Color Your Reading: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner.

This week’s topic is PICK YOUR OWN. So of course, I thought I would choose a topic near and dear to my heart: multicultural literature. I feel that we can learn so much about people from books and I quite enjoy reading multicultural books. ALSO, I know that books by authors of color typically do not get the same amount of marketing by white authors. It’s why sometimes when you go to stores you have to search really hard to find a book by an author of color, or they are relegated to sections like: African American Lit, etc. SO, as a book blogger, I like to review books by authors of color from time to time because I have a huge platform to talk about those books. /ramble

Top 10 Books To Color Your Reading:

1. The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian Sherman Alexie Book Cover

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

Why? Sherman Alexie brings the tears and the laughter with dignity while describing Junior’s experience being the first Rez kid to go to a white school.

2. What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

What Can't Wait, Ashley Hope Perez, Book Cover

What Can't Wait

Why? A girl caught between loyalty to her family and following her dreams. Also Math. Contemporary fans THIS IS A BOOK FOR YOU!

3. When The Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer

When The Stars Go Blue Caridad Ferrer Book Cover

When The Stars Go Blue

Why? This sexy, sexy book has it all: drama, romance, MARCHING BAND, Carmen, STEAM. EVERY THING. FYI I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK AND WOULD LIKE YOU TO READ IT!

4. Bitter Melon by Cara Chow

Bitter Melon, Cara Chow, Book Cover

Bitter Melon

Why? You ever dislike a bad character SO much that you want to shake them? That’s how I feel about the mother in Bitter Melon. ALSO THERE IS DEBATE TEAM. Nerd love, yo.

5. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, NK Jemisin, Book Cover

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Why? Epic fantasy is how I roll. I love it when I read fantasy that deviates from the vaguely European norm. And yo, Jemisin brings the epic.

6. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi, Book Cover

Persepolis I

Why? Graphic novel about the Iranian revolution. Do I for serious need to say more? No, no I don’t.

7. Girl In Translation by Jean Kwok

Why? BOOM characterization. I fell, fell, fell for this book.

8. Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

Copper Sun Sharon Draper Book Cover

Copper Sun

Why? Amari, I love you and how prickly you are because you obvs have REASONS. Sigh.

9. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese, Book Cover, Gene Luen Yang, Yellow

American Born Chinese

Why? MORE COMICS! And actually a pretty clever way of talking about being second generation and first generation and being perceived as Other. ALSO massively entertaining.

10. The Silence Of Our Friends by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos Illustrated by Nate Powell

The Silence Of Our Friends, Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, Nate Powell, Book Cover

The Silence Of Our Friends

Why? Yes, yes, EVEN MORE COMICS. Yo, I love graphic novels. The Silence Of Our Friends is based on a true story, but with some fictional elements all about the failure of people to speak out against things that are wrong. And also how awesome it is when you stand up for the right thing. IT IS SO GOOD OMG.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Great choice in topic and a great list! I added a few titles to the TBR.

    Can I suggest one for you? Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood by Ben Saenz is one of the best YA titles I’ve ever read and focuses on cultural issues in the American Southwest.

  2. I love the topic you chose, although it’s made me realize that I don’t read NEAR enough cultural books. I have both “When the Stars Go Blue” and “The Absolutely True Diary…” on my wishlist, now I think I’ll make them more of a priority.

    Come see my Top Ten / Teaser Tuesday!

  3. Great topic! Definitely adding some of the ones I haven’t heard of/or really looked into on my list! I have some of these but clearly need to bump them up!! I remember going through and stalking your multicultural shelf on Goodreads to add books lol

  4. Oh, Persepolis was a good read, and I really want to read American Born Chinese! One of my professors highly recommended it!

  5. Awesome topic. I will be looking for When the Stars Go Blue and What Can’t Wait.
    I was just looking at my copy of Absolutely True Diary and want to read it soon.
    Thanks for the recs!

  6. wow, all of these books I have never even heard of.. which further proves what you say above about their marketing. Certainly not against reading multicultural stuff, I just see now that I will have to look harder for it. I will be adding a few of these titles to my list.

    thanks so much for posting this.. I always just assumed they would be kept with other books. I honestly never put much thought into it.

    What can’t wait sounds pretty good.. a bunch of them do actually. πŸ™‚

  7. I loved Persepolis and Girl in Translation and I enjoyed American Born Chinese. You have a fantastic list and I’ve found some new books to add to my TBR list. Thanks!

