Essentials

My one resolution for 2021, of course it’s related to reading

I came to a realisation yesterday. I was been asked what my most diverse read of 2020 was and I really didn’t have a lot of titles to pick from- which isn’t good enough.

The truth is I had gotten comfortable. I have been reading books I have loved but they have been pulled from a very narrow section of book world.

I think reading diversely is super important. We are shaped by the stories we read and consume.

I don’t usually do “resolutions” but I do like to set goals for my year. And one of my big goals this year is to diversify my reading!

I wanted to write this post to help anyone else looking for some options for reads that they might not pick up at first glance. @Bookstagramrepresent on Instagram have some amazing book lists on their feed for anyone looking for some ideas!

“You’re not well read if you only read white heteronormative stories”

Here are some of the titles I want to read in 2021 (have included synopses from Goodreads incase anyone is keen to check out the titles:

Transgender and nonbinary stories:

Earth Reclaimed by Sara Codair
When non-binary seventeen-year-old Seren becomes an ambassador, they’re forced to face their greatest fear: magic. By drawing power from rivers and lakes, Seren is left vulnerable to being controlled by the Mother Earth. Seren is desperate to avoid using magic, but a faction of fascist will do anything to start a war between mages and scientist, including killing Seren, the one mage who sees the value of science.

A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
(cruel prince meets City of Bones)
The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee
Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. There’s just one problem—all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe. When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels.

First, Become Ashes by K.M. Szpara
Lark spent the first twenty-four years, nine months, and three days of his life training for a righteous quest: to rid the world of monsters. Alongside his partner Kane, he wore the cage and endured the scourge in order to develop his innate magic. He never thought that when Kane left, he’d next see him in the company of FBI agents and a SWAT team. He never dreamed that the leader of the Fellowship of the Anointed would be brought up on charges of abuse and assault.

He never expected the government would tell him that the monsters aren’t real–that there is no magic, and all the pain was for nothing.

BIPOC Stories

Wings of Ebony by J. Elle
In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen from Houston has her world upended when she learns about her godly ancestry–and with evil sinking its claws into humans and gods alike, she’ll have to unearth the magic of her true identity to save both her worlds.

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.

A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown
I am super keen to read this after finishing A Song of Wraiths and Ruin this year!
As the fabric holding Sonande together begins to tear, Malik and Karina once again find themselves on opposite sides of an ever-worsening conflict, even as their connection flares to a breaking point. And when the fate of the world hangs on a single, horrifying choice, they each must decide what they value most—a power that could transform the world, or a love that could transform their lives.

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom—and vengeance.
Jazmyne is the queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.
Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain—except the lengths they will go to win this game.

LGBTQI+ STORIES

The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M Waggoner

Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.
At first Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere.

In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland
A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead.
In Thanopolis, those gifted with magic are assigned undead spirits to guard them—and control them. Ever since Rovan’s father died trying to keep her from this fate, she’s hidden her magic. But when she accidentally reveals her powers, she’s bound to a spirit and thrust into a world of palace intrigue and deception.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
“That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other.” And then Lily asked the question that had taken root in her, that was even now unfurling its leaves and demanding to be shown the sun: “Have you ever heard of such a thing?”
Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe
A slick, twisty YA page-turner about the daughter of a con artist who is taken hostage in a bank heist. Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.

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