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My Diverse Reading List 2021

The books I am currently reading or plan to read can be found in my 2022 Reading List.

1 Year -> 43 Books

Here are my diverse reading list 2021 stats

Woman/Men/Other 22/15/1
BIPOC/White 17/21
Art or Graphic Novel/Non-Fiction/Fiction 7/23/13
Paper/e-reader/Audiobook 19/0/24
The language I read/ heard the book in German/English 21/22

My top picks from the books I read in 2021

Though it’s hard to choose, here are the three books I recommend the most.
Anne Frank – Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank (Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl)
Octavia E. Butler – Kindred
Trevor Noah – Born A Crime

All three books gave me a chilling and profound idea of what it was really like to live in those times and mind you Trevor Noah is younger than me. It’s one way to attempt to walk in someone else’s shoes.
Once we know what we do not want anyone to experience ever again by listening to history (history is happening right now too) the question comes up how to influence the future by acting now. The following books are the beginning of my journey to investigate this further:
Sahra Wagenknecht – die Selbstgerechten
Grace Blakeley – Stolen
Slavoj Žižek – Der neue Klassenkampf

If you have no time to read, read Slavoj Žižek’s book about class struggle. It has less than 100 pages in the german edition. I found a Spanish translation “La nueva lucha de clases. Los refugiados y el terror”, the English version might be “Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbors”. He might become the reason why my 2022 stats might lean towards old, white men, so send black women from the radical left my way.

What I wrote when I started my diverse reading list 2021

[January 2021] The other day, I read that a diverse reading list won’t dismantle white supremacy and patriarchy, and I wonder if that is true. If everyone everywhere would hear different stories and perspectives throughout their lives, this might actually be really powerful.
However, I also see the comment’s point, and there is more we can do right now, and we should do it all. All of this is needed in the first place to get those diverse reading lists into the schools, nightstands, coffee tables, backpacks, e-readers and kindergartens of the world.
Having said that, here’s one piece of the bundle: my attempt at a diverse reading list.
It’s not that easy, and that’s not because the talents and books aren’t out there. They are often buried under tons of seemingly way better white male authors, and it’s hard to set them aside as they look so important and are so well known, and something deep down inside me was also trained to see them as the best option.
My idea for this article is to challenge myself and document my progress. I also intended to read a book each week, but I am also quite behind on that one…

The books I read in 2021 in chronological order

  1. Margret Atwood – Madd Addam
  2. Cory Doctorow – Little Brother
  3. Dmitry Glukhovsky – Metro 2033 1/4
  4. Alice Hasters – Was weiße Menschen nicht über Rassismus hören wollen aber wissen sollten
  5. Sophie Scholl – Das Verhör
  6. Alan E. Cober – The forgotten Society
  7. Dmitry Glukhovsky – Metro 2033 2/4
  8. Tupoka Ogette – Exit Racism
  9. Chinua Achebe – Alles zerfällt (Things fall apart)
  10. Vivek Cibber – Das ABC des Kapitalismus I Kapitalismus verstehen
  11. Vivek Cibber – Das ABC des Kapitalismus II Kapitalismus und Staat
  12. Anne Frank – Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank (Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl)
  13. Darcy Van Poelgeest, Ian Bertram – Little Bird #1 The Fight For Elder’s Hope
  14. Vivek Cibber – Das ABC des Kapitalismus III Kapitalismus und Klassenkampf
  15. Nnedi Okorafor – Binti
  16. Amos Oz – Between Friends
  17. Bernardine Evaristo – Girl, Woman, Other
  18. Haruki Murakami – First Person Singular
  19. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists
  20. Dmitry Glukhovsky – Metro 2033 3/4
  21. Wendy Jehanara Tremayne – The Good Life Lab
  22. Sharon Dodua Otoo – Adas Raum
  23. Octavia E. Butler – Kindred
  24. Brian K. Vaughan – Y the last man – Book 2
  25. Frank Herbert – Dune, The Graphic Novel 1
  26. Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim – Der kleinste gemeinsame Nenner
  27. Allison Moon – Bad Dyke: Salacious Stories from a Queer Life
  28. bell hooks – Feminism is for Everybody
  29. bell hooks – Die Bedeutung von Klasse (Where We Stand: Class Matters)
  30. Aminata Touré – Wir können mehr sein
  31. Johannes Müller-Salo – Klima, Sprache und Moral
  32. Amelia Abraham (editor) – We can do better than this / 35 voices on the future of LGBTQ+ rights
  33. Trevor Noah – Born A Crime
  34. Nalo Hopkinson – Skin Folk
  35. Nompumelelo Mungi Ngomane – Everyday Ubuntu
  36. Simone de Beauvoir – Die Unzertrennlichen
  37. Anna Lembke – Dopamine nation
  38. Sahra Wagenknecht – die Selbstgerechten
  39. Grace Blakeley – Stolen
  40. Willy Brandt – Mehr Demokratie wagen
  41. Esi Edugyan – Washington Black
  42. Jasmina Kuhnke – Schwarzes Herz
  43. Slavoj Žižek – Der neue Klassenkampf

Last year I made a list too and summarized my favourite books of 2020.

Sidenote: Comic books/ Graphic novels

We have 5 series we are following. I am trying to stick to the rule of only having 5. We can only start a new one once we officially stop another, preferably when the story is finished.

  • Dmitry Glukhovsky – Metro 2033
  • Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda – Monstress
  • Darcy Van Poelgeest, Ian Bertram – Little Bird
  • Brian K. Vaughan – Y the last man
  • Frank Herbert – Dune, The Graphic Novel

Brittle Paper is a great resource for African literature. Also, make sure to check out SistahSciSfi!
Do you have tips or a book I should read? Please send me a message! berta @ herrberta.art


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