Read Diverse 2017 – A Reading And Book Review Challenge For Bloggers!

2016 was an excellent year for diverse books. We saw the release of many great titles that celebrated marginalized perspectives and experiences, as well as several debut and established authors who gained the recognition they deserved. It was not a perfect year by any means, especially outside of the book community. Within the book community we saw much discord and conflict. Many of us had to be louder & more passionate than ever in our support for diversity against a barrage of racist books, authors, bloggers, and the general onslaught of a system that keeps pushing back on our demands for inclusion and equity in the publishing industry. 

But we’re still here because we love books. The zeal with which I will promote and advocate for diverse books will not diminish in 2017. It will only be stoked and intensified by every conflict and setback the book community faces. So expect to see me around all year. Providing new content every week!

I want to start 2017 by announcing the natural extension of Read Diverse Books Year-Round review link-ups and giveaways I started in 2016. I will simply title it Read Diverse 2017 and will use the hashtag #ReadDiverse2017 when I promote it.

As of today, no one has used the #ReadDiverse2017 hashtag on Twitter. But I do not mean to claim it. Other people may use it for their own purposes. This reading and reviewing challenge is not a hashtag project. It’s a project that will be run through my blog, and requires participants to visit my blog and link up their blog posts to get credit.

The point of this project is to read and review diverse books. Much like my previous review-link up project, I will be asking readers and bloggers to link-up their reviews on my blog. Prizes will return, but winners will be selected quarterly (every 3 months) instead of monthly. I love giving away prizes, but running monthly giveaways proved to be very costly. Hope you all understand!

I considered doing monthly themed readalongs along with the review link-ups, but decided against it because I wanted to give readers the option to read whatever diverse books they’d like. Getting people to read specific types of books always results in reduced participation because people in general don’t like limitations. I wanted as many people as possible to participate in Read Diverse 2017 and also place less stress on myself by not having to lead monthly readalongs.

What I’ll do instead is provide monthly reading lists so that we never run out of diverse books to read. These will be very specific reading lists, such as “books with Queer Asian protagonists,” “SFF with POC protagonists,” or “Books about immigrant experiences,” etc. All the books in these lists will be eligible to be linked up for #ReadDiverse2017 if you review them on your blog.


Important notes on how #ReadDiverse2017 will work:

Every review that you link up will earn you 1 point, which I will track and tally. Once you link up 5 reviews, you I will have earned the first badge! I will then send you an email (visible to me after you link up a review) every time you earn a new badge so that you may add the graphic to your blog sidebar. Every 3 months I will provide a general update on my blog showing all the bloggers participating, the points they’ve earned, and their current badge status.

The goal is to encourage bloggers to read and review more diverse books throughout 2017. Or just to promote diversity in literature in general! The more books you review, the more badges you will earn. There are 4 badges that everyone can earn, but one badge in particular will hold the highest honor. 

Below are the graphics for the badges. Note the different point levels. 

You will earn badges after earning 5, 10, 20, and 30 points respectively. 

Some people will be able to reach the 30 point mark without any problem, well before the year ends. However, I want to be fair to all bloggers and I think 30 points is a reasonable goal to strive for. Competitive bloggers and passionate lovers of diverse literature can attempt to earn the title Diverse Book Blogger Of The Year! This will be the person who links up the highest number of reviews / blog posts. That number may end up being 31 or 50. Surprise me!

What does the Diverse Book Blogger Of The Year win?

A gorgeous badge and some neat prizes! 

Prizes, to be awarded at the end of 2017.

Update! There will be a runner-up Diverse Book Blogger Of The Year. This will be the person with the second most blog posts and reviews linked up.

  • Aentee from Read At Midnight has generously offered to award the runner up a blog makeover (header, blog button, signature, and rating system)!
  • If you do not have a blog, you may choose to have a mug specially designed for you instead!
  • However, the Diverse Book Blogger Of The Year gets first choice. If they want the blog makeover instead, they can choose it and the other prize will go to the runner up.

