2020 Bookish Resolutions Check In

2020 huh? This year certainly isn’t anything I would have predicted but one thing does remain the same, I’m still reading and I’m still attempting to complete the challenges I laid out for myself. Let’s check in and see how I’m doing.

You can find the original resolutions post here.

in order to keep me up to my ears in books please consider using the following amazon affiliate links to purchase these products. it’s at no extra cost to you and would really help me out, thank you and happy reading!

Read 170 Books

I’m writing this a little ahead of time so these numbers have likely already changed but as of writing this I’ve read 67 of my pledged 170 books for 2020. I’m actually nearly on track to complete this goal and I’m pretty surprised with myself.

I’ve been reading a lot more than past years and that’s not just because of lockdowns and surprise isolation. I’m an essential worker (so they say) so my schedule actually hasn’t changed that much at all.

I’m still working 40 hours a week and still doing errands and chores on the weekends. The main difference is I guess I don’t go to concerts or movies anymore. So that frees up a little time. Mostly, I’m just reading a lot and I’ve been lucky enough to not hit a slump yet.

Read More Books I Already Own

I have a lot of books that have been sitting on my kindle for months or even years. Multiple whole years. They got added probably from a daily sale or on a whim and then I got distracted and just got less and less excited about reading them as time went on.

I’ve read a few of them this year so far and it feels pretty good to finally have them crossed off the list. Here are the reviews and affiliate links for the ones that I finally got around to.

I hope to get at least a couple more read before the year is finished. It’s nice to clear out the TBR every once in a while.

If I Was Your Girl

This one also falls into the last category of my resolutions to read more diversity. The author and protagonist are both trans and it is a great introduction into trans literature.

Spoiler Free Review

Buy it here: If I Was Your Girl

Oranges are not the Only Fruit

Yet another diverse read. This one deals with lesbian issues and Jeanette Winterson is a dominant name in LGBTQ literature and theory.

Spoiler Free Review

Buy it here: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

imagine me gone book cover

Imagine Me Gone

I was actually pretty disappointed with this one. Was expecting more of a tear jerker.

Spoiler Free Review

Buy it here: Imagine Me Gone

Read One Stephen King Book

This one may seem strange to a lot of you. I know many readers can’t get enough Stephen King but it’s my not so secret secret that I’ve never been a fan of his.

I attempted to read a couple of his books when I was much younger and just couldn’t get into them. Now I think it’s time to give him another chance. I took recommendations from many friends on which one I should tackle and basically everyone said IT.

Well, I’m not good at following directions so I added a bunch of his books to my library waiting list and decided to let fate take hold.

I was most interested in reading Misery. I really like the movie and am partial to stories about obsession but when I got it checked out it wasn’t compatible with kindle so I returned it.

Now, as of just last night at the time of writing this I started actually reading one of his novels. It was the next one to come up for check out, totally at random, and it’s probably one you’ll groan at me for using as my intro into King.

Christine. The one about the car. Well, let’s see how it goes. If he’s as good a writer as everyone says he is I should find some value in it right?

Buy it here and read along with me: Christine

Re-Read At Least One Book

This one has been fully completed! And it did not really go how I expected it to.

I re-read Tom Robbins’ Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates. I love Tom Robbins. I’ve read every single one of his books. But it’s been a handful of years since I’ve completed that task so I figured it’d be a perfect re-read.

Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates cover

I picked Fierce Invalids because I remember listing it as one of my favorite books of all time at the time I read it but I honestly didn’t remember that much about the finer details of the book.

I gave myself permission to just read and enjoy it. To not take notes for a review later, to not analyze it in any deeper way, just to enjoy re-reading an old favorite.

Should’ve been fun right? Well, I think book blogging and reviewing is exactly what I should be doing because reading without that deeper assignment felt like a freaking waste of time.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the book. Tom Robbins is still a great writer and I really liked reading his style again. His use of vocabulary and manipulation of language is unparalleled. But maybe re-reading and simply reading for “pleasure” just isn’t my jam.

I really enjoy reading and then discussing it. Getting to put my thoughts about books here on my site has been such a joy for me. Getting anybody to read these reviews and enjoy them too has been the highlight of my year.

