Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Update on 2015 Diverse Reading Challenge

In December I posted my Cry to the Captain with a challenge to myself to choose and read more specifically targeted diverse books.

I started the year off with some great books by Asian authors about Asian cultures. I read Gail Tsukiyama's Women of the Silk and posted about how much I loved it and how it opened my eyes. I loved her writing and learning about China in that time period so much that I read the sequel, The Language of Threads. It was fabulous. I loved it in that way that you like the second book you read by a previously unread author just a teeny bit less than the first one that blew you away not just because of the writing and character development, but because you had never heard of the events written about.

I also read Lisa See's Shanghai Girls about two sisters in 1930s, 40s China and coming to America. Again, so many culture things I didn't know and was fascinated to read about. Coddled as it sounds, I had never considered or learned about the impact of Japan on China in that time (or the reverse). And the relationship See writes about between the two sisters, sometimes loving, sometimes fraught, but inextricably bound together, is probably true of sisters across time and across the globe.

Gail Tsukiyama's Street of a Thousand Blossoms will finish up my reading (for now) of books about Asian culture and heritage by an author of Asian heritage. I have just barely started it, but am looking forward to reading another of Tsukiyama's fine novels.

Many thanks to my adult reading buddies, Hannah and Carolyn, for their recommendation and book talks to me about these great books and for lending me their copies!  Because of you, I was able to read not just the 2 books by Asian authors I had set out for myself, but 4! And learned a lot along the way.

I'd love suggestions for books that take place in Africa by an African author or books about Mexican culture by a Mexican author. The Street of a Thousand Blossoms is thick, but it won't last forever! What great book that inundates us in African or Mexican culture can I read next?


  1. Ohhh, I love Gail Tsukiyama's work, though my favorite is Samurai's Garden. Have you tried Kwei Quarty? He's a Ghanian born American author of mystery thrillers.

    1. Anne, you just made me add another Tsukiyama book to my 'to read' list! And no, I haven't heard of Kwei Quarty. Are the books (or some) set in Africa? I will need to check them out! Thank you!

  2. I loved "THE Good Braider". SEe my review here:


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