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  • #LiteraryLA join us Sunday, Juy 28th from 3-5 PM at @findyourhilltop for an afternoon of community and conversation as we discuss Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala. "Speak No Evil explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles. It is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people." If you have a book loving friend in the Los Angeles area, tag them below so they don't miss out. RSVP using the link in our bio and we'll see you there!
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  • Where is the time going? Here were are, six months down in the year, and we've had the pleasure of sharing these six books with you so far! Which have been your faves?
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  • ***GIVEAWAY CLOSED*** Happy Sunday!!! Let's host a giveaway, shall we? We have 5 copies of Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena (@bhathenatanaz) and one of them could be yours! To enter all you have to do is (1) Follow @mylitbox (2) like this post and (3) tag a book loving friend below. That's it! Winners must reside in the US and entries will be accepted through Wednesday (7/3) and the winners will be announced Thursday (7/4). Good luck!
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  • Our final June #MyLitBox is our Black Women are Lit! Box featuring Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Denn (@ndennisbenn). In this novel, we witness a mother grapple with tough decisions as she makes a choice between her first love and her daughter, leaving her daughter to grapple with some tough decisions of her own. We wanted the items in this month's box to serve as validation that everyone deserves the right to exist as their full selves and all that entails. .
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#bookphotography #books #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookstore #bookworm #currentlyreading #diversity #igreads #instabook #nowreading #read #reading #tbr #tbrlist #writersofcolor #blog #blogger #bookblog #subscriptionbox #wellreadblackgirl #wrbg
  • Next up is our YA box featuring With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (@acevedowrites). With the Fire on High introduces us to Emoni Santiago, a teenage single mother who makes magic in the kitchen but food isn’t the only thing on her plate. In addition to being a mother, she’s a student trying to figure out what’s next, like your average high school senior. With obligations to her family taking priority, she doesn’t know if her dreams can become realities and the items in this month's box would hopefully nudge her in the direction of those dreams.
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#bookphotography #books #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookstore #bookworm #currentlyreading #diversity #igreads #instabook #nowreading #read #reading #tbr #tbrlist #writersofcolor #blog #blogger #bookblog #subscriptionbox #wellreadblackgirl #wrbg #ya #latinx
  • First up we're going to reveal our Adult Fiction #MyLitBox that features Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (@jeankwokauthor). Imagine the panic you’d go into if a loved one were to disappear. But how would you feel if as you searched for them, you realized you didn't know them well after all? This is the dilemma one sister faces as she searches for the other in Searching for Sylvie Lee. This is a story about family, rivalries, and secrets, and the lengths we go to for the ones we love and the items in this box hopefully serve as a reminder to leave your comfort zones and as a nod to the uniqueness of some of the destinations we are introduced to in this novel.
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#bookphotography #books #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookstore #bookworm #currentlyreading #diversity #igreads #instabook #nowreading #read #reading #tbr #tbrlist #writersofcolor #blog #blogger #bookblog #subscriptionbox
  • *taps mic* Is this thing still on? We're back to celebrate this month's #MyLitBox(es)! We are so excited to feature two titles from authors you've seen in #MyLitBox before and three amazing stories that we'll spend more time with this week. So without further ado, our June #MyLitBox selections are Pasty by Nicole Dennis-Benn (@ndennisbenn), With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (@acevedowrites), and Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (@jeankwokauthor). Which will you read first? 📚
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  • Happy Saturday! This weekend we're reading The Atlas of Reds and Blues by @devislaskar. What about you? What good books are you reading this weekend? 📚
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  • Our goal is to make the #MyLitBox signup process as simple as possible. All you have to do is visit www.mylitbox.com/shop, select the box type you're most interested in, head to check out and you're all set, we'll take it from there! Be like the little alien and sign up today!
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#bookphotography #books #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookstore #bookworm #currentlyreading #diversity #igreads #instabook #nowreading #read #reading #tbr #tbrlist #writersofcolor #blog #blogger #bookblog #subscriptionbox
  • We could all imagine the panic we'd go into if a loved one were to disappear, but how would you feel if as you searched for them, you realized you didn't know them well after all? We get to watch this play out as one sister searches for another only to realize she's looking for someone she barely knew. Link in bio.
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#bookclub #bookphotography #books #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookstore #bookworm #currentlyreading #diversity #igreads #instabook #nowreading #read #reading #tbr #tbrlist #writersofcolor #blog #blogger #bookblog #subscriptionbox
  • The saying goes "love is where the heart is," but what does it mean when your love spans across an ocean? Who wins and who loses? The title selected for our Black Women are Lit! Box grapples with this question as we witness a mother choose between staying with her daughter or following a love that takes her away from home. If your curiosity is piqued, sign up today! Link in our bio.
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#bookclub #bookphotography #books #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookstore #bookworm #currentlyreading #diversity #igreads #instabook #nowreading #read #reading #tbr #tbrlist #writersofcolor #blog #blogger #bookblog #subscriptionbox #wellreadblackgirl #wrbg

