As always, I love spending the beginning of the year looking forward to see what’s being published in the coming year to discover which books excite me, which to keep an eye on, and which I definitely need to get my hands on (sorry backlog TBR!). With every year that I’m a book blogger, it brings my heart so much joy to watch the increasing amount of diverse fiction being published. This year there are so many incredible diverse books written by diverse authors being published that I can’t wait to read and champion. Here are 14 of my most anticipated 2020 releases – each book includes the Goodreads blurb and a 🔍 to signify my reason for including it on my list. Covers link back to GR.
2019 was an interesting year for me in terms of books and reading. I completely smashed my Goodreads Challenge goal in 2018, reading 31 books over my goal and 55 books more than I did in 2017. Although on the surface that looks fantastic (which it was!) it was also a little misleading as 2018 was the only year where I wasn’t in education, with the exception of the last few months of the year when I started my Masters in September, which meant I had a lot more time for reading! At the beginning of 2019, I naively set my Goodreads Challenge goal at 75 books and managed to read 51 books due to a combination of academia, depression and reading slumps. Not too bad overall but I’ve definitely learned my lesson about setting unrealistic goals haha.
Although I didn’t read as many books as I had wanted to, I did read a lot of great books – books that I thoroughly enjoyed and books that I fell in love with. Ultimately that is more important to me than how many books I ended up reading – I would rather enjoy my books than reading loads of books I end up not liking. Whilst I enjoyed almost all of the books I read in 2019, I’ve picked out 10 books that really stand out to me as the ones I loved the most which have made my best books of 2019 list.
Today is Autistic Pride Day!!
Even though I do a little something for LGBTQ+ Pride most years, whether it’s attending Pride events or reading LGBTQ+ books throughout the month, I haven’t ever taken any steps to celebrate Autistic Pride even though it’s a really important day. Pride events are all too often geared towards non-Autistic people with lots of loud music, too many people, and absolutely no Autistic representation. Even within the book community, Autistic representation during Pride month is severely lacking so I wanted to shine the spotlight on one of my favourite Autistic queer series – Xandri Corelel – by Kaia Sønderby.
Discussions around #ownvoice authors are not exactly new in the book blogging community. It’s something I’ve seen spoken about quite a lot by other bloggers but is not something that I’d especially given much thought to before. The extent of my thought process around #ownvoice authors had been that I should continue to support them and champion their work. If there was a book about an issue affecting black people written by a black author then I would definitely boost the #ownvoice author. And, in cases where a book is written by a non #ownvoice author and has problematic content in it then I speak up about why the book is problematic and recommend #ownvoice alternatives.
But what happens when a book deals with sensitive marginalized issues or is potentially problematic without it being clear if the author is #ownvoices or not?