On reading: Book club edition

My love affair with books is well documented. And I’ve written before about my intention to read more deliberately. To read books that challenge me, to support underrepresented authors, and to occasionally burn through a Miss Fisher’s mystery like nobody’s business.

I am having a good reading year, you guys. It’s been balanced and engaging. I am especially proud of our #800splus books. Last year was good; we read seven books. Six by women, two of which were edited by and featured women of color. (We also learned that reading anthologies for a book club is kind of challenging, because you don’t get to take your time as much as you might. I like those books, but I will have to go back to them) We had fun revisiting old classics. We played in fantasy and horror and classic science fiction and YA.

Even so, for 2016, we wanted to step it up a notch and consequently this year has been even better. We’re on pace to read ten books: six by women, including three women of color. Only two by white guys. We sought out queer stories and international stories. We’ve expanded our list genre-wise, including nonfiction, novellas, and graphic novels. More than one book had incredible social relevance, tackling climate change, institutional racism, and academic sexism. Plus, they’ve been really fucking good books. It’s been really rewarding to have our selection process evolve, and I think we’re enjoying challenging ourselves and each other. (Last year, there was more than a bit of, “Ummm, that looks good, right?” This year, there has been much more, “I want to read that. Will you read that with me?”)

Honestly, it’s kind of a shame more people don’t read along with us, because they are missing out. If you’re ever in the mood, friends of my blog, check out our Tumblr for what we’re currently reading and tune in for a chat, either on Twitter or Google Hangouts Live (we’ll let you know).

And if all this sounds a bit self-congratulatory, well, that is because it is.

Finally, because book lists are fun:

2015

1.  Trigger Warnings by Neil Gaiman

2. Octavia’s Brood edited by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown

3.  I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

4. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin

5. Animorphs #1: The Invasion by K.A. Applegate

6. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey

7. She Walks in Shadows edited by  by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles

 

2016

1. The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

2. Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

3. Between the World and Me by Ta’Nehisi Coates

4. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua

5. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

6. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (upcoming: July)

7. Monstress by Marjorie Liu (upcoming: August)

8. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (upcoming: September)

9. The Fall of the House of Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard (upcoming: October)

10. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (upcoming: November)

December individual reading challenge–K has read the Harry Potter series, while I’m tackling The Magicians. Which school of magic will annoy us more? Tune in and find out.

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