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December 2013

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Cannonball Read 5: What exactly did I read again?

Written by , Posted in Reviews

I’ve not seen a post like this on the CBR webpage, so for now I’ll just post it to my own blog. I thought I’d take a minute to really look at what I read this year and see how I can change it up for next year’s challenge (for which I’ve already signed up – join me!

I originally signed up for the half cannonball, because in 2012 I think I read maybe 15 books, and 52 seemed a bit … much. But as I got into it I realized that with some long flights (thank you honeymoon!), some quick reads (thank you Bridget Jones!) and a healthy sprinkling of audio books (thank you Audible.com subscription!) it was actually going to be possible.

I usually read non-fiction, so this year I thought I’d try to get a few bits of fiction in there. I was pretty successful; 16 of my 52 books were of the fiction (if not high-brow literature) variety. Some were books I’d wanted to read (the aforementioned Bridget Jones trilogy), and others were books I discovered through media (The Handmaid’s Tale, Warm Bodies). But, true to form, the majority of books I picked were non-fiction. A huge chunk of those (14) were humorous memoirs or memoir-esque books, like Dan Savage’s American Savage, which was one of my favorites of the year. I also read seven science books, including one on forensic anthropology that was pretty riveting. Some etiquette books (three), a couple of fantasy novels (GAME OF THRONES), a couple of feminist books, and an interesting modern philosophy tome round out the bunch. And, I managed to read only books that I had never read before, which, near the end, was a bit of a challenge.

One thing I did after finishing up was go back to analyze the authors of these books. While so much of society seems to think that the straight white male point of view is ‘neutral’ and anything from another group is a niche, I’d like to make sure that I’m not just consuming books written by those folks.

On the gender front, I was pretty good – I read 28 books by women and 24 by men. Unfortunately, where race is concerned my authors were overwhelmingly white – like, 47 out of 52, which meant that only five books were written by people of color. That’s not acceptable. So my goal for 2014 is to aim for books written by men and women of color for the vast majority, unless a) it’s a book I already own or b) it is part of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, because I really want to get through books three and four before the next season starts. I also only read about three book by people who are openly not-heterosexual (either gay, lesbian or bi), and none by trans men or women, so I need to look into that more.

All in all, this was a really great first experience with the Cannonball Read. I’m excited to put together my reading list for 2014 and to get things started!

(to check out my reviews from 2013, mosey on over here.)

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