Hurray! Another readathon will be taking place shortly in January (1st-15th) and I’m sure it will bring me immense joy to the point where the cold that is excepted to arrive here in Lisbon will no longer bring me down. It is the Dumbledore’s Army ReadAThon, created by the lovely Aentee over at readatmidnight (credits for graphics and idea), designed to make us read more diversely as we begin the New Year.
There is a list of challenges to be completed, which I will keep track of in my Twitter page (@bookishrita), related to the reading prompts. BUT, before I set an overly ambitious reading pile for myself, I’d like to share my personal ID:
I know, how uncommon it is for a book blogger to be a Ravenclaw… Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to my overly ambitious reading pile.
My choice for this prompt is Livro (or Book in its English version) written by José Luís Peixoto. The novel centers around stories of Portuguese emigrants who left their homes and families in their own country to search for a better life in France.
Portugal is the 12th country in the world with the highest emigration rate. During the 50s and 60s, around one million people (more than 10% of the current population) fled a fascist dictatorship and a thirteen-year long war being fought in Africa over the colonies. The ones who left back then were unskilled workers,
most of them had a rudimentar education because of the dire conditions that existed in rural areas, and would work mainly as house maids or construction workers. Still to this day emigration has alarming numbers: in the year of 2014 alone, 110.000 people left Portugal and their main destinations were still France or the United Kingdom, the same number as the previous year. Family and friends are left behind, along with
approximately 45% of unemployment among young professionals and unpaid internships that lead nowhere.
This is an important issue to me because it affects my generation. I have long known that if I wanted to study what I truly love and do something related to it, I would most likely have to leave my country behind in search for another one willing to take me and provide me with a better lifestyle.
I’ll be reading If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo to complete this prompt. Russo’s debut novel tells the story of Amanda Hardy’s experience of being ‘the new girl’ at her school in Tennessee. This could sum up more than half of every young adult book out there, but this one has a twist, one the main character has been trying to hide from everyone and that explains why she changed schools during her senior year of high school: she hasn’t always been Amanda to other people, she used to be Andrew.
Unfortunately, transgender stories aren’t usually represented (let alone in a positive light) in mainstream literature, and when they do it’s more often than not the work of a cis author. It’s really refreshing to see a transgender author like Russo finally being able to publish a novel whose main character is also transgender get such positive reaction from most readers. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t read anything told from this perspective, which will soon change as soon as I get to this one.
Because school will have started by the time I enter the ReadAThon, I’ll have to use If I Was Your Girl again to complete this challenge.
Ever since I read Maya Angelou’s “And Still I Rise” for the first time I’ve been meaning to read one of her biographies to understand the complex human who wrote one of my favorite poems. So I decided to finally do it by reading I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and if that is half as empowering as some of her poems, I will slay this challenge.
Maya Angelou is one of the most famous American (and African American) poets of the 20th century and had an incredibly important role in the Civil Rights movement. This is the first book in her autobiography series and follows a very young Angelou who is sexually abused by an older man, an experience that stayed with her for the rest of her life and with which she has to deal with while growing up and discovering her passions in the world. This is something I’m looking extremely forward to reading.
Everything Leads to You, written by Nina LaCour, has been sitting in my virtual ‘to-be-read’ shelf since the 1st June 2014. It first caught my eye because of its cute cover and the fact that its main character was lesbian, something I didn’t usually read. I kept pushing it back because 1) I couldn’t find a copy in my library and 2) It was too expensive for me to buy online. Now that I’ve come across a digital copy, I can finally tick this one off my list.
All that I know about this novel is that Emi, the main character, has a past of turbulent relationships, having gone back to the same girl too often, but is nevertheless an hopeless romantic. Ava, a mysterious character, makes her way into Emi’s life and changes the way she sees the world and herself (thanks, Goodreads).
Once again, thanks to school, I’ll have to recycle Everything Leads to You for this prompt as well…
This is another one that has been sitting in my virtual ‘to-be-read’ shelf for far too long ever since Sanne over at booksandquills mentioned it. It is This Book Is Gay by James Dawson, former PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) teacher who has compiled several testimonies given by queer teenagers across the spectrum about their experiences. I’m very excited to read this one because I don’t usually hear queer experiences told by the subjects themselves and that needs to change.
And that’s it, fellow bookworms! I am really excited to be participating in this ReadAThon even though I don’t think I’ll complete my TBR list, I guess I’ll have to read even more when I’m in the bus/metro.