I won’t go into too much detail here, but it’s always interesting to look back and see what books accompanied me through any given year. I use the Goodreads challenge to keep track. I wrote a bit about that here, and how from now on I’m setting my goal at 10 books to remove pressure. According to Goodreads, in 2018 I set my goal at 50 books and read 65. In 2019 I set the goal at 50 and read 70. In 2020, I set the goal at 50 and read 57. Given the hell year that 2020 was, that’s not a bad effort. The images below show all the books I read in 2020. A quick scan shows a fair amount of variety. Or does it?
Using a completely arbitrary system of people’s names and my own knowledge (apologies for any mistakes!) I see there’s 15 books by women. That’s a terrible amount out of 57! That is partly offset by the fact that I read multiple books in a series by single authors who were men (Moorcock, Sapkowski) but that’s not really an excuse. Funny, as I thought I’d read more women this year, but there you! I’ll try to balance that up in 2021. I’m reading Fonda Lee’s second in the Green Bone Saga right now (Jade War), so that’s a good start.
Only four books by POC authors that I can see, so that needs rectifying too. While the books I’ve read are pretty diverse in genre and subject, the authors sure seem to be overwhelmingly white and male. Whether they’re straight or queer I don’t know. Regardless, more women and POC authors need to get to the top of my TBR this year. There’s only five non-fiction books on there that I see, but that’s five I finished. I always have a few on the go. Sapkowski’s Witcher books are the only ones in translation too, so I need to read more non-English books this year.
Whether I will manage these things or not remains to be seen, but it’s always good to be aware of our reading habits and biases and try to address them. That takes conscious effort. I tend to read things that call to me, but I also need to put myself in a position to hear the call of work outside my unconscious bias.
Onwards into 2021. I’m off to set my Goodreads challenge to 10 books and see how I go. First I need to finish Jade War, which I’m loving. Can’t believe I’ll have to wait until September for the final book in that trilogy.