Category Archives: Challenges

#ReadDiverse2017 update, 10 points

Wow, I feel like I just did the update saying I’d earned my 5 point badge, meaning I’d reviewed 5 books for this particular challenge, and now I’m back with the 10 point badge.

10 point badge for what, you ask? Well, the #ReadDiverse2017, which is hosted by the Read Diverse Book blog, of course. It’s fairly self explanatory, as far as challenges go. The idea is to read and review diverse books.

Eligibility being (and I’m quoting the RDB blog, here):

  1. Books written by people of color or Native/Indigenous Peoples
  2. Books about people with disabilities (physical, neurodiversity, etc.)
  3. Books with LGBTQIA protagonists or about LGBTQIA issues 
  4. Books with practicing Muslim, Jewish, Hindu (i.e. non-Christian) MCs
    • Please prioritize #ownvoices for this category

Marginalized authors take priority for #ReadDiverse2017. At all times, please consider reading books written by POC, Indigenous, LGBTQIA, and Disabled authors, #ownvoices whenever possible.These will always qualify, whether they are #ownvioces or not. If a straight, white, able-bodied author writes a book with a straight, able-bodied POC protagonist, the book will not qualify. UNLESS that book is intersectional. For example, if the protagonist is a POC and Queer or disabled, then the book will qualify. I make this distinction because books with Queer/disability representation are more rare than books with POC/Indigenous rep and there are some great books out there with Queer/disability rep by non-mariginalized authors. I also encourage you to seek out books with plus-sized/fat protagonists, especially if they have other marginalizations, such as plus-sized+POC/Queer/Disabiled.

Now that badges have started arriving I want to take a moment to thank Nazahet Hernandez for keeping this all organized. I’ve really enjoyed the challenge, but I’ve really enjoyed being able to browse everyone’s reviews for inspiration. I don’t know how much more weight my TBR can take though.

Anyhow, earning a ten point badge, means I’ve reviewed ten books qualifying for the challenge. I listed the first five here, when I got the 5 point badge. As a reminder, they were:

  1. Blood Stained Tea
  2. When I’m Bad, I’m Better
  3. Restless Spirits
  4. Kamikaze: Run Rabbit Run
  5. Ansible x 3

The last five books I submitted were:

I rather enjoy the badge collecting. Yes, it probably trivializes a rather serious lack of diversity in the publishing industry. I can’t help but be aware of that. But hopefully by bringing attention to the deficit the challenge makes up for making a game out of it. That’s how I’m choosing to look at it, anyhow. Anyhow, I’m off until next time.

#ReadDiverse2017 Update

One of my challenges this year is #ReadDiverse2017, which is hosted by the Read Diverse Book blog. It’s fairly self explanatory, as far as challenges go. The idea is to read and review diverse books.

Eligibility being (and I’m quoting the RDB blog, here):

  1. Books written by people of color or Native/Indigenous Peoples
  2. Books about people with disabilities (physical, neurodiversity, etc.)
  3. Books with LGBTQIA protagonists or about LGBTQIA issues 
  4. Books with practicing Muslim, Jewish, Hindu (i.e. non-Christian) MCs
    • Please prioritize #ownvoices for this category

Marginalized authors take priority for #ReadDiverse2017. At all times, please consider reading books written by POC, Indigenous, LGBTQIA, and Disabled authors, #ownvoices whenever possible.These will always qualify, whether they are #ownvioces or not. If a straight, white, able-bodied author writes a book with a straight, able-bodied POC protagonist, the book will not qualify. UNLESS that book is intersectional. For example, if the protagonist is a POC and Queer or disabled, then the book will qualify. I make this distinction because books with Queer/disability representation are more rare than books with POC/Indigenous rep and there are some great books out there with Queer/disability rep by non-mariginalized authors. I also encourage you to seek out books with plus-sized/fat protagonists, especially if they have other marginalizations, such as plus-sized+POC/Queer/Disabiled.

Today’s little update is to say that I earned my 5 point badge. (See that shiny badge above?) Meaning I’ve submitted five eligible reviews of diverse books. I could maybe have submitted more, I read enough M/M romance after all. But I personally have a little trouble seeing ‘white boys kissing’ (that’s quoting someone, I just don’t know who) as qualifying. So many such books are written for a cis-gendered, white, straight female audience. So, in the spirit of the challenge, if not the explicit rules I haven’t submitted them.

These are the ones I did:

 

Review of No Tea. No Shade. by Billione

No Tea. No Shade.I picked up a copy of Billione‘s No Tea. No Shade. from Amazon, when it was free.

Description from Goodreads:
Detroit poet Billione (pronounced bill-LEE-yon) ventures into new territory with his first novel entitled No Tea. No Shade. Inspired by the late E. Lynn Harris, Billione offers an insightful glimpse into the life of Chauncey King: a closeted, black, gay man nearing 40 who seems to stop at nothing to get what he wants. 

On the surface, this dapper, charismatic, successful Editor-in-chief of the Detroit Daily news seems to have it all. However, Chauncey goes from reporting the news to being the center of his own scandal after coming face-to-face with his turbulent past. His life seems to unravel until he meets Malcolm Dandridge at a local bathhouse and realizes that in order to be happy he must first face his biggest fear.

Review:
OK, I’m going to start with my hesitation to read this book, that being a debut author billing himself as well known enough to go by a single name and that name being more prominent than the title of the book. This being the origins of the term Big Name Author. Further, that name taking place of precedence in the book’s blurb, with its pronunciation coming before any other information about the book. It takes a lot of confidence put yourself out in the world this way, but experience makes me wary of such authors, as they often have more ego than skill.

I found that to be sadly true in this case. Now, let me be fair, the book is sweet. It has a nice theme about being true and open with yourself and the author obviously knows his character well. However, the writing is amateurish. Names and titles are used far too often in dialogue to feel natural. There are too few contractions, inconsistencies in POV and contradictions in the plot. The timeline of the flashbacks is uncertain. There is far too much tell and no where near enough show. The plot lurches along in a clunky manner, everything resolves itself far too easily (most off page even) and there is a frankly ridiculous epilogic lead-in to a sequel. It is not a smooth or satisfying read.

The author does show promise though. Perhaps when he has as much experience in writing prose as he does poetry he’ll be one to watch.