2013 Reading Recap

The Challenges

This was a great year for reading! Once I came to terms with the fact that I’d never finish my to-read pile or Les Misérables, I had a lot more fun and freedom with my reading choices.

Part of my Heritage Reading challenge was a success. I completed several of the smaller categories:

5 Native writers
6 East Asian writers
5 South Asian writers
10 Black Women writers

I did not do so well in the bigger categories:

cover of Claire of the Sea Light10 Haitian writers (1 completed)

  • Edwidge Danticat, Claire of the Sea Light

10 Latin@ writers (4 completed)

  • R.J. Palacio, Wonder
  • Meg Medina, The Girl Who Could Silence The Wind
  • Ann Aguirre, Enclave
  • Sabrina Vourvoulias, Ink

10 African writers (4 completed)

  • Leila Aboulela, Lyrics Alley
  • Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go
  • Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

cover of The Best of All Possible Worlds10 Caribbean writers (6 completed)

  • Sidney Poitier, The Measure of a  Man
  • Nalo Hopkinson, Brown Girl in the Ring
  • Junot Díaz, This is How You Lose Her (could also count as Latino)
  • Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Eighth-Grade Superzero (could also count as African)
  • Karen Lord, The Best of All Possible Worlds
  • Jamaica Kincaid, The Autobiography of My Mother

These categories are still very important to me so I’m going to try this part of the challenge again in 2014.

The Stats

Earlier this year I looked at the representation of writers of color in major literary awards. Using the same methodology, here is the representation of writers of color in my reading. I tracked my reading with an excel spreadsheet, my Goodreads page, and my 50 book pledge page. I read 70 books this year with 64 unique authors.

Chart showing that 27% of the authors read by Léonicka were men, 73% were women

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charts shows that 33% of the authors Léonicka read were white, 31% were Black, 17% were Asian, 9% were Native, 8% Latino, and 2% were "Other"

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These categories are very much simplified. I only included each author in one category but they are by no means mutually exclusive. For instance, I believe Junot Díaz identifies as Afro-Latino and Kekla Magoon has a white parent and a black parent.

Asian includes South Asian.

I have included Paul Owen Lewis in my count of Native authors. I may be wrong.

Leila Aboulela is the “Other” author.


charts shows that 50% of the authors Léonicka read were women of color.

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There is always room for improvement of course, but I am very proud of the progress I’ve made in the past two years!

Unsung Reads

cover of Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-UpCrankenstein is such an adorable picture book! It’s not tracked in my reading because I don’t count manuscripts I read for work. The artwork is gorgeous and the text is fun and silly. I bought it for myself.

Wonder is a great middle-grade (YA, maybe?) book with a disabled protagonist. Yes, it has an uplifting ending, but mostly I loved August’s fun narrative-style.

Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up is a great early chapter book. Keena is precocious and lovable but, like most second-graders,  gets into all kinds of trouble. But lemme be honest: my favorite part of the book is the glorious afro-puff  on the cover!

And that’s all she read! How did 2013 go for you? Have you looked at your reading stats yet? What were your favorite books? Leave a comment below to share.

4 comments for “2013 Reading Recap

  1. January 10, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I loved Wonder and it was one of my top 5 books of 2013. I loved it!!!!!! I think you totally rocked 2013. Great diversity in your reading pile. Excellent and I hope 2014 is all that and more.

  2. Brieana
    January 1, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Edwidge Danticat is the only Haitian author that I’ve ever heard of and I haven’t even read any of her books.
    I read pretty diversely in 2013, though I haven’t calculated any percentages. I read 8 books by Latinos which is great, though I’ve looked over the Pacific Islanders for most of the year and read 1 book by a Polynesian author. Hopefully, I’ll do better with that next year.

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