Reading Diversely–Update

I thought I was doing well. It’s shocking how not well I’m doing at being thoughtful in my reading choices. It’s been a month and a half, more or less, since my last post. Here are my numbers:

48 books read (I’m on drugs after minor surgery. I’m aware my numbers don’t add up, but I can’t make them and I give up)

32 by white authors

14 by authors of color (that’s less than half! better than 20% in Februrary, but I still have a lot of catching up to do)

42 by women

5 by men

If you count the books I have started but not finished but mean to go back to, it’s even worse: 10 books (really?? Who is the midst of 10 books? 3 are poetry collections, if that helps)

All of them are by women.

One will probably be DNF.

4 are by women of color.

6 are by white women.

This is me trying and still reading mostly white women. This is my library not having any poetry collections (on the shelves in front of me the day I went) by any of the black women I looked for (Gwendolyn Brooks, Marilyn Nelson or Maya Angelou). This is all of our book club books this year have been by white people. This is also me deciding to try to read all of Margo Lanagan’s books.

Amazing books by authors of color I’ve read so: Under the Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brisset, Fire in the Streets by Kekla Magoon, and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (which is going on my best reads of 2015 list)

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777 Challenge

I’ve just been tagged by Alison Cherry to do the 777 Challenge. The rules: post seven sentences of your work, start on page seven, seven lines down. The following is from my inspired by the Byzantine Empire meets 1910s suffrage NYC meets bio-based technology science fantasy that may or may not be YA:

My grin felt like it would break my face. “We won!” I shouted at him and his face did crack, his mouth and eyes open wide, his usually unflappable bay mare jigging under him. I allowed myself to believe it was surprised amazement but a cold worm of worry turned over in my stomach. “I told you,” I crowed, “I told you I could win.”

“What have you done?” He shouldered into me and seized Red Nettle’s reins, pulling cruelly at his mouth to halt him, and that more than anything brought home to me the depth of his horror. Magister Peres did not abuse his horses. Ever.

I’m tagging Casey Blair, Tam MacNeil and Shawn Anderson, but only if they want to play.

Diversify Your Reading

Diversity in YA has a Diversify Your Reading Challenge going on and there’s lots of fabulous prizes to be won.

The rules for readers and book bloggers are:

We invite readers and book bloggers to read diverse MG and YA books throughout the summer (you choose the books!) and write an essay (at least 500 words) about your experience. You can post it on your website, Blogger, LiveJournal, Tumblr, or on Facebook; we only ask that your post be publicly readable. Our favorite blog posts may be re-posted on http://www.diversityinya.com later this year.

They have suggestions, which include their own monthly lists of new books released and a link to Black Teen Read‘s book lists, and prizes like Wildefire by Karston Knight and Ash by Malinda Lo. Deadline to enter is September 1.

I just requested Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger because I saw her on the Diversity in YA panel and because of this post An Equal Place at the Table over at The YA YA YAs

I was clear at the onset that I wanted to write a light, fun, contemporary novel featuring South Asian teens. I didn’t want to focus on the identity of my characters, but I didn’t want to ignore it either. I wanted to place my story smack dab in the middle of popular culture, and I wanted to create a world that consisted of teens from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

And while I was trolling the internet I found this other challenge that has been going on for a while, with monthly prizes. Check out the FAQ for info about how it works.

Both require you to sign up and link your reviews.