I started 2017 with a lot of energy and was eager to fly through my mile-high TBR. But that energy only lasted a couple of weeks. By the time the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon concluded on January 15th, I was exhausted and my reading definitely slowed down for the next week. But Diverse-A-Thon started on January 22nd and I was once again excited to read all the books! I had set my TBR to 3 books because I genuinely thought the enthusiasm I had when I created it would allow me to meet my goal. However, I underestimated how much the inauguration of the new president (#NotMyPresident) would put a damper on my enthusiasm to do anything, let alone read.
So I definitely did not meet my overly-ambitious goal of reading three novels in one week. I only read 1 novel and then decided on two short poetry collections and one graphic novel to finish off the weekend. I’d say it was a successful Diversathon nonetheless.
The chats, when I could participate in them, were fantastic. I want to give a huge shout out to the 4 hosts of the chats – Christina Marie, Joce, Monica, and Simon. They provided insightful and thought-provoking questions all week and encouraged us to be better readers and people with the discourse they created during these chats. I am incredibly proud to be part of a smart and kind community of readers who teach me so much every day. Thank you all!
If you participated in Diverse-A-Thon, be sure to write a wrap-up post on your blog and link it to #ReadDiverse2017 for a point towards your goal of the 30-point “Diversity Advocate” badge!
The Reader – by Traci Chee
The first book I read was The Reader by Traci Chee, which was also the January book for #DSFFBookClub. It was 437 pages, so I almost want to say it counts as two books. 😉 I wrote my review a couple of days ago and it’ll go up in a few weeks. I really enjoyed it! Sefia is a fascinating character and I thoroughly enjoyed unraveling the mysteries of her world and her powers as a Reader. In the world of Kelanna, reading is literally magic and only a few people know that reading exists. I’ll try to explain the intricacies of the story in my review, but for now I’ll go ahead and recommend it, especially if you enjoy complex story lines that interweave in surprising ways. This is a YA fantasy, but it reads more like adult Fantasy, so keep that in mind.
Bone – by Yrsa Dely-Ward
Salt – by Nayyirah Waheed
It took me 5 days to get through The Reader, so I decided to read something short but powerful to follow it up. Fortunately, I had downloaded the Bone and Salt poetry collections, which were free on Kindle. I devoured both in one sitting on Saturday night!
Bone didn’t resonate with me as much as Salt did, but some of the poems were incredibly poignant and memorable. They explore topics such as relationships, family, death, sex, and love. Most of them are a few lines long, and a few are longer and read like mini short stories.
A few favorites:
- “Loving someone who hates themselves is a special kind of violence. A fight inside the bones. A war within the blood.”
- “If you were married to yourself could you stay with yourself? My house would be frightening and wild.”
Salt was a wild and emotional ride. Loved every minute of it and found myself highlighting almost every other page. I was in awe at how much meaning, experience, and emotion Waheed was able to pack into only a few lines. She is economical with her words, but there’s a poignant simplicity in them that will blow you away. Read this collection as soon as possible.
A few favorites:
- “You broke the ocean in half to be here. Only to meet nothing that wants you.” -immigrant
- “I bleed every month. But do not die. How am I not magic.” – the lie
- “If a man an can only show vulnerability for what is between my legs. Can only be a heart during sex. If an orgasm is the only way he can weep. What is his life but a cage.” -prison
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why – by G. Willow Wilson
I finished off Diverse-A-Thon with a light but very important read, Volume 2 of Ms. Marvel. I am utterly enchanted with Kamala Khan as a character and hero. She is funny, relatable, and slowly growing into her powers and confidence. Right now we need stories of Muslim heroes and heroines more than ever and I will continue to seek them out, read, review, support, uplift, and do anything I can as a way to combat the Islamophobia that is rampant in western countries, but the U.S. in particular. I’m going to create a TBR of books by Muslim authors to read in 2017. If you have any recommendations, send them my way!
How many books did you read for Diverse-A-Thon? Did you meet your goals? Let me know about your experience in the comments!
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