Literary Fiction by People of Color discussion

94 views
What's new, 2016!

Comments Showing 1-44 of 44 (44 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by ColumbusReads (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3727 comments Mod
Do you have any reading goals, plans, desires or a wish list for 2016? Any reading challenges you've entered through Goodreads or elsewhere? Any books or book-related items you've requested for gifts this year? What's pristine in 2016! << (a rather desperate attempt to find a good rhyming term to pair with 2016)


message 2: by Shannon (last edited Nov 29, 2015 03:58PM) (new)

Shannon I want to read more books than I purchase, attend another international book festival, and get through at least 5 of my "author collections." I finally purchased shelves (enough to hold all of my books) and will spend time over the next several weeks categorizing/organizing my personal library. I want that project off of my to-do list before 2016!


message 3: by ColumbusReads (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3727 comments Mod
I'm reading the entire Toni Morrison library from the first book to the last (skipping the two I've already read Sula and God Help the Child). I'm looking forward to reading The Bluest Eye and also Song of Solomon and less so Jazz and Beloved.

I'm also going to continue collecting bookmarks. Any suggestions on where to get some unique ones?

No plans on joining Goodreads challenge to read x number of books this year. Don't need that pressure.

My oldest sister asked if I wanted another jazz coffee table book for a gift this year. Uhh, well I usually prefer to be surprised but since she asked......

The one author I wish to release a book in 2016: Edward P. Jones


message 4: by Nakia (last edited Nov 29, 2015 08:02PM) (new)

Nakia I have a few goals in mind:

1. I want to do a lot of re-reading, specifically beloved, the bluest eye, and song of solomon by toni morrison (to see if I understand them better as an adult), the brief wondrous life of oscar wao by junot diaz, half of a yellow sun by chimamanda ngozi adichie, small island by andrea levy, the between by tananarive due, and after the garden by dorisjean austin (because these novels are my favs but I cant remember why; its been YEARS since I last read them)

2. I want to finally read two bigraphies that have been on my list since they were released. I've been procrastinating because the length of both books is daunting: malcolm x: a life of reinvention by Manning Marable (608 pages) and ida: a sword among lions by paula giddings (832 pgs)

3. I want to purge a lot of books from my collection. I have many for the sake of nostalgia, but I haven't read them in decades so I'm not at all sure if they're books I'd even consider good in this day and age. I'm going to slow down on adding new books to my list and instead read a lot of what I already have so I can make decisions on keeping or tossing them.

4. Lastly, I want to add 4-5 cookbooks to shelve in my kitchen next year.


message 5: by Beverly (last edited Nov 30, 2015 05:07PM) (new)

Beverly | 2874 comments Mod
Here are a couple of goals I would like to keep in the forefront for 2016.

1. Write a brief review/thoughts about a book as soon as I finish. (Usually I am so anxious to move on to the next book)

2. Read more nonfiction this year. (I really did a poor job reading NF this year)

3. Read more of the unread books that have been sitting on my shelf for years. (this will help with #2 as many of the books are NF)

4. Try to control my "it is released so I need to read it" reading addiction. (my library is definitely my enabler - when moving one of my criteria is the quality of the library system)


message 6: by Dree (new)

Dree | 32 comments I have been thinking about this for a few days (and actually answered a similar question in another group, but it needed refining). Now, I am a total mood reader and am not so good with making reading plans in the form of a list. So these are kind of vague.

1. My number one goal for 2016 is to continue reading books from the 1001 books list. But this year I want to tackle one of the Chinese classics--I started Monkey: The Journey to the West this year, but it was (very) abridged. It was also quite interesting, and I want to read the whole thing. I also want to branch out, using the 1001 list, to explore authors from countries I don't usually read from--namely countries that don't see a lot of works translated into English that are available here (US).

2. I want to try to keep up with group reads in my groups. I get books from the library, so for new fiction this means staying on top of selections and requesting them right away.

3. Read more history! I kind of took a break this year, apparently. This was not planned.


message 7: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 386 comments My biggest is to read more books in trilogies that I have started. I think I would have enough to last the year and more.

I am also considering abandoning the goodreads challenge.

I need to read what is on my shelf and I have a container full of books by AA authors.


message 8: by ColumbusReads (last edited Nov 30, 2015 07:41PM) (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3727 comments Mod
I just love hearing about what other semi like-minded, book-crazed readers are doing and what your thoughts are:

Dree: If you don't mind me asking, what 1001 book list are you referring to? I just want to know because I just love adding more books to my disgustingly long TBR list (sarcasm).