Read Diverse 2017 


The rules for the link-up are similar to my previous ones.

Eligible books:

  1. Books written by people of color or Native/Indigenous Peoples
  2. Books about people with disabilities (physical, neurodiversity, etc.)
  3. Books with LGBTQIA protagonists or about LGBTQIA issues 
  4. Books with practicing Muslim, Jewish, Hindu (i.e. non-Christian) MCs
    • Please prioritize #ownvoices for this category

Marginalized authors take priority for #ReadDiverse2017. At all times, please consider reading books written by POC, Indigenous, LGBTQIA, and Disabled authors, #ownvoices whenever possible.These will always qualify, whether they are #ownvioces or not. If a straight, white, able-bodied author writes a book with a straight, able-bodied POC protagonist, the book will not qualify. UNLESS that book is intersectional. For example, if the protagonist is a POC and Queer or disabled, then the book will qualify. I make this distinction because books with Queer/disability representation are more rare than books with POC/Indigenous rep and there are some great books out there with Queer/disability rep by non-mariginalized authors. I also encourage you to seek out books with plus-sized/fat protagonists, especially if they have other marginalizations, such as plus-sized+POC/Queer/Disabiled. 

Important, please read! ↓↓↓

You may also link up relevant discussion posts, listicles, and articles about diversity in literature, the publishing industry, blogging, etc.  Check with me if you’re not sure if one of your blog posts qualifies for the link-up.

Example posts: Diversity Spotlight Thursday, Book Tags/Memes that highlight diverse books, Book recommendations (list must be 50%+ dedicated to diverse books), most anticipated books lists and new releases lists (50%+ diverse books), Author Interviews (authors must be PoC/Indigenous, LGBTQIA, disabled), Blog Tours, Cover reveals of diverse books, discussion posts on any aspect of diversity in books.

There is no limit to how many posts you may link up. The only limitation is time — the link-up will close on March 31st at 11:55 p.m Central Standard Time. Another will then be created that lasts yet another 3 months.

  • Traditional online blogs, Tumblr, and Goodreads (for the blog-less) will all count for the giveaway.
  • All reviews must be at least 300-350 words long, longer and thoughtful reviews are preferred. Quotes and unnecessary padding will not be counted. 
  • I will judge each blog post linked on a case by case basis. I will offer some word count leeway for posts such as listicles, blog tours, cover reveals, etc.
  • You may only add one link of a book you’ve reviewed per individual book. Meaning, you may not add your blog review and your Goodreads review for the same book. Only one counts. I will check for this. Do not cheat or I will be sad! I will also notice and delete links that look fishy. Don’t try me. 🙂
  • Only blog posts published in 2017 will count!! It’s Read Diverse 2017, after all.

One winner will be chosen every 3 months and will win a book of their choice from The Book Depository or Wordery. Open Internationally.

Link Reviews / Blog Posts Here

(This link-up is also a giveaway)

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There’s no official sign up. Just let me know in the comments if you plan to participate throughout the year!  You can participate as little or as much as you’d like. I want this to be fun and low-pressure. I know that there are many other diverse books challenges out there, but I want to point out that #ReadDiverse2017 does not conflict with them. Mine focuses on reviewing books and blogging about diversity. You can very well participate in #DiversityBingo2017 or #DiverseReads2017 and still do mine at the same time! All you have to do is review some of the books you read for those challenges, link them up on my blog, and you’re set!

To close, I want to reiterate that once the link-up closes, I will publish a new post that highlights all bloggers who are participating and their current badge status. I will be keeping track of your reviews as long as you link them up on my blog. You can count on that.

I hope I’ve convinced you to participate in some way. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great start to your 2017!

Read Diverse 2017 Button

Add this button to your blog’s sidebar and link it to so it serves as a reminder to link up your blog posts!


P.S. I want to give a HUGE shoutout to Aentee from Read At Midnight for making the graphics for the badges. They’re absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t be happier with them. She also made my new blog header! Here’s a link to her design shop if you are ever in the need for gorgeous graphics.

