#BustleReads Challenge

I’ve always been a voracious reader. As a child, my parents would have to limit the number of books I could check out from the library. I’d spend summers surrounded by stacks of books, devouring anything I could get my hands on. There’s even a plaque in my elementary school with my name on it for having the most points in the Accelerated Reader program, where you’d read books and take quizzes on them (I was really fun as a child, you can tell). And while college was a time of great personal growth for me, unfortunately my hectic schedule made it difficult to keep up with my  appetite for literature and the number of books I’d read for fun dropped drastically. 

One of the best parts of having so much free time this year is that I’ve been able to read frequently again. I’ve made it a challenge to myself to read a book every other week (that’s 26 for the year, kiddos). About 5 weeks into the year I’m only slightly behind, having finished The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde and Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and being partway through The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh. 

To make this challenge more interesting, I’m also participating in a challenge proposed by Bustle.  #BustleReads challenges you to read 20 books from the following categories, which emphasizes literature by groups that are traditionally marginalized by the literary community. To say nothing against the literary merits of old dead white men, there are, believe it or not, great works of literature by women, members of the LGBT community, non-Westerners, and people of color. I’m including a few books that fit each category and encourage everyone reading this to give them a shot. Even if you don’t read books from all 20 categories, I challenge you to read at least one and promise you’ll be a more aware citizen of the world for it. 


PS. I’m currently sans-laptop but when I have that with me, I’ll link y’all up. Until then, give a few of these a Google and I’m sure you’ll be able to find em. 

*= Books I’ve read/currently am reading

1. A book written by a woman under 25

  • The Icarus Girl
  • Purple Hibiscus
  • White Teeth

2. A book about non-Western history

  • Daughters of the Samurai
  • Revolutionary Iran
  • The Glass Palace*

3. A book of essays

  • I Feel Bad about My Neck
  • Not That Kind of Girl
  • Bad Feminist*

4. A book about an indigenous culture

  • The Lesser Blessed
  • Love Medicine
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

5. A book before you see the movie

  • Taliban Shuffle
  • The Little Prince
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

6. A YA book by an author of color

  • Untwine
  • House on Mango Street*
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

7. A book set in the Middle East

  • An Unnecessary Woman
  • The Bastard of Istanbul
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran

8. A book about women in the war

  • Ravensbrück
  • Lady Death
  • They Fought Like Demons

9. A graphic novel written by a woman

  • Through the Woods
  • Nimona
  • Persepolis*

10. A book about an immigrant or refugee to the U.S.

  • The Buddha in the Attic
  • City of Orphans
  • The Book of Unknown Americans

11. A children’s book aloud (child optional)
12. Reread your favorite book from your childhood
13. A memoir by someone who identifies as LGBTQIA

  • Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
  • Fun Home
  • An Underground Life

14. A work of post-apocalyptic fiction written by a woman

  • Who Fears Death
  • Station Eleven
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth

15. A feminist sci-fi novel

  • Kindred
  • Onyx and Crake
  • The Left Hand of Darkness

16. The first book in a series you’ve never read

  • The Dragonriders of Pern
  • Earthseed
  • Wolf Hall

17. A book set in Africa, by an author from Africa

  • Chimamanda Ngozi
  • Chinua Achebe
  • Cutting for Stone

18. A translated book

  • Love in the Time of Cholera
  • Kafka By the Shore
  • Satantango

19. A contemporary collection of poetry

  • Citizen
  • Prelude to Bruise
  • Life on Mars

20. A book by a modernist woman writer

  • House of the Spirits
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • The Well of Loneliness

Happy reading in 2016! 


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