Poingu: I did something similar last year '14 but wasn't so specific. I just made it a point to read only authors of color (minus children's books) for the entire year. I enjoyed it immensely and it strangely made me feel really good. I can't really explain why exactly.

Beverly:I always vow to read more NF but there's so many darn good fiction books out there that I just cannot get to them. I mean if there were no more books published after today it would still take me another 40 yrs to get through what I have yet to read (fiction only).

Also, I made another vow to review every book I read from now on. Even if it's just a sentence. I hope you keep with your pledge also because I enjoy reading your reviews.

Nakia: are you a cookbook fan? Any you would recommend? I got a classic, The Taste of Country Cooking as a gift recently for my youngest sister but she already has it (and uses it)so I asked for it back to keep in my kitchen. Haha...She's an excellent baker and I want to get her a nice baking cookbook so if you can recommend anything please do.

Shannon: curious what international book festival you would've attended. I would love to maybe attend one in Lagos, Shanghai or maybe Rio or Vancouver?


message 9: by Dree (new)

Dree | 32 comments I'm sorry! The 1001 books list I was referring to is 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, 2010 edition--I think the 2008 edition was the first to make the book a more intentionally international list (4 Chinese classics added, etc). I actually use the app, which has all the books from all 3 editions (1305 books). It's not the be-all end-all list, but it is certainly interesting. There is a GR group which has great (but not complete) shelves of the books.


message 10: by ColumbusReads (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3727 comments Mod
Dree wrote: "I'm sorry! The 1001 books list I was referring to is 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, 2010 edition--I think the 2008 edition was the first to make the book a more intentionall..."

Oh, thanks I'm going to check this out!


message 11: by Nakia (new)

Nakia Columbus wrote: "Nakia: are you a cookbook fan? Any you would recommend?"

I'm not much of a fan of cooking, but I am of eating. lol One of my resolutions is to cook more at home, and to focus more on delicious, fulfilling meals like my grandma used to make. Unfortunately, she didn't write down any of her recipes before she passed away, so I figured getting a few trusty cookbooks would help me with this goal.


message 12: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Columbus wrote: "Shannon: curious what international book festival you would've attended. I would love to maybe attend one in Lagos, Shanghai or maybe Rio or Vancouver? "

I attended the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad. I have a pretty long list on international festivals but I have my eye on Calabash in Jamaica for 2016. After reading Everyday is for the Thief, I have no desire to go to Lagos. Shanghai isn't on my list of places to visit, so I probably wouldn't head there for a lit fest. Rio and Vancouver, hmmm...


message 13: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2874 comments Mod
Columbus wrote: "I just love hearing about what other semi like-minded, book-crazed readers are doing and what your thoughts are:

Dree: If you don't mind me asking, what 1001 book list are you referring to? I just..."


Columbus -

Thanks for the kind words about my reviews.

I so understand about all of the good fiction books out there and I too am always picking up a fiction book over a NF book. I do need to come up with a good plan for 2016. I know there are some NF books that I will want to read in print but there are others that I will probably do as audio such as Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America.


message 14: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2874 comments Mod
Shannon wrote: "Columbus wrote: "Shannon: curious what international book festival you would've attended. I would love to maybe attend one in Lagos, Shanghai or maybe Rio or Vancouver? "

I attended the Bocas Lit ..."


A lit festival in Vancouver sounds wonderful. A friend of mine did one there this year and really enjoyed.

If you are thinking of Calabash - go ahead and book your room/hotel reservations now - those close to the event fill up very fast.


message 15: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2874 comments Mod
Nakia wrote: "Columbus wrote: "Nakia: are you a cookbook fan? Any you would recommend?"

I'm not much of a fan of cooking, but I am of eating. lol One of my resolutions is to cook more at home, and to focus more..."


I have given all of my cookbooks to my daughters except one that I use a lot.

Kwanzaa: An African American Celebration Of Culture And Cooking by Eric V. Copage

I like it for the diversity of the recipes and the side notes.
And the recipes are easy to follow as I do not like to cook.


message 16: by Nakia (new)

Nakia Thanks for the recommendation, Beverly. I will definitely check it out. The easier the better.


message 17: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 336 comments Columbus wrote: "Poingu: I did something similar last year '14 but wasn't so specific. I just made it a point to read only authors of color (minus children's books) for the entire year. I enjoyed it immensely and it strangely made me feel really good. I can't really explain why exactly.."

