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One of my goals for this new year is to read a book a week. 52 books in a year. 

If i want to be a better, more informed, and connected writer (and human), i have to read. And read well.

So this year, i not only decided to commit to reading a book a week but also to do one(ish) independent studies a month.

This month my independent study is linked to honing my craft as a writer and includes:

  1. My overall goal of reading a book a week
  2. Taking a refresher grammar/English class online
  3. Making the book, The Power of Personal Storytelling, my textbook (i have assigned myself a chapter every week in January).
  4. Reading (and implementing) Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
  5. And deep reading (using the tools learned in the above book) of my favorite writer’s newest book Inheritance. (PS. My wife got me a ticket to see her in Big D in February and i. am. DYING.)
  6. Oh, and i’ve also started collecting my favorite sentences in a Google Doc <— this has proven to be GOLDEN!

The point of this post really wasn’t to tell you all that (although now that i have, i’m glad i did); the point was to share with you the books that are my list of 52. Most of them are books i’ve wanted to read FOREVER and just haven’t gotten around to. Some are on my list to help deepen my understanding of the craft of writing. Others are to deepen my sense of self as a brown woman — something that has traditionally been left behind as i “ranked” my oppression as i went about living my life. And by “ranked” i mean: the Otheredness i chose to focus on at any given time — Queer, Woman, Brown.

What follows is not a complete reading list, but these are the books that are on my list FOR SURE.

i hope you find some goodness in them!

A Book a Week: B’s List of 52

1. Mean by Myriam Gurba (currently reading and so FUCKING GOOD! Any writer of color needs to read this book. The sentences, the poetry, the metaphors speak to souls of color. READ. IT! And then we can compare notes!)

2. Inheritance by Dani Shapiro. (Comes out January 15 and i will start reading it that week.)

3. Woman Who Glows in the Dark: A Curandera Reveals Traditional Aztec Secrets of Physical and Spiritual Health by Elena Avila

4. The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard by Joe Brainard

5. Drinking – A Love Story by Caroline Knapp

6. Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of Creative Life by Dani Shapiro (4th read)

7. On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft by Stephen King (2nd read)

8. Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs by Nathalie Molina Niño

9. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (Alice is my favorite story ever, it was Miss USofA Diva give up theme and i haven’t read it. *Shame*)


10. The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words into Magic and Dreamers into Millionaires by Roy H. Williams

11. Chicana Feminist Thought – The Basic Historical Writings by Alma M. García

12. Think Like a Stripper: Business Lessons to Up Your Confidence, Attract More Clients & Rule Your Market by Erika Lyremark (started reading this but stopped on page 106)

13. Latina Power!: Using 7 Strengths You Already Have to Create the Success You Deserve by Ana Nogales

14. The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage by Daymond John

15. The Art Spirit by Robert Henri (started this book like 5x just never finished it. This is the year it gets finished!)

16. Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood.

17. The Renaissance Soul – How to Make Your Passion Your Life by Margaret Lobenstine (2nd read)

18. Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon (i’ve read all his book. This is his latest book released April 2, 2019.)

19. Word Painting: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively by Rebecca Mcclanahan

20. A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf

21. Read Like a Writer: A Guide For People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose

22. The Power of Personal Storytelling: Spinning Tales to Connect to Others by Jack Maguire

23. Self Coaching 101: Use Your Mind — Don’t Let it Use You by Brooke Castillo

24. Ongoingness: The End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso (2nd read)

25. Fugitive Blue by Dani Shapiro (Her 2nd novel. Out of print. Goal is to read her entire body of work this year)

26. Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat

27. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

28. Game of Thrones: A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin

29. Bird Box by Josh Malerman (Yes, i saw the movie and i loved it. i’m the kind of person that if i see a movie or show, love it, and find out its a book i want to read said book to get the real, deeper meaning the author was trying to get at. i’m excited about this one!)

That’s it for now!

i’ll update as i figure out more!

What’s on your 2019 reading list? Spill your reading tea in the comments below!

Love, light, and a year full of reading and thinking deeply,