At the end of May I put together a list of 85 Culturally Inclusive books I wanted to read after realising how shockingly lacking in diversity my bookshelves were. I was embarrassed, I was ashamed, but most importantly I (and a lot of other bookstagrammers in a similar situation) wanted to do something about it.

I have since started working my way through some inclusive books, having read The Beekeeper of Aleppo and The Hate U Give this month amongst a selection of other books. It is astonishingly clear to me how valuable a resource fiction books can be (as well as nonfiction) for learning about and understanding other cultures, listening to stories that need to be told from the voices of the people who need to tell them.

Here is my updated list of recommendations I’ve been collecting over the last month or so – I compiled this mostly for my own sake but hope it will help some of you too. All books listed include the Goodreads genre description and rating to help you choose. Happy reading!

African / Caribbean Inclusive

  • An American Marriage – Tayari Jones (contemporary romance, 3.96)
  • Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (contemporary fiction, 4.31)
  • The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta (young adult, 4.51)
  • The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison (historical fiction, 4.04)
  • Checkmate – Malorie Blackman (young adult, 4.19)
  • Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi (young adult fantasy, 4.14)
  • Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo (young adult, 4.45)
  • The Colour Purple – Alice Walker (classics, historical fiction, 4.21)
  • Concrete Rose – Angie Thomas (young adult, 3.85)
  • Conjure Women – Afia Atakora (historical fiction, 3.96)
  • Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese (historical fiction, 4.29)
  • Deacon King Kong – James McBride (historical fiction, 4.27)
  • Dear Martin – Nic Stone (young adult, 4.36)
  • Double Cross – Malorie Blackman (young adult, 4.15)
  • Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon (young adult, 4.06)
  • Get a Life, Chloe Brown – Talia Hibbert (contemporary romance, 3.86)
  • Ghost Boys – Jewell Parker Rhodes (young adult, 4.37)
  • The Girl with the Louding Voice – Abi Dare (contemporary fiction, 4.50)
  • Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo (contemporary fiction, 4.42)
  • Half a World Away – Mike Gayle (contemporary fiction, 4.21)
  • Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (historical fiction, 4.32)
  • The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas (young adult, 4.51)
  • Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi (historical fiction, 4.43)
  • A House for Mr Biswas – V. S. Naipaul (classics, 3.81)
  • Hum if You Don’t Know the Words – Bianca Marais (historical fiction, 4.23)
  • Kindred – Octavia E. Butler (historical / science fiction, 4.24)
  • Knife Edge – Malorie Blackman (young adult, 4.09)
  • Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds (young adult, 4.33)
  • Mr Loverman – Bernadine Evaristo (LGBTQ fiction, 4.15)
  • My Sister the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite (crime, 3.74)
  • Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman (young adult, 4.23)
  • On the Come Up – Angie Thomas (young adult, 4.30)
  • Opposite of Always – Justin A. Reynolds (young adult, 3.72)
  • Party of Two – Jasmine Guillory (contemporary romance, 4.09)
  • Pet – Akwaeke Emezi (young adult fantasy, 4.17)
  • The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo (young adult, 4.42)
  • The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver (historical fiction, 4.06)
  • The Proposal – Jasmine Guillory (contemporary romance, 3.44)
  • Queenie – Candice Carty Williams (contemporary fiction, 3.76)
  • Royal Holiday – Jasmine Guillory (contemporary romance, 3.53)
  • Saving Ruby King – Catherine Adel West (mystery, 4.36)
  • Silver Sparrow – Tayari Jones (historical fiction, 3.88)
  • Slay – Brittney Morris (young adult, 4.28)
  • Small Island – Andrea Levy (historical fiction, 3.96)
  • Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo (historical fiction, 4.01)
  • Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid (contemporary fiction, 3.81)
  • The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon (young adult, 4.07)
  • That Reminds Me – Derek Owusu (short stories, 4.12)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston (classics, 3.92)
  • The Thing Around Your Neck – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (short stories, 4.23)
  • This Lovely City – Louise Hare (historical fiction, 3.99)
  • The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett (historical fiction, 4.48)
  • War Girls – Tochi Onyebuchi (science fiction, 3.76)
  • The Water Dancer – Ta Nehisi Coates (historical fantasy, 4.08)
  • The Wedding Date – Jasmine Guillory (contemporary romance, 3.56)
  • The Wedding Party – Jasmine Guillory (contemporary romance, 3.77)
  • White Teeth – Zadie Smith (contemporary fiction, 3.77)
  • With the Fire on High – Elizabeth Acevedo (young adult, 4.25)
  • The Women of Brewster Place – Gloria Naylor (short stories, 4.16)
  • Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta (historical fiction, 3.98)

