This year I will read more

I spent the first weekend of 2021 planning what books I would like to read, as I have finally got my reading mojo back and this was my new year’s resolution. I’ve previously shared it was a challenge to read in 2020, but I have definitely got my groove back into reading and have been excited by the prospect of books and authors I will discover.

My inner geek was released as when I say I planned my books for 2021, I mean I planned what I hope to read this year and plotted them in an Excel spreadsheet against the categories in the book challenges I am trying to fulfil. I also aimed to look at books I already owned so I wouldn’t spend a fortune on books as my To Be Read/ TBR pile is probably 10 times my height now.

I am trying to fulfil a number of book challenges which I will detail below.

Reading Ghana

I am always seeking to diversify my bookshelf, and as someone of Ghanaian descent I am always looking to read more books by Ghanaian authors or those with Ghanaian ancestry. I have previously read books by Ayi Kwei Armah, Yaa Gyasi, Ekow Eshun, Taiye Selassie and Afua Hirsch to name a few.

In terms of the books I have planned to read they include the following, but the list is not exhaustive as plans can change:

Bad Love by Maame Blue
Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
All My Lies are True by Dorothy Koomson
Unspoken by Guvna B
Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

Black Girls Read Too

Black Girls Read Too is a Facebook community that does what it says on the tin. The challenge has 52 prompts. As you can see the prompts are broad enough that I should be able to double up on prompts – I won’t be reading 150 books in 2021.

Use slider to read each list

Popsugar Challenge

I have been doing the Popsugar Challenge for a number of years. Like the Black Girls Read Too Challenge it provides the reader with a list of prompts to read. The list consists of 50 unique prompts – with 40 standard prompts and 10 advanced books. This challenge is actually the challenge I am building the other challenges around, but I wanted to shine the light on my Reading Ghana and the Black Girls Read Too Challenge first.

Examples of the prompts and books I plan to read include:

A book that has the same title as a song – The Water Dancer by Ta Nehisi Coates (yes I know the song is called The Water Dance but it’s my challenge and I will do it how I want to
A book about a subject you are passionate about – Afro-Nostalgia: Feeling Good in Contemporary Black Culture by Badia Ahad-Legardy
A book with an oxymoron in the title – All My Lies are True by Dorothy Koomson (see what I mean about how the prompts can be spread across challenges as she is my Ghanaian sister and one of the best selling authors in the UK.
A book with a gem, mineral, or rock in the title – Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

If you are interested in the Popsugar Challenge you can download the prompts for your personal use here.

Book Riot Read Harder

The Book Riot Read Harder challenge has 24 tasks designed to help you break out of your reading bubble and expand your worldview through books. With new genres, new authors, and new points of view, the challenge will (hopefully) help you discover amazing books you wouldn’t have otherwise picked up.

Other challenges

There are numerous other challenges such as the Debut Authors challenge where you read a minimum of three books by debut authors (this is something I do as standard so I will be tagging posts where it is a debut but it will not be an official challenge of mine. Another one I won’t be officially participating in is the Alphabet Soup challenge where you read either books with titles or authors of books beginning with each letter of the alphabet.

What are your reading goals for 2021? Are you taking part in a reading challenge? Comment below!

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