It’s Non-Fiction November!
Hosted by Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness), Katie (Doing Dewey), Leslie (Regular Rumination), and Rebecca (I’m Lost in Books), Non-Fiction November is a challenge to spend the month exclusively reading and writing about non-fiction. Each week there is a discussion topic, and the hosts also have a couple of readalongs going for the event.
Week 3 topic, November 17–21 (hosted by Rebecca, I’m Lost in Books)
Diversity and non-fiction
What does “diversity” in books mean to you? Does it refer to book’s location or subject matter? Or is it the author’s nationality or background?
This is tough because it has so many meanings to everyone. I think it’s pretty much anything that expands your mind or educates you. And I know it’s “Non-Fiction November,” but this can apply to fiction, too! But yes I do believe diversity can apply to setting, subject, author’s gender/nationality/sexuality/race/etc.
What countries/cultures do you enjoy or read about most in your non-fiction?Admittedly, I’ve mostly read non-fiction about the United States. Currently I’m (still) reading George Packer’s The Unwinding, about how American Democracy has spiraled away from serving the people over the last 40 years. I probably need to expand my horizons on reading about non-American cultures in non-fiction—I can only think of a couple off the top of my head that I’ve read. Otherwise, I love reading about true crime, food, war, music, sports, and harrowing, tragic, and/or adventuresome experiences.
What countries/cultures would you like non-fiction recommendations for?
I’m sure I’m woefully under-read on non-fiction books about countries and cultures outside the United States, at least in non-fiction. Reading Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance struck a curiosity about Indian culture, so I have Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers on my TBR. I would love to read more about Ireland—I’ve pretty much only read Frank McCourt’s books.
What kind of books besides different countries/cultures do you think of as books of diversity?
Race, age, gender, either in subject matter or the author’s own… For example, I just read Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist and while I can identify with many of her views from the standpoint of a fellow woman, it really opened my eyes to how a person who is not white could interpret pieces from the entertainment industry and other parts of American culture, which is so obviously white-dominant. I started tracking my reading more seriously this year and found that a majority of the books I read are by men, too, just by happenstance—when I’m choosing a book I primarily gravitate towards the subject matter or story, not the author’s gender/race/age/whatever. So, I’ve been making a concerted effort to read more books by women, just to be more conscious of that gender gap. I realized after reading Gay’s book that I would like to add a column on my track sheet for writers who are not white and not American, to see how globally I’m reading as well.
What do you think about diversity in books, fiction or non-fiction?