Oct 15, 2016

For an authentic representation of diversity in your book || A reader's guide for writers

The need and call for diversity is so high and very much acknowledged in the book community - especially in recent times. While the inclusion of diversity - whether it's in the form of main characters of different ethnicities and religions, stories set in foreign countries, characters of different sexualities and orientations and addressing disabilities and mental health - is something that's greatly appreciated, it's also important to note the authenticity of that inclusion and representation. After all, no one would want a stereotypical, unrealistic and purely wrong portrayal of their own minority. It takes away the entire point of having diversity at all.

So that made me think. How can one achieve authenticity in their representation? Unless it's the case of #ownvoices - writers who belong to the minority they're portraying in their book - it is quite hard to be entirely true to the subject matter the author has chosen to embark on. But at the same time, there are certain things a writer can - and sometimes should - do in order to pull off an authentic representation of diversity.

So today, I thought of listing them down for you. I am no writer, but as a reader, a diversity advocate, a person who has befriended enough authors and an aspiring writer, I believe I have some knowledge to offer. Of course, everything might not be relevant for you, or there might be more important things, but here's what I could compile, and let me present to you a guide for featuring authentic representation of your diverse subject matter.

Oct 11, 2016

Top Ten Highly Recommended books I still haven't read

Hi bookworms!

I know, I know, I just disappeared for a long time without a word. Blame goes to school again, as I was stuck with yet another event organizing, which just finished this Friday. So I am back! Kind of. Hopefully, I'll be free for some time before being hauled into something else.

Being part of the book community means that there's never a shortage of recommendations. Whether a book is personally recommended to you, or a title is ever present in twitter, creating a alot of hype in its wake, these neverending recs are a reason to my never reducing TBR pile. So today, I am going to list the top ten highly recommended books, which for some reason I still haven't read.

  1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
The book community keeps throwing this book on my face! :) My love for violence and brutality is not a secret, and this book seems to be the first title that comes to everyone's mind, when I ask for recs. I relly don't know why I haven't picked this book up though. Hopefully, I will, soon.

2. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is one of those popular authors, I wish I can read at least one book by, just to satisfy my curiosity. I shall tackle you one day Steelheart, wait for me.

3. Game of Thrones by George R.R.Martin

Honestly, I am scared to start this book. Or the TV series. It's just a bit too much, and I wonder whether I can handle it.

4. Splintered by A.G.Howard

To my credit, I actually started this book. And read atleast half of it. And then, for reasons I can't remember I didn't continue. And that's not because I didn't like it either, I actually enjoyed the story a lot. Heaven knows what was running in my mind then. Sigh. Well, hopefully I will take this up the second time, and continue it this time around.

5. Bone Gap by Lauren Ruby

This book sounds amazing. And my curiosity has been raised by Cait's ravings. I shall experience the wonders of this book soon, I hope.

6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

War fascinates me a lot. And I have a soft corner for fiction based on World War 2, so Code Name Verity is a recommendation which has piqued my curiosity greatly. I just hope I can find a copy soon, since that's the only barrier between this story and me. 

7. Captive Prince by C.S.Pascat

Again, a book I am afriad of. This time regarding the amount of feels it will drown me in, and its intensity. That and the fact that I yet have to find a copy of this one as well.

8. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman

Another popular title I abandoned halfway for no reason. Actually I think my wary-of-scifi-brain was a bit scared and overwhelmed. I hope to give this one another try though. It sounds too amazing for me to miss out.

9. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J.Mass

This is probably the only book from this list, which I am sure, and vow that I won't read. There's no love lost between Sarah J.Mass and me, and I have bitter feelings about the turn ToG took, and I am mentally not ready for another series. Sorry Mass fans.

10. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Why in the world haven't I read this yet? I can't find a copy, that's all. I probably won't find one in Sri Lankan bookstores and shelves - we still have to go a long way regarding LGBT fiction - but I deeply desire I can get my hands on one soon.

What books have you been recommended often, but yet haven't read?

Sep 30, 2016

An important tale on identity || If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Title : If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Release Date: June 1st 2016
Publisher: Usborne Publishing

Amanda Hardy is the new girl at school.

Like everyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is holding back. Even from Grant, the guy she's falling in love with.

Amanda has a secret.

At her old school, she used to be called Andrew. And secrets always have a way of getting out.

A book about loving yourself and being loved for who you really are.