An "Unpresidented" Reading Challenge for 2017

An "Unpresidented" Reading Challenge for 2017

While I read a pretty wide array of things from all genres, there are still quite a few gaps I'd like to fill. I know a lot of people do reading challenges every year to push themselves to get outside their comfort zone - reading books from around the world or by people with different experiences. For the past few years I've focused on reading books mostly written by marginalized people, but haven't had much more direction that that.

In 2017 I'll be reading books that combat the current American political climate and general ignorance around cultures different than what is accepted as "American". I'm going to read at least twelve books from the following categories and I've included some suggestions to get you started.

We'll be reading a book from each of the following categories over the next year, a new category starting the first of each month. Join in the discussion at the Goodreads group or with the hashtag #unpresidentedreads on twitter/litsy!

 

January: A story about immigration or refugees to the United States

In The Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrerohttp://amzn.to/2hKrIPuNever Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American by Okey Ndibe

  1. In The Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero
  2. The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang
  3. Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American by Okey Ndibe

     

February: A book about Judaism or Jewish people

From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas L FriedmanThe Tin Horse by Janice SteinbergThe Two Family House: A Novel by Lynda Cohen Loigman

  1. From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas L Friedman
  2. The Tin Horse by Janice Steinberg
  3. The Two Family House: A Novel by Lynda Cohen Loigman

 

March: Speculative Fiction by a writer of color

http://amzn.to/2hKaXUkBinti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

  1. The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria by Carlos Hernandez
  2. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
  3. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

     

April: A book by a trans author

Coffee Boy by Austin ChantGender Failture by Ivan Coyote & Rae SpoonA Queer and Pleasant Danger by Kate Bornstein

  1. Coffee Boy by Austin Chant
  2. Gender Failture by Ivan Coyote & Rae Spoon
  3. A Queer and Pleasant Danger by Kate Bornstein
     

May: A book translated to English

Love in The Time of Cholera by Gabriel García MárquezThe Three Body Problem by Cixin LiuThings Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

  1. Love in The Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  2. The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  3. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 
     

June: A feminist or womanist book by women of color

When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks it Down by Joan MorganHeadscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona EltahawyNo Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of US Feminism by Nancy Hewitt

  1. When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks it Down by Joan Morgan
  2. Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy
  3. No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of US Feminism by Nancy Hewitt
     

July: A narrative around #BlackLivesMatter by a Black author

They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement by Wesley LoweryThe Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn WardFreedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis

  1. They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery
  2. The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward
  3. Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis
     

August: A book about Islam or Muslim people

She Wore Red Trainers by Na'ima B. RobertDoes My Hair Look Good In This by Randa Abdel-FattahLove, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women by Nura Maznavi & Ayeshi Mattu

  1. She Wore Red Trainers by Na'ima B. Robert
  2. Does My Hair Look Good In This by Randa Abdel-Fattah
  3. Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women by Nura Maznavi & Ayeshi Mattu
     

September: A book set in Central or South America or about Latinx people

Oye What I'm Gonna Tell You by Cecilia Rodríguez MilanésThe House on Mango Street by Sandra CisnerosThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

  1. Oye What I'm Gonna Tell You by Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés
  2. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
     

October: American history from the perspective of a marginalized group

Homegoing: A Novel by Yaa GyasiThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexiehttp://amzn.to/2gWIj4g

  1. Homegoing: A Novel by Yaa Gyasi
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  3. A Disability History of the United States by Kim Nielsen
     

November: Policing and Incarceration

Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the WorldWomen Doing Life: Gender, Punishment and the Struggle for IdentityPulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship

  1. Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the Worls by Baz Dreisinger
  2. Women Doing Life: Gender, Punishment, and The Struggle for Identity by Lora Bex Lempert
  3. Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship by Charles R. Epp, Steven Maynard-Mooney, Donald P. Haider-Markel 
     

December: A book set in the Middle East

Three Daughters by Consuelo Saah BaehrAn Unnecessary Woman by Rabih AlameddineAlif the Unseen by G Willow Wilson

  1. Three Daughters by Consuelo Saah Baehr
  2. An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
  3. Alif the Unseen by G Willow Wilson
     

Bonus: Hope and Escapism

The Feminist Utopia Project: Fifty-Seven Visions of a Wildly Better FuturePacking for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary RoachBitch Planet Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly DeConnick

  1. The Feminist Utopia Project: Fifty-Seven Visions of a Wildly Better Future
  2. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
  3. Bitch Planet Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly DeConnick
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2016
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