My 2016 in Review and 2017 Bookish Resolutions

So, a lot happened in 2016.

332807In May, I decided to start this blog to review the Asian lit I read and posted my very first blog post on the first book featuring a Taiwanese American character that I’d ever read, Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen.

Then, in November, I made the first real step toward posting regulardiversity december bingo updated.pngly and averaged about one review per day since late November, totaling 35 reviewing as of yesterday.

Starting on December 1st, I participated in my first reading challenge, #DiversityDecBingo. The goal was to get one row of 5 books, but I was aiming for a complete blackout. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite reach that goal, with 3 books unfinished (I’d started and gotten a third of the way through of 2 of them). Even so, I’m proud of how far I got.

I did my first book tag, the Diverse Books Tag.

I hunder-a-painted-sky-paperbackosted my first giveaway, for Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky. It was part of an author spotlight, and you can read the spotlight post here.

I broke 20 followers on my blog and 150 Twitter followers after about a month of activity.

I made commitments to two different reading challenges for 2017, the #DAReadathon and #DiversityBingo2017, researching over 150 books to put together a suggestions list for the latter.

Now, for the 2017 resolutions!

  1. Diversify my reading even more! I started out focusing on Asian lit and that’s still the primary focus of my blog, but there are so many other amazing diverse books out there. Some specifics:
    • I’m prioritizing #ownvoices books. I’ve already been doing that for the most part, so I’m renewing and strengthening my commitment.
    • I want to read more books with/by Black, Latinx, and Indigenous characters/authors.
      • By indigenous, I don’t just mean Native American, I mean indigenous peoples all over the world. In particular, I’m interested in reading books by/about Taiwan’s indigenous people and Pacific Islanders (the two are actually related, ethnically and linguistically).
    • I want to read more Asian lit by Southeast Asian authors, as there are a lot of them who publish English-language lit in their regional market but don’t get much attention in the U.S. Thankfully, the Internet exists, and I’ve been following more SEA authors on Twitter so I can be more in the loop about publishing news in SEA.
    • I want to read more books with/by disabled characters/authors. I’m disabled myself (I have two-ish mental illnesses), and I want to read about the many disabilities that are out there that differ from my own.
    • I want to read more LGBTQ+ books. Because queer Asian lit is hard to come by, especially #ownvoices, and queer lit is very white as a whole, I kind of neglected queer lit for a while. Thankfully more books are coming out that feature queer Asian characters, so it’s not as much of an either/or situation of reading Asian lit vs. queer lit.
    • I want to read more books with/by Jewish characters/authors. I’ve read a decent number of books with Muslim rep because the majority of Muslims are Asian, but not so much Jewish rep. I’ve actually found a number of books featuring Asian Jewish characters, and I’m interested in that intersectionality since people tend to assume all Jewish people are European, which is false.
    • I want read more poetry and comics/graphic novels by marginalized creators. I read mostly prose right now, but as a former poet and a visual artist, I can definitely appreciate other creative media besides prose.
  2. I want to host my own diverse reading challenge/bingo in celebration of Asian American Heritage Month in May. More details to come later. If you are an Asian reader/blogger/booktuber who wants to help brainstorm and co-host this challenge, you can DM me on Twitter @theshenners, drop a comment on this post, or send me a message through my blog’s Contact form. I’m also looking for a graphic designer to help design the bingo board, and I will compensate the person with their choice of a 2017 book release with an Asian MC  by an Asian author in their preferred format. If you know anyone who might be interested, send them my way!
    • Note: The US government refers to it as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. However, the lumping in of Asian Americans with Pacific Islanders (aka Pasifika/Pacifica people) is problematic because it erases the fact that Asian people are complicit in settler colonialism against Pasifika people. For this reason, I keeping this reading challenge to Asian lit. If anyone who is Pasifika wants to host a separate/parallel reading challenge for Pasifika lit, that would be awesome and I will totally boost/support it and participate.
  3. I want to reduce and clear out my backlist of TBR books from 2015 and 2016. Hopefully I can accomplish that through some of my reading challenges by matching books with a reading challenge prompt. 🙂
  4. I want to participate in mini reading challenges corresponding to the various history/heritage and awareness months/weeks such as Black History Month, Transgender Awareness Week, etc.
  5. I have two other year-long reading challenges that I’m eyeing with interest. Hopefully I can juggle all of these reading challenges.
  6. I want to post regular Asian author spotlights. I’ll probably pair them with giveaways like I did with my Stacey Lee author spotlight.
  7. I want to review books right after finishing them. I started my diverse book reading quest in 2015 but didn’t think to review the books I read until last year, so I have an enormous backlog of books I’ve read but haven’t reviewed. At this point I’ll probably have to reread some of them so I can write a more thorough review.
  8. With all of the above points in mind, I also want to make sure that I’m not stressing myself out too much trying to reach various goals. I read because I love to immerse myself in stories, and turning it into an assignment-like deal can be draining. So even if I don’t reach all of my goals, I hope to enjoy myself as much as possible. 🙂

Thanks to everyone who welcomed me into the book community in 2016. Hope to share my bookish adventures with y’all in 2017!

3 thoughts on “My 2016 in Review and 2017 Bookish Resolutions

  1. Congrats on the blog launch & milestones! Can’t wait to read about the intersectional books you cover in the future. A reading challenge around Asian American Heritage month sounds amazing. I’m not Asian-American so I’ll leave co-hosting to the more knowledgeable folks but will definitely participate as a reader.

    I agree, there’s so much published in the SEA and I’m thankful for the internet too 😀 Will also try cover SEA and Asian-Australian lit. books.


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