…2014…

on

8f75aa7348564d8cdb28736b2489177eMy Bookish New Year’s Resolution is going a bit beyond my usual desire to improve the frequency in which I read with diversity in literature in mind; which is actually pretty decent.

During my best blogging weeks in times past, the intention was to “review” at least one book a week wherein the author and/or significant characters are drawn out from the publishing world’s margins. 2013 was a difficult blogging year all the way around–Fall semester was an absolute bear–but I paid the least attention to my “concenter” page where I try to mind the racial disparity in the publishing world, primarily in juvenile and teen literature.  In 2014, I hope to better attend it. And I have every intention to go a bit further.

In 2014, I am going to endeavor to read fiction only by authors and/or featuring significant characters considered a minority, differently-abled, and/or LGBT. The exclusions will be any required reading for school or work or reading for friends (incl. daughter); poetry collections; and comic books, which I hope will not deviate too far from this personal challenge.

Why? After Finals Week, I was catching up on article reading, and there was a conversation between two women about having been denied and severely limited in access to works of and/or about people of color as they were growing up. As authors today, they talk about the still, very present difficulties of getting published, placed on shelves and put in the hands of young people. I was left imagining, and what I had been doing suddenly seemed like a gesture. I felt inspired to do more.

I love finding and sharing good reads with people, perhaps I could lend my modest support to authors and novels who speak to an immense (and largely ignored) population of readers in these united and yet multicultural states of America. In doing this, I know I am going to be denying myself some of my favorite authors and some books I would have highly anticipated in 2014–I will likely binge January 2015. Even so, I know I am also going to be reading some favorite authors and feel rest-assured that I will find new favorite authors and books, too.

The plans are still a bit rough. I will “review” a few of my late-December-2013 reads in coming weeks. I am still undecided as to whether I will only read North American authors for this challenge, but I will denote the difference at the end of the “review.” I may do only North American authors for my young-adult and younger reads. I have interest in exploring author/book availability locally, which will involve perusing census data, local bookshops and library branches. So, much of this is a ‘we’ll see as it comes,’ but I am excited by it.

I hope you are excited by your reading plans for 2014!

{image: “Talking Books” by Patrick Latimer}

9 Comments Add yours

  1. jeremyfrantz says:

    Good idea and good luck! I look forward to some interesting recommendations from you this year.

  2. L says:

    thanks!

  3. Kailana says:

    Wow. I don’t think I could be that specific with my reading. What a cool idea! Good luck!

    1. L says:

      well, we’ll see how it goes! thanks!

  4. I hope you find a bunch of amazing reads within your reading plan for the year. Soon Worlds Without End will be posting about their challenge for the year and it involves creating your own in a way that encourages others to participate and when that happens you might consider throwing this out to others as it is the kind of plan I imagine would spark others to follow suit.

    1. L says:

      thanks, and thanks for the reminder of WWE and I will check it out!

  5. Grace says:

    I’m interested to see what books you’ll review. I’m trying to pay more attention to diversity in speculative fiction as well, although I’m not nearly as ambitious as you are. 🙂

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