Thursday, October 8, 2009

CORA Diversity Roll Call: Celebrating Bloggers

For our current assignment, Ali asked us:

1)Write a post highlighting one or more bloggers who are extremely different from you in some way. For example, think about blogger(s) who:
a. Identify with another race and/or ethnicity, religion, cultural background, age, etc. from you
b. Live the farthest from you
c. Have entirely different tastes in books from you (but you love their blog anyway)

My experience has been that when we talk about diversity, there is an emphasis on realizing how much we are alike rather than focusing on the differences. For me however, it is the differences that appeal to me. It is discovering and experiencing something different from what I know that draws me to the place, the person or the culture. I know me. I know what I like, believe and where I stand on issues. The beauty and appeal of diversity is learning something outside of my experience.

Specifically about blogs, I have a confession: for the most part, I don’t read a variety of blogs to discover new reads so much as I’m interested in what the blogger likes or how she writes or the different voice or tone of her blog. I’m not ever likely to read much mystery and while I dream of reading literary works again and I’d enjoy reading more nonfiction particularly history, right now, I’m immersed in YA which I love, and I’m okay reading vicariously through my blogger friends.

That said, here a few bloggers I read regularly:

Gavin at Page247. Gavin lives in the northwest. She’s a few years older and she was a librarian. In my former life, I worked with librarians, and in my world, they rock. I always thought Gavin’s posts reflected an eclectic taste, but I learned recently she really likes mysteries and another genre that escapes me at the moment. I like how she writes, the variety of reviews and we share similar views. I like how Gavin interacts with her readers and it’s the interaction I enjoy with Gavin that draws me most to her blog.

Jill at Rhapsodyinbooks. My initial interest in Jill’s blog was the name of her blog. I recognized the Miles Davis reference and that meant she had great taste in music. Later, I learned Jill had been a librarian, too. (Okay, so maybe I’m not diverse enough.) Jill lives out west but is from the Midwest. She has a library that any book lover would envy and she’s wicked smart and funny. When we first started chatting, I was intimidated. My friend is clearly educated and has done a lot of things I’ve only dreamed of so I wasn’t too sure if she’d find me interesting. For whatever reason, she likes me. Reading Jill’s blog, I get mini history lessons and I’m exposed to other nonfiction works I enjoy hearing about even if I don’t ever read them. We also share a passion for food. What’s not to love about someone who likes to eat as much as I do?

Colleen at Chasing Ray. Colleen lives in Alaska. I’ve never lived anywhere but Michigan. She can fly. I cannot. Colleen and I are close in age and we both come from working class families so we have that in common, but Colleen is a writer, a bona fide writer. I admire librarians, teachers and writers. See a pattern here? Colleen is smart, articulate, no nonsense, a get-it-done kind of woman, and that appeals to me big time. I like people who not only say what they think but they act on it and writing is action. I read Chasing Ray because Colleen tackles big issues in literature and the publishing industry.

Zetta at Fledgling. Zetta is from Canada. She has a Ph.D and she’s taught at respected colleges on the east coast. I have not. Zetta and I are friends and she embodies the kind of talent, accomplishments and position I want for our young women. Zetta is a woman of color who didn’t allow the inherent disadvantage of race and gender to stop her. The reality is it takes tenacity, exceptional talent and determination to succeed when you’re a woman of color, because when the quotas have been filled, the double minority candidate is tossed aside if she doesn’t have the drive to clear the hurdles. I read Fledgling because I never know what this writer is going to talk about. One day it’s a critique of the publishing world, another day it’s a book review and that could mean YA to classic women studies or it’s a lament about social ills or cool haiku. Zetta is that rare breed of a writer: She writes novels, essays, plays and poetry and does every one of them well.

Tanabata at In Spring it is the dawn. Discovered Tanabata’s blog through BBAW. Felt like I hit the jackpot. I love multicultural lit and here was a blogger who exclusively wrote about a culture and its literature. And I know very little about either. Tanabata is a photographer and has lived in different countries. I have not. After a few exchanges, I knew I wanted to visit her site regularly. She’s friendly, artistic and she writes well. Very cool.

Read others' contributions at Worducopia.


Ali said...

Wonderful post. This was worth the wait. :-) And I'm right there with you that I read the blogs with the voice that grabs me, rather than the books that appeal.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm flattered that you mentioned me. And in such good company too!

Zetta said...

What a cool topic--I'll have to think about this one for a while...thanks for mentioning me, but I'm not adopted! (I am Canadian...)

Color Online said...


Ack, thinking of my own extended family.Correction made.