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Diversity and Nonfiction: What does “diversity” in books mean to you? Does it refer to a book’s location or subject matter? Or is it the author’s nationality or background? What countries/cultures do you tend to enjoy or read about most in your nonfiction? What countries/cultures would you like nonfiction recommendations for? What kind of books besides different countries/cultures do you think of as books of diversity?What does “diversity” in books mean to you? Does it refer to a book’s location or subject matter? Or is it the author’s nationality or background?
There is so much talk right now about the need for diversity in reading. (Search "We Need Diverse Books") The movement is really about the large scale need for diversity on our bookshelves in both libraries and personal collections. I think it's a good movement and an important undertaking to diversify literature/reading.
However, I feel that we can all read diverse books on the small scale. Just pick up a nonfiction book about a person or a place that is different from your own life/home/situation and you have diversified your reading. I will never know what it is like to be a poor black man in Baltimore, MD, so reading The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore introduced me two lives that are greatly different from mine.
What countries/cultures do you tend to enjoy or read about most in your nonfiction?
I can honestly say that I'm limited in this type of reading. Since I'm just really starting to branch out in my NF reading, I'm starting out by testing the waters. I've enjoyed reading about different paths to success of people of similar or different cultural backgrounds than my own. One that stands out is Sonia Sotomayor's My Beloved World. While ethnically we have a lot in common, there is very little that we shared in life experiences.
I do like to read about different cultures, but a lot of what I have read relates to how different cultural backgrounds conform to life in the United States.
What countries/cultures would you like nonfiction recommendations for?
I would love recommendations of cultural books based in their home countries. The parts of I Am Malala that I enjoyed the most are when she described what life was like and the history of her country. It's a great way to learn about other places and people when told from a native instead of reading about it from a Western view point.
What kind of books besides different countries/cultures do you think of as books of diversity?
Books that share different lifestyles. I think we need to expand into reading about people from different religious backgrounds, different sexual orientation, and those who live alternative lifestyles (like those doomsday preppers).