Columbus, I just totally deleted my goal of focusing on just "literary fiction" by people of color next year, mostly because that's what I do already, and also because this essay by Dreda Say Mitchell, one that we've been talking about in the Long Reads discussion thread, has me thinking I want to read a lot more genre fiction next year. For me that will be a stretch goal.

I love that this group considers great genre works to also be "literary fiction". I don't know anything about genre writers of color outside of Walter Mosley and Octavia Butler, and that's ridiculous, so that's my new, still vague goal--use 2015 to learn about authors of color who are writing genre fiction.


message 18: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2874 comments Mod
LOL - I was just about to type a message when I saw Poingu's message about changing plans.

I am going to try to read more translated works. This change is because of reading and highly enjoying Man Tiger: A Novel by Eka Kurniawan and attending a webinar on translated fiction.

Also will try to seek out books by small indie presses as they usually publish more original storylines.

But I will probably change my mind a thousands times. :)


message 19: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 336 comments Beverly wrote: "
I am going to try to read more translated works."


oh, that's a good goal. I think I'll add your goal to my goal, Beverly. Also small indie presses. I'm thinking about subscribing to one of the small presses that offers subscriptions, like these (all of which specialize in translated works):

Deep Vellum

Open Letter Books

& Other Stories


message 20: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2874 comments Mod
Honey wrote: "Does anyone know if the 'Anticipated Literary Reads For Readers of Color 2016' list has been created yet?"

Honey -

Here is the list:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/9...

Very much a work-in-progress as still finding out about books to be published in 2016 but so far it has 59 books.

The big publishing houses put our their catalogs and start their marketing earlier than small presses.


message 21: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2874 comments Mod
poingu wrote: "Beverly wrote: "
I am going to try to read more translated works."

oh, that's a good goal. I think I'll add your goal to my goal, Beverly. Also small indie presses. I'm thinking about subscribing ..."


Thanks for the resources.

I am so interested in reading Tram 83.


message 22: by Ming (last edited Dec 05, 2015 02:20PM) (new)

Ming | 154 comments I want to find and read more books by authors of color and here I mean those authors of color who identify as a "minority" person or a member of a "non-dominant" socio-cultural group. (Sell-outs and posers don't count.)

I want my diverse reading to be more diverse. This goal includes more books where the characters are diverse from one another and diverse across the board (if I can determine this in advance). And related to this, I want to read more books from LGBT authors of color.

I want to more promptly write reviews after I complete a book and perhaps write reviews of books I completed awhile ago.


message 23: by Kaion (last edited Dec 05, 2015 06:11PM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) | 2 comments 1. I think I have the same goal as many in the group, read more books by PoC! It's been on my mind for a while, so there's nothing to do, but to do it. My goal is to read 50 books by people of color.

2. I also want to read more current science-fiction and fantasy books. The "genre" field is so referential and full of sequels/series and the like that it can feel like you have to have already been reading SFF to keep up with it. But lack of experience isn't a great excuse, so I've been trying in the last few months to jump right in with the 2015 releases that interest me. I'm going to focus on continuing this in the first few months of 2016 as well. If anything, the 2015 Hugos nonsense proves that readers who value diverse literature should be paying more attention to "genre" literature as well as literary fiction.

And like Poingu, I'm sure that I'll be encountering some good, diverse genre writers.

3. Joining in Beverly and Ming in writing reviews more regularly. I did improve this year, but I don't think I'll quite make it to the finish mark. I think being prompt will be the key to this, but what can I say? I am naturally a fast reader, but a long stew-er.


message 24: by ColumbusReads (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3727 comments Mod
Ming wrote: "I want to find and read more books by authors of color and here I mean those authors of color who identify as a "minority" person or a member of a "non-dominant" socio-cultural group. (Sell-outs an..."

"Sell-outs and posers don't count" Ming, that is too too funny to me.


message 25: by Cy (new)

Cy | 20 comments @Nakia. I underscore Nakia's 3 and 4. Nakia if you have any advice on best practices/what works for purging books, please share. I am having a very difficult time with that. Re: cookbooks when you have time, check out this article in the New Republic https://newrepublic.com/article/12323...


message 26: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments Beverly wrote: "Honey wrote: "Does anyone know if the 'Anticipated Literary Reads For Readers of Color 2016' list has been created yet?"

Honey -

Here is the list:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/9......"


