About the Blog
This blog was initially started as Diversifying Perspective, a blog dedicated to through reading fiction books written by and about persons of traditionally marginalized groups, including persons with disabilities, persons of color, persons of the LGBTQIA+ community, women, etc. That blog particularly interested in reviewing books which address intersectionality. It also reviewed nonfiction books which address issues afflicting persons of traditionally marginalized groups, preferably written by persons of said groups, or nonfiction books which provide non-American perspectives, but prefers books which present non-Western culture perspectives and are written by people of those cultures. Lastly, it focused on reviewing all genres as my goal is for this blog to be as diverse as possible while highlighting authors of traditionally marginalized groups. All the posts from that blog are still on this blog, though the web address did change.
Diversifying Perspective did something unique in that it not only reviewed books written by and about persons of traditionally marginalized groups, but it also reflected on those books. It reflected on how reading those perspectives impacts the reader. It reflectws on subjects discussed in the book, particularly around intersectionality. It reflectws on the universality of theories. Diversifying Perspective went beyond reviewing books and looked at the way books impact our views of the world and argued that representation matters, not only to the people they represent but also to the people they do not represent. The blog encouraged respectful debate and reflection on how books change us and the world. Not Quite a Literary Critique will uphold the tradition of writing book reflections. It is important to talk about how books impact us.
As held by Diversifying Perspective, in order to diversify one’s perspective, one must be willing to change on many levels and simply reading books by and about people of traditionally marginalized groups may not be enough. For example, shame about one’s own racism and white privilege may limit one’s ability to fully embrace a new perspective, especially if is rubs against this shame. Thus, this blog also focuses on books which provide the tools for personal growth and move one closer to being a fully tolerant, respectful, compassionate, and empathetic ally.
What’s Different Between Diversifying Perspective and Not Quite a Literary Critique?
When I first started book blogging, I wanted to to write something that mattered. I had found that as I started diversifying my reading, I was also diversifying my perspective. I wanted to share and encourage that with others. The book that started the blog Diversifying Perspective was The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. That book changed my perspective and I decided to write about it. But, by the time I started Diversifying Perspective, I had put so much pressure, constraint, and judgement on what the blog needed to be, I wasn’t even willing to publish that review or reflection, though I evenutally did. When I did, I felt compelled to justify it and it was that kind of pressure which ultimately caused me to stop blogging. I will write about this more in an upcoming blog post, but I ended up no longer being able to tell why I was reading a book and between that and my dog being diagnosed with cancer, I stepped away from blogging.
Fundamentally, how Not Quite A Literary Critique is different from Diversifying Perspective is in two things. One, there is no longer a strict requirement to only review books by and about people of traditionally marginalized groups, though there is still a strong focus on those books. Two, NQLC adds, well, critiques! I noticed while blogging that many other bloggers are light and carefree in their blog posts, and I, well I am not. I realized that I write more like a formal book reviewer or literary critique than a book blogger sometimes. I decided to embrace this and hence the name and the profile pic. I’m much more comfortable with my blog this time and thus, I think I will stick with it for awhile.
A few years ago, a friend created a secret Facebook group called Reading in Color where members posted short reviews and recommendations of books written by people of color. It changed my reading habits forever. Once I became exposed to books written by people with different experiences and perspectives of my own, I started to see and feel the world differently. I was hooked and ever since, I have made a conscious effort to read less books written by straight, white, older, American males. I still have much to learn and hold myself responsible for understanding how my privilege impacts my perspectives and behaviors as I strive to be an ally. I will make mistakes and I will overlook my privilege. The goal of this blog is not to be perfect, but rather to listen and learn from persons from traditionally marginalized groups willing to speak about those experiences and use that to grow into a better ally through reflection and dialogue. It is on me to examine my own blinders and to grow from it. I ask readers to do the same. It is not on persons from traditionally marginalized groups to educate the majority, but rather it is on the majority to listen and grow and ultimately change the balance of privilege. Reading books by and about persons of traditionally marginalized groups is one way to do just that.
Maygin isn’t a quite a literary critic, but she seems to write reviews that sound an awful lot like a literary critique or at least a formal book review! She’s a book worm, dog mom, crocheter, and gardener who sometimes combines these loves.
I am a white, demisexual, homosexual, bi/panromantic, disabled, cis, American woman and trauma survivor who has always loved reading. I memorized my first book at age 2 and have not stopped reading since. I have been reading every night before bed for many years now, but recently started reading throughout the day every day. I simply cannot read enough. I read mostly literary fiction as I love a well-written, well-described, moving book that touches me deeply.
My favorite authors include Haruki Murakami, N.K. Jemisin, Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, Octavia Butler, Ruth Ozeki, Nancy Horan, and Wally Lamb. Some of my favorite books are Wicked, The Bell Jar, The Awakening, Crime and Punishment, The Garden of Eden, War for the Oaks, and most of the books written by my favorite authors. You can see an incomplete list of my favorite books on Goodreads.
I also enjoy crocheting, gardening, playing the Sims, watching PBS, all things purple, and snuggling my pup and nephew. You’ll often find me at my favorite library, at my favorite used book shop, in my garden, on my recliner reading, or with my nephew. My greatest fear is not being able to read all the books I want to before I die.
Maygin is a pseudonym.
What do you Read?
If you follow me, Maygin Reads, on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Google+ and/ or Listy, you will see that I read more books than the ones I review here. If you want to see all the reviews I have written or all the books I have read in the last few years, definitely check out Goodreads as it is the most comprehensive. This blog is primarily focused on books by and about persons from traditionally marginalized groups for reasons discussed above and thus the reviews on this blog are not comprehensive. But reviews on this blog are also not comprehensive as some books simply do not lend themselves to good, in-depth reviews (think classic children’s literature, for example). My goal is for at least 50% of the books I review, critique, and/ or reflect on on this blog to be books by and about persons from traditionally marginalized groups. While this is my personal goal, I do not claim it to be the ideal goal for everyone. I do, however; encourage everyone to make a conscious effort to read a bit more diversely, whatever that means for you.
Find me at:
Email: maygin.reads at gmail.com
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