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Hi! I'm Amanda.

The Year of Reading Intentionally?

Published over 1 year ago • 3 min read

It's January and I was going to send you a newsletter at the beginning of the year talking about how this is the year of reading intentionally and reflecting on our reading. I even made a new diversity reading tracker that I wanted to share with you (more on that later) so we can all do it together. But I'm finally getting to writing this newsletter and it's January 21 and it feels like absolutely no time for a resolution. So I've changed my mind.

Nothing really changes on the new year. Time is made up, the calendar is arbitrary, and most resolutions have already failed by now. Goals and resolutions can be made at any time of the year and we shouldn't hold ourselves to a standard set forth by an arbitrary day that designates a new year. If our new year started in July the only real difference would be that we'd write a different year on our paperwork at a different time of the year. And that's what I'm doing. This year, I'm opening myself up to shifts at any time with a mindset of building knowledge that can help others. So here I am, on January 21, telling you my shift.

We can ignore that this decision came on the eve of Lunar New Year so it actually is just in time for a new year. Or maybe that's because this weekend is auspicious and someone, something is telling me I'm on the right track. Either way, here we are.

I know the world feels like it's falling apart, I feel it too, but I know we can get through it together. It doesn't just happen because we're together but through preparation, care, and building. It takes working together not just being together. So I guess this is a really rambly way to say that this year I am setting myself up to learn as best as possible, planting seeds for tomorrow, and hoping to grow a garden that can help as many people as possible.

I firmly believe that fiction, especially diverse fiction, is a way for us to build bridges with people we never would have reached otherwise. There's so much truth in fiction, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This year, when I read, I'm going to think about the ways that books can connect me to an experience I may never have. So I can better understand the people that I can build my garden with, so to speak. It's escapism, it's fun, it's dissociating, sure. But reading is also listening if you pay enough attention.

So I'll stay here, hoping that by helping to connect all of us through fiction, I'm also helping remind us to listen to one another and to work together.

I love you all. Thank you so much for watching me learn and grow, and for wanting to do the same right alongside me.

Diversity Reading Tracker

One thing I’m doing this year with my reading is that I’m working on reflecting more. I plan on looking at all of the books that I read, rate, and don’t finish to see if there’s any patterns. I want to set myself up to be able to ask myself, “why do I always not finish books with X representation?” or maybe “why do I always dislike books with X representation?”

So I made a reading tracker to help you track the diversity in your reading like this too! Hopefully this is helpful to some people! I hope you’re working on reading more intentionally too!!

What have I been reading?

I know most of you are here to see what I’ve been currently reading, so here’s a little shelf of my reads since we last spoke (sorry it’s been so long! Maybe I’ll be better about this this year too).

Special shout out to the books that aren’t on Bookshop:

The Red Scholar’s Wake by Aliette de Bodard

Linghun by Ai Jiang

Follow Me Elsewhere

In case you want aren't following me around the internet yet, I'd love to have you join me on whatever platform you use most! Here are all my links:

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Chat with me!

You can always hit that reply button and chat with me! I'd love to know, what are you reading? What is your next read? Is there a story that you heard recently that changed you?

Hi! I'm Amanda.

Decolonize your bookshelf with me! Amanda (she/her) is a mixed Vietnamese American writer who firmly believes that stories can change the world and that protest happens in small everyday disruptions consistently over time. She's based on unceded Tongva land and is the Chief Editor at Bookish Brews and an associate editor at Cast of Wonders and GigaNotoSaurus. 🤍

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