South Asian and Middle Eastern Inclusive

  • Ahimsa – Supriya Kelkar (historical fiction, 4.17)
  • The Beekeeper of Aleppo – Christy Lefteri (historical fiction, 4.23)
  • Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line – Deepa Annappara (mystery, 3.87)
  • Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (contemporary literature, 3.90)
  • A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry (historical fiction, 4.36)
  • Funny Boy – Shyam Selvadurai (LGBTQ fiction, 3.95)
  • The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy (historical fiction, 3.94)
  • The Great Indian Novel – Shashi Tharoor (historical fiction, 3.88)
  • Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri (short stories, 4.15)
  • The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (historical fiction, 4.30)
  • Life of Pi – Yann Martel (fantasy, 3.91)
  • The Lives of Others – Neel Mukherjee (historical fiction, 3.65)
  • Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie (historical fiction, 3.98)
  • The Night Diary – Veera Hiranandani (young adult, 4.20)
  • Nina is Not Okay – Shappi Khorsandi (young adult, 4.26)
  • Once Upon an Eid – S.K. Ali (short stories, 4.39)
  • The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters – Nadiya Hussein (chick lit, 3.52)
  • The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing (historical fiction, 4.00)
  • Sofia Khan is Not Obliged – Ayisha Malik (contemporary fiction, 3.82)
  • The Space Between Us – Thrity Umrigar (contemporary fiction, 4.00)
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini (historical fiction, 4.37)
  • A Very Large Expanse of Sea – Tahereh Mafi (young adult, 4.23)
  • When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandhya Menon (contemporary romance, 3.71)
  • The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga (contemporary fiction, 3.74)
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill (historical thriller, 3.92)
  • A Woman is No Man – Etaf Rum (historical fiction, 4.24)
  • The Year of the Runaways – Sunjeev Sahota (contemporary fiction, 3.85)

East Asian Inclusive

  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Jenny Han (young adult, 4.13)
  • American Panda – Gloria Chao (young adult, 3.81)
  • Anna K – Jenny Lee (young adult, 3.68)
  • Braised Pork – An Yu (contemporary fiction, 3.51)
  • Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan (contemporary romance, 3.85)
  • Frankly in Love – David Yoon (young adult, 3.82)
  • The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan (historical fiction, 3.93)
  • Killing Commendatore – Haruki Murakami (magical realism, 3.68)
  • Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng (contemporary fiction, 4.10)
  • Pachinko – Min Jin Lee (historical fiction, 4.27)
  • PS I Still Love You – Jenny Han (young adult, 4.12)
  • Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro (historical fiction, 4.12)
  • Sex and Vanity – Kevin Kwan (contemporary romance, 3.55)
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han (young adult, 4.16)
  • The Woman in the White Kimono – Ana Johns (historical fiction, 4.28)
  • Your House Will Pay – Steph Cha (mystery, 4.12)

Hispanic / Latino Inclusive

  • The Book of Unknown Americans – Cristina Henriquez (contemporary fiction, 3.88)
  • Dominicana – Angie Cruz (historical fiction, 4.09)
  • Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (classics, 3.87)
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter – Erika L. Sanchez (young adult, 4.03)
  • Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (classics, 3.92)
  • Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno Garcia (gothic, 4.13)
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (classics, 4.08)
  • The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (historical fiction, 4.27)