Beverly, thanks, as always, for creating this list. It is such a terrific resource each year.


message 27: by Kaion (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) | 2 comments Cy wrote: "@Nakia. I underscore Nakia's 3 and 4. Nakia if you have any advice on best practices/what works for purging books, please share. I am having a very difficult time with that. Re: cookbooks when you ..."

Not Nakia, but I find what works for me is to think of it as pruning, not purging. I get overwhelmed if I get up and go "and now I have to get rid of 40 books." It's easier to just set aside a few books at a time that I don't think I need-- that I'm sure I haven't looked through in ages. I put them into a box in the closet or something. And then I keep filling the box until it's full and then I get trade the books into a used bookstore or give them away at the library. It's upkeep, so I'll always have room for new books! But you know, the grand purge approach may work better for you.


message 28: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2874 comments Mod
Kaion wrote: "Cy wrote: "@Nakia. I underscore Nakia's 3 and 4. Nakia if you have any advice on best practices/what works for purging books, please share. I am having a very difficult time with that. Re: cookbook..."

Since I am not a re-reader of books - so unless for a very special reason I do not keep books once I have read them.

I have several ways of purging/pruning
- first line is daughter whose not only is her reading taste similar to mine but very interested in first editions. etc. As I have been downsizing for years and she has the bigger house it works.
- give books to women's shelters
- give books to library


Lisa (LiteraryLatinax) (literarylatinax) I have several goals for 2016:

1. Tackle my unread books that have been on my shelves for quite some time.

2. I participated in Nonfiction November this year and want to continue reading more Nonfiction. It really took me out of my comfort zone which I glad it did.

3. Being Latina and September being Hispanic Heritage month I decided to incorporate more books form hispanic authors so I will continue to do that.

4. Read more books from authors from other countries. After reading the Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma which was a beautiful, heartbreaking book, I felt that I was missing something as parts of the book were in a different language and it brought to my attention how little I knew of other countries (Obioma is from Nigeria)so definitely working on that.


message 30: by Nakia (new)

Nakia Cy wrote: " Nakia if you have any advice on best practices/what works for purging books, please share. I am having a very difficult time with that. Re: cookbooks when you ..."

Hey Cy. I usually just purge based on how the book makes me feel: is it, in my own opinion, a 5 or 4 star read? Does it hold a certain kind of significance to my life or learning? Would I want my future children to read it? I don't want to make space for books just to say I have them. They have to mean something to me, so if it's something I feel I can live without, I toss it. Hence me needing to read a lot of what I have to determine if they're needed. And by toss it, I mean either give it to a friend, donate it, or sell it to Half Priced books.

Thanks for the article suggestion. A few of the new cookbooks mentioned were the catalyst for my interest in starting my collection. Good to have them all in one place for reference.


message 31: by Ming (new)

Ming | 154 comments Columbus wrote: "Ming wrote: "Sell-outs and posers don't count" Ming, that is too too funny to me..."

I agree. And a bit sad to have to dismiss such. I consider "of color" a term of empowerment; it's a political phrase.

(And I don't necessarily associate it with multi-cultural or international. Did you know Scholastic did a huge diversity campaign w/ WNDB this month and they include some Rick Riordan books because they're set in various countries. smh)


message 32: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 4 comments
I'm also going to continue collecting bookmarks. Any suggestions on where to get some unique ones?

No plans on joining Goodreads challenge to read x number of books this year. Don't need that pressure.g..."


Try Etsy.com for unique bookmarks.

The challenge isn't stressful if you keep your goals reasonable. Then you get a neat badge! You could do 10 books, can't you?


message 33: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments My goal for the coming year is a small one - to be sure to add the books that I read to Goodreads! I have a chronic illness and this was an especially challenging year for me. As a result, I have piles of books, as well as books on my Kindle, that I have read but haven't added to Goodreads yet. I hope to catch up during the holidays and hope to be much more consistent next year.


message 34: by Janey (new)

Janey Skinner | 18 comments Ming wrote: "Columbus wrote: "Ming wrote: "Sell-outs and posers don't count" Ming, that is too too funny to me..."

I agree. And a bit sad to have to dismiss such. I consider "of color" a term of empowerment; i..."


I see your point - especially with posers like Kent Johnson or Michael Derrick Hudson out there. POC is certainly a political issue, beyond labels.

I do value reading international literature, and want to see more works available in translation in the US - for political as well as cultural reasons. We are so ethnocentric and nation-centric in the US.

