New Feature: Read Diverse Books Year-Round


I hope you’re not tired of me incessantly reminding you how important it is to read the work of marginalized voices because everything you’ve seen before was me just warming up!

By now, you all know how passionate I am about promoting diverse reading habits for all readers. And by “diverse” I have always meant reading the stories of the world, which is unimaginably rich with variety. 

Starting this blog was the first step I took to bring more attention to the stories of marginalized voices. I want to thank every single one of you who has read my reviews, left an encouraging comment, and participated in discussions about the issues that matter to me. I genuinely am grateful for all your support.

Bringing greater visibility to these kinds of stories is very important, but what’s more important is for more people to actually read them.

That’s exactly what I am now asking of you today. But in the most friendly way possible. 🙂

Don’t worry, I won’t force you to do anything. However, there will be incentives — like free books!

This is the plan for my new feature:

Read Diverse Books Year-Round


Starting in June 2016, I want to encourage all book bloggers to read at least one book that falls under one of the following categories every month:

  1. A book written by a person of color
  2. A book by or about a person with a disability 
  3. A book by an author who identifies as LGBT or about LGBT issues 

I understand that there is variety and diversity that extends beyond these three categories, but I want to focus only on these in particular. 

Ideally, the books you choose will be written by #OwnVoices authors, meaning that the authors are from a marginalized group and are writing about said group. 

This will require that you do a bit of research on the authors you choose. However, I will allow some leeway and will make these three distinctions:

  1. A book with an LGBT protagonist that is written by a straight author will count.
  2. A book about a person with a disability written by an able-bodied author will count
  3. A book about a person of color written by a white author will not count

I apologize for being so picky, but these are my rules and I think they’re reasonable. You already know my goal is always to promote #OwnVoices authors, so I’m sure you’re not surprised.

If you read and review a qualifying book, you will immediately be placed in the drawing to win a free book of your choice from Book Depository!

The Book Depository delivers to over 100 countries, so make sure that your country is eligible for shipping.

Each person will be limited to 3 reviews a month. The more books you review, the better your chances are to win!

If you don’t have a blog, your Goodreads or Amazon reviews will count. 

You will be able to add your review starting on the 1st of every month. After the linkup closes at the end of the month, a winner will be randomly selected. I will then contact you so we can arrange to have your free book delivered to your door. 🙂

Once you write your review, be sure to add your link below. ↓↓

(If you can’t see the blue “add your link” button, your browser may be blocking Inlinkz. You will have to unblock it to add your review.)

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I hope to see many of you return every month!

I created this feature for a very simple reason – to get more people to read diverse books. However, I don’t want anyone to get the impression that this is some kind of diversity “project.” This is an earnest attempt on my part to promote multicultural and diverse reading year-round the best way I know how. You all know this, but I just want it to be perfectly clear. 🙂

Disclosure: Read Diverse Books Year-Round was inspired by Diversity On The Shelf, hosted by Akilah @ The Englishist. However, this is not a challenge; it’s more of a monthly feature with a giveaway. We both aim to promote the work of marginalized voices, and the more ways we have of promoting these voices in the book blogging community, the better!

I encourage you to also join Diversity On The Shelf for even more chances to win prizes. I plan to continue posting my reviews on Akilah’s blog every month. 

Thank you for reading. Enter your email below for frequent updates from RDB!

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60 thoughts on “New Feature: Read Diverse Books Year-Round

  1. Your review will only count if it was published in June. 🙂
    If you’re not sure if a book you reviewed will qualify, let me know and I can clarify.

    I wanted to do strictly #OwnVoices, but I can’t ask you to go investigate if an author is LGBT or has a disability. lol

  2. Naz, I will NEVER be tired of your incessant reminders! 😉 I always appreciate and admire the way you use your voice up uplift the voice of others! This initiative is awesome, and honestly, we can never have enough of them! 🙂 Keep up your amazing work! x

  3. I follow you because I want to hear about this! Books like I Shall Not Hate, by Izzeldin Abulaidesh and I am Malala should be seen more. There are beautiful diverse stories everywhere.

