My Half-Year Check-in was rather good in 2015, I was pleased with the status of my reading, even if the numbers were a little lower than I'd like. But that'll happen when you move across the Pacific and set up a new place, look for a job, and all of that. In the second half of 2015, I read much more.
In 2015 I read a grand total of 71 books. (cue fanfare)
I'm super pleased with this number, and I'm hoping to beat it in 2016, now that I'm settled and I don't plan on moving again in the next 12 months. Now, just to get things straight: I include comics trades and graphic novels (not issues) in my count. Some people might not like that, considering sometimes you can read those in an hour or three, but then again, so can you some novels. I also read a fair amount of middle grade and young adult, but I don't think I should count them separately. I love books of all shapes and sizes, and they all count.
Some vital book stats:
Women authors/creators: 54/71 (76%)
Authors/creators of color: 35/71 (49%)
Translated works: 25/71 (35%)
Works in Spanish: 0/5 (0%)
I'm not surprised by, but super happy about my lady author stat. I never felt like I had an issue reading too many male authors, but tracking it confirms that, so I'm glad there's proof that I didn't need this to be a stated goal. As for the creators of color stat, I'm also pleased to note it's much higher than I thought. My original goal, though I didn't spell it out, was to get a solid 35%, or roughly a third of my reading. But I got about half of my reading in by diverse authors, and that makes me incredibly happy. Finally, we've got translated works, which was a stated goal in my original post around this time last year, and I managed a third. This was helped along by reading a fair amount of manga, but I did also read works translated from French (by Marjane Satrapi), and a novel translated from Japanese (Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui).
Sadly, I didn't meet my goal of reading books in Spanish - not even a little bit. Maybe I should be a little less ambitious in 2016 and go for just one.
As for the Read Harder Challenge, I managed 18 of the tasks (out of 24). That's not too bad, either. The ones I missed were tasks I'll aim to work on in 2016: A book by an author from Africa, a book by or about someone from an indigenous culture, a microhistory, an NBA, Book Prize, or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade, a book written by someone when they were over the age of 65 (I ALMOST got this one with An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin, but he would have actually written it just before he turned 65), and a collection of poetry. I know I stated my pick for that challenge early on in the year, but I actually never got around to it. I'm not sure what it is about poetry I find so challenging, but I'd like to get to the bottom of it soon.
In 2016, I'll be doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge again, but of course, there's a whole new set of tasks to work with. I'm excited to start tackling those. As I mentioned before, I'll keep the goal of reading in Spanish, but I'm scaling back to 1 book. I'm going to aim for the same number in diversity as last year (35% or higher), keep an eye on my works in translation stat, and I want to aim for 20% or higher in LGBT+ representation (either the author or main character). So you have an idea, in 2015, I think I only read two books by or about someone who identifies LGBT+ (I didn't research every creator, so the number might be higher, but it probably isn't). Those books were An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, and (edited - the book I originally listed here was incorrect. Here's the right one:) Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I do believe it's being adapted to film, which is very exciting as long as the adaptation stays true to the actual plot of the book, yanno.
It seems ambitious, but looking at last year's numbers, I think I'll be able to make it. The area I'm going to focus on more this year is LGBT+, where last year my main focus was ethnic/geographic diversity. It's changed my reading life for the better, and it can only keep going up from here. And if I have to drop a number for total books I want to read in 2016, I'll just say 75 or more, but that's not super important.
Feel free to recommend books for me to read, especially ones that fulfill tasks for the reading challenge, or my own goals. I'll be on Twitter, Instagram, and other places, ready to share this exciting year of reading with everyone.