This post is part of the Reading Writers of Color 2021 challenge hosted by Lonely Cryptid Media’s staff writer and editor, Dan Michael Fielding.
Wow! What a year! As I scraped the frost off my car this morning I thought back to where I was last year, already researching, preparing, and writing posts for the challenge. The first post I wrote was actually the guide to 50 books by scientists of color. That post sparked the impetus for this challenge, which I hope to continue into next year.
This month’s challenge to read a book published this year is a chance to celebrate new writing while also reflecting on our participation in the challenge over the past year. As you choose what book you’d like to read in December I’d love to hear about how the challenge affected you.
There are plenty of things to consider! Is there a book you read that was particularly meaningful or interesting for you? I’m most grateful for reading Walking on Cowrie Shells by Nana Nkweti. This excellent short story collection introduced me to a new author I’m excited to read more from.
What books didn’t you finish? Are there any books on your did not finish list that you’d like to return to later? If you struggled to finish books this year and you want to participate again next year it may be worth considering modifying the challenge and reading short stories or essays, or combining challenge prompts.
I struggled to finish books towards the end of the year, not because the books weren’t excellent (they were!) but because of general life anxiety getting in the way. I struggled to start reading and wasn’t able to get into the flow. I’m going to try to remember to be kind to myself this month and going into next year and pick things that are shorter or have an easier point of entry.
How has your thinking about what you read changed throughout the challenge? I keep returning to what I learned while writing the award winning authors post. There are so many wonderful authors of color whose work isn’t being celebrated, and that is such a shame. I was going to say that I hope conversations will shift, but truthfully I (and I’m sure many others) am tired of waiting for that to happen. It’s long past time for us to be dealing seriously with systemic racism.
Finally, what feedback do you have for me as a challenge runner? What would you like to see done differently in 2022 (even if you can’t participate next year)? Remember you can share feedback on our twitter to keep everything in one place.
As you choose your book for December keep in mind what your reading habits were over the past year. What book will you choose?
We’ve gone ad free and we need your help to stay that way! Consider making a donation to Lonely Cryptid Media to help keep our site ad free and support our mission to elevate queer, pro-feminist, and anti-racist media.