  4. This is so amazing, Naz, thanks so much for all your hard work!! I’m very happy I get to start this month, too, since half of my exam prep of woc lit 🙂 But first a fun review. We’ll never get tired of you promoting diverse stories and writers!
    I’m doing Akilah’s challenge this year, too, there’s always space for more of these initiatives.

  5. Personally I dislike challenges in reading mainly because I pick up what hold my fancy at a particular point and if I read something else I wouldnt enjoy it much. I have Their eyes were watching God on TBR. If it gets read in June I will put up a review.

  6. Great idea! I’m already taking part in Akilah’s challenge but will add my review links to your site when I’m posting! Also, I tend to focus on POC so yours has that added challenge of considering disabilities and LGBT issues! Fantastic! I look forward to seeing what everyone posts about!

  7. What a lot of good ideas you have for this blog! I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s reviews for this (not that I need more books on my tbr)! And, if I have any of my own, I’ll let you know!

    1. Thank you for participating!
      But you have to add the link yourself. Go to the middle of my blog post and find the “add your link” blue button. This will prompt you to copy your link and add your email address so I can contact you later.
      Sorry about the confusion!

  8. Naz, you are too awesome for words. And no we are NOT tired of the reminders, quite the opposite, I need as many of them in my face as possible. I even did a mini-diversity inventory of my books today… and the male-whiteness of last year was astounding. In the past month and a half though my bookshelf has expanded in so many new directions, in large part due to yours and other wonderful bloggers <3

    1. I did an inventory of my books last year as well, and seeing the results motivated me to create this blog. I wish all readers would analyze their reading habits and at least recognize some of the recurring patterns.
      Thank you for being so kind and open-minded.
      I’m glad my words and my blog are making an impression. :]

  9. This is such a great initiative! Love the idea here. It’s so great to see so much support for diverse books—as they are truly something that should be recognized and promoted by readers!

  10. I just love this idea, and how you manage to always find great ways to promote and make us want to read more diverse books! 🙂 I can’t wait to see reviews and diverse books I maybe wouldn’t turn to in the first place. People like you are a huge encouragement for me to try and extend my reading possibilities. 🙂

  11. Wow I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog! I am also an austin-ite, and I just recently started a “read the world” challenge to read a book from every country in the world. So I completely love your message and I totally agree about the power of literature and diverse reading.
    I will try to participate in this challenge! Thank you for spreading such an important message.
    Kate @Read and Dream

  12. Just in terms of reading the books, I think I’d find this both easy and hard to do- easy because when I think about it and check my goodreads I can see that I already read books like this every month. Hard, because I’m totally unaware that I’m doing it. In terms of reviewing, I can’t depend on myself to review anything. I read loads of great books I don’t review- which is a shame but when I don’t have anything to say other than “I liked it” I don’t bother (funnily enough that seems to be the case with a ton of books that would fit into this category) Ah well- good luck with this!

    1. That’s OK. Well, thanks for stopping by anyway!

      What percentage of the books you read do you actually review? From the past 6 months, for example.
      I review about 90% of what I read because I’m so slow haha. If I didn’t review, I wouldn’t have any content on here! The other 10% I review only on Goodreads because they don’t fit my blog’s focus.

      1. No problem! I’ll be interested to see what people that participate are reviewing 🙂 Hard to tell- maybe 33%, if I’m being super generous about it. Last month I read 13 books and reviewed 4- I still intend to review at least a couple of them, but I’m always behind with reviews so then there’ll be a backlog this month- it’s a never ending cycle I’m afraid!

  13. Wow Naz! This is such a nice initiative to encourage people reading more diverse books !! 😀 I have read a few too but didn’t have time to review them yet, I’ll probably sign up to your contest once I do it 😉 – Trang

  14. This is really a great initiative, Naz. I have been reading at least one LGBT book every month since last year. Sad that Book Depository doesn’t ship in my country! I love how this initiative is encouraging people to read more diverse books.

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