This year I signed up to do the Year of Reading Women of Color Challenge put on by 500 Great Books by Women. Their group made participating in the challenge and tracking progress super easy. I just made a shelf dedicated to it and put whatever books that were written by WoC that I read or planned to read into it this year. This week, I finished!
It was one of those challenges where the reader picks the number and I only chose 20. I know, it’s a low number and even lower percentage of my overall reading goal but I’ve never really sought out books by WoC before and it was a little intimidating. Okay, it was a lot intimidating. It turns out that there are all kinds women that I’m not sure if they count as WoC or not. Like women who are ethnically Jewish, or even certain kinds of European. In the end, I halved the reading by Jewish authors and I decided against counting all European heritages. That said, I also only counted Monstress once even though I read everything that’s out. I figured that was fair. And Shatter Me counted for three books instead of five based on the way they were added.
So, here’s my list of books for this challenge:
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
- A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
- Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi (the review was all together, but the books counted as 3)
- The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho
- A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
- About the Night by Anat Talshir, translated by Evan Fallenberg
- The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
- The Tale of Yin by Joyce Chng
- The Girl Who Wrote Lonliness by Kyung-Sook Shin, translated by Ha-Yun Jung
- Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
- Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter by Carmen Aguirre
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
- Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Fundamentalism by Karima Bennoune
- First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung
- Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home by Anita Hill
- Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
- In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park
So that’s my 20 books by Women of Color! I do have a shelf for just the challenge and another for all the books by WoC that I’ve read or are still TBR that has quite a few more books that I still want to read. I think I’ll double the goal for next year, though I don’t suppose there will be the same challenge. I like doing challenges, but I don’t want to find myself getting restrictive by compounding them and then feeling like I can never take a break for the crazy new book that everyone is reading that doesn’t fit my challenges.
But I’m definitely going to read the world. I don’t know when I’m going to start and I won’t try to do it in just a year, but I’m compiling a list of memoirs and biographies and I want to have a read a woman’s memoir or biography from every country or territory in the world. Fortunately, this goal will likely help with wanting to read both translation more and women of color more.