At the 2018 Lit Fest Pasadena event, I closed the show by remarking that when men read a book by a woman–even if that book doesn’t feature a woman as the protagonist–that can expand our perspective. When we can see the world through a woman’s eyes, it becomes impossible to see that woman as a target. As an object. As an item in a bizarre “marketplace.” That impact grows exponentially when the book in question is by a woman of color or an LGBTQI+ author.
We need to change the way our culture sees and treats women, LGBTQI+ people, and people of color. A great story can inspire us, it can change us. We know that storytelling can create a sense of community and cooperation, that reading affects your brain, and it could help us be more empathetic. Books can do so many great things. And right now, I am challenging you to use books as a tool for change. It’s a challenge I’m calling See New Shades.
This challenge is two-fold. First, it’s for you. I want you to use the books listed on this page as a starting point for expanding your own reading. Don’t treat this as a complete list; It is by no means all inclusive or even indicative of the landscape. I’m only listing books by authors who have appeared on S&S lineups since our inception in 2013.
The second part of the challenge is for your friends. Challenge them directly, individually, to take up this challenge by recommending a specific book for them. You can do it in a public post/tweet, you can call them on the phone, you can email them. However you choose to take up the challenge is entirely up to you. But start with a friend who hasn’t read a book by a woman/non-binary author in a while, or ever. Challenge him to expand his own personal narrative. Then tell him to challenge one of his friends.
Use the #SeeNewShades hashtag, along with #ShadesAndShadows and tag us on Twitter (@ShadesShadows), Instagram (@ShadesAndShadowsReadings), or Facebook (f/ShadesNShadowsReadings). We’ll reblog and help boost your signal.
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SHERRI L. SMITH
JANET JOYCE HOLDEN
NANCY HOLDER (abridged selection)
LESLIE ANN MOORE
TRACY L. CARBONE
THE WINNER TWINS
TANANARIVE DUE (abridged selection)
NICOLE D. SCONIERS
ELISE FORIER EDIE
CHARLIE JANE ANDERS
LAURA LEE BAHR
SEANAN McGUIRE (abridged selection)
ELIZABETH HAND (abridged selection)
REBECCA GOMEZ FARRELL
MELISSA JANE OSBORNE