discussion

Discussion: Diverse Things I’d like to see more in books

Diversity is really important to me, and to many others as well and I feel like there is a rise in a number of diverse books coming out. This rise is, I believe, quite a direct result of the increased attention in the bookish community. Diverse bloggers and readers speak up about their opinions and publishers are picking up on that.

I believe that pretty much every single person is diverse in a way. Maybe not in skin-tone or sexuality, but if you look closely enough, something about you stands out of the crowd, even if that is a small thing.

What I see from my perspective as a reader is that a lot of the diverse books are either diverse in sexuality-representation or POC (people of colour)- representation. There are, however, a lot of other ways in which a book can be diverse still forgotten. And I want to discuss a few of things I’d like to see represented more (or just random ideas).

  • Blind and deaf people in general, but one thing I’d love to see is a deaf and a blind person becoming friends. It seems so impossible, but that’s just why I’d like to see it. Wouldn’t it be super interesting to see how they could communicate?
  • Multiple Personality Disorder. I’d love to read about this thing because it’s so intriguing and it would make an awesome book. Imagine, a person having different roles in the same book and how they all come together. It would make an awesome mystery book, but it could work wonderfully in contemporary as well.
  • Contemporary set in a non-western society. Since I’ve started keeping track of how diverse I read, I’ve noticed how few books I read that are set not in the US or Europe. I’d love to read more about different cultures and it doesn’t even have to be all about the culture, a “normal” book set in Israรซl (or wherever) would be awesome as well.
  • Aro-ace (aromantic, asexual) representation. This is for personal reasons very important to me (I consider myself aro-ace). I know they are out here somewhere, but I haven’t read a single book yet with (good) representation. I also feel like if there is representation, aroace or aro or ace characters are the cold uncaring characters that are the side-kick to the story.
  • A book about a gender-less society. Doesn’t that sound amazing? I just want it to be like sci-fi or dystopian and there are no gender roles and all that, it would be so interesting!
  • Bi girls, but more importantly boys. I feel like bisexual boys are out here in the world but they don’t speak up? For some reason, bi girls are way more accepted in society than bi boys. I’d love to read about a character dealing with this. And also pansexuals! I’d love to read more about those.
  • Different religions. I am not religious, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to read about idk a Jewish ninja? A Muslim scientist? A Christian witch?
  • Genderless/non-binary/transgender characters. I mean, I love how there’s a series about a transgender superhero (Dreadnought) but I need more! I love badass non-binary characters that are like “f*** gender roles, who cares, I’m just me”. (If you love those characters too I recommend reading In The Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers, Sam is just awesome! Also read this if you don’t love those characters though ๐Ÿ˜› )
  • Disabled characters that are not “fixed”. I feel like very often characters who are disabled are either fixed or written out of the story? Like, what is that? Disabled people can still live a good life, okay?

So overall, I do really like the increase in the importance of diverse books but there are so many things not yet covered with the books that are out and popular right now. I think there is a lot of potential in diversity, potential that is not yet uncovered with these books. I would love to see more diversity in both contemporary but especially fantasy, science fiction and dystopian. There is a lot that diversity can add to a story and it is a pity if the writer doesn’t use it.

What would you like to see more in books? Any recommendations perhaps?

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44 thoughts on “Discussion: Diverse Things I’d like to see more in books

  1. I love all of these ideas! One of my main characters in my book I’m writing is a male bisexual character and his bisexuality is a secret he doesn’t even figure out about himself until about halfway through the novel because he thinks it’s ‘wrong’. Multiple personality disorder is a really interesting one as well!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, yes, yes to books not set in the West! It kills me because reading is preached to be the ability to travel to places you’ve never been before and yet there are so few books to read from mainstream sellers that don’t take place in America or Europe.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Totally agree on more Deaf and Blind representation, but it would have to be done right. To answer your question, they could communicate as there is a form of sign language called tactile signing which DeafBlind people often use. I’m not entirely sure how it works but I think it it takes the basics of sign language and relies more on touch, especially on the hands. I’ve seen it before but not very clearly.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh oops I should have thought of that ๐Ÿ˜…
        Maybe there are machines for that? There should be portable machines for that.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with all of these! I think a tricky thing with this sometimes is that it can be hard to write a story featuring a character with a particular disability/different sexuality/mental illness without making the book focus on that particular thing. To me, while it is great to read about someone’s struggle with mental illness or the way they come to terms with their sexuality over time, it would be nice too to have some books where these characters are represented, but their differences are not the main focus of the novel either. I think I mostly say this because I’ve read quite a few books that focus on a topic like mental illness or bisexuality or something else diverse, and the author just kind of perpetuates stereotypes the whole time, which to me is even worse than not representing a facet of diversity at all. Of course, well-done novels with diverse characters are always fantastic, however.

