POC Reading Challenge

2011 – Totally succeeded! I signed up to read 1-3 books about people of color (should that be capitalized?) and yeah. TOTALLY SUCCEEDED. I’m mostly working off the top of my head, because I don’t have a book list for the year. It’s probable that I’m missing at least one or two books. I’m posting links if I wrote reviews, otherwise I’ll do a mini review right now!

1) Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis – I can’t believe I didn’t write about this! (Bargain price on Amazon!) IT IS SO GOOD, YA’LL. Snarky teenagers, a crazy grandmother, a road trip, history, love, gumption! This book has it all.

2) 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter – I also cannot believe I didn’t write about this. (Also bargain priced on Amazon!) I loved this book. I want all the books to be like this one. I would read all the time FOR FOREVER if all books were like this book. Which isn’t to say that I found it flawless, but that I ate it up like it was candy. Except it WASN’T CANDY. It was a freaking delicious main course of amazingness!!!! If you must know something about the actual book, it’s a romantic contemporary novel. There, now go eat it. I mean, read it. Nom om om.

3) Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

4) Liar by Justine Larbalestier – Review later this month!

5) Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer

6) The Agency by Y.S. Lee – Starting to sound like a broken record, but I can’t believe I didn’t write about this book! I LOVED IT. Historical YA about secret societies and awesome women. SIGN ME UP PLEASE. Most definitely need to read the second book this year!

7) Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey – Mexican protagonist, and I think the author is white

8) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – Both protag and author are Native American.

9) Duty, Desire, and the Desert King by Jane Porter – I’m not sure this should reeeeeally count, as I’m sure it has nothing to do with the reality of Middle Eastern men BUT WHATEVER. White author, white heroine, Middle Eastern hero.

10) Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher – Mixed race protag, white author.

Honorable Mentions Cause I Haven’t Finished Them Yet But Whoa They’re So Good: The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson and Tending the Wild by Kat Anderson. The former is about the migration of Southern Black people to the North in the twentieth century. The latter is about how Californian Native Americans managed and tended their so-called wild places, and how we should, too. They’re both non-fiction and GREAT.

A stat – Out of the ten books I have above, only five were written by POC. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad one. I mean, at least white people *are* writing about POC? And aside from the romance novel, they all seemed (from my white privileged perspective) to do a good job. And really, the romance novel didn’t resort to Middle Eastern stereotypes as much as Romance stereotypes. OTOH, am I failing POC authors by not supporting them? Out of the POC authors, I only own one of the books. Of the white authors, I only three of the books. =\

Another stat – Two dude authors, eight lady authors! I am happy about this ratio. It is a ratio that I am happy about.

Stat no. three – 7/10 are YA, 2/10 romantically themed contemporary novels, 1/10 straight up rohmahnce.

Second-to-last stat – 5/10 of the protags were black. 1/10 mixed race. 1/10 Latino. 1/10 Native American. 1/10 Middle Eastern. 1/10 I WON’T SAY AS IT’S A SPOILER. *frowny face*

Here’s the best stat of all – I signed up to read 1-3 POC books and read AT LEAST TEN. YESSSSSSSSSSSS.

2012 – I, unfortunately, don’t see a 2012 version of the challenge! Still, this is important enough to me that I am going to make my own personal goal. (UPDATE! The POC Reading Challenge is officially back as of Jan 30. That means my goal of eight falls under their Level 3, 7-9.)

I will read at least eight books by and/or about POC in 2012. (I know, I know – less than what I managed this year? Well, I don’t use reading challenges to pressure myself, but to shift my reading focus. Hopefully I will read more than ten, but I’m not going to make that a part of my goal.)

Want to readThe Agency 2: The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (which I own so I better get on this!), Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, something by Murakami or Ishiguro maybe?, Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (I also own this – thanks, Mia!!), Tayari Jones’ Silver Sparrows, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, I have the first Easy Rawlins book so I should read that, I’d like to read a romance novel written by a POC (Brenda Jackson, maybe?), something about soccer would be awesome! (maybe The Silent Cry)

Have Read –

1) Farm 54 by Galit and Gilad Seliktar – Short review under the Middle East Challenge.


One thought on “POC Reading Challenge

  1. Pingback: Combating my Privilege – Challenges | Nisaba Be Praised

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