Follow me on Twitter to receive periodic reminders for #ReadDiverse2017: 

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263 thoughts on “Read Diverse 2017 – A Reading And Book Review Challenge For Bloggers!

  1. Are you all right with negative reviews of diverse books? I wrote one earlier this month critiquing bad rep on axes of oppression the author doesn’t share, even if the book was ownvoices for another axis.

  2. Is anyone going to do a review on K-Pop The Short Story? I think it would be good considering there isn’t a whole lot written about the Korean American experience. From the synopsis off of Amazon, it’s about a young man who gets an opportunity to do K-pop in South Korea. It’s still on PRE-ORDER and although its a short story and not main stream, it still brings forth a diverse voice we rarely hear from: Asian men.

  3. What a wonderful challenge! I think this is great and an incentive is fun…and it’s not to bribe anyone really because the reading is its own reward! I like that Runner-up idea too so that someon who comes close can be rewarded. I love this! Good luck! 🍀

  4. Two more questions. Am I correct in thinking that something like my post today about awards highlighting different diverse groups would be okay to share in the linkup? I know it wouldn’t count as a review. What about a book list that is not all #ownvoices? I have some in the works where all the books feature diverse characters in some way, but not all of the authors are #ownvoices.

    Secondly, I was wondering what your perspective on illustrators is. My assumption was that it wouldn’t count for or against in this challenge. My preference is for #own voices in both, but I do have some picture books waiting for review that have a mix of author/illustrator. Sorry if you have answered this already, I didn’t see it in the comments but could easily have missed it.

    I do love that this challenge is forcing me to more closely evaluate whether the books I review are #ownvoices.

    1. YES to your first question! 🙂
      For posts that are lists, at least 50% of the books highlighted should be written by people of color (they don’t have to be #ownvoices), OR have disability/LGBTQIA representation.

      Gosh, the author illustrator combo is going to be a tough one. It’ll have to be on a case by case basis. But if the writer is white and the illustrator is a PoC, for example, then I’d prefer if the book itself had a diverse cast, had a marginalized protagonist, or celebrated diversity, etc. Again, it may have to be case by case, so just drop a link of a blog post you’re not sure qualifies in the comments and I will let you know if you can link it up!

      1. So I have one I’d like to link:

        The author is a white man (but ally) with clinical depression and the illustrator is African-American. The subject of the biography is also an African-American man.

        I noticed some of the other books linked had white author/illustrators but featured a PoC, so I figured this was probably fine, but just wanted to check anyway.

  5. I’m participating ! I know I won’t win because I don’t read enough to do so but that’s definitely a great thing to do that will both encourage me to read more diverse books and also to post more often on my blog.

  6. I said I was totally participating on Twitter, but forgot to actually comment on your blog. This is such a great idea and motivation to actually write reviews for all of the amazing diverse reads I have sitting on my bookshelf/e-reader. 🙂

  7. I love this challenge! I try to read books by diverse authors and featuring diverse characters anyway, but I never read as many diverse books as I’d like to.
    But collecting points may be just the thing to push me and really do better this year. I also love how many reviews are already up. My TBR is growing like crazy. 🙂

  8. This is a beautiful challenge, if not for the fact that this will serve as a one-stop shop for guaranteed diverse reads! Thank you for hosting. I will link some of my posts throughout the year, as this is definitely something I am striving for. Especially international (Non-Western) authors/stories.

  9. Hi! LOVE this idea, and thank you for including disabilities, including invisible ones. <3 I have a Goodreads, so I'll probably link that, but I also have a vlog I'll be reviewing books on. Can I use these hashtags/graphics in my vlog if I link to the site in my description box? Thanks!

  10. I’m super behind on actually writing reviews of the books I’m reading! Posting one today, and wondering how you feel about my posts where I review a handful of books – my recent post on mostly diverse graphic novels covered 4 books at about 250 words each, due to the afore-mentioned trouble keeping up with review writing. 🙂 Thanks for running this in any case!

