Diverse Book of the Month: The Vision Behind the Reviews

In just a couple hours, my new monthly book review feature will be going live! Before it starts, I just want to clarify a couple of things about the format and the mission of the reviews.

The books I read and review will be chosen based on the authors who write them and the topics they explore. Sometimes I’ll pick titles that match the month (for example, reading a book that deals with sexual assault during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which is April here in the US).

Generally I will aim for “Own Voices” books — that is, books written by LGBT+, non-white, non-Christian, or female authors who write about characters like themselves, whether those characters tackle issues specific to their community or not. But if there is a book that is written by, say, a white, straight, CIS male that is receiving praise for its diverse cast (even if the protagonist is a white, straight, CIS male), I might review something like that as well. Just not as often.

Genre doesn’t matter. I will read anything from fantasy to realistic fiction, from nonfiction to memoir, children’s books to YA, and adult and beyond. Just about the only genres I tend to avoid are “self-help” and “cookbooks” (the latter being because I suck at cooking, so I’m not great at testing recipes — the former being because I loathe self-help books).

I am not going to rate the books I review in this blog feature. Rather, I’m just going to provide some basic information, provide a little personal input, and then leave it up to you to decide whether you want to give it a chance. I’m not a huge fan of starred ratings, because everyone has different opinions. A book that I love might be someone else’s least favorite book in the world! So first I’ll go through the objective stuff — a summary, genre, what makes the book diverse, trigger warnings. Then I’ll segue into the Pros and Cons of the book (whether the writing style is strong/unique, features that some readers critique in their own reviews, etc.) And finally I’ll wrap up with some of my personal thoughts.

Overall, the goal is to promote diverse books!

I hope you find some titles that you think you’ll love.

Happy reading!

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