Blogger Ali has put down a challenge to us all to read more widely in 2009 with the blog Diversity Rocks. Here's a little of what she has to say on the subject:
"What if we only read authors who were just like us? How boring would that be? But when I take a good hard look at the books I've read in 2008, most of them happen to be written by white middle class people. Thirty-six out of forty-two, in fact, according to my LibraryThing library. Not that I turn away from books written by non-white authors--but let's face it, there aren't as many (hence the term "minorities"), and they don't jump off the shelves into my arms. In some bookstores they're hidden in their own special section. If I'm going to stretch myself--and I mean, beyond Toni Morrison and Amy Tan--I'll have to make a special effort. So, I'm setting a challenge for myself for 2009, and I invite you to join me."
I'm in. But I'd also like to add to her challenge that reading for pleasure should remain pleasurable. I hope no one feels compelled to buy a book that they "should" be reading and instead remains open to all sorts of authors who already write things they like. It's why I'm planning to showcase a variety of genres (including "trashy" books).
So I plan to read more male authors and more foreign writers. What about you?