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May 11, 2016

Meet Donna and See Her Recommended Diversity Reads #ArmchairBEA

by Donna Huber

It is ArmchairBEA time again! The next few days I will be talking about books and blogging in a bit different manner as I follow the agenda for this HUGE book blogger event.

Today's topics are Meet & Greet and Diversity in Books. I would love to get you know you so please tell me a little about yourself in the comments or if you are also participating in ArmchairBEA leave a link to your post.

About Me!

Hi! I'm Donna and I'm the founder of Girl Who Reads. I've been blogging for 5 years and my first blogging events was Armchair BEA. I loved it then and I love it now. It is a can't miss event on my calendar every year.

1. What is your favorite book? While I often have a "favorite book of the moment", for me a truly favorite book is one that I can read over and over again. In high school/college, I read A Tale of Two Cities at least once a year.  More recently, I've been hooked on Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy. There's so much detail in those three books that I always find something new.

2. What is favorite genre? From my favorite book, you probably think my favorite genre is romance or fantasy, but that would be wrong. I really love a good psychological thriller. The only reason a book in that genre is not my favorite is that they are hard to re-read as you know the ending. But I love the rush and the never being quite sure who the bad guys are or how bad it's going to get.

3. What book blogger would you recommend? I highly recommend TNBBC's The Next Best Book Blog. I love Lori even though we don't really have much in common when it comes to the books we read. I think that is one of the reasons I love her blog I get to hear about different books. She is very reader-centric - she hosts a monthly read along through her HUGE Goodreads group. If you are looking for the best of indie and small press books, then TNBBC is the go to place.

4. How do you arrange your bookshelves? My bookshelves are typically in alphabetical order by author's last name (for my fiction books), though right now my main bookcase is kind of random since I've had to move books around for some home remodeling. I'm thinking of organizing my non-fiction by the Dewey Decimal System, or would that make me look too neurotic? Seriously, though I usually do organize my non-fiction books by subject matter

Diversity in Books:

I will admit that most of the books I read feature white middle class people for the most part, or at least that is how I perceive them in the absence of any particular characteristics. There have been a few standout reads that add a bit more diversity to my bookshelf.

FirestormI think having characters of a ethnic background is one of the reasons I enjoy the Windstorm series by Katie Robison and I the third book, which comes out next month, is next up on my Nook.

"Why did I possibly think I could do anything to end this war? I was a fool, and now I have one week to get the twins out of here, or I may never see them again."

The seven tribal nations are at war, and as a taporo Kit can finally do something to save her people. But Kit can’t shake the feeling she’s playing a game she doesn’t understand, and if she agrees to fight, she’ll lose the ones she loves the most.

While it is a fantasy novel, it does feature First Nation people and in the second book, Coiled Snake, they are among aboriginals in Australia.

I like the different cultural perspective that comes through as the main character learns more about her ancestral roots.

Buy Firestorm at Amazon

AB 30
Speaking of different cultural perspective, I loved the first book in Ted Dekker's A.D. series that is featured during Jesus's time in ministry A.D. 30. The main character is a Bedouin woman who travels through the Arabian desert to the shores of Galilee. Though I'm familiar with Biblical times through my personal study of the Bible, Dekker provides a more in depth look. Plus most of my studies of Jesus's ministry have focuses on the Jews and Romans. It was really interesting to learn about the Bedoiun people and a more more upfront and person look into the daily lives of people I've only read about in the Bible.

Buy A.D. 30 at Amazon

Walk in Beauty
For a book that is not fantasy and set more in present day, I recommend Walk in Beauty by Barbara Samuel. The Navajo history added an extra layer to the story.

Once, Luke Bernali’s proud Navajo blood and strong carpenter’s hands made genteel Jessie Callahan love him with youthful abandon. But, to his endless regret, Luke faltered and he let Jessie down. Hurt, Jessie left, with a broken heart…and unaware that she was pregnant with Luke’s child.

Now, eight years later, Jessie was back—with a darling daughter in tow. Luke was older—and wiser—and determined to recapture the beauty lost. Could a fierce, desperate long-ago love soar anew on the delicate wings of a child?

Buy Walk in Beauty at Amazon

An Invincible Summer
A more recent read of mine doesn't feature a different culture so to speak, but a mentally handicapped person. I reviewed An Invincible Summer by Betta Ferrendelli last week and it is one of the best books I've read in a while. The characters really made the book. And Ashleigh, the mentally impaired character. wasn't just some stereotypical secondary character. She is the main focus of the story and fully developed as her own unique character.

Jaime Monroe is a young prosecutor who has a bright future with the Denver District Attorney’s office. Jaime, however, is tormented by demons from her past.

But when she learns that Leigh Roberts, a local reporter for a Denver daily newspaper, intends to have her mentally challenged daughter, Ashleigh, forcibly sterilized, something within Jaime stirs.

Whether it is anger, pity, or simply the need to do what’s right, Jaime decides to turn her back on her promising career with the DA’s office to represent Ashleigh Roberts.

With the odds stacked against them, Jaime and Ashleigh take their case to the courts in a battle that will ultimately resolve one woman’s past and one woman’s future.

Buy An Invincible Summer at Amazon

What do you enjoy about diversity in books? Do you have any recommendations?

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  1. I keep meaning to start the All Souls Trilogy, I just keep getting distracted by shiny new books! Hope you have a fab ABEA!

  2. I'll have to check out The Next Best Book Blog! She sounds fun.

  3. I love your book selection. Great post!

  4. Lori has a fantastic blog...great choice.

    Author order seems to be popular. I arrange mine by date read, size, and another shelf with books that are to be read for blog tours and publishers.

    ENJOY this week...first-time participant here.

    Silver's Reviews

  5. Great post and great list of books. Now I have more books to add to my lists. thanks

  6. I like how you recommended a blogger even though you have different tastes in books. I haven't heard of the A.D. series. It sounds very interesting!



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