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2016 Reading Challenges and Book Diversity

I poked away at the reading challenges I decided to try last January, but ended up not finishing them.

I’m confident I read more than the requisite number of LGBT+ Challenge books, but I only reviewed a few of the books I read, and reviews are part of the deal. Pretty much dropped off the map for this one after about April. (This challenge was hosted by Niji Feels. It won’t be continuing next year, but it’s possible another blog will decide to host it, and if so I’ll give it another go. I kind of just forgot about it.)

53300790I read a few books for the Under the Covers Romance Roundabout Challenge, but I’ll be honest, the tone of the Goodreads group was off-putting and I didn’t keep going back. I am still using their list of romance genres though, and carrying over the few I read last year in a general attempt to read romance more widely on my own.

For 2016, the main-slash-only one I’m doing is the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, and I’m pretty excited about it! I’ve also got a few book clubs I’m sort of in, (i.e. I’m usually lagging behind), so that’s it commitment-wise. Related, but not exactly a book challenge, is my project to watch (an average of) one Star Trek episode a day for about two years until I’ve watched all the Star Trek there is. This doubles as an attempt to remain calm in graduate school, so not a challenge that’s going to take a lot of time or effort, but something I’ve wanted to do for a long time to fill in my gaps in the later versions.

Finally, last year I made a rough tally of that year’s book diversity. While this year’s count is a bit iffy — I was trying to do it as I read, and lost track like a million times — I did do it again this year, and it’s much higher than last year.


  • Total books read: 165(ish)
  • Women: 33 female protagonists and 46 female authors
  • POC: 21 books of racial diversity (author or protagonist)
  • LGBT+: 10 books
  • Disability: 2 books

2015 (counted only once each, for author, protagonist, or prominent theme):

  • Total books read: 319
  • Women: 70 female protagonists and 103 female authors
  • POC: 48 books
  • Queer: 58 books
  • Disability: 13 books

Again, it’s a rough estimate, and I’m not sure what can be drawn from it since the total number of books was so much higher. (The explanation being that I read an awful lot of graphic novels and picture books this year). However, I think increased attention also played a role. If nothing else, keeping this count has stopped me from skipping over diverse books because I didn’t think I was the target audience — something I didn’t even realize I was doing before 2015.

Happy New Year, everyone, and happy reading!

6 thoughts on “2016 Reading Challenges and Book Diversity

  1. “If nothing else, keeping this count has stopped me from skipping over diverse books because I didn’t think I was the target audience — something I didn’t even realize I was doing before 2015.” That is something that I think many of us have done from childhood, but don’t even know it’s happening. I too was doing the same thing. Someone on Twitter asked how diverse our bookshelves were. I looked and found that they were pretty white. Over the past few years, I’ve expanded what I’m looking for and I appreciate having more diverse shelves now. There was a lot of great books I was missing. 😉


    1. I’m glad it wasn’t just me! I had actively incorporated a lot of queer reading, but I was surprised at the whiteness (and maleness) of my bookshelves too, and heaven forbid there by a disabled protagonist. Definitely gave me a new appreciation for other types of minority experience, looking around and ALWAYS having that sense of “Oh, that’s not written for me.”



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