The Year in Books, 2016

Author Laura Brown has a new blog post titled “My Diverse Reads of 2016” where she takes a look at how many books she read in the past year that count as diverse. This seems like a worthy experiment to me, so let’s dig into my data.

In 2016 I read 67 books. I had challenged myself to read 55. This is good!

Out of 67 books, 48 were by women. Girl power.

5 of those books were on writing craft, the rest were fiction.

Out of 62 books, 22 were diverse, 11 were definitely #OwnVoices (I haven’t gone prowling for the backgrounds of all the other authors). This is roughly 30%, which is around the same number of diverse books Laura had.

30% is better than nothing, but it’s hardly something to write home about. There are so many books by wonderful writers who aren’t white/straight/cis/etc. I think this highlights again how hard it is to get these books in front of readers. The market is glutted with same-old, same-old. A thousand sighs. I’ll work to do better this year.

I hope you’re looking to diversify your own reading list this year. Here are some of my diverse favorites of the year, all of which I believe are #OwnVoices (Do please correct me if I’m wrong.):

  • MARCH, Books 1-3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell (Utterly amazing.)
  • The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (So good I haven’t touched the sequel because I want to binge all 4… I have to wait til 2019?!)
  • Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
  • The True Meaning of Smek Day by Adam Rex (WAY better than the movie, Home.)

Here’s to pages of another color.


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