Yesterday I was introduced to Jen Campbell’s BE A GOOD HUMAN book tag, although this tag was was started in 2015, it’s a wonderful idea and probably needed now more than ever!
Rules: Show us books you have read which promote diversity, understanding, or have challenged the way you think about the world.
Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie was both an eye opener and a damn good story. I really didn’t understand the ongoing issues that Native Americans face today.
All of Adam Hochschild’s books, but King Leopold’s Ghost and Bury The Chains in particular. Hochschild does an incredible job at telling painful stories, and while the subject matter is difficult he makes sure to celebrate the victories won and the enduring human spirit.
Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche by Haruki Murakami was special in that we saw perspectives of the victims, the perpetrators, and the unwitting group members.
Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith is a book of poetry on being black, gay and HIV positive in the USA.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was really interesting to me because in addition to talking about race relations in the USA it also addressed race and cultural differences within the black community globally.
Most recently, Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. This is a great guidebook for white people who want to address racial inequality but don’t know where to start.
Other books I want to recommend include The Kite Runner, The Whale Rider, Leaves of the Banyan Tree , The Fault In Our Stars, and Becky Chambers fabulous books The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet and A Closed And Common Orbit.
I considered adding more LGBTQI lit to this list, but it wouldn’t be true to say that these expanded my personal world view. I have close gay family members, my father liked wearing dresses, and I had a transgender boy in my class from age 4 – 13, so I was never taught to treat that community as ‘other’. I do think that LGBTQI books are incredibly important, with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe taking my top recommendation.
I don’t know of a lot of literature featuring physically disabled people, but I would also like to call out the wonderful YouTube channel Attitude.
I tag anyone who wants to join in!