I couldn’t really come up with a good book for Book Traveling Thursday this week, so while it’s a meme I love, I thought I’d take a break this week and do a new weekly event that I’ve been seeing around the blogosphere and that I might start switching up with Book Traveling Thursdays.
The new event is Diversity Spotlight Thursday and it’s sponsored by Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. For this event, you highlight a diverse read that you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse read you want to read, and a diverse read that’s not out yet. So without further ado, here’s my first Diversity Spotlight Thursday.
A Book I Have Read
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Written by the same author as Americanah (also worth reading), Purple Hibiscus follows the life of Kambili, a fifteen-year-old girl in Nigeria. Kambili’s father is rich and a very devout Catholic, beloved in the community, but a nightmare to live with. The story focuses on Kambili’s coming of age when her and her brother are sent to visit their aunt, a university professor. It highlights Nigerian lives of privilege and of difficulty. I loved reading about Kambili and her world, and getting a glimpse of a culture in a different country. Adichie’s writing is beautiful and haunting.
A Book I Want to Read
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.
However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.
When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.
I love that this book is about immigrants at such a pivotal time in our nation’s recent past. I’m interested to see the perspective that Mbue and her characters bring to the financial crisis and America itself.
An Upcoming Release
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
I loved Everything, Everything by this author and I’m really looking forward to this one. The diversity comes with the main character, Natasha, whose family is Jamaican. I’m always very excited to see more diversity in YA reads!
Have you read any of my picks for this week? What were your picks? Let me know below!