Book Chat

March 2019 Book Chat + Book Diversity

*Welcome to the second monthly book chat on TCS. This month I’m tackling a couple of books I didn’t like as well as how I feel about book diversity. How do you feel when you read a book that has more to do with diversity than actually telling a good story?

*Welcome to the second monthly book chat on TCS. This month I'm tackling a couple of books I didn't like as well as how I feel about book diversity. How do you feel when you read a book that has more to do with diversity than actually telling a good story?

My latest 5 star reads.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely
By Brigid Kemmerer
This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and it was so good! I loved it. It was dark and sad and it has anti-heroes. Two of them actually. I loved the main characters and the antagonist was very well done. Our main character has cerebral palsy, which was really cool. She didn’t let her condition slow her down at all. In fact, it made her stronger.

Two books I didn’t care for.

The Bullet Journal Method
By Ryder Carroll
If you’re looking for a book that has a lot of feel-good, self-help content then this is for you. While I felt that this was an okay book, it didn’t live up to my expectations of it. I spent the entire time skimming to dig out the applicable portions of this book. You learn a lot about Ryder and his belief system, which is cool if you are into that sort of thing. But, ultimately all of the woo-woo stuff was too much for me. I just wanted to learn how to Bullet Journal more authentically than I have been. I’m sure there are better resources out there for that purpose. Like I said, if you are into the deep meaning behind the Bullet Journal, then this book is for you.

Crown of Feathers
By Nicki Pau Preto
I wanted to like this book so badly. It wasn’t terrible by any means. The writing is good, the plot was great. It just took about 470 pages to get interesting, there are only 477 pages of readable material. There were two “major” plot twists before the ending, both of which I had already guessed. I know that a lot of people loved this book. It has really high ratings on Goodreads. It’s definitely worth the effort if they synopsis sounds intriguing to you. I do plan to give the sequel a shot, just to see if it gets better. I also want to know what happens to the sisters.

Book trends + diversity.

I have a fairly engaged #bookstagram account. I love it, but the one thing that drives me crazy is all the labels that people throw around concerning books. It’s almost like we’ve lost the truth that reading is to get lost in a good story. We’ve started rating books based on whether they are representative enough instead of whether they are well written, compelling, or moving.

It’s as though it’s become a game with authors and publishers to stuff as much diversity into books as possible and let other, more important, things like plot, character development, and logic, get bypassed. Readers: Just because a book is “diverse” does not mean it’s a good book.

I would love to read a diverse book that is well written, but it all seems to get lost in translation. The authenticity of the story is getting sacrificed on the altar of diversity. It is unfair to authors and readers whose books may not be as diverse as culture demands but ARE well written, to get shoved to the wayside. All in the name of “diversity”.

In all the years that I’ve been reading, I have always read diverse books. It’s just that back then no one cared. We were more concerned with good stories and diversity was just a side effect of authors telling the stories they wanted to tell and not what culture demanded of them.

I just want to read good books, no diversity attached.

I don’t know about you but I just want to get back to enjoying good books because they are good books, not because of marketing or diversity. We are becoming so diverse that we are losing our differences. We are so worried about being tolerant and being everything for everyone that we have forgotten who we really are.

When we are so worried about keeping everyone happy, we stop being happy. This is a sickness and it needs to stop. Just because I feel differently than you do about a topic, trend or culture doesn’t make me a bad person. It just makes me a different person. And honestly, I don’t want to be you anyway. I’m sure you feel the same way about me. So let’s work on being ourselves instead of letting the trends define who and what we are. A great way to start is to read the books you want to read, regardless of what #bookstagram says is the right thing to read.

In conclusion.

Ok, my rant is over. This is just something that’s been on my mind for months now. Ever since I joined the #bookstagram community, it has bothered me how much people scream diversity in books without bothering to see what this so-called “diversity” is doing to the publishing world. When is the last time a male author was allowed to write a book that had a strong male lead in it? I don’t even remember the last time I read a book like that. Do you?

Here’s to reading the books we want to read regardless of whether it’s culture approved or not.

Happy reading,

Alicen

P.S. You can catch my March TBR here. And the post I wrote about how I am able to read more books and to stay motivated to read here.

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