A book by an author of a different ethnicity than yourself

I see from the stats today that a whole bunch of people checked in hoping for a post. Sorry, sorry! It’s finally here, and I’ve got the missed one on the burner now. I’m still adapting to life in Europe and in hostels generally. Forgive my learning curve! 

So, this carefully worded category was meant to get folks to read people who did not look like them. I figured it would be an easy score for marginalized folks, because they could read one of surfeit of widely available white authors. And for the white folks, perhaps it would get them out of their bubble. This had two unforeseen outcomes: people who thought I meant the characters and not the author, probably; and people who decided that nationality differences were good enough. Some of the entries hit both of these misinterpretations. Don’t worry, ya’ll still got reading credit.

Together for Kwanzaa
by Juwanda G. Ford
It’s a kids’book explaining Kwanzaa. It’s alright, that’s all.

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day
A book with pictures

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick
Why do sighted, literate people base their reviews of picture books on the audiobook version? Especially if it isn’t even an audio description version? Ya’ll have clearly missed half the book for no justifiable reason.

Possible Other Categories
A book with pictures
A book you can read in a day (One reviewer says she read it in an hour)
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book involving a fire
A book based on a real person (a little)
A book with a character’s name in the title
A book featuring a profession you are unfamiliar with (horologist!)

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
Ah, eye dialect, my old frenemy. It can be effective, it can border or cross over with writing in a vernacular. Or it can reassert a position of relative privilege, such as a white author only giving eye dialect to black characters even when a white character is described as having a strong accent.

Possible Other Categories
A book with a two word title
A book about a difficult topic
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book about death or grief
A book from a book club (so many book clubs)
A book set in the city (yes, Jackson is technically a city)

The Haters
by Jesse Andrews
Beyond being YA about bandjazz camp kids, there’s some serious believability issues here. Why is an older Manic Pixie Dream Girl so into two younger teen boys? Where is the Amber Alert? What teenager gives up their phone? What band gets this many gigs?!

Possible Other Categories
A book with a yellow spine
A book with a two-word title

The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
Oh hey, a book by a black woman from Jackson, and yes, it uses what could be understood as eye dialect, or as vernacular. Far less heavily than The Help. Huh. What about that.

Possible Other Categories
A book about a modern problem
A book about death or grief
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not )
A book about a difficult topic

The Abyss Surrounds Us
by Emily Skrutskie
Lesbian pirate YA romance. So that might count as this week’s bodice ripper, although it’s YA so a bit tamer than the real deal.

Possible Other Categories
A book involving a heist or theft (or kidnapping…)
A book about a villain or anti-hero (keyword: pirates)
A book with a queer/lgbt+/quiltbag protagonist
A book set at sea

Sula
by Toni Morrison
Have you read this yet?

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day
A book with a character’s name in the title
A book about a villain or anti-hero
A book involving a fire
A book from a book club

Shadowshaper
by Daniel Jose Older
YA urban fantasy, featuring Latinx characters. Wait, is Latinx currently the correct term? I’ve been out of the appropriate loops for a bit and we are in a time of cultural upheaval so I’m probably behind. Do let me know!

Possible Other Categories
A book involving a mythical creature
A book set in the city (New York, New York!)

Rivers of London
by Ben Aaronovitch
Can we call this an urban fantasy love letter to London? Because it might be, much as Ankh-Morpork is a fantasy love-letter to the same.

Possible Other Categories
A book with water in the cover art
A book with a yellow spine
A book set in the city
A book involving a mythical creature

Pyramids
by Terry Pratchett
Speaking of Discworld! Discworld meets Ancient Egypt. This is called winning in my little universe.

Possible Other Categories
The next book in a series
A book with or about time travel (does time recycling count? Even I don’t know!)
A book involving a mythical creature
A book set in the city

Moon Called
by Patricia Briggs
Still hate the covers of this series. Although, I can completely relate to this pullquote: “I have a degree in history. That’s why I’m an auto mechanic.” Hello, degree in Japanese, I’m a… electrician/millwright/Film worker.

Possible Other Categories
A book involving a mythical creature
A book set in the city
A book with a two word title

Lovecraft Country
by Matt Ruff
One (white) reviewer dismisses this book out of hand because it’s neither Lovecraftian enough nor written by a black person. Now, there’s a fine line between asking whether it is Ruff’s story to tell, and saying that white people can’t write black characters in historical settings or write on racial themes. The latter is a mistake. So, I choose to turn to what relevant people think. Misha Green and Jordan Peele are behind the upcoming HBO adaptation. Alex Brown thought it was great. So y’know, maybe it doesn’t take space where it shouldn’t.

