diversity spotlight thursday

Created by Aimal, you can check out the rules here. Basically, every week you list:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you check out my Diversity Spotlight Thursday tag on the right, you can see my other Diversity Spotlight Thursdays! Today I’m focusing on religious diversity. This isn’t an area that I’ve read very much about, if I’m honest, and I definitely want to challenge that. I was never taught about religions other than Christianity at school, so I feel like this is a real gap in my general knowledge, too.



For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus.

Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood—the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival.

Displaying the author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.

In the Shadow of the Banyan is an extremely moving own voices account about Cambodia and Buddhism. Incredibly written, it was one of the best books I read for #AsianLitBingo earlier this year. You can read my review here.



“An absolutely dazzling triumph…A singularly inventive collection” (Jewish Book Council) of linked stories set in a German-occupied town in Poland during World War II, where tales of myth and folklore meet the real-life monsters of the Nazi invasion.

1942. With the Nazi Party at the height of its power, Hitler’s SS fires up the new crematorium at Auschwitz and the occupying army empties Poland’s towns and cities of their Jewish citizens. As neighbor turns on neighbor and survival depends on unthinkable choices, Poland has become a moral quagmire, a place of shifting truths and blinding ambiguities.

They Were Like Family To Me is a series of linked short stories – my absolute favourite genre. While I know that many Jewish readers don’t want Jewish literature to wholly focus on WW2, I think that the use of magical realism to talk about it is a fantastic way to talk about the horrors of the Holocaust.



This elegant novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse.

From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity.

Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

You Bring the Distant Near will be released on September 12th 2017. Here is a review! I’m really interested in how the different generations think of their and their family’s identity.

Did you do a Diversity Spotlight Thursday this week? Link me!


12 thoughts on “diversity spotlight thursday

  1. colorfulbookreviews says:

    I am so excited for You Bring the Distant Near! Mitali Perkins is an amazing writer. Her book Secret Keeper was an interesting portrayal of depression in historical fiction. I haven’t reviewed it yet, but would recommend it for those who aren’t triggered by reading about depression, or reading depressing stories.


  2. The Royal Polar Bear says:

    Thank you for featuring my book review of You Bring The Distant Near! I love the book and I hope people will be more open to discuss diversity!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lucy C says:

    I’ve added all three books to my TBR! You Bring the Distant Near has the most gorgeous cover but I think In the Shadow of the Banyan interests me the most. Thanks for linking!


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