Summer Reading Challenge #3: Read Diverse Books
We’ve blogged before about the importance of reading diverse books. This summer, challenge yourself to read a book about an unfamiliar place, about an historical event you want to understand better, or by a new author.
For example, this summer I’ve read a book about the Sri Lankan civil war, called Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera. I had no idea the tension between the Tamil Liberation Fighters and the government. This lasted for 25 years. How did I miss this in history class or in current events? This book takes you in the the daily lives of people impacted by the fighting. It even gives you both sides, reminding me a little of The Association of Small Bombs.
I also finally read The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which recounts the Vietnam war from the perspective of a North Vietnamese mole in the South Vietnamese army. The writing was so rich and metaphorical, and the content was fascinating. (This book would also count as one from a list, if you recall our Summer Reading Challenge #2)
A third book I read this summer was The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee. This playful YA romp/bildungsroman follows a privileged young man, Monty, his best friend, and his sister in the 1700s as they tour the continent before Monty must return to the responsibilities waiting for him at home. He’s a protagonist you’ll find flawed and frustrating at times, but since he seems open to change, you’ll stick with him to the end. As he slowly accepts his sexuality and his desire for Percy, he slowly understands both himself and the world.
So try a new topic, a new author, a diverse book this summer. You may discover a new favorite author.