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2012 Report of Me, You, and Books and 2013 Challenges

December 31, 2012

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.

2013 Challenges

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

11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2012 6:42 pm

    That is a good reading list. I would like to be a part of the AWW 2013 challenge but not sure how to sign up!

    • January 1, 2013 7:47 pm

      Thanks. You might find more you like under my suggestions from 2012 on my new blog/challenge Global Women of Color. Hope you will join us there. The address is simply australianwomenwriters.com. There’s a signup page for 2013.

  2. January 1, 2013 7:02 am

    I am also looking forward to reading Americanah, by Adichie. Oyeyemi, I haven’t read any of her book yet. And Marie Diaye.. I am hearing about her for the first time. Interesting. I would be reading your reviews about them.

    Happy 2013!!
    Cheers.

    • January 1, 2013 7:51 pm

      Yes, lots of us are eager about that book. Oyeyemi is very good but also she writes in a very experimental way and is not always easy to follow. I like her, but her books take some effort. I haven’t read Diaye yet either but I look forward to reading something of hers. have you singed up for me Global Women of Color blog/challenge? I think you would enjoy it.

  3. January 1, 2013 12:20 pm

    I’m another who can’t wait for the new Adichie. I never get round to making lists of what i want to read, but maybe I should. That might be one way of getting to the end of the year without being concerned about the amount of lightweight material I’ve given time to.

    • January 1, 2013 7:55 pm

      Yes, I love Adichie. I hadn’t kept lists before, but have found it fun to have a record since I started blogging. I am surprised at how many excellent books I have read. I just reviewed Sister of My Heart an excellent middle-brow books–easy reading but insightful. Hope you are feeling better. And have a happy new year.

  4. January 1, 2013 12:36 pm

    That women of color list looks great. There are a lot of books in there that are on my to read list as well. I have Three Strong Women listed as associated with Senegal rather than Nigeria though.

    • January 1, 2013 7:59 pm

      Thanks. There are more on my Global Women of Color blog/challenge. have you singed up there? I hope you do. You read such great books.

      And I really appreciate your catching my mistake about NDiaye. I don’t know why I thought she was from Nigeria. Actually I just looked her up. she was born and raised in France and never meet her father who was from Senegal until she was a teenager. Confusing.

  5. January 2, 2013 12:25 pm

    Looking forward to your reviews on the books by Global Women of Colour 🙂

  6. January 5, 2013 3:41 am

    I am so happy you started blogging! 😀 And thanks for listing your planned reads, a great resource for me! I’m off to check out your challenge blog. I’m a terrible challenge participant, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to manage that one. 😉

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