Nonfiction November – Diversity in Nonfiction

nonfiction november 2014

Welcome to week 3 of Nonfiction November. So far I’m having a blast reading some books that would never have crossed my radar, getting recommendations from the lists other fantastic bloggers are posting, and just becoming more generally aware of the reading habits that permeate my own life.

Becca from I’m Lost in Books is our host this week, and she’s asking us to think about diversity in nonfiction. This topic could be a bit tricky for me, as I read nonfiction only sporadically (and I’m fairly certain I usually don’t even bother to pick and choose based on author diversity or country of origin). But I’m going to do my best to answer the questions she posed.

What does “diversity” in books mean to you? Does it refer to book’s location or subject matter? Or is it the author’s nationality or background?

I think it can refer to any or all of the above. And more. So you could be talking books set in other countries, books about different cultures, books written by authors of color or from other countries, or books with characters that aren’t mainstream, such as gay characters or characters of color or characters with disabilities. Diversity is simply another word for differences. So any number of books could be said to have diversity, based on your own personal criteria.

What countries/cultures do you tend to enjoy or read about most in your nonfiction?

I don’t read a lot of nonfiction. But I love reading about ancient Egyptian culture – that’s probably one of my interests that has persisted the longest. I also have a thing for books about England and Ireland. I know, I’m probably not original at all. What can I say??

What countries/cultures would you like nonfiction recommendations for?

Other European countries! I love watching those travel shows where the host will choose a city and highlight some of the best eats, shops, and touristy things about that area, throwing in some history along the way. But each of those shows only lasts between 30 minutes and an hour, so unless I watch a documentary about that place, I haven’t learned too much. So I would love to learn more about some of the countries that I’m fascinated with on the surface. Italy, France, Sweden, Germany, Spain. Anything in Europe!

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Nonfiction November – Diversity in Nonfiction

  1. As someone who only started reading nonfiction again a few months ago, I mostly pick nonfiction based on my interest in the subject matter and never really thought about the author until this event!

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    • Maybe I should be better in general at looking at authors and other indicators of diversity. I usually just go, “This looks good” and read it regardless of characters or author or whatever. I can’t decide if that’s a good or bad thing.

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  2. Jay

    I like books about ancient civilizations too. I even read a bio once about an archaeologist who discovered/excavated the Assyrian city of Nineveh (I think it was called “The Luck of Nineveh.”. Probably pretty dry stuff for most but for some reason I couldn’t put it down. I’m currently working on reading a book on the history of the Ottoman Empire (not an “ancient” civilization, but might as well be for all I know about it) 🙂

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  3. I’m loving books about Egypt right now myself. I enjoyed The Woman Who Would Be King a lot and also loved the read-a-long book. It looks like it’s your current read, so I’m hoping you’re enjoying it too 🙂 I haven’t read many books that teach me a lot about modern European countries. I liked France On the Brink pretty well and I learned a ton about modern France and French politics, but it was a little dry and somewhat challenging to read. At the other end of the spectrum, Paris Letters didn’t teach me much about the country and was very light. I’d like to find more books in this category too.

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