2016’s Non-White Authors Reading Challenge

2015 was my year of avoiding male authors. This year, I focused on non-white authors*. I’m not about to defend the experiment again, since I have done so already.

My top ten picks of what I read in 2016, in no particular order aside from #1 which is short and amazing and you must read or listen to it.

  1. The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family by Usman T. Malik (the short story is available for free at the link; there is also an incredible audio version)
  2. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  3. Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
  4. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
  5. Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
  6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  7. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  8. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  9. The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine
  10. White Nights, Black Paradise by Sikivu Hutchinson

After the jump: A full list of the books of 2016 by categories that I made up, along with my reflections on them. Continue reading “2016’s Non-White Authors Reading Challenge”

2016’s Non-White Authors Reading Challenge

Learning to Read Books Again: A How-To

I began to read at a very early age. Spurred on by spite (thanks, cousins who mocked me for being a baby who couldn’t read when I was a literal baby!), I became an incredibly strong reader by kindergarten, eagerly devouring the chapter books designated for the older kids. Beauty and the Beast was the first Disney movie I saw in a theater, and what a lovely coincidence it was that Belle and I shared the same primary hobby.

Part of why I was such a devout follower of Islam was that I fed my very literal young mind with extensive religious reading. After I’d exhausted the theological options available at my parents home (not to mention finishing the children’s dictionary a few times), the school library as well as the community one became my true home. After spending most of my childhood, adolescence, and college years reading extensively, that I was a bookworm was one of the few stable aspects of my identity. In a way, you could blame the books themselves for the majority of the tumult in terms of who I was (i.e. strong Muslim then progressive Muslim then secular deist then avowed atheist).

At some point in my early 20’s, I got caught up in the whirlwind that was social media and blogs and think-y journalistic outlets (Slate, Salon, and so on). I also began catching up the TV shows and movies that I’d missed as a super-bookish, overly-pious Muslim kid. I didn’t realize that I’d shifted so hard in the focus of my media consumption until it was too late. When I realized I hadn’t read a book in a while, I picked one up — an exciting and fun one, no less, one I’d been looking forward to reading for years — and tried to finish it. I found that I…. couldn’t?

It was as simple as that. I had lost the ability. And it was shocking. Continue reading “Learning to Read Books Again: A How-To”

Learning to Read Books Again: A How-To

Diversifying Your Reading: Non-Male & Non-White Author Recommendations

Even if you’re not on board with committing to the exclusion of race-and/or-gender default-positioned writers, you can still commit to more diversity in your reading. I have only included books that I’ve read in this listing. Feel free to add your recommendations as well as weigh in on the ones given below. Please keep in mind that some of these authors may be problematic. Also, I might not be classifying some of them correctly because I don’t have all the racial or sexual identity information for all of them.

Continue reading “Diversifying Your Reading: Non-Male & Non-White Author Recommendations”

Diversifying Your Reading: Non-Male & Non-White Author Recommendations