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Our Diversity genre celebrates a wide range of inclusive narratives. It's about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin. As a team, we read widely and make sure that we offer intersectional representation in our book recommendations.
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | February 2017 Debut of the Month. A rather special read indeed… there are times when you wonder how you've missed sight of, or hearing about a book, and for me this is one of them. This is a treat, a heartbreaking, funny, eye-opening, jam-packed full of love treat. Ben shares his story as he literally battles to place his autistic son Jonah, into what he considers is the right school. Ben and Jonah move in with Ben’s dad and we see what life is like for these three men as their worlds revolve around each other. Jem Lester writes with experience, yet he adds bittersweet, aching emotion, biting wit, and a lightness of touch that manages to skim joyfully across the pages. Letters from social services, the school, medical information, and receipts all find their way into the book, often bringing me up short and creating a link to the authenticity of the situation. ‘Shtum’ is brave, bold, and wonderful, it made me cry, rage, and laugh, and I loved every single beautiful second of it. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.
A lovely warm and joyful squeeze of a read. When a family bombshell hits, four sisters each tell their own story. We get to know Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae, and because their lives revolve around each other, we not only hear their own thoughts, but how those closet to them feel about them too. I loved the way their lives mingled and unexpected little hits of information floated free. With ups and downs, secrets and drama, these four sisters nudge their way into your heart. From watching her on the telly, I feel as though I know Nadiya and this book is just as I think of her… open, caring, engaging and full of warmth and sparkle. ‘The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters’ champions honesty, bravery, and love, open the cover and let it welcome you into it’s heart. ~ Liz Robinson January 2017 Debut of the Month.
One of our Books of the Year 2016. December 2016 Book of the Month. Just incredible… this punchy, beautiful, readable story vibrates with a powerful energy. After Turk Bauer accuses nurse Ruth Jefferson of murdering his new born son, Kennedy McQuarrie defends Ruth in court. Each of the three main characters, in their own distinct and unique voice, tell us their story, we live side by side with them, and also delve into their past. This is a book that made me think, but also deep down in the centre of my innermost core it made me feel. Within a few pages I was crying, then in the next chapter I was burning with disbelief, a short while later still, I was reflecting, contemplating, questioning. This isn't about good and evil, it isn't as simple, or even as complicated as that, this is a book that shines a light on racism, on prejudice, and then invites you to examine your own thoughts and feelings. I was desperate to know the ending, and yet didn't want it to finish, and when I turned the last page I sat back and just felt myself float free. At the centre of ‘Small Great Things’ is an open, welcoming, loving heart that beats with a vibrant intensity, and it is quite simply, a must read. ~ Liz Robinson
A brilliant companion piece to Wide Sargasso Sea, this is Jean Rhys' beautifully written, bitter-sweet autobiography, covering her chequered early years in Dominica, England and Paris. Jean Rhys wrote this autobiography in her old age, now the celebrated author of Wide Sargasso Sea but still haunted by memories of her troubled past: her precarious jobs on chorus lines and relationships with unsuitable men, her enduring sense of isolation and her decision at last to become a writer. From the early days on Dominica to the bleak time in England, living in bedsits on gin and little else, to Paris with her first husband, this is a lasting memorial to a unique artist. Read our 'Book-aneers of the Caribbean' listicle to find more unforgettable books by Caribbean writers. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.
Exploring black music and social movements from Motown, soul and the civil rights movement, through the Black Panther Movement, Jimi Hendrix and Black Woodstock, this trilogy is a triumphant mix of meticulous research and an author’s palpable passion for his subject. Set against the tinderbox backdrop of the Vietnam War and widespread civil unrest, the trilogy begins in Detroit, 1967, and tells the twelve-month story of a city on the edge, with one of the world’s most famous record labels – Detroit-based Motown – at a pivotal point in its history, while riots in the city prove pivotal to the wider country. Taken as a whole, this smart sequence provides a multi-angled view of the time, and it’s clear how social deprivation and a spirit of resistance led to both political action and revolutions of a musical kind. In-depth, enlightening, entertaining and affecting, these forensically evocative books will make you want to delve deeper into the work of the seminal musicians who wrote the soundtrack to this seminal period of American history.
The Help is a deeply moving, timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we won't. It is about how women, whether mothers or daughters, the help or the boss, relate to each other - and that terrible feeling that those who look after your children may understand them, even love them, better than you...
