One thing you may have noticed about my book reviews over the past few months is that I haven’t read/reviewed a book that was written solely by a straight white man. I’ve tried to expand my horizons this year and make my reading more diverse over the past few months, but I want to come right out there and say that in 2016, this will be a central policy of my reading.
Why? Because I know that others have had fun setting certain reading challenges, and I want to try. Because I want to expand my literary diet, rather than just reading the same kinds of stories over and over. Because I want to expose myself to new ideas, and while you can do so by changing where you live or who you hang out with, changing what you read is much easier in comparison. Because I think proving to the publishing industry that there is an appetite for different stories is important.
Most importantly, it’s because I want to.
So, in case you want to read diverse books too, or you want to follow along at home as I read my way through the upcoming year, here is a list of things I want to accomplish in terms of my reading in 2016.
In 2016, I want to read:
- At least one book written before 1800
- At least one romance novel
- At least one book with a queer, trans, intersex, or gender-nonconforming main character
- At least one book with a disabled main character
- At least one book with a main character of colour
- At least one book from an independent/small press
- At least one book about science
- At least one book about food and culture
- At least one book written by a Latin American author
- At least one book by an Asian author
- At least one book by an African author
- At least one book by a Caribbean author
- At least one book by an LGBTIA author
- At least one book by a disabled author
- At least one book on a topic I know nothing about
- At least one memoir/biography
- At least one work translated into English from another language
- At least one book of poetry
- At least one historical fiction novel set before 1800
- At least one mystery novel
- At least one YA novel
- At least two finalists of the 2016 Canada Reads competition
- At least one graphic novel written or drawn by a LGBTIA creator
- At least one graphic novel written or drawn by a woman
- At least one graphic novel written or drawn by a person of colour
- At least one graphic novel written or drawn by a disabled person
- At least one graphic novel from an independent/small press
Of course, I won’t abandon my current reading habits entirely — I still plan on reading science fiction and fantasy, and I plan to read the 2015 Hugo Awards finalists, plus catch up on a few series like Discworld and the Gentlemen Bastard books.
I also plan to maintain the routine of doing one book review a week (with the occasional break) and mix up my fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novel reading accordingly. It looks like reading diverse books could be challenging, but I also think it will be a lot of fun, and quite mind-expanding.