Tomorrow the New Year starts and our 2015 Reading Challenge starts with it. I decided not to beat around the bush with this, and to start with what is the most obvious category of all: race.
So your challenge for the upcoming month is to read at least one book (a novel, collection of short stories, or a memoir) about and by someone of a race different from yours. I strongly recommend choosing one that you haven't already done a lot of reading in. If you are biracial, please try for a third. As a general rule, I also recommend that you pick something other than Caucasian, not because I have anything against my fellow whites, but because we are the ones who are already disproportionately represented in the English-language publishing world. Chances are everybody reading this post has already read many, many books that cover the white experience. If for some strange reason you haven't, well then, feel free.
I would also really appreciate it if people posted recommendations here, with a special shout-out to librarians, bookstore owners, and other publishing professionals. I'm sure many of us could use inspiration. If you've written a blog post with recommendations, please feel free to leave a link in the comments. (Spam will be deleted.) You can also post recommendations on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ with the hashtag #WeReadDiverseBooks or #WRDB if you need the extra room. If you know someone who is well-qualified, nudge them in this direction please.
There is no obligation to review or say anything at all, but it would be really cool if you tweeted your reads and let us know. Feel free to leave a comment or a link to your review here or on my Facebook page or wherever your little heart desires. Again, hashtags are your friend.
I have no experience with designing widgets. If anybody wants to volunteer and create a WRDB widget, please let me know.
Authors you could investigate:
Toni Morrison, Nnedi Okorafor, Chinua Achebe, Dinaw Mengestu
Jeffrey Renard Allen, Roxanne Gay, Nuruddin Farah, Okey Ndibe, Teju Cole
Joseph Boyden, Wayne Arthurson, Thomas King
Haruki Murakami, Celeste Ng, Jamie Ford, Amy Tan, Kazuo Ishiguro
Ali Eteraz, Salman Rushdie, Khaled Hosseini, Akhil Sharma
Alexis Wright, Kim Scott
read at least one novel, short-story collection, or memoir by and about someone of a different race
Recommendations, review, and ratings can be shred on social media with the hashtag #WeReadDiverseBooks or #WRDB
feel free to save the logo and post it on your blog
February's challenge will be posted January 31st on this blog. (Now up. Click here.)