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Week 2 of the August Romance Reading Challenge
We are in week 2 of our diverse romance reading challenge? How are you doing? What difficulties have you faced? What new authors have you discovered?
My reading week has been a little disjointed. A LOT of my library holds came in all at the same time, I am juggling a lot of Netgalley books to review, and I am catching up on my middle grade and YA reading for my day job as a librarian.
Sometimes even I don’t finish my books fast enough
I had hoped to finish my current Netgalley ARC by today, but that hasn’t happened. I can’t wait to share a review of the book. It is a spicy romance with characters I wish were my best friends and it is all helping me with my goal of being fluent in reading Spanish.
The least I can do is share the title and a link to pre-order.
Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera. Published by Harlequin Carina Press on August 25, 2020
This summer I have found it easier than in past summers, to find new books written by PoC or main characters who aren’t assumed white. It hasn’t always been that easy and I am grateful, even though there is still a long way to go, that the publishing world is beginning to correct their errors. Our reading lives are enriched when we have windows into the lives of people not like ourselves. Although I am still waiting to read a romance with a cast of people of Syrian or Lebanese descent. Although, maybe since I am a writer and of that descent, I should get on it.
For work, I had the opportunity to attend a webinar with authors of All American Boys Jason Reynolds and Brenden Kiely about racial equity in libraries. One of the authors talked about a conversation with a woman at an event and how she couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t connect to a particular Netflix show that everyone was raving about. And then she realized it was because none of the characters looked like her.
Imagine a reading life only ever looking through windows?
As a children’s librarian I see this everyday. Kids wanting to connect with a character but only finding books about a life they see but are never really a part of, while their experiences, voices and stories are relegated to the back shelves.
The only way this changes is if all of us, agents, publishers, editors, reviewers and especially READERS, stop reading books where our life experiences are always on the page.
Stop reading books where our life experiences are always on the page.
Yes, this will take a lot more work. You may have to dig through a lot of reviews to find books that don’t mirror your own race, but we need to elevate the voices of authors and stories of people who have not been heard.
Elevate the voices of authors and stories of people who have not been heard.
When we change OUR reading habits, the publishing world will change with us.
I was a total nerd in school. Give me extra credit, give me a deadline and I will finish it three days before it was due. You may not be a nerd, but I think this is an extra credit assignment we all need to do.
Your extra credit, if you choose to accept
Pick one book by an author of color you have read recently and show them some love on your review platform of choice. Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever it is you share books. Then come back and leave a link in the comments to share new authors and books with your fellow HEA crew.
Next week, I will have that review of Here To Stay. Until then, I leave you with a list of books to help you with your challenge. All of these are on my TBR list with the exception of Real Men KNIT. A book I loved so much I can’t even describe how I can’t wait for more. There will be more, right. There has to be!
I am an Amazon Affiliate. I was not paid to promote these titles, but if you click on a picture it takes you to Amazon, where if you make a purchase I receive a percentage of the sale.