“Diversity and Nonfiction: What does “diversity” in books mean to you? Does it refer to book’s location or subject matter? Or is it the author’s nationality or background? What countries/cultures do you tend to enjoy or read about most in your nonfiction? What countries/cultures would you like nonfiction recommendations for?”

I’ve never thought much about diversity in my nonfiction reading.  I do in my fiction reading.  I track settings of books and aim to read books set all over the world each year.  (See my map for 2014 on the sidebar.)

I looked at the diversity of the nonfiction books I’ve read this year.

The authors are exactly 50% female and 50% male.

However when you look at race there is a definite imbalance.  Twenty of the books were written by white authors, one was written by an African woman, two were written by Pakistani women, and one was written by a Jewish woman.

What about diversity of subjects?  Roughly the books break down into three broad categories:  Ten biographies/memoirs, eleven historical books, and three essays/current events.

Settings?  Fourteen in the U.S., six in Europe, one in Africa, two in the Middle East, and one in the Pacific Islands.

I choose my nonfiction read based entirely on subject and not the author but I think I need to find some more nonfiction authors of color.  Suggestions?


Linking up to Nonfiction November

3 Replies to “Nonfiction November Week 3”

  1. This is one of my challenges too. It can be hard to find nonfiction, especially history, by authors of color. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson is a great one. A memoir I liked was Without You There is No Us by Suki Kim.

  2. Great point on the authors. I had noticed the other day when I began reading The Descartes Highlands for review that it was the very first Filipino author I’ve ever read. It made me realize that while I read about a lot of diverse cultures, how diverse are the actual authors? I’d love to explore that more next year.

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