters. They're young and trying to keep some people safe - it's just so damn good

(Both The Wicked and the Divine and Young Avengers are by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie - who are obviously amazing are writing diverse casts of characters that people fall in love with)

March: Book One, Book Two, and Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell - if you haven't heard of this series of three graphic novels then I have a treat for you. John Lewis is a US Congressman, who also was a key figure in the civil rights movement. And these three books hold those stories. They made me angry, they made me proud (of their ability to be non-violent, that looks like the hardest thing in the world), and shed a lot of tears. A lot of tears. I haven't read book three yet, it just came out recently, but I have no doubt it'll make me feel all those things again, I'll have kleenex ready.

Showa: A History of Japan, 1926 - 1939 by Shigeru Mizuki - if you don't recognize the authors name, that's fine, but he apparently is known as the master of manga. These are illustrated and written by him - translated by Zack Davisson. There's four volumes and they cover a period of Japanese history I knew pretty much nothing about. They cover major events while still focusing on Mizuki's life, starting when he was a young child. I've only read this one so far, but it was incredible. Sadly, Mizuki passed away in 2015 but he's done something truly incredible. I can't wait to read more of this series and the rest of his work.

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol - so it's been a while. But the author is russian, as is the MC, and it has a heavy focus on immigration and then feeling/being different. And it was incredible. I don't want to say anything that isn't true, as it's been a while, but I did rate it 5/5, as with pretty much everything I recommend. 

Gene Luen Yang - I've read Boxers & Saints and American Born Chinese from him and both blew me away. I didn't know what to expect going into either, but they were incredible and gorgeous. There's more of his that I haven't read, which I want to, but I highly, highly recommend the ones I have.

Oh! I almost forget that manga is japanese. It's been a long, long week (month, year, life). Of course, I've talked about Fruits Basket multiple times. It's incredible, heartfelt, silly, adorable, and will make you cry - check it out. Also I've started Dimension W (the anime was so fucking good, the manga is looking to be just as good, I've only read volume 1 but 1-3 are out in the US). And also Deadman's Wonderland, which is not for the faint of heart - it's dark, gorey, strange, intense. But so damn good. And weird as fuck. If you read manga, let me know your favorites - especially if it's Fruits Basket. (You never forget your first)

I've got a good handful of books by POC authors I'd like to get to - also about, of course - so hopefully that'll happen sooner rather then later. If you've got any recommendations yourself that I shouldn't be missing out on - don't be shy to drop them in the comments. Or let me know your thoughts on these books. If you've read them already, if you're planning on picking one (or two, or three) up you haven't read yet. 

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