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Why Representation in Literature Matters

January 13, 2018

I grew up as the daughter of immigrants in a small white town in northern Utah that, according to Wikipedia, was 94% White in 1990. Though most of my childhood memories are happy ones that include luscious green grass, Aggie ice-cream (Aggie Blue Mint is the best!), Gossner’s cheese factory, and Pepperidge farm house cookies, I do remember feeling different from my peers. We lived in an apartment. We did not speak English at home. I looked, well, non-white. As different as I felt from them, I’m sure my neighbors and peers felt uneasy as well and did not know how to interact with my family. Although I didn’t blame them, it didn’t help me feel any less out of place.

I have always been an avid reader. I read everything including the Sweet Valley High series like any other girl of the 1980s and 1990s. The Wakefield twins were my idols, but there was never a time I could relate to them. White, rich, beautiful, and popular with other white friends. I soon grew out of my obsession with the Wakefield twins because they seemed too perfect to the point of being unrealistic. They were everything I was NOT. I wanted to read books and see myself more often, and I desperately wanted my peers to learn about ME so they could relate to my somewhat complicated life.

One Saturday morning, my mom took me to the library. I remember browsing around and picked up The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea. I threw that book into my bookbag along with a few others from that series, not thinking much of it. But, The Baby-Sitters Club series changed my life and is still one of my favorite series to this day. For what felt like the first time, I noticed there were other girls out there just like me! I remember my twelve-year-old self wishing my peers would read books about immigrants or different ethnic groups so they would learn how to interact with me and respect me and my culture. Not only did The Baby-Sitters Club have an Asian-American character, Claudia, the series later introduced an African-American character named Jessie and diversified the series even more. But, there was another character in this series that made it special to me.

Countless times I’ve been told I’m a walking miracle because I was born with multiple heart problems. Out of the several, I was born with, I have something called Single Ventricular Disease, which affects me the most. Since my heart must work overtime to pump blood, my oxygen levels are low which turns me blue, and I have difficulty breathing from time to time. Since my health condition isn’t visible, people often underestimate the toll it takes on me, and these limitations have made me feel out of place, and then I met Stacy from The Baby-Sitters Club. Stacy had Type I Diabetes, and in one story she wet the bed at a sleepover due to her health condition, and this occurrence makes her the laughing stock of her school. This one thing about Stacy impacted so many other parts of her life making forming friendships that much harder. Stacy’s story resonated with me so much because, like me, things beyond her control dictated so much about her quality of life. It’s hard to understand someone from the outside looking in, but I think books are a gateway to learning about others, gaining new perspectives, and learning how our differences should not make us withhold respect.

I currently reside in Texas, and moving here from Utah has pushed me to expand my reading habits even more. I want to read books as diverse and colorful as the people who represent the community I now live in as well as those who are underrepresented. This means the inclusion of members of the LGBTQ community, all gender identities, people of color, and those who suffer from both physical and mental illnesses. It means to read their stories to learn of the everyday challenges they face and gain perspective of their lives and understand that though we are all different, we are all equal and deserving of all that is good.

Diana Eng is a blogger and lover of reading, teaching, writing, learning, and chocolate! She has spent most of her life in Utah and South Korea but currently resides in Dallas, TX with her best friend and husband of 5 1/2 years. You can find more of Diana on her book blog, Owl’s Little Library, as well as on Instagram.

  • Reply
    Sanura
    January 20, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Thank you for sharing this part of your personal story with us, Diana! It’s a much needed reminder that the representation we seek isn’t limited to race, faith, and gender identity.

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