Reading Thoughts

microblog_mondays

I’m still considering a couple of Mel’s posts from last week about reading and diversity.  If you haven’t read them, they’re really interesting and thought-provoking and I highly recommend them.

They got me thinking back to my capstone senior English class in college, where my professor asked all of us to bring a list of around ten books we’d like to add to canonical literature.  We went around the table and at the end, she looked at all of us and said something to the effect of “Wow, a lot of white men.”  Then we talked about the influence of culture and dominant voices.

So I went back and looked through my reading list for the past couple months.

Fiction

  • Prep (Curtis Sittenfeld)
  • Norwegian Wood (Haruki Murakami)
  • Burial Rites (Hannah Kent)
  • Little Disasters (Randall Klein)
  • The Blind Assassin (Margaret Atwood)

Nonfiction

  • Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century (Peter Graham)
  • When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith (Addie Zierman)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (David Grann)
  • Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America (Alyssa Quart)
  • King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa (Adam Hochschild)
  • The Blood of Emmet Till (Timothy B. Tyson)
  • Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy (Jenny Lawson)
  • Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again (Rachel Held Evans)
  • The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay, and Disaster (Sarah Krasnostein)

Reading Currently

  • World of Our Fathers: The Journey of the East European Jews to America and the Life They Found and Made (Irving Howe)
  • Sisterland (Curtis Sittenfeld)

Eagerly Awaiting

  • Kingdom of the Blind (Louise Penny)

There’s no doubt that if I look over my general trends, I tend to read more nonfiction than fiction and when I do read fiction, I tend to read fiction by white women (Atwood, Sittenfeld, Kent, Penny).  With non-fiction, I definitely read a variety of topics, but again, mostly white authors even when reading about minority or POC topics.

Definitely time to work on diversifying my reading list a bit more.

This post is a part of Microblog Mondays.  If you’d like to read more, please visit Stirrup Queens.  Thanks to Mel for originating and hosting.

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5 thoughts on “Reading Thoughts

  1. I find I also go in cycles. If I look back on my list from a year ago, the vast majority were women. Mostly white women. If I look back before that, a lot of Israelis (men and women / Jewish and non-Jewish). I’ll go through non-fiction reading jags and then only fiction reading jags. I think it’s a little like diet — you don’t look at the day-to-day, you look at the month to see the scope of what you’re eating. And reading is the same way, though you need to address reading habits when they shift too much in one single direction.

  2. I’d never even thought about the diversity of my reading choices before Mel’s post (drops head in shame). I tend to find favorite authors and then read all their books, then move onto the next author. Although, truth be told, I haven’t read very many books at all over the past few years! Time to change that up!

  3. I’ve read Mel’s post, but not had the chance to comment. I’ll go back, but add here that earlier in the year, on my daily 2018 blog, we spent a month writing about books. I’ve just looked at the books I mentioned. Mine is also dominated by white women, with a lot of white men too, with a mix of authors from Japan, India, Nigeria, Jamaica/Caribbean, US, Afghanistan, South America etc thrown in. But importantly, I think, at least the white authors are from a variety of countries, including the UK, US, New Zealand (of course), Italy, South Africa, Australia, etc.Thanks for prompting me to look at my own list!

  4. Can I say I’m impressed by both the number of books you’ve been reading, as well as the titles/subjects/authors?? The only one I’ve read is “Killers of the Flower Moon” (wasn’t that great?), but I have a couple of the others on my to-read list. I like to think that even if the authors I read aren’t always that diverse (although I do pretty well in terms of male vs female), the subjects can be. E.g., “Killers of the Flower Moon” was written by a white guy, but I learned a LOT about the Osage, the history of the FBI and other things through its pages.

    • “Killers of the Flower Moon” was great – I totally agree! I hear you about learning so much about the Osage and the FBI – and I think you’re on to something about reading about diverse subjects even if the authors aren’t as diverse.

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