Indigenous Inclusive

  • Birdie – Tracy Lindberg (cultural fiction, 3.67)
  • Catching Teller Crow – Ambelin Kwaymullina (young adult, 3.91)
  • Carpentaria – Alexis Wright (cultural fiction, 3.63)
  • Ceremony – Leslie Marmon Silko (historical fiction, 3.78)
  • The Marrow Thieves – Cherie Dimaline (young adult, 4.06)
  • There There – Tommy Orange (contemporary fiction, 3.98)
  • Too Much Lip – Melissa Lucashenko (cultural fiction, 4.12)
  • Trail of Lightning – Rebecca Roanhorse (fantasy, 3.98)

Inclusive Non-Fiction / Biographical

  • Ain’t I a Woman – Bell Hooks (feminist non-fiction, 4.41)
  • Australia Day – Stan Grant (non-fiction, 4.18)
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcolm X and Alex Haley (autobiography, 4.32)
  • Becoming – Michelle Obama (biography, 4.55)
  • Black and British: A Forgotten History – David Olusoga (non-fiction, 4.56)
  • Brit(ish) – Afua Hirsch (non-fiction, 4.30)
  • Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa – Dambisa Moyo (non-fiction, 3.69)
  • Do They Hear You When You Cry – Fauziya Kassindja (memoir, 4.21)
  • Dreams from My Father – Barack Obama (biography, 3.88)
  • Eloquent Rage – Brittney Cooper (memoir, 4.41)
  • Finding My Voice – Nadiya Hussain (biography, 3.88)
  • The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin (non-fiction, 4.50)
  • Hope in a Ballet Shoe – Michaela DePrince (biography, 4.29)
  • How Does it Feel to Be a Problem? – Moustafa Bayoumi (sociology, 3.94)
  • How to Be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi (social justice, 4.55)
  • The Girl Who Smiled Beads – Clemantine Wamariya (memoir, 4.19)
  • I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai (biography, 4.12)
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou (biography, 4.23)
  • In Order to Live – Yeonmi Park (memoir, 4.49)
  • Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to Empire (non-fiction, 4.16)
  • It’s Not About the Burqa – Mariam Khan (non-fiction, 4.33)
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stephenson (non-fiction, 4.60)
  • The Lightless Sky – Gulwali Passarley (biography, 4.46)
  • Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela (biography, 4.34)
  • A Long Way Home (Lion) – Saroo Brierley (biography, 4.12)
  • Me and White Supremacy – Layla F. Saad (social justice, 4.49)
  • Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning – Cathy Park Hong (essays, 4.46)
  • My Love Story – Tina Turner (biography, 3.99)
  • My Past is a Foreign Country – Zeba Talkhani (feminist biography, 4.27)
  • Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire – Akala (non-fiction, 4.59)
  • The Patient Assassin – Anita Anand (true crime, 4.14)
  • Roots – Alex Haley (non-fiction, 4.44)
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari (nonfiction, 4.43)
  • Shame – Jasvinder Sanghera (memoir, 4.12)
  • The Source of Self-Regard – Toni Morrison (essays, 4.30)
  • So You Want to Talk About Race? – Ijeoma Olou (social justice, 4.49)
  • Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup (biography, 4.20)
  • The Underground Rail Road – William Still (biography, 4.12)
  • The Ungrateful Refugee – Dina Nayeri (biography, 4.07)
  • We Need to Talk About The British Empire – Afua Hirsch (non-fiction, 4.17)
  • We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (feminist nonfiction, 4.45)
  • White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo (sociology, 4.49)
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (non-fiction, 4.38)
  • A World of Difference: An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents – Lynda Prescott (Editor) (short stories, 3.69)
  • The Wretched of the Earth – Frantz Fanon (non-fiction, 4.21)

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