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    1. Yes that is something I would love to see more as well! Books about people learning about their diverse-ness (if I can call it that) are great, but I’d love some more representation in which the story is not focused on that one aspect of the character! Representation has to be done right, which also makes it very hard to write!

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  5. Great Post! So many good ideas. Yes to books set in non Western countries. I have read a couple of books set in Iran and they’re really interesting and eye opening. There seem to be more books these days about people on the autism spectrum, but not so much on other disabilities. Specially about their sexuality, for example 2 people both with cerebral palsy? I saw a TED talk by this woman that decided to read a book for every country in the world in English as a challenge. Pretty damn hard she found out, as so many books from tiny or non powerful countries just aren’t translated.

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    1. I can definitely see how hard that might be! Some countries are really disconnected from the world, especially in more non-western countries.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I do love how there’s been a significant increase in diverse characters and storylines lately. Posts like this help to shed the light on this issue! You had a lot of great ideas. Jewish ninja? I’d read the heck out of that!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. Haha I’m really inclined to write about Jewish ninjas now (if it weren’t for the fact that I don’t know much about Judaism)

      Like

    1. Yes me too! I’ve heard of some books, but I haven’t read any yet about it, which is sad. I’m going to make that a goal of this summer, read a book with ace rep!

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  7. I’d love to see more neurological and sensory processing diversity in books, and I’m excited that things seem to be moving that way, at least a little bit! I think Suzanne Collins touching on PTSD a bit in Mockingjay began to pave the way for that. PTSD in ACOMAF (or so I’ve heard, I haven’t read it). PTSD, dyslexia, and ADHD in Six of Crows! I also agree with you that we need more diversity of all sorts in fantasy/sci-fi. Contemporary books in general have been much better about it than fantasy genres.

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    1. Yes I’d like that as well! I love it that even fantasy novels are moving more towards the diverse side of things. It’s not just contemporary anymore! But contemporary often makes it a main theme, which I love as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. For Multiple Personality Disorder check out ‘Legion’ by Brandon Sanderson. And if you want to read about all different kinds of religions, you have to read American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

    Great list, by the way. A lot of things I’d like to see as well!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ikr? I’m not really a thriller fan myself but I’d love to see it twisted into a fantasy (omg like one of the personality is like a wizard or something… I’m having a lot of ideas right now!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I HAVE SO MANY IDEAS. It could be that the MC discovers he/she has different personalities and then he/she uses some shady magic and (accidentally?) splits all his/her personalities, and then idk something (she has to fight them?)??? Something with epic wizards and morally grey characters and battles. Someone should write this.

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      2. THAT IS AMAZING! It’s like they’re wreaking havoc in the whole place and the mc needs to contain them and then there’s amazing internal conflicts, etcetera. Someone should def write this!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I AGREEEEE. There are SO many ways to make books diverse. You just have to be diverse in whatever diversity you’re choosing to represent! ๐Ÿ˜› As a writer, I want to have all sorts of diversity, but my number one fear is that I’ll misrepresent it, which is why I stick to more of the “common” aspects of diversity. I’d love to see more from the spectrum of LGBT+, and definitely more blind/deaf/mute rep!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES I know the struggle! A lack of representation is frowned upon, but oh boy if you misrepresent… the internet will hate you. I’d loveeee more different (less mainstream) representation!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes! I agree with every single one of these! Good Aro-ace representation especially is almost nonexistent (or maybe I just haven’t picked any good ones up). I never thought about diverse contemporaries set in non-Western world but I realize now how uncommon they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need more aroace! Why isn’t it mainstream or something… It’s so rare or not done well :/
      And yes, more diverse contemporaries not set in the western world!!

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  11. YES YES YES 100% YES more diversity not just in contemporary, but other genres as well! I also would like to see a deaf and blind character become friends, I actually was toying around with writing that at one point?? My brother is blind and went to a school for the disabled when he was in elementary school, so I met a whole array of people, deaf ones included. Also, multiple personality disorder could be an absolutely kickass premise. HELLO UNRELIABLE NARRATOR(S)!

    Also, yes to bisexual boys, I know a few personally. And aro ace. And obviously everything that you mentioned sounds good to me.

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