2015 Quarterly Check-In #1

So it’s Claire here and….APRIL FOOLS! It’s me, Nikki! Again… Claire has loads on her plate getting settled in so you’re gonna have to bear with just me on my lonesome a liiiiittle while longer. :’)

I thought I’d just show you how I’m coming on my challenges for the year so far!

First up, the Goodreads challenge!

Now, if you go to my Goodreads this looks a liiiittle skewed. It says I’ve read 36 out of 60 books (I increased the number from the original 35 to 60). Huzzah! However, this includes comics, audiobooks and short stories. Personally, I don’t mind including graphic novels and audiobooks as full books (they are!), but I’ve cut out short stories (and the 2 DNFs!) in my own personal count bringing the actual number of books (and 1 play) to: 26/60, which I’m mighty proud of if I do say so myself. (If you’re curious, without graphic novels, it’s 19/60.)

This year (and presumably in subsequent years until I die?) I’m putting a real focus on diversity in my reading but for now the two main areas I want to focus on is reading (A) more women and (B) more minorities. I was doing really well up until about mid-February. But right now I’m at 42% female authors. Not bad, I want it to be 50/50, but it’s way up from last year’s 27% female. And I have read 29% authors of colour so far. That’s around the 30% mark I’m aiming for (and up from last year’s 16%) and, without the Tor.com short stories, it would be 42% non-white, which is pretty good I think.

Only 6% of my reading has been translated. That’s not so great for finding out more from the non-anglophone/largely non-Western perspective that I know so little about.

I’m trying to clear out more of my TBR (particularly my physical bookshelf) and 33% of the books I’ve read have been from my TBR with 22% from my actual physical bookshelf.

Hopefully I can keep all this up through the rest of the year!

Notable genre trend alert: 35% of my reading has been fantasy (which I think is largely due to comics) and 16% of my reading has been memoir!

69% of my reading has been free either from the library or friends or eARCs.

• • •

10-10-10-10 challenge (formerly a 10-10-10-5 challenge):

TEN Novels (as in not non-fiction) by Female Authors:

  1. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  2. Wonder by RJ Palacio
  3. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

TEN Novels from Around the World: Doing so badly here…

  1. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

TEN Graphic Novels/Comics/Picture Books: Oh ho ho, I have no problems here at all…

  1. Saga, vol 3
  2. Saga, vol 4
  3. Red Sonja
  4. Ms Marvel
  5. Outcast, vol 1: A Darkness Surrounds Him
  6. Rat Queens, vol 1: Sass & Sorcery
  7. March: Book One

Five TEN Non-Fiction Books: Surprisingly, I’m doing well on this front too!

  1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
  2. Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood by Bell Hooks
  3. Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
  4. Apology by Plato
  5. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
  6. Theory of Everything by Stephen Hawking
  7. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  8. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

• • •

And as for my 2015 Old & New Classics Challenge

I’m not doing terribly well, but not terribly badly either. I’m sort of on track with 3 out of 12 books tackled: Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood, Murder on the Orient Express and The Awakening (which I DNFed). Does a book count if I DNF it? Yes, I think so. I gave it a good go and I will not make myself suffer it any longer.

But I’ve lost a lot of enthusiasm for my Old/New Classics list. This is why I prefer to set a number and a book group than to specify particular books I will read…ugh! Also, I feel like I’m pretty happy in the realm of classics but not like I necessarily “need” to read more of them. I feel like I could be better educated by focussing on other genres, so I doubt I will do another classics challenge in future, but just pull my “women” and “authors of colour” and “translated works” from all eras.

• • •

Can you believe we’re already a quarter of the way through the year!? Crazy.

How are your challenges going??

Do you have any translated/non-Western/AoC book suggestions for me?

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5 Responses to 2015 Quarterly Check-In #1

  1. Pingback: 2015 Reading Challenges: Quarterly Check-In (Claire) & My First Month in London | Bitches With Books

  2. Arvis says:

    Wow! Your progress is inspiring…I need to get serious about my reading challenge. You asked for book recommendations. Have you ever read ‘Please Look After Mother’ by Kyung Sook Shin? I read this late last year and I really enjoyed it. It’s realist fiction and the author is woman from Korea. Wishing you all the best 🙂

    • Nicole says:

      It definitely helps that I’ve discovered my library’s audiobooks which I sometimes listen to while doing other things like cooking or walking.
      Oh, I forgot I actually have that one on my to-read list but I’ll put it to the top and look for it next time I do a book shop! Thanks for the recommendation! 😀

  3. Claire (BWB) says:

    You’re such a diverse reader! This doesn’t make me feel bad or anything but it makes me realise my own failings as a POC/Queer female reading non-diversely. Now I could choose more diverse reads but will also partially shift some blame to the fantasy genre I love so, there aren’t a lot of diverse reads and I know they are out there, and I have to put the work in to find them but it shouldn’t be difficult to read diversely. It just shouldn’t.

    • Nicole says:

      No, you’re totally right! As soon as I get into comics, I have to pay a lot more attention because it seems EVERYTHING is by straight white guys lol
      Although I know you read a lot more YA than me and that is a more equal area in terms of gender, I imagine the fantasy genre is similar with the lack of authors of colour (though maybe less LGBTQ+ authors than in comics…possibly?). My Tor.com stories ALWAYS make my reading shift slightly more…pale and male…ha

      I definitely feel like by reading/supporting more diverse authors we’ll start to see the industry open up more, though. And there are definitely some gems to be found!

      I think it’s sometimes more awkward to look for queer authors simply because a lot of them may not put that in their description (which is totally their prerogative obviously!) and it’s not an obvious sort of thing so it’s maybe easier to read books that you know have queer characters (protagonists and/or strong supporting characters who aren’t just tokens or accessories to the het characters) and hopefully the message will get across that those characters and authors are appreciated too, yknow?

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