Every March is Women’s History Month; a time for us to remember, celebrate, and commemorate the contributions and achievements women have made in history and in modern society.
I chose this month’s Book Recs theme to center around feminist reads not only because it’s Women’s History Month, but also because I understand that, for those who want to learn about feminism, it can feel like a daunting and overwhelming task. Where do I start? What’s a good start for an individual interested in feminism? Who do I listen to? Though I cannot answer those questions – as feminism can look different to different groups of people and cultures – my advice is to, a) begin with history, b) read widely, c) listen to a diversity of authors/activists/academics, and d) ensure your feminism is intersectional.
The month of February is Black History Month.
In New Zealand, we don’t observe Black History Month, so when I first learned about Black History Month and its historical and current significance, it was through watching American television. Black History Month may not be a part of my country’s history, but it is important to so many of you, so I wanted to take the time to highlight this important and absolutely necessary month.
So, I want to take this opportunity to celebrate black authors and their incredible work. I also want to take this opportunity to raise the issue of anti-blackness and how this is a global issue that we must work hard to address, fight against, and to end. To my non-black-PoC friends (especially my non-black Asian friends), I highly encourage you all to [read this article]. Listen, learn, reflect, unlearn, repeat.
Happy Lunar New Year, friends!
Today, on the 28th of January, is the first day of the lunar calendar, else known as the Lunar New Year. For a lot of us, Lunar New Year is a very important day – one that is filled with celebration, spending time with family and the ones we love, and eating a lot of delicious food. For those of us with Chinese heritage, we call Lunar New Year Chinese New Year — and it’s the Year of the Rooster too! However, today is also Korean New Year, Mongolian New Year, Tibetan New Year, and Vietnamese New Year. (And a happy new year to you too, my friends!)
I am super honoured and delighted to have three book bloggers contribute to today’s Festive Book Recs – Lili, Jeann, and Alex – and share with you what Chinese New Year means to them and what they do to celebrate! In the end, Lili, Jeann, Alex will also be recommending two books each that relate to Chinese New Year.
One of my goals for this blog is to make some truly fantastic book recommendations. To work in line with this goal, I want to start recommending more diverse books. Something I have noticed as of late is that the same books are recommended over and over again. And whilst that’s not necessarily a bad thing because it is probably a fantastic book, I feel like I can do my part and shine a light on diverse books that are just as brilliant, if not better.
Fantasy is one of my favourite genres; I love the feeling of transcending reality and being teleported to an author’s imagination-scape. Give me magical worlds, awesome powers and magic systems, and inspiring adventure narratives.
For this month’s book recommendation post, I am going to share with you four wonderful fantasies written by Asian authors.
Something I’d like to do is to make Read Think Ponder more personal. Sharing details about my life (aside from my Monthly Recaps!) isn’t really my style, so I thought: why not incorporate cultural festivals or holidays that are meaningful to me into my blog and do something bookish to celebrate?
My book recs posts, to me, are more than recommending books that I adore and hope to share with you. Recommending books is also a way for me to highlight truly great books that have meaningful stories to tell, an opportunity for me to help diversify your reading, and to celebrate books by authors of marginalized identities.
One of my regrets is that I didn’t commit myself to reading diversely earlier. Thinking about it now, I only started consciously choosing diverse books after I wrote my discussion post, My Problem With The World ‘Diverse’. From that discussion post alone, I found and met so many people who had an amazing passion and commitment to diversity. The rest is history!
Something I discovered along the way was this thing called #OwnVoices. In a nutshell, from Corinne Duyvis’s tweet: ‘#ownvoices, to recommend kidlit about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group.‘ Reading OwnVoices has opened up an entirely new world of reading – the world is brighter, more beautiful, and more profound.
For my last book recommendation of 2016, I want to highlight four fantastic #ownvoices books I read this year and were published in 2016.
We all have friends who don’t read, even though a) they absolutely should, and b) we absolutely want them to.
Whether it be for an upcoming birthday or you are partaking in the spirit of giving (for any occasion!), I hope to help alleviate the stress of buying gifts by suggesting some awesome books that your friends or family are sure to love.
The kicker: as an avid reader and an avid recommend-er, the books below are ones that I have recommended to friends (who are not avid readers) and they have enjoyed it! I hope these proven recommendations will now serve you well. ❤