Library staff recommend some diverse reads!

The long, wintry days provide an ideal opportunity for some recreational reading so Library staff have provided some personal recommendations for some of the books purchased recently using the Library’s Diversity fund:

Rainbow Milk, by Paul Mendez

Cover of "Rainbow Milk"

Chosen by Sharon Hill, Collections Services

The story of Jesse McCarthy; a young, black Jehovah’s Witness from Wolverhampton.  Jesse is also gay; a total no-no in his religion.  After being cast out from his faith and a pariah in his family home, he travels to London in search of a new life, a new community and a new purpose.

Sharon says: I was very moved by this book. Despite his conflicting feelings, Jesse’s irrepressible spirit shines through and he finds self-acceptance and joy against the odds.




A Room Called Earth, by Madeline RyaCover of "A Room Called Earth"                        

Chosen by Sue Crawford, Library User Services

A neurodiverse young woman’s experience of a party.  Minutely attuned to those around her, she alternates between profound connection, alienation and being overwhelmed.

Sue says:  “Touchingly written insight into the highs and lows of compulsive attention as the main character gets ready for a party and the experience of it when she gets there. Her back story is revealed along the way.”



In Black and White, by Alexandra Wilson

Cover of "In Black and White"

Chosen by Tim Chapman, Academic Liaison Librarian

Alexandra Wilson, a newly qualified barrister, gives a real and personal perspective on what it’s like being a mixed-race woman at the bar. It’s a fascinating read – compelling, worrying and surprising. Not all is right with our Criminal Justice System, but somehow Alexandra strikes the right note in making us understand that people like her can make a difference.

Tim says:  “Compelling writing that doesn’t get bogged down in legal jargon. If you want to know what life is really like for a young, mixed-race woman working in the law, go no further. I couldn’t put it down.”

Want to recommend a title to diversify our collections? Find the link under the Books tab of any of our Diversity LibGuides or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Library Diversity & Inclusion Group

Black History Month 2021- Race & Ethnicity Libguide

This October, we are launching a new guide. 

University of Reading Black History Month graphic, square box made up of black background with flashes of red, yellow and green, with white text. White clenched fist outline on yellow and black background.

Black History Month 2021– there’re lots of activities on offer at the University of Reading

The Race and Ethnicity Libguide covers a wide range of academic disciplines such as sociology, culture, languages, heritage, and many other subjects too.  

This guide will introduce you to some of key resources the Library can provide and will point you towards other relevant online resources and libraries. 

We have lots of new books for you to explore. Many of these titles are relevant to UK Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) experiences but there is also a wide selection relating to International experiences. Look at the Books tab to see newly published and seminal resources that are available from the Library to help you build on your knowledge and understanding of BAME dialogues.  

Books on shelves, purple pillar, grey carpet

What would you like to see on our shelves?


Have you heard about our fund to help to Diversify the collections


The section on ‘Diversifying our collections’ will help build your understanding of this movement- why it matters and what you can do to help. 


If you want help finding out more about BAME academics here at the University of Reading, have a look at the Further Resources tab to see a list of some of the recent research outputs by BAME staff. You can also search for publications about race and ethnicity in the research repository, centAUR. 


If you have an idea for a resource you’d like to see listed, please get in touch. We hope that you will find this guide useful.


Your Library Team


Highlighting our LGBT+ resources for Pride month!

Image shows a crochet cactus in a Pride rainbow striped pot.

Moss the Pride cactus (they/them) crocheted by Academic Liaison Librarian, Ruth (she/her).

As we come to the end of Pride month, we just wanted to remind you that our LGBT+ Libguide will be here all year (Library resources for researching LGBT+ related topics).  It’s a really great starting point to learn more about LGBT+ issues.

If you can help us to futher diversify our Library collections, please submit a suggestion for purchase from the Library Diversity Fund. This was created to help us to continue to build and diversify our collections. You can see all the Diversity titles purchased in current and previous academic years on our dedicated Library Diversity fund reading lists.

(If you would like to suggest other items for the Library, please complete our regular book suggestion form.)

Meanwhile, we’re introducing you to Moss the cactus, wearing their crocheted rainbow pot … with great Pride.

Ruth Ng, Academic Liaison Librarian for Henley Business School

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia aka ‘IDAHOBIT’ Day.

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue skies and the sun

The LGBT+ Libguide (Library resources for researching LGBT+ related topics) is a really great starting point to find out more about LGBT+ resources (!

Are you are interested in helping to continue to diversify the Library collections? If so, why not submit a resource suggestion?

The Library Diversity Fund, was created to help ensure increasing access to knowledge and resources about intersections and protected characteristics. This means that we can continue to build the collections, specifically in areas that are currently underrepresented in the Library.

Visit the official IDAHOBIT website today to find out more about how you can develop awareness and celebrate diversity.


Emma Allison, Library User Services