This makes challenge #6. Let's hope this is it. I hope I haven't spoken too soon...
I almost forgot to post that I'm joining yet another challenge in 2010. The social justice challenge is not only about books but also, a call to action. The level of commitment is flexible from month to month with a commitment to at east three months, of your choice, at the Activist level. The Activist level includes participation in all that month's activities and reading a full length book and another media form. The other levels are Intern, Volunteer, and Observer. Each month has a different focus such as Genocide, Hunger, and Domestic Violence/Child Abuse. It's a year long challenge and I'm really looking forward to it. This will be a fabulous way to take our reading pleasure to new heights and help others in the process.
This makes challenge #6. Let's hope this is it. I hope I haven't spoken too soon...
The African diaspora speaks mainly to the dispersion of African descendants in the Americas and Europe due to the Atlantic slave trade. Yes, Africans were enslaved or migrants to other parts of the world but the term is usually in reference to the aforementioned areas. So, for this challenge, books read will be by Black authors and set in Africa, North America, South America, Central America, Caribbean Islands, and Europe. Yes, this is broad but it means the possibilities are endless. Hopefully, those who participate will gain more incite into the myriad of Black cultural experiences.
Now, for guidelines:
*This challenge will run from January 1, 2010-December 31, 2010
*Crossovers are allowed
*Fiction and nonfiction hard copies or e-books from any genre (no audio books)
*Participants should visit different geographical regions in their reading (i.e. not all African American or Afro-Brit or Haitian or any one group representing the diaspora)
*Levels of participation
Novice: commitment to read four (4) books
Versed: commitment to read eight (8) books
Scholar: commitment to read twelve (12) books
*If you need ideas,here's a list of authors and titles in the African diaspora.
*There will be a prize drawn amongst those who complete the challenge.
*I may host a mini challenge at some point as well and there would be a prize. Only challenge participants will be eligible.
So, if you're all to thrilled to join me, sign up below. Stay tuned for the post to submit links to your reviews. Grab a button (and save to your server). If you're on Twitter, we'll use this hashtag: #afrodiaspora. Make sure you follow that hashtag for updates and possible mini challenges.
Again, be sure to share the links to your reviews.
1st Quarter Reviews (Jan.-Mar.)
2nd Quarter Reviews (Apr.-Jun.)
3rd Quarter Reviews (Jul.-Sept.)
4th Quarter Reviews (Oct.-Dec.)
Sign Up Here
Grab a button!
Here's one more awesome challenge for 2010. The GLBT Challenge is one I thought would fit in nicely with some other challenges as overlapping is allowed. So, since I know I'm reading more Audre Lorde for the Women Unbound challenge and I have other books I haven't read yet on my shelves, it's a go. Anyway, I'm going for the Lambda level which is four books and am open to more. The challenge runs the full year. This is no more than a prospective list of what I might read:
Zami by Audre Lorde
Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
Tommy's Tale by Alan Cumming
The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir by Staceyann Chin
I already own the first three and probably have a few more that would qualify. Suggestions are welcome. Of course, all should know by now that I prefer authors of color. And, yes, I know Alan Cumming is not a POC. That selection is another story.
As you can see, I made a button too. If you're joining and want to use it, feel free to save it to your server and link to the challenge site.
Yes, I'm slowly becoming a bit of a challenge junkie. But, can you blame me? This one is very much in line with my blog's purpose to promote writers and literature about people of color. The voluminous reader of S. Krishna's Books is hosting this year long challenge to read books written by authors and about south Asian countries which are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
I'm not making a list up front this time as I hope some new authors just fall into my lap. I do, however, plan to read Jhumpa Lahiri's latest book, Unaccustomed Earth, because I loved Interpreter of Maladies. I do have one recommendation if anyone needs it: Atlas of Unknowns by Tania James. I read this very recently and think it's fabulous. Of course, Swapna has tons of recs on her site which I'll probably pull from heavily.
Finally, my commitment is to read 5 books, for now. I certainly hope I read more, but I don't know what other challenges 2010 has in store and I have a few things up my sleeves. 2010 is already stacking up to be a great reading year, but then again, so does every year.
This is my second read for the November Novella challenge.
Night is a book that seems to defy labels. There's apparently been much debate on whether this work is a novel or memoir or some combination of the two. We'll just call it a memoir. At age 16, Orthodox Jew Eliezer is forced from his home and sent first to Auschwitz then death marched to Buchenwald. We see the Hungarian government takeover and the initial disillusionment of the Jewish people as to what is happening to them. Then Wiesel takes us through his stint with his father at an Auschwitz concentration camp and the fate of his mother and youngest sister. Although not overtly descriptive, I was able to hear and see and smell everything which is a testament to his writing and his wife's translation. The most important element is the demise of this young man's faith in God. To "see" this once devout teenager, and even a rabbi, just give up on their spiritual beliefs is heartbreaking. But even in the midst of Eliezer questioning his faith, he has this fire burning in him to survive. More than just a holocaust story, Night makes the reader ponder their own strength of will and faith.