One of our Books of the Year 2016. August 2016 Debut of the Month. With a fierce, biting sense of reality, this is a provocative, yet beautifully worthwhile, must read. Nina is 17 years old, her best friend and worst enemy is alcohol, when she forgets one time too many the night before, her life starts to unravel before her eyes. If you're expecting a comical, light, coming of age novel, from comedian Shappi Khorsandi, then brace yourself, this is uncomfortable, and occasionally jaw droppingly shocking stuff. ‘Nina is Not OK’ made me flinch, made me cry, and made me think. Nina tells her own story, it feels as though there’s no filter, she thinks it and she says it, we hear her innermost thoughts and feelings. The voice Shappi Khorsandi gives Nina ensured I fell in love with her, although I positively ached for her, and her journey was at times so very painful to watch, she made me smile, even made me laugh. This is compassionate, beautiful writing at its best, ‘Nina is Not OK’ is an outstanding debut and I really, really do, with all my heart, recommend it. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'When we commissioned Shappi Khorsandi to write a novel we knew it was going to be funny – after all she’s absolutely hilarious. We also knew it was going to be wonderfully written – we’d previously published her lovely childhood memoir, A Beginner's Guide to Acting English. What I hadn’t expected was just how emotionally invested I was going to become in her heroine, Nina. Nina is Not OK is a big, bold, beautiful novel written with heart, humour and courage. I’m so proud of what Shappi has accomplished with her debut - it’s an important book, dealing as it does with issues such as teenage self-esteem, alcoholism, consent, victim blaming and the pressures we put on girls in our society. But it is Nina who stays with you: Nina who takes you from tears to laughter in a paragraph and who you’ll want to hug/slap/rescue/shout at/be your friend.'Gillian Green, Publishing Director. Ebury Fiction
One of our Books of the Year 2016, this is the third in the DI Marnie Rome series, and is just as distinctive, powerful and enthralling as the first two (Sarah Hilary’s debut won the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year). In a detached and indifferent London, an offer of shelter, food and warmth for those in need may not be all that it seems. Marnie and Noah find themselves thrust into an investigation where a series of events start to merge into the perfect nightmare. The writing ensures that you invest in these people, care about them, and in just a few perfectly chosen words you can catch an emotion, see their surroundings, feel their fear. Sarah Hilary has a knack of being able to knock your thoughts off balance, and she’s particularly sneaky about it too! I’ve been a dedicated follower of DI Rome since ‘Someone Else’s Skin’, and having snatched ‘Tastes Like Fear’ up the moment it appeared in the office, was immediately captivated. I couldn't put this particularly riveting tale down until I had reached the final, shiver-inducing page. Sarah Hilary, you rock! A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'TASTES LIKE FEAR, Sarah Hilary’s fantastic new novel is the third in the DI Marnie Rome series and is equally as brilliant as Sarah’s debut SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN and her second novel NO OTHER DARKNESS. In this novel Marnie and her sidekick Noah Jake are searching for a young girl who causes a car accident, believing she may be linked to another young girl who disappeared a few weeks before. As with her previous novels, Sarah explores devastating issues with care and sensitivity and, at its heart, this is a story about identity and how it can be eroded. It’s about being homeless, and how hopelessness and loneliness can dominate your life. It’s about control and what happens when you let someone into your life who doesn’t respect your independence. Above all, it’s frightening and tense and gripping. Sarah has an innate talent for characterisation and pace and this novel shows an author who is honing all her skills to become someone absolutely standout in the crime and thriller genre, and beyond. I absolutely loved working with her on this novel and urge you all to read it.' ~ Vicki Mellor, Editor, Headline
Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2016. Shortlisted for the Best Crime Novel for Young Adults at the CrimeFest Awards 2017. A young man has an impossible choice to make, in this powerful coming of age urban thriller. The action is uncompromising and powerful, yet punctuated by moments of extraordinary tenderness and it will challenge preconceptions and melt the hardest heart. Costa Judges' comment: “A gripping topical thriller by a fresh new voice in children’s fiction.” A message from the Publisher who acquired this debut novel:"I knew I wanted to acquire this novel before I'd finished the first chapter. Patrice is going to be a new star in contemporary YA, and I can't wait to get this exceptional book into the hands of readers."Emma Goldhawk Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
One of our Books of the Year 2016. A piercing, fast-paced and absolutely riveting read, the second book in ‘The Project Trilogy’ lives up to expectations. Having been gripped by the first in the series, I really do recommend starting with ‘Subject 375’ which was previously titled ‘The Spider in the Corner of the Room’. Dr Maria Martinez has been found not guilty of murder, she now races to discover the truth, but what version will she find? Nikki Owen plunges you straight into the story and straight inside Maria’s head as she tells the tale in the first person. With two different time frames, plus flashbacks, you need to concentrate to keep up, but this is oh so readably addictive. Maria has Asperger syndrome, finding myself inside her mind quickly became second nature. As I bore witness to her thoughts and actions, my own thoughts were set on a serated edge. Even though this is a wonderful all action thriller, there is a vulnerability to the writing, inducing feelings that prodded and provoked my consciousness. Placing you firmly in a different world, balancing a razor-edged tightrope of shocks and suspense, ‘The Killing Files’ is a fabulous thriller with a difference.
A powerful, penetrating and intensely different read that seizes your attention from the very first page. Nikki Owen cleverly writes in the first person narrative in two different time frames, Maria has Asperger syndrome and we are held on the edge of a connection and understanding, yet allowed intimate access to her anxiety, fear and torment. As Maria questions her memory, her thoughts, her grasp on the present and past, a creeping sense of foreboding and fear settles across the pages. For much of the novel you are kept in the dark alongside Maria, which provokes and agitates your interest, suggestions are made then ripped away, suspicions are roused and then extinguished. This fascinating premise works, it leaves you wanting more; just who can be trusted and what is the truth? 'Subject 375' was previously titled 'The Spider in the Corner of the Room' and is the first in the 'The Project Trilogy', the new cover is captivating and perfectly announces this original thriller. ~
One of our Books of the Year 2016. May 2016 MEGA Book of the Month. An absolute page-turner of a novel, at times uncomfortable, yet powerful and oh so compelling. Roni and Nika meet when they are 8 years old, as the years pass their relationship changes, yet in their thoughts they remain as entwined as ever and a particular torment lives on. Dorothy Koomson sends us backwards and forwards in time, this isn't an easy ride, and it isn't meant to be. The jagged, almost serrated feel to the change in time lines meant I was alert and at times apprehensive as I watched events unfold. The story is so commanding it keeps you firmly in the moment, so aware of the pain and fear, waiting with bated breath yet still shocked as more revelations occur. Resolute, heart-rending, thought-provoking, and so beautifully compassionate, ‘When I Was Invisible’ left me with a tear in my eye and touched my heart.
Our mission is to share book love and encourage reading for pleasure by offering the tools, advice and information needed to help our members and browsers find their next favourite book. Part of that mission includes promoting diversity through the authors, characters and books that we feature on the website.
Much like our Debut category has a variety of books from first-time authors, our Diverse Voices genre will highlight a wide range of Inclusive narratives.