Entering a new year, we set new goals and things we’d like to accomplish. Reading-wise, I would like to make my way through the unread books on my shelves and book trolley. I know, I know, we say this every year, although, I actually think with a bit of organisation, it’s something I can see myself completing.
Read the Classics
I’ve tried a few methods, including listening to audiobooks and soundtracks to immerse myself. Taking the time to read and understand the different writing styles is important to keep on track. While I won’t be purchasing more than what I’ve got, the books on the list include a few Jane Austen books, Sherlock Holmes stories, Little Women, and a few other Gothic tales.
Read outside of my comfort zone
A few additions to my TBR list for the year came from an online blog of new releases that sound pretty intriguing. A mystery, a romance novel, a few stories about different cultures to really step out of my bubble of fantasy. While I love fantasy and will always rave about it, reading widely really opens your eyes to new favourites and stories that must be told. Whether that be stories of injustice, under-representation, or conversations we ought to be having.
The books I have in my sight, include; All My Rage, Bloodmarked, Book Lovers, A Tempest of Tea, It Starts With Us, and Chain of Thorns.
Read more recommendations
Curating my page has taken several years since I began posting in May of 2019. It all began with recommendations from BookTube, especially Hannah Azerang (A Clockwork Reader). I began with a binge of all of the Shadowhunter Chronicle books, my heart was taken by the Infernal Devices trilogy and later the Last Hours trilogy.
I’ll say that most of my favourite series have been recommendations and looking up reviews. I don’t often find books on a whim, it’s a lot of research before I purchase or buy them…I am very meticulous when it comes to purchases as I would prefer to curate my shelves.
One of the things I am trying to carry throughout the year is to read stories with more diverse representation, as opposed to the central white narrative represented in a lot of media. I adore books that show incredible stories from Black, Arab, Asian, and Brown narratives. It’s why books from Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, Roshani Chokshi, and Hafsah Faizal are cherished by many people. We finally see the good and complex characters we relate to, and it makes us feel empowered!
Having relatable characters and stories is important for people to feel seen. So whether you write from experience or try to portray an under-represented group, with the appropriate research, it is important. It reminds me of a thought I had about the fact women are interested in romance novels and films because they see themselves represented in relatable settings. Their hopes and dreams are in a narrative where they are central to the story, not functioning as a plot device for someone else. The Bechdel test is another prime example of this.
The bottom line is, to read widely because you might find it opens your mind to new ideas and cultures. You may learn and educate yourself on something you didn’t know a lot about.
A Wandering Reader