Last year’s reading goal (50 books) was a bit of a wash. I set it lower than the year before and fell short but it was mainly due to the large amount of writing I did, so I don’t feel too badly about that. However, when I reviewed the books I read I was dismayed. I definitely enjoyed them but they were overwhelmingly homogeneous: cishet white women writing about cishet white folks. And I was actively reading more widely.
Dammit, Publishing. we gotta talk but I don’t have time today…
So inspired by Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, Kelly Jensen’s Stacked post,“Intentional Reading”, and author Justina Ireland’s Twitter call-to-action #laydeezfirst, my 2016 reads will primarily be stories authored by women of color featuring characters of color and a whole lotta intersectionality. (subscribers click through to the post to view video)
Inevitably, some may want to know why I’m doing this. My instinct is to answer, “Because I’m grown and I read what I want” but here’s why:
- I want to support women of color, elevate our voices, share our stories, and learn from them.
- I want to promote women-centered spaces where the creativity of women of color is celebrated, nurtured, and embraced (and as an aside, men–or their “allies”–who force their way into those spaces and/or insist they be gender neutral are on some misogynistic, patriarchal fuckshit).
- Stories featuring the same old same old are dull as dishwater. People have layers and levels beyond Sassy Black Best Friend and Sad Gay Sidekick and I want to see that on the page.
There will inevitably be exceptions for various reasons (see: I’m grown) but basically dassit. Happy reading, y’all!