Recommended Reading for Anytime


I have Naz and his Diverse Books tag to thank for some wonderful time browsing my book shelves. For each of his prompts, I’ve listed one book I’ve read and one I would like to read.

Find a book starring a lesbian character.

Read: Frog Music, Emma Donoghue (“lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes”)
To Read: Fingersmith, Sarah Waters (“hypnotic suspense novel awash with all manner of gloomy Dickensian leitmotifs”)

Find a book with a Muslim protagonist.

Read: Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson (Kamala Khan is no ordinary girl from Jersey City)
To Read: The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, Mohja Kahf (“charts the spiritual and social landscape of Muslims in middle America”)

Find a book set in Latin America.

Read: Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Marquez (“the agelessness of the human story as told by one of our most evocative writers”)
To Read: The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Luis Alberto Urrea (based on Urrea’s real great-aunt, who had healing powers and was acclaimed as a saint)

Find a book about a person with a disability.

Read: Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither, Sara Baume (a misfit man adopts a misfit dog)—my review
To Read: The Giant’s House, Elizabeth McCracken (the love story of a lonely librarian and a younger man forced into loneliness because of his monstrous size)

Find a Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a POC protagonist.

Read: Lagoon, Nnedi Okorafor (aliens in Nigeria)—my review
To Read:
, Octavia Butler (“the only vampire novel that explores modern-day racism”)

Find a book set in (or about) any country in Africa.

Read: Life & Times of Michael K, J M Coetzee (“goes to the center of human experience”)
To Read: The Memory of Love, Aminatta Forna (In contemporary Sierra Leone, a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with secrets to keep.)

Find a book written by an Indigenous or Native author (use tribal names if possible).

Read: The Dance Boots, Linda LeGarde Grover (an Ojibwe community struggling to follow traditional ways of life in the face of a relentlessly changing world)
To Read: The Swan Book, Alexis Wright (“reminds readers that the misery and upheaval promised by climate change has already come to Australia’s first people”)

Find a book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.).

Read: The River’s Song, Suchen Christine Lim (“like the immersion in a vivid dream”)—my review
To Read: Before We Visit the Goddess, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (a masterful, brilliant tale of a family both united and torn apart by ambition and love)

Find a book with a biracial protagonist.

Read: Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi (confronts the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold)
To Read: Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson (“an action-packed adventure into the world of the jinn”)

Find a book starring a transgender character or about transgender issues.

Read: Annabel, Kathleen Winter (In 1968, a baby is born who appears to be neither fully boy nor fully girl, but both at once.)—my review
To Read:
The Unintentional Time Traveler
, Everett Maroon (Jack suddenly finds himself in the body of a girl who defies the expectations of her era.)



  1. Oh, this is such a good way of doing the tag! Now I want to go back and edit my Diverse Book Tags post to include one I’ve read and one I’m planning to. Hmmmmmm, I guess we’ll just have to see if I have enough time to do that before it posts on Friday. So many good books here!

  2. Well, that was fun. I just spent some time looking up books and adding them to my list! I’m impressed that these are all on your bookshelf! And, I like that you have one that you’ve read and one that you haven’t for each.
    I’m also working on this tag, but it’s slow-going (I’m still running short on time these days – when will it end?). I’m also trying to find all Canadian books to fill the categories, just to make it extra fun for me. 🙂
    The only book on your list that I’ve read is Annabel. But many of them (and more now!) are on my to-read list.

  3. “the only vampire novel that explores modern-day racism”

    Nuh-uh, book publisher! There is also The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez! The Lambda Book Report said, “A black lesbian vampire who began life as a slave and got her education in a whorehouse is not your typical heroine.” 😀

    Winner of two Lambda Literary Awards (fiction and science fiction).

  4. Great list 🙂 I’ve read Before We Visit the Goddess and will begin reading The Swan Book shortly 🙂 Have been hearing about the Fingersmith a lot too.

  5. The Unintentional Time Traveler looks so good. I have seen it around Twitter quite a bit. It’s good to see an #ownvoices trans YA novel. Thanks for reminding me I should read it!
    I also added The Dance Boots.

    Glad to see that you have read one book for every category 😀

  6. Great set of books! I’ve read only a couple of these. I really loved Frog Music, though I had some difficulty accepting Donoghue’s portrayal of Blanche as a woman whose prostitution is based on her love of sex (I thought it was a john-centric fantasy). Still, I thought it was a great book.

    As for the tag, I’m going to have to put some thought into it. Some books easily come to mind for some of the categories, but others are more challenging for me. I don’t read much sci fi or fantasy, for example.

    • I had a few problems with Frog Music as well, but the two women’s relationship was a focus I hadn’t yet read about in historical fiction.
      I’m looking forward to your choices, if you decide to post about the tag. I don’t read much sci-fi or fantasy either, but Lagoon is definitely one I recommend.

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