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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Wish Had More Diversity

Happy Tuesday! I’m home sick with some nasty side effects from this year’s flu shot, so today is definitely a writing day for me. It figures that I’d be in the ridiculously small margin of the population that got a fever and body aches from a shot, but I am glad I got it and I highly encourage you all to go out and get vaccinated if you haven’t already. As always, Top Ten Tuesday is run by the first-rate bloggers from The Broke and the Bookish.

10 Books I Wish Had More Diversity

I can’t think of more than one main character in any of these books who is not white, cisgender, heterosexual, or able-bodied. They are all such wonderful books, so it’s a real disappointment that there isn’t a lot of diversity in terms of the kind of people taking center stage in all of these stories. A lot of people know that diversity in the Throne of Glass books is a bigger issue that I don’t have enough room to go into in this post (and would contain major spoilers) ((maybe I’ll write about it this month. Let me think about it for another 2 weeks)) but it’s safe to say that neither of her book series have a good track record with diversity, and for such a huge, open world, this is a massive letdown.  There is also a significant lack of non-white people in Victorian-era literature, like The Night Circus, Soulless, The Paper Magician, and A Curious Beginning, even though the 19th century was not the porcelain cabinet that these books would lead you to believe. The same problem occurs with WWI-era Leviathan (although this issue is remedied when they travel to the Ottoman Empire in book 2).

I believe you can enjoy books that don’t have a lot of diversity – after all, these books are some of my all-time favorites, and ones I come back to time and time again. However, the point of highlighting a lack of diversity in these books is to hold these authors accountable for not being as inclusive as they could be, and to urge writers to do better to feature nonwhite, non-Christian, LGBTQ, disabled, and other marginalized identities in their characters. Representation, especially positive representation, matters across genres. Encouraging discourse and spreading awareness about this issue is the first step to making change happen.


What books would you add to my list? Link your TTT in the comments below!

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16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Wish Had More Diversity

  1. Great choice for this wee’s topic Jacquie. We do really need diversity in more books, it would be great to see more diverse books in stores in the next few months, but yeah I do agree with you on some of these picks. Some of them are favourites of mine too but the more I think about it the more I realise they really aren’t diverse at all. That’s not to say I enjoy them any less but we definitely need more diverse characters in YA fiction. Great picks for this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Beth! Diversity in YA lit is one of those things that I overlooked for a long time, and it can be disappointing to go back and realize some really fantastic reads are so lacking in that department. It looks like there’s a ton of hype around diverse books right now, and I hope the momentum continues so that more stories like those get told. I’m still gonna preorder anything SJM publishes while I keep an eye out for those other stories though x)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I overlooked it a fair bit as well. Especially when I was just starting out blogging way back then. I think being a part of the WordPress community has made me more aware of it and that I am definitely thankful for!
        There needs to be more hype around diverse books. It’s great to see them get more recognition, and maybe it will start a trend with new authors and releases as well. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great list and I completely agree! I do love both the Throne of Glass and ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Maas, but it’s so true that they could really be a lot more diverse, especially in such a huge fantasy world.

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  3. What a great pick for this week’s theme. I’m completely with you on the Sarah J Maas books, and I would be super interested to read your post on it. (Do it. Do it. Do it)

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  4. Thanks for the post. I see what you mean. The Night Circus was full of straight, white characters. Good book but not diverse. I wonder if these authors feel like more diverse characters and novels wouldn’t sell? or Maybe the authors live non-diverse lives? Who knows. Thanks for making me think.

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