As a book blogger I’m pretty certain you love reading but when you were growing up did you find the books you wanted/needed?
That’s actually a really good question and not one I’ve been asked before. I suppose yes and no. I’ve always been an avid reader to the point that I was reading so many books a week that my mum decided to stop buying them and to just point me in the direction of the library because she just couldn’t keep up lol!
Having not had the smoothest of childhoods I looked for solace in-between the pages of a book and in the adventures of the characters. I had a particular penchant for diaries with young girls my age who were making their way through school, growing up and going on journeys of self-discovery through various adventures. Unfortunately there weren’t that many so I moved onto full on escapism through historical books, I was particularly big fan of Valerio Massimo Manfredi’s work, that of Wilbur Smith and Christian Jacq. Ancient history and mythology became my sanctuary. From there the trip to all variations of YA seems quite short, although it did involve a lot of books, good recommendations, and wonderful memories.
How easy are diverse books to find?
It can be fairly easy or tricky depending on your definition of diversity, how “diverse” you wish your book to be.
Rebellion and variation from what is perceived as normal can be found in every line if you take the time to look, sometimes you need to search behind the initial message of a tale, on other occasions it’s right there pure and simple. But, in my humble opinion, as we are all wonderfully diverse and so are our books. So to answer your question it can be incredibly easy and sometimes sitting right on the shelf in-front of you plain and simple. On other occasions it can be entwined behind the ramifications of a story and its implications. Whether you choose to search for it and find it is somewhat up to the reader, but I firmly believe that those who look for it will find it.
Why is good representation in books important to you?
I’d say that all aspects of representation of a book are not just important but vital to any book because they are what create and build the world around you, give life and dimension to every character and take you by the hand into a story you can’t leave until you see it to the end.
How each author does it is incredibly subjective and watching/reading each variation is wonderful. It never ceases to amaze me how sometimes so few words are enough to have you rapt and make you feel like you’re in the middle of it all, living every second.
A good book will pull you in, and drag you through its story until you finally find out how it ends so you can resurface back to your own reality and hopefully a little bit better and enlightened for it. An amazing book will never let you go, and even though you return to your own life it stays with you for the rest of your life, and it might even change you, just a little bit.
What do you think we as book bloggers/reviewers can do to support diversity in publishing?
As a book blogger and reviewer I feel it is my privilege and duty to explore, experiment and push the boundaries of the books I read and review. Not only that but I think that to some degree book bloggers and reviewers have some modicum of influence over how a book could be perceived, interpreted etc. but with a bit of luck it could be what puts a beautiful and yet undiscovered story on your radar. Some of the best diverse books I have come across were from other bloggers and reviewers such as myself, without whom I never would have made some wonderful discoveries! Sometimes all it takes is an enticing and grabbing review to put that seed of thought that maybe that book might be more for you than you think. As others have done for me, I think it’s my duty to help bring forward into the spotlight and support these very same books so that others, like myself, may discover and enjoy them, and in turn encourage others to do the same. But, this feeling to share with others what I have discovered isn’t just born of a sense of duty, it is equally founded upon a burning wish to share something amazing and enlightening, that has most likely changed me and made me a better person, and maybe just a little more perceptive. And why would I not want to share this with everyone else?!
I’m not saying that we should throw these awesome books in people’s faces and strongly recommend they read them (that may slightly back fire). But I do think that discussing our feelings, reviewing the books, opening up discussions with others of how they have possibly enriched you, made you laugh, cry, opened your mind to something you’d never thought of, heck they might have even pushed you to make the crazy and wonderful idea to climb Mount Everest lol. But I do think that voicing our feelings and giving these lovely authors another platform from which to speak from would be a lovely way to open and reach more minds, and touch more lives.
I’m also giving you a free platform to talk about anything. GO:
Eeeeeeer….. Eeeeeeeeeer….. Eeeeeeeeeeer…. **feels awkward from the spotlight** Now I feel like Chandler and am compelled to fill the awkward silence with sad jokes lol
Would it be really boring if I simply freely talked about more books?
I know I’m a book blogger and therefore of course I love books. But to be completely honest I cannot stress enough how much books are amazing in all shapes, sizes, lengths, forms, formats and genres. They cheer you up, make you laugh, make you cry, give you a new perspective on life, they teach you almost everything you’ll ever know, they let you travel from the comfort of your sofa and they are always there for you no matter what. A few of them will be some the best things that happen to you, and one might even change your life.
Favourite diverse book of the year (so far?)
(You can name more than one, share the love)
Ooooooh! Where do I begin!!! So many titles, so many books!!! How does one choose?! Well the first one that springs to mind probably has to be Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriott. I loved the re-telling of the beauty and the beast fairy tale with a few darkened twists. Another one, or maybe I should say several that I really liked was Summer Days and Summer Knights. The others that I have also thoroughly enjoyed were The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, and Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. I also recently re-read Keren David’s When I was Joe which at every read seems to inspire new thoughts. Shall I continue? There are simply so many!!!