SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book #57 and year-end wrap up

Book #57 was "Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self" by Rebecca Walker. This was an interesting follow-up to the book of essays by Alice Walker (Rebecca's mother) that I just finished. I'd heard that Rebecca was critical of her parents and their idealistic inter-racial "movement" marriage but she still dedicates the memoir "To my parents." Walker. the daughter of famous African American author Alice Walker and white, Jewish civil rights lawyer Mel Levanthal, writes about living in two worlds, very literally, because after her parents divorce when she is 8, she spends alternating 2-year periods with each parent, making it difficult to put down roots and make friends anywhere. Add to that the fact that she isn't fully accepted by either Jeish whites or black folks in her life, and she spends the entire memoir trying to figure out where she fits in. I found it very beautifully-written and moving.

Year-end Wrap Up:

I had several reading goals for 2015:

-Try for around 1/3 of my books to be non-fiction (30 percent at the lowest)
DONE. I read 19 non-fiction books (including some non-fiction graphic books), which is 33 percent of my reads for the year.

-At least 10 books by non-white authors
ALMOST. I read 9 books by authors I'm fairly certain are people of color. There are a couple other authors that come from other cultures but am not sure if they'd consider themselves POC or not.

-At least 4 books by LGBT authors
DONE. I read 6 books by gay, lesbian or bisexual authors.

-At least 2 books by disabled authors
DONE. I read 3 books by disabled authors, including one graphic memoir ("El Deafo").

-Minimum of 26 books by women authors
KICKED THE ASS OF THIS GOAL! 31 books of 57 were by women authors, or 54 percent of my authors

-At least 5 "classic" books that I haven't gotten to yet, taken from the "Lifetime Reading Plan."
NOT DONE. I got off track on this goal. It was hard to balance reading lots of female authors with reading a lot of books by dead white authors. I really did enjoy the handful of classics I got to this year, though, including "Gilgamesh" and "The Satyricon."

I enjoyed the experiment of trying to read more female authors, and it had the pleasing side effect of making this one of the best years for nonfiction in many years. 2015 was the first year where my list of favorite nonfiction reads is significantly longer than my list of fiction reads.

Next year, I'm going to try to read diversely again but I'm also planning to read whatever I feel like, with no quotas on any particular category of author.

1. The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood [non-fiction]- James Gleick
2. Stones from the River [fiction]- Ursula Hegi
3. The Penelopiad [fiction]- Margaret Atwood
4. Woman Warrior [non-fiction/memoir]- Maxine Hong Kingston
5. The Son of Neptune [ficiton]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
6. The Poe Shadow [fiction]- Matthew Pearl
7. Nat Turner [non-fiction graphic "novel"]- Kyle Baker (illustrator)
8. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception [fiction]- Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
9. The Daughter of Time [fiction]- Josephine Tey
10. Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) [non-fiction/biography]- Stacy Schiff
11. Gilgamesh: A New English Version [literary criticism/epic poetry]- Stephen Mitchell
12. Back When We Were Grownups [fiction]- Anne Tyler
13. Red Azalea [non-fiction/memoir]- Anchee Min
14. The Mark of Athena (#3 in the "Heroes of Olympus" series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
15. The Mosquito Coast [fiction]- Paul Theroux
16. The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis [non-fiction]- Arthur Allen
17. The City of Devi [fiction]- Manil Suri
18. The Lovely Bones [fiction]- Alice Sebold (unabridged audiobook)
19. The Office of Mercy [fiction]- Ariel Djanikian (unabridged audiobook)
20. A Thousand Acres [fiction]- Jane Smiley
21. The Snow Queen [fiction]- Joan Vinge
22. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian [fiction]- Sherman Alexie
23. Memoirs of a Survivor [fiction]- Doris Lessing
24. Moral Disorder, [fiction/short stories]- Margaret Atwood (unabridged audiobook)
25. Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father [non-fiction]- John Matteson
26. The Wasp Factory [fiction]- Iaian Banks
27. Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony [fiction]- Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
28. Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing [fiction]- May Sarton
29. What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day [fiction]- Pearl Cleage (unabridged audiobook)
30. Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction [non-ficiton]- Annalee Newitz
31. Free Enterprise [fiction]- Michelle Cliff
32. The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin's Theory [nonfiction/memoir]- Kenny Fries
33. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void [non-fiction]- Mary Roach (unabridged audiobook)
34. Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir [non-ficiton/memoir/graphic book]- Roz Chast
35. Two Serious Ladies [fiction]- Jane Bowles
36. Herland [fiction]- Charlotte Perkins Gilman (unabridged audiobook)
37. The House of Hades  (Book #4 in the Heroes of Olympus series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
38. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books [nonfiction/memoir]- Azar Nafisi
39. Thinking In Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Math [non-fiction]- Daniel Tammet
40. The Bellini Madonna [fiction]- Elizabeth Lowry
41. A Perfect Blood (Book #10 in The Hollows series) [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
42. Crossing to Safety [fiction]- Wallace Stegner
43. The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story [graphic non-fiction]- Vivek J. Tiwary (author), Andrew C Robinson (illustrator), with additional illustrations by Kyle Baker
44. The Round House [fiction]- Louise Erdrich (unabridged audiobook)
45. The Crisis: The President, the Prophet, and the Shah-1979 and the Coming of Militant Islam [non-fiction]- David Harris 46. A Fire Upon the Deep [fiction]- Vernor Vinge
47. Die for You [fiction]- Lisa Unger (unabridged audiobook)
48. What I Lived For [fiction]- Joyce Carol Oates
49. Three Parts Dead [fiction]- Max Gladstone (unabridged audiobook)
50. The Satyricon [fiction]- Petronius (translation and commentaries by Sarah Ruden)
51. The Best of Margaret St. Clair [fiction/short stories]- Margaret St. Clair
52. The Basque History of the World [non-fiction]- Mark Kurlansky
53. Mockingjay [fiction]- Suzanne Collins (unabridged audiobook)
54. In the Woods [fiction]- Tana French
55. El Deafo [graphic nonfiction/memoir]- Cece Bell
56. Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer's Activism [nonfiction/essays]- Alice Walker


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