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Band January 2012: Reading for Projects and Goals

January 17, 2012

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. In November Amanda asked if we read nonfiction to help support a cause. Last month Erin guest hosts from Erin Reads and asked (leave your response on how we determine truth in the nonfiction that we read. This month Joy asks:

What book or books have you used or are you using to support a goal, resolution, or project?

A large portion of my reading – both fiction and nonfiction – is in support of various projects or goals that I have ongoing. One of these is The Real Help project with Amanda in which we are reading through the list of books recommended by the Association of Black Women Historians. Half of these books are nonfiction accounts of black women’s lives through slavery and to the present. They are fascinating and are filling in many gaps in my education, as much of it was never learned in the various history courses I took.

Another project is the Year of Feminist Classics reading project which we just announced for 2012. It will run from February 2012 through to February 2013, this year with twelve hosts and each of us leading one book and co-hosting on various others. Once again I somehow ended up with the first month, so I hope that you will join us in reading Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks next month. These books fill in the gaps in my feminist theory, as I try to ensure that the feminism I practice also takes into account the various other forms of oppression including classism, racism, and other privileges.

Here is our full reading list:

  • February – Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks (Amy)
  • March – The Book of the City of Ladies by Christine De Pizan (Jean)
  • April – Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano (Cass)
  • May – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë read alongside Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Iris)
  • June – Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg (Emily)
  • July – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Nancy)
  • August – The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Lauren)
  • September – Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua (Melissa)
  • October – The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (Jodie)
  • November – Beyond the Veil by Fatema Mernissi (Ana)
  • December – Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis (Emily Jane)
  • January – Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practising Solidarity by Chandra Talpade Mohanty (Eva)

Another reading project I have this year is the Roommate Challenge, where I’m trying to read the books that have been sitting unread on my shelf the longest. Many (in fact most) of these are nonfiction.

What about you – is your nonfiction reading a part of a goal or project you are working on?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2012 1:29 pm

    Great projects!

    Speaking of The Real Help project, I went to an MLK day lecture yesterday by Melissa V. Harris-Perry. She’s an amazing speaker — quick, funny, and so smart. Her take on The Help was terrific.

    • January 17, 2012 11:53 pm

      That is fantastic to hear Joy. Did she talk about The Help at the event? I have her latest on my shelf and really should read it soon.

      • January 18, 2012 12:10 am

        She did. She talked about her grandmother who didn’t need a young white woman running interference for her, who stood up to racist thugs all on her own. She also said that any time that “Mammy” shows up in popular culture that it always means that times are tough and we all wish someone would just make us some pancakes. Heh.

        My book club is reading Sister Citizen for next week’s meeting.

        • January 18, 2012 12:12 am

          LOL she’s so brilliant. That is so true, people just want someone to take care of them when they say that. I hope you blog about it!

  2. January 17, 2012 2:49 pm

    Oooo I like the YFC reading list this year much better than last year’s! Although, I have to say, I HATE THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE. Omg. So boring. I barely was able to finish it when I read it, heh. I may try to join in on some of them that I haven’t read yet this year.

    Oh, btw, girl, we have GOT to get deciding what our next project is!

    • January 17, 2012 11:54 pm

      Isn’t it exciting? Hope you join in Amanda. And WHAT? I thought it was quite interesting when I read it last year.

  3. January 17, 2012 8:44 pm

    Given my poor performance in last year’s Feminist Classics challenge, I welcome the opportunity to make up for it this year.

  4. January 17, 2012 10:16 pm

    Good luck! There are a few biographies I would like to get to this year and I really want to read The Emperor of the Maladies.

    • January 17, 2012 11:55 pm

      Thanks Michelle, I hope you get all the ones you are looking forward to!

  5. January 18, 2012 4:26 pm

    Lots of really great projects going on here! I can’t wait to see what you have to say about the books you are going to be reading!

  6. January 18, 2012 7:15 pm

    Great post, Amy, and so good to hear that you’re getting involved in some great projects.

    I’m doing the Australian Women Writers challenge this year. It’s a challenge to support local women writers, who receive far less critical and awards attention than their male counterparts. Other than that, I’m not doing any other formal challenges, but I’m trying to read more broadly.

    • January 19, 2012 12:48 am

      Thanks Stephanie. Always so much projects on the go, I seem unable to read great books without them. heh. That sounds like such a fantastic challenge. I’m gonna have to check it out.

  7. January 19, 2012 1:27 pm

    I read very little non-fiction as you know. But this year, I’ve decided to read memoirs as part of the Africa Reading Challenge.

  8. January 19, 2012 10:41 pm

    I’m glad you guys are doing the feminist classics project again. I hope I can participate this year sometime!


  1. Books for Resolutions, Goals, and Projects — January BAND wrap-up | Joy's Book Blog
  2. January 2012 Reading Wrap-Up « Amy Reads
  3. BAND April 2012: Quirky Readomg « Amy Reads
  4. BAND May 2012: Nonfiction I Hate to Admit I Enjoy « Amy Reads
  5. BAND June 2012: When Bias is a Good Thing « Amy Reads

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