I feel that over the last couple of years, the Booktube and Book blogging community has been making a conscious effort to read more diversely which is highly welcomed. Given the current state of the world and the living in the information age, people do not have an excuse to become more knowledgeable about pertinent world issues.
On my part, I feel like I know a lot about different subjects thanks to books, the internet and TV but I am not sure how many topics I can discuss at length without being intimidated by someone’s else arguments. The funny thing is that they may not necessarily be more knowledgeable or correct than me but their confidence in themselves just makes them stand. Plus, I do not know about you but I am in dire need of a potato-chip news diet.
Jean from Jean’s Bookish Thoughts recently shared on her Youtube channel that she has only been able to appreciate non-fiction by reading more of it. Yes, it is an endless worthwhile cycle. In the same vein, I have also been encouraged by Olive’s voracious appetite for non-fiction literature as well as her Russophilia (from YT channel A Book Olive). In short, I aim to be reading more non-fiction in 2017 despite my utter failure in completing 2016 Non-fiction challenge but that is not to say that some works of fiction are not equally illuminating. Over the next couple of months, I would like to expand my horizons on the following topics:
- Classical music: I grew up being exposed to various genres of music but my knowledge of various eras in music is quite rusty. I am so excited that Jenniffer of Insert Literary Pun Here will be doing an introductory series about opera arias which I know nothing about so I am definitely looking forward to that.
- Western art: Similar to classical music, my knowledge of western art is limited to what every other person might know about Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso and other great artists. My interest definitely piqued after reading The Girl with the Pearl Earring and watching a TED-Ed video on Vermeer’s painting. Maria of Read Create Repeat Homeschool has set herself a similar challenge which I will definitely be keeping tabs on for all the good recommendations.
- Kenyan history and politics: 2017 is a Kenyan election year so it is important to be more aware of the important issues. Last year, I read Find Me Unafraid largely because I want to know about how the 2007/8 post-election violence affected people living in Kibera but I need to dust off my copy of Dust which has received a lot of accolades. I feel horrible that I have not yet read any of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o books and other under-appreciated Kenyan authors.
- Rest of Africa, Asian, MENA, Eastern Europe and South American Cultures: Well, I think that I should have written from other developing countries. So far, from the few books that I have read from these places, the have reminded me that we are all human just born in different continents, with different perspectives and with so much to learn from each other. For instance, after reading Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease, I heavily related with the context and characters despite the fact that the fact that the book was based on post-independence Nigeria. Same applied to How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. When the world is focusing on being divisive, I want to focus on the stuff that makes different cultures special. * Off the soapbox*. I am hoping that Tim Marshall’s Prisoners of Geography will be a good place to start,
- Sustainability issues: In 2016 my interest in sustainability issues piqued after doing a few online courses for my day job and I was finally able to understand the beauty of slow living, ethical consumerism and generally making the world a better place. In the same vein, I want to learn and share as much as I can on the subject since I firmly believe that it is my human duty to leave the world a better place than I found it especially since I don’t have Elon Musk’s resources to try to settle on Mars.
As always, if you have any book or online recommendations for the above topics, please share with me in the comments section below. Also, please let me know which one of your literary blind spots you will be tackling in 2017.