I committed to reading books by minority authors for at least six months of this year. Then, once the six month mark came and went, I committed to a entire year. This was inspired by one, being a minority reader who wanted to see a similar reflection of life in some awesome stories, and secondly, because I’m a minority author as well.

Buying books from the story tellers who have come before me and who have inspired so many people I know has been quite a journey. My quest was further cemented after reading this Washington Post article of a woman’s struggle to find and read books by only minority authors for a year. I didn’t know a goal like this would be such a challenge. It’s often tough to find a book to satisfy my craving for a particular type of story in the particular type of format I want. For example, I wanted to read Oreo by Fran Ross and was really in the mood for this type of story but it wasn’t available in the kindle store until August of this year. So, instead of reading another book that my mind wasn’t ready for, I watched “Little White Lie”, a Netflix documentary of a biracial girl (who thought she was white) growing up Jewish.

Look, I know I live in a very white world and I accept that to a certain extent. I’ll also admit that I love many books by white authors and I will continue to love many white authors’ books. A good author is a good author. However, this quest isn’t about white people. It’s about me finding different voices and cultures and stories – the ones that reflect me, that help me see myself in their deep, soulful eyes, and remind me that heroines and quirky people can be shaped like me and can be brown with red, yellow and olive undertones like me. This is about my history and my world.

So if you are tempted to tell me that I should change my plans for this year, please don’t. This also isn’t a post about you. It’s about me and my glorious adventure thus far through which I’ve found some new scintillating stories, revisited quite a few old “friends” that I grew up with, and through which I’ve discovered some new and intriguing voices. All in all, it’s been a great six months!

Due to life’s hectic schedule, I have to sadly report that I haven’t been able to read as much as I usually have in the past. However.u selective reading has left my brain and heart are more full then when I am rushing through lighter fiction reading. Below is a list of just some of what I’ve been reading:

The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Drown by Junot Diaz
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Oreo by Fran Ross
Bicycles by Nikki Giovanni
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes
The Dreamkeeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Loving Scott Harrington by Pamela Reaves
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

UPDATE: I’ve just started: finished:
Kindred by Octavia Butler
and next may be:
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Also adding:
The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Jenriquez
Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

I’m open to suggestions so if you know of any good books you think I’ll like, please let me know!

  1. Lisa says:

    I can recommend The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez.

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