BAND November 2011: Reading for a Cause
B.A.N.D., Bloggers’ Alliance of Nonfiction Devotees, launched in July and is being run by a small group of bloggers as a way to promote the love of nonfiction amount bloggers. Each month a discussion question will be put forward giving everyone and anyone the chance to respond. If you are interested in hosting a month do check out the tumblr site and let us know!
Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness hosted the first discussion, asking What’s your favorite type of nonfiction? in July. In August I led the discussion, asking How did you get into nonfiction? In September Cass wanted to know about nonfiction audiobooks, asking if we had listened and enjoyed. In October Ash asked what our favorite nonfiction anthologies were. This month we have Amanda guest hosting from Opinions of a Wolf (remember, if you want to guest post check out this post). Amanda wants to know (add your own link to her post here):
Do you read nonfiction to help support a cause(s)?
This is a difficult one for me to answer, surprisingly. I do read on a number of different issues, but I don’t do so necessarily to support a cause, with my nonfiction reading, but rather to educate myself further. A few of the topics that I read on include racism, sexuality, gender, feminism, development, AID, international health care, and more. I seem to always have too many interests competing for my time and attention and thus my reading happens in cycles. I will read a lot about one topic, then I move on and read a lot about another topic, and so on.
At present one topic that I’m reading on a lot (with Amanda, actually!) is racism / civil rights / entitlement in the United States, reading books by African American authors about the time period. These books were listed as alternatives to The Help and more information can be seen on the dedicated page I created. Another topic I’m actively reading on is feminist classic texts with the Year of Feminist Classics reading group.
Oddly enough, perhaps, the place that I try the most to support a cause / issue and educate others is with my fiction reading. Talking to a friend the other day he said that he reads more Western lit than African lit because he says it has been more vetted and reviewed, making it easier to pick the good books.
Now, I object to the implication that African lit is worse or in some way bad while Western lit is good, but I see his point. Literature from North America and Europe is much more likely to have been vetted, reviewed, and edited more thoroughly than that from Africa. Which is why I try to review more African literature, because I think that it needs that combing over that books from the US and Canada get automatically.
So yes, while I read for a cause in my nonfiction, I do so with less of an objective than I do in my fiction reading!
What about you – Do choose books specifically to support a cause?