I did not read nearly as much as I would have liked in 2017. It was one of those years. At the start I had no goal of number of books I wanted to read, not after doing a Goodreads challenge in 2016 and feeling pressure because of it. In 2017 I only had one goal: to make sure half of my reads were diverse novels.
Why half? Because I already had a lot of non-diverse reads on hand, and non-diverse authors that I follow. I wanted the opportunity to branch out while still reading what I love.
Had 2017 been a better year, I’m sure I would have found a ton more diverse reads to love. As it is my total number of books read is scarily small, but I found some that I absolutely loved.
I want to point out some of the “other” books I’ve read. Many writers read books that aren’t yet published, or are part of a contest, or are from their friends, etc. That’s one thing that bugged me about the Goodreads challenge, since I read a lot that can’t be put on there.
In the “other” category I want to start with completed books I’ve read for an internship or contest. Basically, I can’t tell you anything about these novels, but they make up 9 of the books I read in 2017.
I also have a column for books I’ve read for other authors, friends, or for the #PitchWars contest. Due to #PitchWars it gets a little hazy, since I read a lot but not always full books. So I’ve read part or all of 8 books, plus about 600 pages for the mentor contest. Then, of course, reading my two mentees books 2-3 times. That’s a lot of yummy words!
Now for the main event. I read 18 published books. Of the 18, 8 were diverse. And to be clear, diverse in this case means that either the main character is diverse, the author is diverse, both are diverse, or it’s a own voice novel. So depending on how one is looking for a diverse book, some of what I’ve read might not fit. Also, not every author identifies themselves as own, so I in no way want to make any assumptions beyond what is obvious.
Rather than list all the books, which can be boring, I’m going highlight a few of my favorites. Narrowing things down is proving to be challenging, so rather than go small, I’m going with a slightly larger list since I read a lot of great books from newer or new to me authors that deserve some attention:
Level Up by Cathy Yardley
A Millionaire at Midnight by Naima Simone
America’s Next Reality Star by Laura Heffernan
Insert Groom Here by K. M. Jackson
North to You by Tif Marcello
Some Kind of Magic and A Crazy Kind of Love by Maryann Marlow
Hard Play and Hard Run by Sheryl Nantus
If you haven’t heard of these books, I highly recommend checking them out. All these authors are on my list and you can be sure I’ll be checking out their other books!