What I value about both much literature by POC in countries dominated by an Anglo or Euro ethnocentricity and much international literature (especially from the global South) is that it brings voices from the margin into center stage. I hunger to read more voices from the margin that open my eyes and my heart and my ears, with prose that moves me and explores depths that are both familiar and new.


message 35: by Ming (new)

Ming | 154 comments Columbus wrote: "Do you have any reading goals, plans, desires or a wish list for 2016? Any reading challenges you've entered through Goodreads or elsewhere?"

this is cool: Read Harder 2016:
http://bookriot.com/2015/12/15/2016-b...

Read Harder 2015 was cool too: http://bookriot.com/2015/09/17/finish...


message 36: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Jr. (goodreadscomthomasbarrjr) | 3 comments You all must read my new Book, RISEN: The accession and devolution of Yahweh Ben Yahweh: Miami's Urban Chronicles Volume 1. It comes out on January 1, 2016.


message 37: by ColumbusReads (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3727 comments Mod
Ming wrote: "Columbus wrote: "Do you have any reading goals, plans, desires or a wish list for 2016? Any reading challenges you've entered through Goodreads or elsewhere?"

this is cool: Read Harder 2016:
http..."


Oh, I like this! Would've been great this year since I didn't adhere to any type of book challenge of any kind . Next year, of course, I'm reading all of Toni Morrison and I also want to re-read James Baldwin particularly his non-fiction and I'm going to get a copy of his The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings and read it. I never, ever, ever get enough of Baldwin.

I also want to read other more classic writers next year like Dostoyevsky & Dickens. I've had Crimes and Punishment and A Tale of Two Cities on my bedside table now for years (figuratively speaking).

Anyone else with a book challenge this year?


message 38: by Elatsoe Stan (new)

Elatsoe Stan | 58 comments I'm planning on reading and/or rereading more early African American lit such as Harriet Jacobs, Jupiter Hammon, and of course my beloved Phillis Wheatley.


message 39: by William (new)

William (be2lieve) | 1262 comments Mod
Looks like I'll have to work a little harder in 2016 to keep posting new releases by POC on the monthly polls. The closest branch of my local library system will close for renovation for the next 1-2 years. The one I can walk to or drive by daily. At least 50 percent of the my book postings come from the prominently featured POC authors on the "new arrivals" shelf. While I'm sure the other branches, 5-10 miles away also probably have special POC interest shelves..there's nothing like the spontaneity of a brisk walk or drop by at the library and discovering a treasure when you get there.


message 40: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2874 comments Mod
William wrote: "Looks like I'll have to work a little harder in 2016 to keep posting new releases by POC on the monthly polls. The closest branch of my local library system will close for renovation for the next 1..."

I can understand about having a library within walking distance - I have always had that before my last move - now about a 20 minute drive away but it is one of the most modern library I have been associated with.


message 41: by Alexa (new)

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 53 comments Columbus wrote: "...Next year, of course, I'm reading all of Toni Morrison..."

In regard to your goal, have you seen this group? https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...


message 42: by Dree (new)

Dree | 32 comments Oh no! I hope it's wonderful when it finally reopens. I get nearly all of my reading from my wonderful library system, so I feel your pain. We went through the remodeling stuff about 10 years ago. It was an awkward 2 years, as the 2 branches 5-6 miles away (different directions) each had pros and cons.

William wrote: "Looks like I'll have to work a little harder in 2016 to keep posting new releases by POC on the monthly polls. The closest branch of my local library system will close for renovation for the next 1..."


message 43: by William (last edited Jan 13, 2016 02:30PM) (new)

William (be2lieve) | 1262 comments Mod
Dree wrote: "Oh no! I hope it's wonderful when it finally reopens. I get nearly all of my reading from my wonderful library system, so I feel your pain. We went through the remodeling stuff about 10 years ago. ..."

Someone else is already feeling my pain. I've finished this months book (Under the Udala trees) 3 days ago and it sits waiting for me to incorporate it into my daily excursions. I'm sure some poor soul is waiting anxiously for its return. I feel bad about it.


message 44: by ColumbusReads (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3727 comments Mod
Alexa wrote: "Columbus wrote: "...Next year, of course, I'm reading all of Toni Morrison..."

In regard to your goal, have you seen this group? https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/......"


Oh, Alexa! This group fits me perfectly. I just started my chronological reading of TM and halfway through The Bluest Eye now. Thanks so much!


back to top