What do I want to focus on in 2014? Last year was all about being a more thoughtful reader.I feel like I made a great start but I want to go even further. I spent some time thinking about the specifics of books I was reading. Who are the authors, where are they from, are they male or female? These thoughts went even further when some of my favorite YouTubers brought (check out Rincey here and Allyn here) up some of the same things I was thinking about. So I decided diversity was the name of the game in 2014.
- I like to consider myself a fairly diverse person and, when you look at almost every aspect of my life you would see that I kind of am. Somehow though, books were left off the diverse train and this, is the year that all changes. When it comes to my reading habits I definitely read more women than men. That is not something I ever did on purpose it just happened. The thing is most of the authors I read whether male or female are white and American. My reading diversity is abysmal and I can’t say why except that I just wasn’t paying attention. Much of what was being said on Youtube was about slowly incorporating some diversity into reading. People decided to add one POC (person on color) author to their reading stack every month. Others decided to focus on reading authors outside of just America or the UK. I am kind of doing the reverse. I’ve spent nearly 30 years reading white American authors so now I’m going to focus on all the other people I’ve been ignoring. So here is what I’m going to do. A while back I wrote down every book by a white author that I own, cut them up and put them in a jar. Every month I will pull a book out and that is the one I will read. If I come across a book at my library or I find a book to buy and it’s by a white author I will just substitute that for whatever is in my jar. Every other book I read in the month will be by a POC with a focus on BW authors.
- The next goal I have is to read 80 books. Last year I tried to reach 80 and only got to 71. Part of that was I moved at the end of the year so I got behind. Numbers aren’t really that important but I just like the idea of setting a number and working towards it.
- I really want to make a significant dent in my book shelf. I don’t own a ton of books so it’s not technically a hard thing to do but, you know how things go. I have decided to join a challenge to do just this. You can check out the TBR challenge hosted by Bookish right here and my post about joining it and what I want to do here.
- I want to tackle 3 subjects that have been on my mind for quite sometime now.
1.The Harlem Renaissance, if I could live in another time period it would be this time. It wouldn’t be easy by any stretch but the art, music, food and culture that came from that time is on another level. I want to read more from the authors and poets of the time, and I want to read books about the time both fiction and non-fiction.I am participating in a Harlem Renaissance challenge hosted by Dusky Literati which you can check out here. You can check out the post I made about joining the challenge here.
2.Slavery not the easiest topic but one I find necessary. I have also found that it isn’t easy to find books that tell the real story. . I don’t want white-washed descriptions of happy slaves and good times and well meaning slave owners. I want to focus mostly on non-fiction and Bio’s with some fiction works thrown in. I am going to attempt to tackle Roots but it’s a chunker so it will probably take some time.
3. The Great Migration, once again not a super fun or easy subject. The great migration is a topic that I never heard a word about until I was an adult. It’s especially interesting to me because I realized that my paternal grandparents were a part of the migration. Once again I want to focus on non-fiction but I’m not sure there is a lot read out there. It may end up that I turn to fiction to get what I am looking for.
I’m also wanting to check out some more dystopian reads. Dystopian is a funny thing for me because I love dystopian movies and TV shows but, I haven’t loved most of the books I’ve read. My first dystopian was The Hunger Games and I liked it and the series a lot. I then read Fahrenheit 451, 1984 and Divergent and really hated all of them. I want to give them another go because I feel like I just to need to find the right ones. I hear that Margaret Atwood is good and then of course there are the myriad YA titles to choose from.
And last but not least I am really going to read The Time Travelers Wife. I have had an on again off again relationship with this book for a couple of years. I have heard really amazing things about it and really terrible things about it. Either way this is the year I read it!
Anything specific you want to focus on this year? Do you have any suggestions for Dystopian novels I should check out?
Until Next Time