Fun Stuff

November IndigAThon- Celebrate Native Heritage Month with a read-a-thon focused on Indigenous Voices.

Readers, I’m so excited! I was browsing twitter and I can across this awesome read-a-thon for November. It is hosted by Brody and Michelle, both indigenous people who have booktube channels. I’ve been meaning to look into more stories by indigenous voices and this is great motivation to really get started! Please support indigenous voices! Below is the bingo sheet as well as the books I’ve chosen for this read-a-thon.

You can find Brody’s explaination of IndigAThon here.

You can find Michelle’s explaination of IndigAThon here.

There is also an IndigAThon twitter page that you can follow so that you can find some cool recommendations and chat with some people. You can find that here.

MY TBR for this read-a-thon

SF/F: Trail Of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse . I own this book, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Guess I will now! 🙂

The group read: THE BREAK by Katherena Vermette

Nonfiction: Me Sexy by Drew Hayden Taylor

South American: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia . I’m already read it, but it counts right? It’s SOOO good!

Intersectionality: Johny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

Romance: Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith

On Rez: Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko. I read this in high school in my honors English class years ago. It was really interesting read and one of the first books I read by an indigenous author

Historical fiction: Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

Movie Night: Empire of Dirt starring Cara Gee

Paranormal: Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson. Every time I read the summary of this book I get excited to read it. Right up my alley.


So, those are my choices for this read-a-thon. You might notice that if you look at the bingo sheet currently with how I’m looking at in I can’t get a bingo (though I get close), but that’s okay with me. I really just want to expand my reading and introduce myself to #ownvoices indigenous stories. As I said, I am so ridiculously excited about this and I hope you join everyone and myself in this great idea!

lists

Top Five Anthologies to Get Excited About

Hello lovely readers! If you’ve been keeping an eye on my reviews for this blog you will notice that I only post reviews for novels. This is my preferred reading material and I tend to stick with. However, this year I’ve found some anthologies that I think I going to be well worth the read. Note: I haven’t read most of these so I’m going on summary alone.

  1. How long ’til Black Future Month by N. K. Jemisin. I’ve been watching to read this author’s works for a long time, but just haven’t gotten to it. This collection focuses on African Americans who are put into fantastical situations. The summary of this anthology is what really sold me on it.
  2. New Erotica for Feminists by Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor, and Carrie Wittmer. I was intrigued by the title and once again drawn in by the summary. A retelling of some old stories, but also answers to some common questions. It’s cooler than what I make it sound
  3. Black Enough: Stories about being young & black in America by Ibi Zoboi, Tracey Baptiste, Coe Booth, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Jay Coles, Lamar Giles, and Leah Henderson . As someone who works with a lot of young people I’m always interested in reading about their experiences. I’ve heard lots of good things about this one.
  4. Proud by Juno Dawson, Dean Atta, Fox Benwell, Caroline Bird, Tanya Byrne, Moira Fowley-Doyle, Simon James Green,and David Levithan . A collection of stories and poetry by lgbtq+ authors about the theme of pride
  5. Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by Tess Sharpe, Jessica Spotwood, Brandy Colbert, Zoriada Cordova, Andrea Cremer, Kate Hart, Emery Lord, and Elizabeth May . diversity and witches? I’m sold.
Reviews

Sizzling- A Review of Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Overall Enjoyment: 5/5

World building: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Diversity: 4/5

Personal Summary: Lei is of the paper caste, completely human in a whole full of hybrids and demons. Life may not be easy, but it is the only life Lei has known. That all changes when a group of demons abducts her to take her to the palace as one of the king’s paper girls. At the palace Lei is faced with new challenges, but also finds a love that strengthens her is ways she didn’t realize were possible. Together they may just be able to defeat the king and gain their freedom.

Review

I fell completely in love with this story about five pages in. This is the first book I’ve read with an f/f pairing that I’ve really enjoyed. It was a sizzling romance my readers and it was glorious.

The world is set in a Malaysian-inspired fantasy world full of humans, hybrids, and demon. I really enjoyed this world. There were smatterings of history throughout the book that really pulled everything together, but never got to the point of overwhelming. What I think I really enjoyed were the cultural nuances of this book. This book is full of its own cultural practices and beliefs and while I can see how some of it is based on real world cultural practices it didn’t take away any of my enjoyment. If you want a non-European fantasy world this book is a really great choice.

Characterization. I had mixed feelings about this rating. Lei and Wren had great characterization. I would say most of the characters that are more than just passing characters do, but sometimes I wanted a little bit more history from some of them. Many of them have a rough back story that’s alluded to, but never fully explained that I was hoping for.

Diversity. Full of women of color and are main characters are lesbians in an Asian-inspired world. It was beautifully done.

So, if you want a fantasy book featuring a diverse setting featuring two strong and brave lesbian lovers I couldn’t recommend this book enough for you. You can purchase it here.


Have you read this book yet? What did you think of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Authors, Friday Feature

Friday Feature: Tomi Adeyemi

Picture taken from Instagram with permission of the author.

