number one: better than you

2015 Reading Goals

This year, I've decided not to read any books by white men. I made this goal this weekend, when I realized I'm on my fifth book of 2015 and I haven't read anything by a white man yet. This happened mostly because I was picking international selections from the NYT's list of best books of 2014, but now I'm curious if my perspective might shift after a year. (I typed up some preliminary thoughts already, but I think January is a bit early to share.)

One thing I noticed really quickly is that while I have a lot of female authors in my Nook wishlist, very few of them are black. In fact, almost all of them are white. I do know a lot of Nigerian female authors, all of whom are awesome, but confining myself to one particular subgroup isn't really in the spirit of the project. Just the fact that finding non-white authors requires some effort and thought probably says a lot about the American literary scene (or at least, the sources where I tend to get my books).

Does anyone have some recs? All authors of color are welcome, but I'd particularly like to add more black authors to my reading list, and I'm looking more for contemporary fiction than literary classics.
M.C.A. Hogarth is Cuban-American and one of my favorite writers of stuff that does not fit in the usual boxes (e.g. asexuals, neuters, etc.)

I don't usually notice my authors' race/ethnicity, so no one else springs to mind, but I'll think on it.
I pretty much recommend anything by Maya Angelou. My mom saw her speak a few times at her women's work convention.

I also read alot of her poems when I was in Eigth Grade and indulging in self injury (sorry if that's trigging) but she saved my life.

What else can I think of.....anything by Toni Morrison (though it could be heavy), The House on Mango Street by Sonia Cinceros (Mexican American) and thats all i could think of if i find others ill let you know.
I did read a lot of Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou in college, and the House on Mango Street too - it's even part of our freshman English curriculum where I teach. It's kind of scary how few African-American authors I can name outside Maya and Toni.
I like Celestine Vaite, whose books are lovely charming romantic fluff, NK Jemisin (her Dreamblood series is quite underrated), Anuja Chauhan (her best book is Those Pricey Thakur Girls), and Karen Lord.
I've heard good things about Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who is Nigerian and American, but I see you have already read it. I want to read it, too, it's been on my to-read list for about a year. Sorry I couldn't help you with this but I'm certainly looking forward to your posts on the subject. :-)
Yup, she is one of my all-time favorite authors. I loved Americanah! If you read it, let me know what you think.
I'm just going to spout off a bunch of names, some of who's work I have read, some who I have only heard are good. Both men and women.

Monica Ali (female, British Bangladeshi, Brick Lane and others)
Zadie Smith (female, British Jamaican White Teeth and others)
Andrea Levy (female, British Jamaican. Small Island and others)
Indra Sinha (male, Indian. I loved Animal's People)
Vikas Swarup (male, Indian, wrote Slumdog Millionaire (Q&A) and Six Suspects - I love Q&A)
Banana Yoshimoto (female, Japanese, recommended by a friend)
Tanuja Desai Hidier (female, American Indian - as in India - wrote the YA novel Born Confused WHICH I LOVED as a kid)
Lauren Beukes (female, white South African, sci fi and horror, THE SHIT.)
G Willow Wilson (female, American Muslim, Alif the Unseen is ARAB URBAN FANTASY OH MY)
Chinue Achebe (male, Nigerian, classic contemporary fiction)
Mo Yan (male, Chinese, my friend liked his book Frog)
Marlon James (male, Jamaican, The Book of Night Women is supposed to be very good)
Khaled Hossaini (male, Afghan American, The Kite Runner = DEPRESSING)
Mohsin Hamid (male, Pakistani, The Reluctant Fundamentalist and others)
Yiyun Li (female, Chinese, slice-of-life short stories A Thousand Years of Good Prayers)
Mohammed Hanif (male, Pakistani, I really enjoyed the Case of Exploding Mangoes)
Amitav Ghosh (male, Indian, won the Arthur C Clarke award for the Calcutta Chromosome, which clearly I have to read now. I've read Sea of Poppies which was alright (I would have enjoyed it more if I had known is was the beginning of a trilogy), my mum read the Glass Palace which she really enjoyed.)

There is also a lot of good female Scandiwegian crime writers - Karin Fossum springs to mind as my mum really likes her. There's also Jung Chang who writes about Chinese history, who my mum also really likes.

Um, I am sad that I'm not at home home and able to pick my parent's brains esp. regarding South Asian and African authors (the only other one I can remember is J M Coetzee but he's a white Afrikaner). Or just, you know, raid my shelves at home. There were a bunch of YA I read when I was younger written by authors of Indian decent and it annoys me that I can't remember either the titles or the authors names.

I am also sad that I can't remember any more names, which is disappointing as I worked in a bookshop over Christmas and really should. If inspiration hits, I'll let you know. :)
(I think I'm now just throwing things at you to see what sticks)

Aravind Adiga (male, Indian, White Tiger and others)
NoViolet Bulawayo (female, Zimbabwean, We Need New Names)
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (male, Kenyan, Wizard of the Crow and others)
Mildred D Taylor (female, African American, Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry and others)

Also, you can read about Wangari Maathai, a wonderful Kenyan environmental and political activist who was literally the shit and stopped aging when she was about 30. My mum also likes her - her and Aung San Suu Kyi. To be honest, my mum likes a very wide variety of things and people. She's great for this sort of stuff.

ALSO: the children's picture books by Mwenya Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway, if you can get your hands on them. They're beautiful retellings of east African myths and folktales and absolutely wonderful.

Maybe I'll stop now.

Edited at 2015-01-27 04:12 pm (UTC)

Witi Ihimaera (male, Maori, The Whale Rider which I own but haven't read yet)
Doris Pilkington Garimara (female, Aboriginal Australian (Martu?), Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence and others - she wrote almost exclusively about the Stolen Generations and the experiences of Aboriginal Australians)

AND! (I can't believe I forgot her)

Malorie Blackman (female, British Nigerian, Children's Laureate 2013-2015, YA Noughts and Crosses Series)

Now I'll really stop.

Edited at 2015-01-27 04:34 pm (UTC)
Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to put all these together! I am looking forward to checking them out.
You are very welcome! I'm actually quite pleased that I was able to drag this many names from memory. Let me know how it goes! :)
If you haven't read Somebody Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill I highly recommend it! And I really enjoyed 28 Years A Bachelor by Rasana Atreya recently.
Wow, what a great project!

Love all the recs in the comments, too. Awesome!
I did this in 2014! Like you, it began as an accident: I just happened to find myself reading only books by women, and then I decided to go with it. I've read a couple of books by men in 2015, but mainly reading books by women has been wonderful. I've also tried to read more books by women of colour: I read a really inspiring essay on the subject by Nalo Hopkinson, whose work I recommend. I read a lot of sci-fi, and one of my favourite SF authors is now Octavia Butler, a black American writer, whose work is really fascinating. I see you've got a lot of recs already though!