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  • Renee Harleston

Read With Us! Diverse Books of the Month


We're pleased to announce the start of the Informal "book club" Club. Every month we will select an Adult or YA title written by a historically marginalized author that features at least one historically marginalized character to read together!


It's not quite a book club because we won't be gathering at a specific time and place to discuss what we've read and pick the next title. Instead, we'll post the book selection for that month on social media and you're invited to read along with us on social media at your own pace.


You may be asking, "you're 'Writing Diversely' so why are we reading together?" Well if you want to write diversely you should be reading diversely. As Rudine Sims Bishop said in her 1992 article "Mirrors, Window, and Sliding Glass Doors"

Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience.

Our best advice to write authentic characters is to read them and the best examples come from writers most familiar with that identity.


Follow us on Instagram to see what books are coming up, share your progress, and tell us which quotes made you lose your breath.


We highly encourage getting books used or borrowing them from the library but if you'd like to purchase them new, each month's book will be posted in our Bookshop.


We've already gotten started! January's book is the gorgeously deep and lyrical adult novel, When We Were Sisters by Fatimah Asghar.



Fatimah Asghar traces the intense bond of three orphaned siblings who, after their parents die, are left to raise one another. The youngest, Kausar, grapples with the incomprehensible loss of her parents as she also charts out her own understanding of gender; Aisha, the middle sister, spars with her crybaby younger sibling as she desperately tries to hold on to her sense of family in an impossible situation; and Noreen, the eldest, does her best in the role of sister-mother while also trying to create a life for herself, on her own terms.


Longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize. Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Listen to a sample






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