Indigenous Literature & Book Casting With Our Bookstagrammer of the Week

Have you ever read a book and thought, “I could totally be the casting director for this adaptation.”? Well our Bookstagrammer of the Week, Gare of @gareindeedreads, is right there with you!

Author's Corner Book Culture Bookstagram Diverse Voices Diversity Recommendations Thriller & Mystery

We’re back with yet another Bookstagrammer of the Week here at Bookstr and boy oh boy, do we have a good one for you this week! We talked with Gare of @gareindeedreads who specializes in fan book casting his favorite reads and just being an overall ray of sunshine. Not only that, but we’re taking a good look at the publishing world and talking about Indigenous and Native American literature. If you’re looking for someone to geek out with about true crime novels and diversify your bookshelf with, keep reading about our latest Bookstagrammer of the Week!

Gare Billings

Gare Core Bookstagram | Columnist | Goodreads | Killing The Tea Podcast

Indigenous and native american Bookstagrammer of the week
cr. Gare of @gareindeedreads

By now, y’all know the beat. We’re talking with some of our favorite Bookstagrammers to get the inside scoop of what inspired their online presence, how they feel about certain topics, and what they think about the bookish community they contribute to!

I’m going to dive right in! Why did you start your Bookstagram and what does it mean to you?

A friend had told me about Bookstagrammers that she had found after people complimented me on some of my recommendations of books I had posted on my personal Instagram. I wanted to join because I love reading and I love talking about books and what these stories mean to us and how they affect us when we read them and before I knew it, I had found this whole community of people who did exactly that and they were all at my fingertips!

Indigenous and native american Bookstagrammer of the week
cr. Gare of @gareindeedreads

So Gare, it’s obvious that reading is a passion of yours and we’re curious– when did you first get into reading?

My parents always read to me when I was younger and around elementary school. I became obsessed with the book fairs and was always in search of something thrilling. I couldn’t be stopped when it came to collecting Fear Street and Goosebump books!

Now, November is actually Indigenous and Native American Heritage Month. The whole idea behind Indigenous and Native American Heritage Month is to give recognition to the impact that the original Americans had and how they influenced the growth of the United States as we know it today.

With that in mind, do you have any books that you’d recommend for their accurate and positive representation of their Indigenous characters?

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden is a really accurate portrayal of not only how the opioid crisis affects the Indigenous/Native American community but features the honest and unfortunate truth about health care, housing, and political issues that people deal with between the U.S. government and reservations. If you’re more into Indigenous/Native American folklore and want something more eerie, The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones is a really creepy tale that deals with social commentary and supernatural elements about a group of friends being haunted. The urban legends I heard growing up scared me endlessly, so this story gave me such a sense of nostalgia when I read it.

For people who are wanting to diversify their TBR list this November (and we know this will be hard), but who are some of your favorite Indigenous/Native American authors?

Indigenous/Native American authors that I have read, and think are amazing storytellers are Stephen Graham Jones and David Heska Wanbli Weiden. It’s pretty clear that publishing still has a lot of work to do with diversity in authors, so as time goes on, I am hopeful and excited to add more names to my favorite Indigenous/Native American authors soon.

It’s interesting that you mention that the publishing world has a lot of work to do. I agree with you wholeheartedly on that.

To kind of piggyback off that thought train, what do you hope to see more of within Indigenous/Native American literature?

I’d love to get to a point where Indigenous literature is as prominent as all literature in the sense of having Indigenous stories, but it would be nice to see more Indigenous authors and to see more their stories across all genres, like romance, thrillers, and contemporary fiction.

One thing that I know is difficult though is being a Bookstagrammer period. The times that we’ve spent talking with our different Bookstagrammers, we know that this is definitely something a little more complex than people realize at first.

Becoming a successful Bookstagrammer, like yourself, can be challenging for people just starting out. What’s one piece of advice that you would give to an aspiring Bookstagrammer?

Post what you want and what you love. The whole point of this community is to celebrate your love of reading, what you enjoy about reading, and the stories that resonate with you. If you be yourself and you are genuine, you’ll attract people who have similar interests that you do with books and the stories that you love.

Indigenous and native american Bookstagrammer of the week
cr. Gare of @gareindeedreads

Unfortunately, our time together is coming to a close! But, we’d love to end this off with you giving us one fun fact about yourself!

Whenever I’m having a bad day, a classic horror movie or an episode of Law & Order: SVU will always help me feel better.

We had a blast talking with Gare of @gareindeedreads for our Bookstagrammer of the Week series! If you’re wanting to diversify your bookshelf with some reads that are a little spookier you can also check out these three Bookstagrammers here!