Sunday, December 18, 2011

2011 POC Challenge Wrap-Up

This was my second year doing the POC reading challenge. I signed up at level five (16-25 books) and was happy that I achieved my goal by reading 17 books by authors of color. Last year in my wrap-up post I noted that I was disappointed that I hadn't read more books with authors of color (rather than books with protagonists of color but white authors), so I made it a point to focus on that this year. Here's what I read:

Books read:
1. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
2. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
3. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
4. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
5. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
6. Complications by Atul Gawande
7. Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
8. Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie
9. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin
10. The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
11. Pym by Mat Johnson
12. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese 
13. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami 
14. River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh 
15. The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin 
16. Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling 
17. Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama

Books by white authors with protagonists of color: (not counted toward challenge)
- Gardens of Water by Alan Drew
- Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
- The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
- Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

By far my favorite books were from Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms trilogy. I loved each book in her fantasy series. I also enjoyed River of Smoke, a sequel to a book I read a few years back. My least favorite books were Wench and Cutting for Stone.

Like last year, I realized that it takes some work to consistently read authors of color. I made a point of actively seeking such authors in the beginning of the year, but there was a five month gap in between reading my 11th and 12th books for the challenge. It was too easy to be exposed to primarily white authors.

I'm glad I did the challenge again, especially because I've met some great authors like Jemisin, Murakami, and Ghosh.

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