Author of Colour Readathon

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Hello fabulous people.

I’m pretty stoked that the weekend is here! I have a huge weekend of reading planned…. ah bliss!

I wanted to let you know about the Author of Colour Readathon that will be happening between August 12 and August 19.

The wonderful Polo over at Queer Lit put me on to this readathon. It’s being hosted by Booktuber Dana in Colour and there are 4 challenges:

  1. For each of these points, read a different authors of different ethnicities/races
  2. Read a classic or a work in translation by an author of colour
  3. Read a sci-fi or fantasy book by an author of colour
  4. Read a book of poetry by an author of colour.

Polo has some great tips for making it through all the readathon challenges on their website as well as some recommendations, so make sure you check out their post.

I’m sure if you’ve spent a little time reading this blog you will be aware that reading widely is a goal that I’m constantly working at. I want to make sure that my book buying dollars aren’t going to the smug white folks who get all the marketing. Diverse voices are so important, especially when some broadcasters are giving far right wing supporters to air time. (I find myself very much aligned with the First Dog on the Moon piece which you can find here , which is both more succinct and scathing than I could hope to be.)

My timing for this readathon is pretty good: here’s a look at what I’m planning on reading over the weekend and during the coming week.

I’m so grateful to my library for buying books that I have asked for. I’m part way through Want by Cindy Pon (sci-fi/fantasy) and I’m really enjoying it.

I put down Want in order to pick up Melissa Lucashenko’s new book Too Much Lip. This doesn’t really fit into any of the readathon challenges, but I’m not going to let that stop me!


Another purchase by my library and another sci-fi/fantasy read, I’m looking forward to Rebel Seoul as well!

Another library loan, this title had me immediately. This is poetry so does qualify for the challenge.

Small Country by Gael Faye is translated from the French, so qualifies for the challenge. This recommendation has come from an impeccable source and I’m really looking forward to it.

So those are my plans. Are you going to join in the Author of Colour Readathon? Let me know what you’re going to read?

Cheers,

Yoon Ha Lee’s essay (from Book Smugglers)

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Hi everyone!

In my last post about sci fi I mentioned Yoon Ha Lee’s excellent book Ninefox Gambit. I thought you might be interested to read this article he produced for the Book Smuggler’s website about writing and being a trans person.

http://thebooksmugglers.com/2016/06/sff-in-conversation-yoon-ha-lee-on-being-trans.html

(I’m making my way through the next in the series, Raven Stratagem, which is also excellent!)

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

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I've set myself a number of challenges this year, and it has really shown me that as far as reading is concerned, I am a contrary beast. I've smashed my Goodreads goal of 150 books, and only a few of those have been for the other challenges.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is part of my Reading Around the World challenge. I picked this one up thanks to the Book Riot team – as an Aussie who doesn't really watch TV, I have no idea who he is in the US. Here in Australia, we have a significant number of (white) South African immigrants, who, for the most part, left the country around the time that Apartheid was overturned.

Noah's book is a fascinating look at what black and coloured people who lived under the regime had to deal with, as well as the changes that happened when Apartheid was overturned. Born a Crime is a series of stories of Noah's childhood and youth, growing up in South Africa. The title of the book is due to Noah's parentage – as the child of a white father and a black mother, his existence was illegal. This also meant that he couldn't be seen with either of his parents in public or they would go to jail.

I really enjoyed Born a Crime. Noah's stories reflect the grinding poverty, the stupidity of racism, and the difficulties he and his family encountered (including the terrible abuse by his stepfather) in a way that is absolutely relatable. I learned so much about South Africa and the many cultures therein. Plus the stories are, for the most part, incredibly funny.

I listened to this one on audio – it's read by the author, and is great in that format.

5 out of 5 hilarious poo stories.

Litsy A to Z Challenge 2017

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So while I’m talking about fabulous things on Litsy, this Challenge has been floating around. There are a number of takes on it but I’ve gone A to Z by title only. I’m also pretty jazzed as this is an entirely diverse list.

Here goes:

  • An Ishmael of Syria – Asaad Alomohammad
  • Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms – Dr Anita Heiss
  • The Cypress Tree – Kamin Mohammadi 
  • Dust – Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
  • Every Secret Thing – Marie Munkara
  • Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence – Doris Pilkington
  • The Girl with 7 Names – Hyeonseo Lee
  • Honor – Elif Shafak 
  • The Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Jinangga – Monty Walgar 
  • The Kadaitcha Sung – Sam Watson
  • Left to Tell – Immaculee Ilibagiza
  • The Museum of Abandoned Secrets – Oksana Zabuzhko
  • Not Quite Men, No Longer Boys – K.C. Laughton
  • Oreo – Fran Ross
  • The People of Forever Are Not Afraid – Shani Boianju
  • Quiet Violence of Dreams – K Sello Duiker
  • Rainy Season – Nnanaziri Ihejirika
  • The Spider King’s Daughter – Chibundu Onuzo
  • Twisted – Jessica Zafra
  • Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta
  • The Vegetarian – Han Kang 
  • We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo
  • Xala – Ousmane Sembene 
  • You Can’t Touch My Hair – Phoebe Robinson
  • Zubaida’s Window – Iqbal Al-Qazwini

Join me with an A to Z list of your own! Let me know what you think you’ll include!!

Reading Around the World – Prep Phase

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I’m getting pretty excited about my Reading Around the World journey.

I’m still doing a bunch of research to find authors to read from every country – you can see how I’m going on the dedicated page. 

I’ve made a few decisions about how I’m going to accumulate the books. Normally I listen to audiobooks, or read on my kindle. I’ve decided though that I want actual copies of the books I’m using for this project. This may not always be possible, but that is what I will try for in the first instance. I think I may also need to change my mission statement to be “at least one” book from every country in the world, because I’m discovering so many amazing authors!!

I’ve started the long (and expensive!) process of ordering the books in so I have somewhere to start in January.

I’m getting sucked in by a lot of these covers – isn’t the cover for Honour beautiful?

I’m looking forward to reading Anita Heiss’s book – Heiss is an Indigenous Aussie author and this is a pretty new release. Even better, she is doing a book talk at my favourite Indie book store, Avid Reader, in February. Awesome!!

As always, please feel free to leave me any recommendations for awesome reads (available in English 🙏🏼) from your part of the world in the comments.

Reading Around the World – 10 Filipino Writers

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While researching my Reading Around the World project I’ve come across this great article which I thought I would share with you, my like-minded diverse reading friends.

Enjoy!!

10 Contemporary Filipina Authors You Absolutely Should Be Reading