Armchair BEA Day 1: Introductions & Diversity in Books

Posted May 11, 2016 in Armchair BEA / 11 Comments


Omg BEA 16 is finally here! And if you’re like me, unable to go to BEA, be it due to the expensive costs or the overseas-thingish, well, there’s Armchair BEA for all of you. And this year, I’m finally taking part in ABEA so, I really cannot wait! So, let’s get this show on the road with introductions:


1. What is the name you prefer to use?

Maryam. It’s pronounced as MAR-yum.

2. How long have you been a book blogger?

I actually started book blogging 2 years ago? But it has only been less than a year that I started to be more invested in book blogging seriously.

3. Have you participated in ABEA before?

NOPE, well not really. I supposedly took part last year, but disappeared half way due to work. Hence, this year my resolution is to get through with ABEA till the end!

4. Do you have a favorite book? If you cannot choose a favorite book of all time, pick your favorite book today – just this second. Remember that favorites are allowed to change if something affects you deeply enough.

Believe it or not, I actually do have a favorite book of all time. TO CATCH A PIRATE BY JADE PARKER. Why? Because it’s the book that made me fall in love with reading, pirates and cute-as-heck romance. I swear this is the only book that I could memorize by heart.

5. What is your favorite genre and why?

Fantasy, definitely. I’ve always loved fantasy because I think that’s the genre where everything is possible. Like, literally everything. Unicorns. Dragons. Turning oneself into a cat! ANYTHING. 

6. What book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by?

Excited? Carry On by Rainbow Rowell HAHA. Yes, yes, I have not read it, but guuuuuys, I’m just too excited for it that I’m scared to read it. Intimidated? TONS omg, especially all those series finale. The Raven King, The Rose and the Dagger, OH AND Truthwitch. I’m intimidated by those books because I’m scared they will crush my very soul and break my heart so badly that it can never be mended back all over again.

7. If you could choose three characters to have lunch with, who would they be and why?

Okay okay, *thinks hard* Magnus Bane. Because helloooooo, the sexy one. Plus, I bet we’ll have a pretty interesting conversation about cool cats. Chaol, definitely, so that I can seduce him to be my bae since Aelin isn’t doing a good job of that HAHAHAHAHA. And and omg this is so hard. UM OH OH Nina from Six of Crows, because guuuuys, we can eat and eat and eat together. She’s practically my spirit animal, and we can bond over our excessive obsession with food HAHAHA.


Is it weird that I’ve always been scared to write about this topic? I mean, I never know whether my opinions are considered right or wrong, because these days, the society has this thing where they support you if you support diversity. But, don’t get me wrong, I do support diversity. I just don’t actively search for it in books. Makes sense? Let me explain.

I really do support diversity. I think it’s amazing that these days, more diverse books are popping up into the world. Diversity is needed in a world like this, where non-white people are look down upon. And I do mean, non-white, not just Americans. Because look at French people, and Italian and British and Australian. And heck, even Arabics. They’re considered one of the higher people in the world. Why? Because they’re white. Before you argue with me about this, I do have personal experience with this in my country, Singapore. Oh trust me, I have heard Chinese parents saying, “Boy, why would you wanna marry and Indian girl? It wouldn’t be nice if your son/daughter doesn’t have fair skin.” But why? Why be against someone who doesn’t have fair skin? Black is beautiful? Heck, even ultra pale skin is beautiful. Humans are humans. So, I love that diversity and poc has been happening in the movie world, and in the book world. We need more books in the world about a Korean girl falling in love, or about an African American girl saving the world with her kickass magic.

BUT I’m not the kind of person who actively looks out for diversity in books. I wouldn’t say I don’t care, but I’m just not all that picky about what I read. Give me a poc? I’ll read it. Give me a book about normal American teenagers? I’ll read it too. The reason why I didn’t take part in any diversity reading challenge is that I did not want to force myself to like or read a book because it’s diverse, because there are times when even with a poc, the book doesn’t appeal to me. I have had people who come up to me and be like, “OMG, you must read this book! It is diversity. Why won’t you read it?! Ugh, how horrible you are for not supporting diverse books” when in actual fact, I just didn’t like the story plot. I mean, no offense to any authors out there, but chucking in diversity and poc in your books do not guarantee a 5-star rating.

Makes sense? I would just like to apologize if anyone feels offended, but I guess that’s just my personal preference. I mean, diverse books or not, they’re still books, and as long as they have amazing characters and beautiful plots, I’m game.


What about you? What do you think of diversity in books? Do you look out for them whenever you want to read a new book?

Get Once Upon A Story in your inbox!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We won't spam!

11 Responses to “Armchair BEA Day 1: Introductions & Diversity in Books”

  1. Omg your site is so pretty! And it has a gorgeous name!

    I totally agree with you and think you’re 100% right not to force yourself to read certain books. Diversity for the sake of diversity doesn’t work. It needs to be an awesome book that you HAVE to read, and suddenly you realise there’s an Asian character, or a disabled character. As someone with a hearing impairment, it’s important for me to find books that tell the story of people dealing with that, but also, why can’t the butt-kicking main character in that epic fantasy novel not just happen to be deaf or something? Why aren’t minorities represented like that? That’s what we need. Not just diversity for the hell of it, but GOOD BOOKS that are diverse without trying to be. If that makes sense.

    P.S Read Carry On sooooon! It’s good 🙂
    Melanie recently posted…Armchair BEA: Day 1: IntroductionMy Profile

  2. Oh my gosh, yes to Chaol, I will take care of him and give him all the love he deserves! Series enders can be so scary, especially if you’ve fallen so in love with the characters. I recently finished The Raven King and loved it and am currently reading The Rose and the Dagger. I agree with you that just because a book is diverse, doesn’t mean it’s good. I believe that this is because there is such a lack of diverse books to begin with that we tend to praise a book for diversity alone. If we had a plethora of diverse books to choose from I’d guarantee you’d find a book you’d love and a book you’d hate without having to judge it based on diversity alone. Hope you enjoy the rest of ABEA!
    Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense recently posted…Armchair BEA: Introduction & DiversityMy Profile


      I am still scared to read The Raven King, omggggg I’m such a horrible person HAHAHA.

      YES, I love whatever you’re saying. I do want to read a good book, and if there’s diversity in it, then that’s like the icing on a cake 😀

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge