my summer reads and september goals

oh by the way, i youtube now. so……heres the link…..if you wanna watch it….which you should

hello friends!

This summer was not really what anyone was expecting or hoping for, but I managed to make the most of it. All of the sudden, I had about 15 hobbies that I wanted to master. I did bread baking just like everyone else, tried that whipped coffee thing, even tried to exercise regularly.

But the hobby that stuck the best was reading. I had stopped reading for pleasure in high school due to the massive amounts of books I had to read for my English classes, and it just wasn’t fun anymore. So, I decided to set out and change that. With the help of trusty goodreads, I reignited my passion for reading and found some books I can consider favorites along the way. My total came up to 17 books, but every time I recount it gets higher. (i consider june 1st to be summer but literally every day since march has felt the same???? so who cares)

What I realized throughout the summer is that I had lost my excitement to read for 2 big reasons. 1. reading about colonial white people all the time is…exhausting. and 2., reading about straight people all the time is exhausting. REPRESENTATION MATTERS! And it couldn’t be more relevant in literature. Yes, I read classics, and yes I read books that include the aforementioned elements. Even this summer, The Secret History by Donna Tartt became one of my favorites. But when you read a book, it should feel like you’re stepping into that world. And when you have inclusive characters, relatable story lines, or real growth throughout the plot, it just makes reading more enjoyable.

For example, this summer I read Meet Cute which was an anthology of meet cute scenarios. I finished all 300+ pages in one sitting, because I was so intrigued by the characters. The pairings were interracial, LGBTQ, and varying in abilities. When I was trying to write a goodreads review, I realized why I felt so compelled to give it 5 stars. It was one of the first times I read a romance that made me feel seen, and that it was real life. The anthology showcased the universality of love, and the beauty within differences that doesn’t make you less than human. It was truly heartwarming to me, but it also stung a little bit that this felt so rare to me.

I don’t want to shame high school English curriculums too bad because hey, I’m an English major in college. English was my favorite class, and I looked forward to going every single day. But that’s exactly what causes me to call out these flaws. I know we have to do American Literature, and that’s about as WASPY as it gets. But what’s stopping us from reading James Baldwin, or even more Toni Morrison? Why have I never read a book from an Asian author in school? Or an Aboriginal author? Or a story with an openly LGBTQ protagonist?

As I continue as an avid reader, I plan to further diversify my reading palate. That means science fiction (yes i am STILL in the middle of dune), more romance, nonfiction, and maybe some fantasy, who knows. But that also means I’m going to diversify the authors I read from. For so long, only one perspective shared was showcased. It’s time for me, as a reader, to transcend that and further my horizons, and support more people who’s voices deserve to be heard.

So that’s my goal for September: to read as many LGBTQ, POC inclusive books as I can. Currently, I am still compiling a list and researching the hidden gems. Can’t wait to update you all on how it goes!

Published by Claire Jackson

20 year old college student who likes to read and overthinks the smallest aspects in any social setting

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