2012 Report of Me, You, and Books and 2013 Challenges
I started blogging a year ago, and am very glad I did. By blogging I have met kind and interesting people who recommended great books and exchanged ideas about issues that I care about. They are even more important than any particular book I read and reviewed. Because I was particularly interested in reading more globally, bloggers and the books I have read have also expanded my horizons and enlarged my understanding of people beyond my own rather provincial culture. And it has been such fun.
WordPress keeps some statistics on our blogs, but not the ones that interest me most. I reviewed or included in annotated lists about 144 books last year. 54 of those were by global women of color, and 90 were by men or white women. I haven’t counted the male authors I have read, but I read many more ebooks by women. While several men’s books were excellent, I continue to prefer books by women. Most of my life I have primarily read men’s writings, and I am just catching up on books by women. Besides, they tend to be more interesting to me.
The more I read women of color the more excited about them I became. I am hosting a blog/challenge for reading their books for 2013. You can check it out at gwc.wordpress.com. My list of the relevant books I read last year is posted there.
Choosing my best books of the year has proven impossible for me. I am afraid the good book I read most recently is always my favorite. Not a very critical approach or one very helpful to readers. I will try to do better about that next year.
My final word on last year’s blogging is simply thanks to you all. I look forward to reading and blogging with you in the coming year.
As for next year, I plan to continue to be part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I read 22 books for it last year and have gotten excited about the great Australian bloggers and what I am learning about their country.
Here are the books I hope to read in 2013,
1. Am I Black Enough, Weiss.
2. Gone, Mills.
3. Quilt, Moorhead.
4. Unspeakable: A Feminist Ethic of Speech, Betty McLellan.
5. Love Like Water, Meme MacDonald.
These were suggested by Jennifer Mills in her fine AWW essay on classics and confirmed by other bloggers.
6. The Pea Pickers, Langley.
7. Fortunes of Richard Mahony, Richardson.
8. Bush Studies, Barbara Baynton.
I liked essays by these historians that I read in The Historian’s Truth and decided to read their books.
9. Getting Equal: The History of Australian Feminism, Marilyn Lake.
10. Savage or Civilised? Manners in Colonial Australia, Penny Russell.
Global Women of Color.
I am also planning a combination blog and challenge on Global Women of Color, which grew out of my excitement about the books I read in 2012. I hope to make it a place where we discuss books rather than merely list them. Wish me luck and spread the word about what I am trying. I plan to include some topical post regularly. I will probably continue to read and review one GWC books each week, but here is my initial list of ones I plan to read.
Sister of My Heart, by Divakarumi. INDIA/US
Making Peace with Earth, by Shiva. INDIA/GLOBAL
Icarus Girl, by Oyeyemi. ENGLAND/NIGERIA
The Story of Zahra, by al-Shaykh LEBANON
Am I Black Enough, by Weiss. AUSTRALIA
Polite Lies, by Kyoka. US/JAPAN
Arrogant Years, by Lagnado. US/EGYPT
Americanah, by Adichie. Forthcoming NIGERIA
Let the Dead Lie, by Nunn. SWAZILAND
House on Mango Street, by Cisneros. US HISPANIC
hree Strong Women, by Marie Diaye. FRANCE
Create Dangerously by, Danticat. US HAITI