  11. We are both excited to participate! But are curious, it is two of us on one blog, so if each of us review the same book, do we link up both reviews or is it per blog and not per person?

    1. This is a tough question! In your case it will be per person. I will give credit to who ever wrote the review that is linked up. If you both write reviews for the same book, the reviews must be different obviously. Just be sure to indicate who wrote what review!

    1. They will have to have intersectional representation. I haven’t read Dumplin or Holding Up The Universe, but if the MC is white, straight, and able-bodied, then it won’t qualify. If the MC is LGBTQ or disabled or Jewish or Muslim etc., then yes.

  12. Hey Naz, I just read An Ember in the Ashes and will be writing a review soon. Just to clarify, will the book be considered for this particular challenge? I was thinking of linking up my review as the author is of South Asian descent and a Muslim. The book while set in a fantasy world has characters inspired by various South Asian ethnicities. Just wanted to clarify! Thank you 🙂

  13. I really do need to start blogging again, and as I will be sue to link up. Everything you do gets bigger and better Naz! Wish you the best for 2017!

  14. I already linked up a review but realised I never commented to say I’m participating! So here I am, haha. One of my goals this year is to be more consciously picking diverse books, so I’m keen for this challenge. 😀

  15. *I thought I had already commented but apparently no, oops*
    This is a brilliant idea! I was already planning on reading more diverse books and mostly #ownvoices and I’m glad you’re organizing this 😀 thanks!

  16. I really love that you are doing this – it’s great to see book bloggers pushing for more diverse reading. My favorite 😀 😀 😀 While I read a lot of diverse books, I haven’t been posting regularly for years… but perhaps this year current events will get me out of my shell a bit more.

  17. I will definitely take part in this challenge! Thank you so much for creating this opportunity – I try to read books from all around the world for some time already, because I realized that all I read was from the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany. (I live in Germany.) But after living in South Africa for some time I decided to focus on books from countries that are not often represented.

    In general intersectionality is super important! I recently started a blog about intersectional feminism and wrote about media already. I’m looking forward to widen my horizons and to talk about each others experiences.

    Lots of colorful love!

  18. Yay! Linked up 5 reviews 🙂 I’m so glad you’re conducting this Naz! It has really pushed me to pick up all the diverse books in my TBR (Don’t mean to sound crazy but literally can’t wait to earn a badge <3 Would be my first ever proper badge as a blogger other than NetGalley badges ) Reading 2 wonderfully diverse novels at the moment. The Ghost Bride by Yangze Choo and The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy. The former is set in colonial Malaya and deals with loads of Chinese mythology and customs. The latter is set in Delhi, India and the whole story is narrated from the perspective of cats; how their lives are and how they see us humans. Just sharing them here so you can read them sometime too 🙂

  19. How did I go a whole month not knowing this exists?! I’m totally joining! Adding the button to my blog as we speak, hehe. I’m always trying to read more and more diverse books, as well as spread the word about them, so I’m very happy to be participating! Thanks for hosting, Naz! 😀

  20. One question: What about books written by South American authors? Are they considered people ‘of color’? I find this term very difficult to define. I think reading globally would also help widening our horizons to learn about different perspectives. Of course for this purpose reading a book from Germany for example wouldn’t do the trick – but by a South American author? Or a white Eastern European author?

    I am from Germany and reading Eastern European books is not at all common here. Many prejudices are connected to people from Eastern European countries – even though they have a totally different experience than people of color in the U:S. for example. It’s an important question I think, how to define marginalized groups.
    Social categories vary a lot from country to country and the intersecting forms of oppression a person faces contribute to a very individual social positioning.

    What do you think about including these groups of authors?

    Lots of colorful love!

  21. Hey, Naz… do we get 1 point for all link ups? Or reviews only? Like the listicles, etc… we get 1 point for those as well? I’m sure this answer is somewhere, I just can’t seem to find it. I’m sure I’m overlooking it…

Let's start a discussion!