So I probably won’t be doing a lot more re-reading in the future. But if you want to read and discuss Tom Robbins with me then please buy Fierce Invalids here:

Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates

Read More Diversity

This is the ultimate goal. One that will never be fully accomplished because there is always another demographic to cover. Always a perspective I haven’t experienced yet.

I probably could still be doing a bit better on this category but I’ve run into a dilemma. I have also taken on writing reviews for authors who seek me out and request their books be read and reviewed. I love doing this and have found some very good books in the process.

The problem is that it seems, as with basically any other arena of life and commerce, white men are bolder than other demographics and seem to be more likely to request their books be read. I get more requests from white males than any other demographic of author by a wide margin.

Could it be that my site is geared more towards them and all of the black lesbians are going to other sites to request their works be read? Maybe. But maybe it’s that a lot of these other authors aren’t taking the shot.

It is my responsibility to seek out diversity in my reads as well. Please do not get me wrong. And I can always improve in that area. But I also just want to put it out there for all of the women, LGBTQIA, and racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities who are looking to get their books reviewed that you need to be more assertive.

Get your books to me and other reviewers! Get your face and name out there! Be more dominant in your social media! And please, write something new and exciting and different. If I get one more freaking request for a dystopian YA fantasy, I swear. That ground is covered. Move on. Tell me a new story, tell me your story.

But anyway, here are some of the highlights from diverse authors I have read so far this year. I can fully endorse these ones and would love to see more.

The Sun is Also a Star Book cover

The Sun is also a Star

Nicola Yoon is a Jamaican-American author and The Sun is also a Star is about a mixed race couple who fate brings together.

Spoiler Free Review

Buy it here: The Sun Is Also a Star

teen titans raven book cover

Teen Titans: Raven

Kami Garcia is latina and Raven is a telepath.

Spoiler Free Review

Buy it here: Teen Titans: Raven

special book cover

Special

Chino Chakanga and his young heroine are both african americans.

Spoiler Free Review

Buy it here: Special

ms marvel cover

Ms Marvel

G Willow Wilson and her heroine Ms Marvel are both Muslim Americans and Ms Marvel is the first Muslim superhero.

Spoiler Free Review

Buy it here: Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal

So there you have it. I feel like I’m doing fairly well for my goals for the year. Let me know in the comments how your reading goals are coming along and please give me recommendations for more diverse reads!

I love comic books, nonfiction, and everything in between! Come discuss your favorites!

2 thoughts on “2020 Bookish Resolutions Check In

  1. I had been thinking about this post for a while now. As one of those white male authors who reached out to you to have an ARC reviewed, I could not help but feel some guilt at being a part of a larger problem regarding any shortage of diversity in authors who are having their works reviewed here. Of course, having spent years working on a novel, I can’t regret reaching out to anyone in the hope of it finding an audience. But I have spent some time thinking about what an author, sitting in a position of privilege, can do in furtherance of promoting diversity.

    One small step I can do at this time is help to promote other authors coming from diverse backgrounds (as you did yourself in this post). In that regard, I can recommend two authors with Black Rose Writing (my own publisher) who currently have books out that look FANTASTIC (and which I have ordered for myself):

    1) “Civil Warriors” by Tracy A. Ball, which is a historical romance set in the South around the time of the Civil War. It is absolutely crushing it review-wise (4.49 average out of 179 ratings/reviews on Goodreads), and I understand it to be a relatively quick read (I don’t say that as a negative. Perhaps “lean” would be a better way of putting it).

    2) “Reborn” by Ella Clarke is YA fiction; specifically, a fantasy addressing the world of guardian angels and the one angel who goes rogue. This came out last summer, and it’s also doing extremely well review-wise on both Amazon (4.8/5 average) and Goodreads (4.62 average).

    Word of mouth is essential for indy authors, so I’m confident these authors would appreciate anyone willing to give their books a look. And like I said, they are both crushing it review-wise, so I’m pretty sure either of these books would be a pretty safe bet to jump into (I should be able to confirm once I get my own copies!)

    • Thank you so much for this post. I don’t think that anyone should stop reaching out and promoting themselves to let someone else have a chance. And I am not going to stop accepting white male authors because of it either.
      I only hope to encourage minority authors to reach out as well.
      Thank you so much for the recommendations, they’re greatly appreciated! The best thing we can do is lift each other up in any way we can.

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