  8. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says

    Great idea for a list! And, even better, great list!

    Thank you.

    Here is my It’s Top Ten Travel Narratives. I hope you will stop by!

  9. LOVE your list – I’m adding a lot of these to books I need to read. And youare so right about the marketing – if all book bloggers read are ARCs – then books by authors who are minorities might never get read.

  10. I love how you point out “nerdy” things about these books… I’m a sucker for those things, especially marching band! I know I don’t read nearly enough, if any, literature that is multicultural or deals with other cultures, but I’m not sure why. I love reading about characters who come from lifestyles different from my own – whether race, religion, ethnicity, etc. Great Top Ten!

  11. Girl in Translation. YES. Did you do Audio??? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me you did audio. The narrator was so freaking perfect with her accent. TELL ME. I have to know.

    Although, don’t panic! I won’t judge you if you read the printed version. I’ll just nudge you to read the audio version slightly forcefully.

  12. Great TTT topic! I’m adding a bunch of these to my TBR. Also, I agree about your love for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – NK Jemisin is a new fave author!

  13. Question: is this list about books by mulitcultural authors or books with multicultural characters or both?

  14. Awesome list! There are some awesome books out there by mutlicultural authors and they always seem to get missed out – heck L.A. Banks wrote some amazing books but they barely get noticed amongst the other UF, or they just get compared with Buffy.

    My top ten is here if you’d like a look πŸ™‚

  15. SUCH a great topic, April! I love it! Sadly, I haven’t read many books on your list. I’m glad you included little snippets about why to read each one. I’m especially intrigued by Bitter Melon. Sounds awesommmme!

  16. These look awesome.
    I’ve read a couple of them and I thought them really excellent – like What Can(t) Wait, I loved that book and I loved it was a good portrayal of how Mexican families sometimes are like.

    I need to check some of the others, though. Like Bitter Melon, it sounds awesome

  17. How someone could read your list (or even just the reasons to read the books) and NOT want to pick them up is beyond me. Totally felt the same about the mom in Bitter Melon. She needed a smack upside the head. A lot.

  18. These look fantastic! I’ve read Persepolis and LOOOOVED it. I’ll check out the others ASAP.

  19. I just started Girl in Translation last night and it grabbed me at the first line. Can’t wait to get further in it.

  20. Several new-to-me titles here April, cheers! I’m curious about a few of them, especially When the Stars Go Blue. I loved Persepolis and, of course, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – but you knew that already! I have one I don’t know if you’ve read (I haven’t yet either, no excuse!) called Skim, a graphic novel about a Japanese-Canadian girl growing up in, I want to say Saskatchewan or Manitoba, do you know it? American Boy Chinese made me think of it.

    Here’s my list.

  21. This is a great topic! I am intrigued by When the Stars Go Blue and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I love the Sharon Draper recommendation…I read a few of hers for my young adult lit course last summer…she is amazing!

  22. This pile is made of win, dude. You’ve won my eternal love. Sparkles and all. Hoho.

  23. I LOVE this list! American Born Chinese was wonderful! I need to read Persepolis, though. I haven’t heard anything but AWESOME things about it.
    And I’m so glad that you have introduced me to What Can’t Wait and When the Stars Go Blue! They both sound FAB.
    Also, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is on the kindle, waiting for me to read it, and I can’t WAIT to dive in. πŸ™‚

  24. haha thanks for the heads up i did that post at one in the morning i was just a wee bit tired. Great topic choice. thanks for stopping by.

  25. Such a great topic! I do feel that a lot of multicultural lit and authors have been gaining some ground (slowly but surely) in recent years, and I am so happy to see the success of authors like N.K. Jemisin. I am forever grateful of a course I took in college that made me think about our assumptions (like that it’s usually a white man writing) and take time to learn about who is behind what we’re reading.

  26. Love this list! I have American Born Chinese in my 7th grade English curriculum and really want to add Sherman Alexie in the next few years. I’m lucky I teach at a school where we really focus on turning our kids into global citizens, so I’m going to check out a few of these others too.

  27. I really want to read Bitter Melon and Girl in Translation – I remember being interested in both when you reviewed them back whenever that was.

    I can’t believe I’ve only read three of these! (When the Stars Go Blue, Persepolis & Hundred Thousand Kingdoms)