More Diverse, Less A-Thon

 

whitehead-colsonThe Diverse-A-Thon didn’t go as planned. I didn’t get a chance to finish “The Underground Railroad”. I’m currently on page 118. There have been so many distractions. I blame The New Edition Story 3-night miniseries and Trump’s troubling executive orders. Basically, life happened.

“The Underground Railroad” has a slow beginning. It took me some time to adjust to Colson’s writing style. I will come back to do a book review when I’m done. Diverse reading will not stop here. I plan to continue reading diverse for the rest of the year. Check out my diverse reading list here.

Reading Diverse Books

I don’t read enough diverse books. Let me tell you why.

When I was younger I had more mental space to delve into books about oppression, discrimination, and inequality. Being a mother of 3 with a full-time job, I’m overtaken by worry due to our recent developments in government.  Everyone seems to be talking at the same time about their needs and fears. The more I learn about this world, the more I reach for light reads. Once I get home from work, my ears are ringing and my eyes are tired from overexposure. Living in New York does not help. There are times when I can’t even hear myself think. Escapism is usually my main motivation for reading, along with my love for storytelling.

Until yesterday. I learned that Christina Marie, along with a few other bloggers and YouTubers, is hosting a Diverse-A-Thon. This reading marathon challenges you to read as many diverse books by POC and other marginalized groups you can for 7 days (Jan.22nd-Jan29th). During those 7 days, there will be a read-along for “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. I’m so glad that I own this book. There will be discussions on twitter and we are urged to use the hashtag #diverseathon.

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A yearlong challenge for Reading Diverse in 2017 has also been launched. Not only are we encouraged to read diverse, we are also challenged to read books by POC or other marginalized groups with stories about those same groups. For example, Toni Morrison is an African American writer who writes about African American people. If you participate you will have a chance to win prizes for posting diverse book reviews and various book posts. It sounds like fun.

On my 2016 Wrap Up/2017 Reading Resolutions post, I mentioned that I want to dedicate a month to reading Toni Morrison books. And, currently, I’m reading “We Are The Ants” by Shaun David Hutchinson. This book is about a gay teenager who is abducted by aliens. I also believe the writer is from the LBGTQIA community. I am reading diverse and didn’t even notice. I have some problems with this book. I will explain in a book review coming soon. Listed below are some more diverse books I plan to read this year.

Last year, I read “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon. I thought it was such a cute feel good book. I decided to give her next novel a try “The Sun is Also a Star”. This book deals with love, deportation, and science vs. fate.

“Behold the Dreamers” by Imbolo Mbue is about a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem. Sounds good to me already.

I’ve heard so many great things about “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi. Let’s also take in that beautiful UK cover. Yes, I ordered it from bookdepository.com. I had to wait a few weeks for it. Ta-Nehisi Coates says, “Homegoing is an inspiration”. There we have it. I can’t wait to dive in.

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Speaking of Ta-Nehisi Coates, I want to read his memoir “The Beautiful Struggle”. “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi broke my heart, but it was much needed medicine. His honesty and eloquence was so refreshing. Can’t wait to see what and who had a hand in making him the man he is today. Great writer.

This will be my first time reading Zadie Smith. Seems you either love her writing or you hate it according to booktube. I want to find out which side I’m on.

The premise of “A Brief History of Seven Killings” has such an interesting premise. He seems to have an unique take on Bob Marley’s attack in 1976. This book won the Man Booker Prize. It’s long and I’m up to the challenge.

I haven’t been reading enough memoirs so I plan on reading “Men We Reaped” by Jesmyn Ward.

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These library books are due back to the library January 30th. I better get to moving fast. I will probably end up checking them out again so I can have more time. I heard about both of these books on booktube and I’m intrigued.

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And, last but not least, I plan to read “Song of Solomon” and “Sula” by Toni Morrison. I’ve already read “The Bluest Eye” and “God Help the Child” and I love her beautiful prose. Her style is pure poetry. Can’t wait.

2016 Wrap up/2017 Reading Resolutions

Last year, I did not participate in the Goodreads reading challenge. However, I did keep up with my reading. In 2016, I read 14 books. They are:

  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison – 4 stars out of 5 – audio book
  • The Martian by Andy Weir – 5/5 – audio book
  • The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce by Paul Torday – 5/5- paperback
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – 2/5 – hardback/library
  • Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman – 5/5 – hardback
  • Soundless by Richelle Mead – 3/5 – hardback – review
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – 5/5 – hardback/library
  • The Humans by Matt Haig – 5/5 – hardback/library – review
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – 3/5 – hardback/library
  • The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker  – 4/5 – hardback/library – review
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – 3/5 – hardback/library
  • Kindred by Octavia Bulter – 5/5 – paperback
  • The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – 3/5 – paperback
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – 5/5 – paperback

The favorite book of the year was “The Humans” by Matt Haig. There were so many quotable phrases. It was refreshing and comical to get a look at humans from an alien’s point of view. I love it. I can’t stop thinking about it. I ended up buying my own copy. The worst book of the year was “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart. I hate this book with a passion. This book attempted to be suspenseful and did a horrible job. I just wanted it to be over. I hated every single person in this book. It was painful to read. The only reason why I finished it was because it was a short read.

There is a big no reading gap in 2016 from June to December. TV took over my life during that time. I DNF (did not finish) “The Bone Clocks” by David Mitchell. It was entirely too slow for me. I own this book. So, I plan to go back to finish it in 2017. I also DNF “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman. I just wasn’t in the mood for this kind of book at the time. I plan to check this out from the library again this year to give it another try. I put down “Jane Eyre” and “the long way to a small angry planet” as well. I really don’t know why I put them down because I was enjoying them. I definitely plan on finishing them in 2017.

In 2017:

  1. I want to continue to utilize my local library.
  2. I want to dedicate one month to reading Toni Morrison’s books.
  3. As stated above, I want to finish books I DNF.
  4. I want to start reading trilogies.
  5. I want to give Harry Potter another chance.
  6. I want to read some memoirs and/or nonfiction books.
  7. I want to read more adult/literary fiction.
  8. I want to post more book reviews and writings to this blog.
  9. I want to read 25 books in 2017. Below find some books I want to read this year.
  • The Unseen World by Liz Moore – book review
  • The Book of Harlan by Bernice McFadden
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (A Sequel to Six of Crows)
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab (book 1)
  • Sula by Toni Morrison
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – book review
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – book review
  • Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  • We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinsonbook review
  • The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (book 1)
  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (book 2)
  • The Mothers by Brit Bennett

To name a few…

add me – https://www.goodreads.com/BEbooks