So, I got a new Twitter follower, a book blogger, and noticed she had a recent tweet with #unbound. That hashtag is Twitter speak; it denotes a topic of conversation. Of course, I got nosy and checked it out. Whaddaya know, it's a reading challenge focused on women's studies texts. Well, of course I'm in. I've got quite a few that I have yet to read- fiction and nonfiction. This will put a nice dent into the tons of books I already own but haven't read yet. There are several titles that I have read and would have been perfect for this challenge. Who knows, they might get a re-read. Anyway, on to the most fun part of reading challenges: the book list. I'm going for the third level reader, suffragette, which calls for reading at least eight books and three should be nonfiction. Again, so not a problem with what's already on my shelves. Here we go, so far:
Big Breasts & Wide Hips by Mo Yan
Me Dying Trial by Patricia Powell
Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall
Iola Leroy by Frances E.W. Harper
The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Woman At Point Zero by Nawal El Saddawi
Migrations of the Heart by Marita Golden
In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens by Alice Walker
Theorizing Black Feminisms ed. Stanlie M. James & Abena P.A. Busia
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde
A Voice From the South by Anna Julia Cooper
These are three levels of participation:
1. What does feminism mean to you? Does it have to do with the work sphere? The social sphere? How you dress? How you act?
Feminism, for me, is about women not being marginalized. It's freedom to not be forced into male WASPs ideal of the feminine. However, I subscribe to Womanism which focuses on the intersection of race, class, and gender.
2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?
Yes, but I think all women are to a degree. Most of us make conscious decisions to be our true selves and that's different for every woman. Most of us choose to not be pigeonholed into one feminine identity.
3. What do you consider the biggest obstacle women face in the world today? Has that obstacle changed over time, or does it basically remain the same?
Labeling. Men label us and we label ourselves.We can't seem to get away from the need to zoom in instead of allowing ourselves to be broad and multifaceted. But then, I guess this isn't just a woman problem, but I think it's more prevalent for women.
So, my first challenge wasn't *cough* successful. But I am going to finish the banned book challenge because I finish what I start. Moving right along. I got this novella challenge in the bag, especially since J.T. is allowing some "cheating". So, as I mentioned in my read-a-thon post, I'm reading mostly novellas and I can count those for this challenge. AWESOMENESS! Head on over to Bibliofreak's blog to join us.
Here's what I'll be reading...so far:
Oroonoko by Aphra Behn
Night by Elie Wiesel
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Marquez Garcia
Quicksand by Nella Larsen
This post should have been done days ago, but c'est la vie. Without further ado...
I've read As I Lay Dying for a banned books challenge I wrote about here. Why has this Faulkner classic made it to the infamous banned/challenged book list? Banned-Books.com states: "In 1986, Graves County, Kentucky, the school board banned this book about a poor white family in the midst of crisis, from its high school English reading list because of 7 passages which made reference to God or abortion and used curse words such as "bastard," "goddam," and "son of a bitch." None of the board members had actually read the book."
Of course, this sounds almost absurd in 2009, but in 1932 when it was originally published, this was seen as gravely offensive. Apparently it was in 1986 as well, at least to one school.
This novel about a poor white southern family going through great lengths to bury their matriarch, Addie Bundren, was filled with so much pathos. The patriarch, Anse, wants to honor his wife's wishes to be buried in another town other than their own and get some new teeth. Their daughter, Dewey Dell, has gotten herself in "trouble" and spends much of the novel trying to find a pharmacist to help her get out of it. The four sons, Vardaman, Cash, Jewel, and Darl have a host of issues. Vardaman could be described as a simpleton and doesn't cope well with his mother's death. Cash is a bit passive and the constructor of his mother's coffin. Darl goes insane. And Jewel is the illegitimate son of Addie Bundren and a priest.
As the Classics often are hit or miss, this one was a near miss for me. I still can't quite put my finger on it. I think it's that I prefer livelier language, but that wouldn't have made sense in this novel. Hence the reason I say near miss. I do not like Faulkner's approach to dialect. Though he was a southerner, as am I, he did not seem to command white southerners dialect. And I know it varies from state to state and even from different corners of a state. On the positive, his employment of stream of consciousness was effortless. He also did well with emotional nuances which are most notable in the chapters where Dewey Dell speaks. She is actually vocal so sparsely that he relies on her subtle gestures to parlay emotion and it was effective. Overall, I think this is one of those books everyone should check out for themselves. And to stick it to those past or present who think it should be banned.
The plan is simple: read at least one book from each African country relative by author and/ or setting. This is a perpetual challenge. For a comprehensive list of the countries, click here. That is also where I'll be keeping track of this challenge. If anyone would like to join me, just leave a comment on this post and I'll add your link to my challenge page as a participant. If you'd like to do a variation of this challenge, perhaps committing to a certain number of countries, this is great also and I'll still include your link.
I've signed up for the month long challenge at The Biblio blogazine. I discovered it via Bibliofreak's blog.
The challenge: Read one banned/ challenged book per week for the whole month of September.
My tentative list:
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The official ALA banned books week is September 26-October 3.
Authors and publishers feel free to check out my review policy and contact me regarding review requests.
A Striped Armchair
Authors In Color
Black Eyed Susans
Book On the Train
For the Love of Books
In Spring It Is The Dawn
Love of Literature
Notorious Spinks Talks
Reading In Color
Rhapsody In Books
The Brown Bookshelf
The Feminist Texican [Reads]
The Happy Nappy Bookseller
With Extra Pulp
Nnedi's Wahala Zone
Lori L. Tharps
White Readers Meet Black Authors
Awards, Gotta Love 'Em!