Let me start by saying diversity and literature go hand in hand.
- Diversity is the foundation to learn new perspectives from literature.
- Literature proves the value and necessity of diversity.
We are coming full circle here, people.
Diversity wasn’t really part of my upbringing, though. I grew up in a mostly white community and knew very few people who looked or lived differently than I did. I don’t even remember talking to a person of color until high school. Even then, my school was mostly white kids. On top of that, I barely knew any non-Christians or non-straight people. I definitely didn’t know anyone from the trans community.
That changed a bit when I went to college. I was definitely one of those people, though, who had one or two black friends and thought that made me an ally and not racist. I would even say that out loud. “Oh she’s my black friend.” And I shamefully remember commenting once that one of these women didn’t “act black.” I’m embarrassed now to write that and of my 20-year-old self, and I feel immense guilt.
Thank God for growth, for New York, and for literature.
Nobody can argue that many aspects of 2017 were piles of flaming garbage. That doesn’t mean literature failed us though. I read 24 books* this year. While there’s never enough time for all the wonderful writing in the world and while I wish I had read more, I am more than satisfied with the books I chose this year. Therefore, to the Big Little Literature library: You got ranked.
*This number does not count Zadie Smith’s Swing Time and Aravind Adiga’s Selection Day, which I just could not finish.
My friends say they can’t trust my opinions because I “don’t know the meaning of best and favorite.” Maybe I’m just easy to please?
A few months ago, I tried a Mexican restaurant near my apartment. The next day I told my bestie (pun unintended), Jamie, that they had the best margaritas.
Jamie: “Haha I don’t know if I believe that. I’m pretty sure you told me last week you’d had the best margaritas at another restaurant.”
There’s truth in jest. I can’t say I have a favorite movie or restaurant. And it’s true I have a lot of bests. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, so here we go: I struggle to make definite decisions about what I like and dislike, and I can’t commit to a firm opinion. So even though I would ideally give Another Brooklyn 3.5 flames (there’s a big difference between three and four!), I’m pushing myself as a book critic and not giving the book the benefit of the doubt. I’m not taking the easy way by giving half a flame, which is physically impossible. Therefore, I’m dropping my review to an average .