Tomi Adeyemi, what a lady! She is 25 year old Nigerian American who graduated from Harvard with a degree in English literature. Before writing a bestselling novel Tomi studied West African mythology and culture. Tomi Adeyemi’s first published book was Children of Blood and Bone. She is currently working on the sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, which should be released June 4th of this year.

What’s So Great About Her?

Tomi Adeyemi is a woman on a mission.


I was determined to write an incredible YA story, with adventure and imagination like nothing people had ever experienced. And my protagonist was going to black.
And you know what? It wouldn’t matter.
Because when you have a good story, it doesn’t matter who the story is about. 

Or more specifically,


So that is why I write. The dream is the same, but the purpose is different. It isn’t fame or success; it is a burning passion to tell a story about someone who is different and to force readers to fall in love with what is different from them.


To give you a little bit more background on those statements, Adeyemi was greatly affected by the internet backlash about Rue being cast as a young black girl in the movie version of The Hunger Games . She was particularly upset when people stated they were less affected by Rue’s death specifically because she was black. Now, even I remember hearing about the Rue controversy and being upset that people could be so outraged simply because the casted actress was black. But, Adeyemi didn’t just get upset. She took that hurt and used it to craft a best-selling novel. She wrote to give representation to girls who may not have felt like they had it before. You can’t get motivation better than that. She is everything I want in an author and you should definitely check her out. She even offers free writing advice and courses on her website! You can check it out here.

The quotes came specifically from this blog post. All other information came from Toni Adeyemi’s personal website.

Friday Feature

Upcoming Friday Features


Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

Hello beautiful readers,

February is just around the corner and along with it I’m going to begin what I like to call Friday Features. What are Friday Features you may ask? Well, let me tell you. February is Black History month. In celebration of this every Friday I will be doing a feature on a black fantasy writer. Now, I realize that there are way more than four black fantasy writers out there, but I hope this will begin to introduce you to new, amazing authors.

When I thought up this idea I took a look at my book shelves and I must sadly admit that I had maybe one or two black authors within all the books I owned and those weren’t even fantasy books. I thought that was odd considering the sheer number of fantasy books I own, but I also thought it was telling. I want more diverse stories and if you’re here you probably do to, but I wasn’t yet actually purchasing any of them. I have since bought at least one book from each of these authors that I will feature. If we want more diverse stories and more diverse authors then we must support those stories and authors.


Do you consider diversity when you purchase any of your books? I’d love to hear from you!

wonder wednesday

Wonder Wednesday: Diversity in YA vs Adult Fiction

Hello everyone and welcome to Wonder Wednesday. A discussion post to talk about things I and maybe you have been wondering about.

The question of the day: Have you noticed a difference in the amount of diversity in YA fiction VS adult fiction? Is there really a difference at all?

I’ve always spent quite a bit of time in libraries and book stores, but since starting this I’ve been looking with a bit more of a discerning eye I’ve noticed something odd. There seems to be a lot more diversity in YA fiction then in adult fiction. Have you noticed this too? Am I crazy? Is it maybe just my beloved fantasy genre hasn’t reached a good point yet? I have so many questions floating in my head about this. Please share your thoughts! I’d love to know what you think.

lists

Reading Challenges Focusing on Diversity

So, as I wander around many reading blogs I’ve noticed a large interest in reading challenges. I’ve never really participated in reading challenges outside of the goodreads reading challenge for a yearly book reading goal. I’m a fairly picky reader and I find most challenges oddly restrictive. I found some ones though that really sparked my interest. The main goal of this blog is to highlight diversity in books particularly fantasy. These reading challenges below are ones that I have found that work within that goal.

1. Year of The Asian Reading Challenge by CW from The Quiet Pond (thequietpond.com),Lily from Sprinkles of Dreams (sprinklesofdreams.wordpress.com), Shealea, and Vicky from Vicky Who Reads (vickywhoreads.wordpress.com). This is the challenge for you if like me one of your goals this year is to make sure you’re reading more diversely. The goal is to read as many books by asian authors as you can. Now, there are levels to the challenge so don’t stress out if you have a ton of other reading goals or anything like that. They also come with cute icon which you can see below. If you’d like to join please check here.

I hope to read 11-20 books for this challenge.

2. Reading Women Challenge. This challenge was put together by ReadingWomen. It encourages people to read different books either about or by women. You can find it below. If you want more information check here.

3. Read Harder by Book Riot. This challenge a based on challenging yourself to really expand your reading horizons! There are any parts of this list that encourage people to read more diversely. You check it out here or see the list below.

  1. An epistolary novel or collection of letters
  2. An alternate history novel
  3. A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018
  4. A humor book
  5. A book by a journalist or about journalism
  6. A book by an AOC set in or about space
  7. An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America
  8. An #ownvoices book set in Oceania
  9. A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads
  10. A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman
  11. A book of manga
  12. A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character
  13. A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse
  14. A cozy mystery
  15. A book of mythology or folklore
  16. An historical romance by an AOC
  17. A business book
  18. A novel by a trans or nonbinary author
  19. A book of nonviolent true crime
  20. A book written in prison
  21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator
  22. A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009
  23. A self-published book
  24. A collection of poetry published since 2014

So, what do you think? Are you participating in any of these challenges? Are you participating in one that isn’t on this list? I’d love to hear from you!