Possible Other Categories
A book that takes place in the city (partly)
A book with a two word title
A book involving a mythical creature
A book about a difficult topic

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
by Mindy Kaling
So, memoirs. There’s the celebrity memoir, like this, meant for fans of the celebrity. You can’t say much about them unless the celebrity has a particularly strong legacy. Then there’s ordinary people ones, which presumably are about their interesting topic. I was trying to read one recently relevant to my current Ireland adventure, but it devolved into constant complaints about rain and sausage, which… why did he go to Ireland then?!

Possible Other Categories
A book based on a real person
A book you can read in a day
A book by an Asian author (a bit of a fudge, as she’s Indian-American)
A book set in the city

Injection vol 2
by Warren Ellis
Was someone just reading a lot of Warren Ellis? I feel like he’s turned up a lot.

Possible Other Categories
The next book in a series
A book with pictures
A book you can read in a day
A book involving a heist or theft
A book involving a mythical creature

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
I didn’t realize there was an HBO movie of this book. It’s… not really good. Oh well. At least thanks to the book, and I guess the movie, Henrietta Lacks will not be forgotten again.

Possible Other Categories
A book with a character’s name in the title
A book based on a real person
A book about true crime (arguably)
A book involving a heist or theft
A book involving real scientific knowledge
A book about a difficult topic
A book referenced in a movie or tv show (Annihilation)
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first

The Illegal Gardener
by Sara Alexi
Ah right, weird almost-romance about a Mary Sue and her undocumented gardener. But hey, cats!

Possible Other Categories
???

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
The original!

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book involving a heist or theft
A book about a villain or antihero
A book set on a different planet
A book mentioned in a movie or TV show
A book with an ugly cover (it’s not pretty…)
A book you can read in a day
A book about a modern problem
A book recommended by someone else in the guild
A book featuring a profession you are unfamiliar with
A book that is also performed on the stage

A French Girl in New York
by Anna Adams
squints at author’s name Hmmmm, oh wait, she’s legitimately bi-national French-American. That’s alright then. Surprised it hasn’t been optioned by the Disney Channel, this is right up their alley.

Possible Other Categories
A book set in the city (multiple!)
A book about a profession you are unfamiliar with (singer, producer)

Fledgling
by Octavia E Butler
This book is the book that made me never try to read Butler again, which I recognize is a bit of a travesty. But seriously. I just can’t read this book.

Possible Other Categories
A book about a difficult topic (at least unlike some books, you know within 2 chapters whether or not you can cope with the content)
A book involving a mythical creature

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
by Haruki Murakami
I’m still laughing at this bingo card I found in the reviews.

Possible Other Categories
A book with a character’s name in the title
A book about mental health
A book set in the city

The Middle Heart (1996)
by Bette Bao Lord
I think I’d only heard of Lord’s children’s book, and I hadn’t even read it. I should probably amend that, because even with the stereotypical bestseller vague-booking jacket, it sounds interesting.

Possible Other Categories
A book by an Asian author

Before We Were Free
by Julia Alvarez
Oh children of GoodReads, if you want people to do your homework for you, you’re going to have hide the obvious teacher prompts a little better than that. I guess it’s good kids have more age-appropriate books to choose from. When I was in middle school, I cut my teeth on Beowulf and The Odyssey and it probably wasn’t altogether good for me.

Possible Other Categories
A book about a difficult topic
A book you can read in a day (unless you’re the intended audience)
A book set in a country you are unfamiliar with

Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood
by Greg Rucka et al
I actually forgot the Huntress in the DV-verse until she showed up in Arrow. She was kind of weird character there. As is so often traditional in American comics, an excuse is made to retcon and re-explain a character’s origin. Also, the cover would be fine, except I can’t unsee the perfect circles that are apparently her breasts under the latex? Armor? What even?

Possible Other Categories
A book with a character’s name in the title
A book with pictures
A book you can read in a day
A book set in the city

100 Years of Solitude
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This book and I, we still have a special relationship. It turns up like a bad penny, and I keep not finishing it. I almost don’t want to finish it now, it would change things between us.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first (Farewell to the Ark, 1985, Terayama)
A book involving a heist or theft
A book set in a country you are unfamiliar with (Colombia)
A book based on a real person
A book with characters who are twins

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