The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

Want to #ReadFewerWhiteDudes with me?

It's nearly 2017, dear ones!

I have spent 2016 doing a fair amount of reading, and 2017 shall be no different. As I have made my custom the last few years, I shall endeavor to read 29 books, as I will turn 29 in 2017. 

In 2016, I committed to only reading books written by women. This was so excellent and I am having a really wonderful literary year. Inasmuch as I might like to keep this up as a life goal, there were some very exciting things written by men in 2016 (and earlier, I suppose) that I'd actually like to enjoy. Fortunately, the good people at Where Are You Press have blessed me with an accurate life reading goal: Read Fewer White Dudes.


So that's what's up. I shall read fewer dudes, and the dudes I shall read shall probably not be white dudes, or a white dude who writes a book with a not-white/not-dude-identified person. You get the picture.

I have noticed in the last few years of setting reading intentions, that I have woefully lacked authors of Asian descent. In high school and college, I read a ton of fiction by Middle Eastern authors, a few Indian authors, and Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Somewhere along the line, that dwindled. In the last two years I have greatly increased my familiarity with African, African-American, and African-British authors. This shall not change. But it is time to diversify further! (Shout out to my personal librarian Dory for recommending a zillion Asian and Asian-American [Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Afghani, Pacific Islander, Japanese] faves in anticipation of 2017.)

Last year, I participated in the Bustle Reads challenge, with the added bonus of only reading books that satisfied those prompts AND were written by women. I also read a handful of books that had nothing to do with the list. Somewhere in the middle of last year, I learned about Book Riot (where have I been?) and that they also do a challenge called Read Harder. I'm switching allegiances!

This year, I have concocted my own reading challenge based on the 2017 Read Harder challenge, my life goal of reading fewer white dudes, and my understanding that part of my participation in our political resistance will be via reading. 

There are, therefore, three hashtags: #ReadHarder, #ReadFewerWhiteDudes, and #ReadTheResistance. Books that I read will fall under at least one of these categories. When I share my completed books, I also include the hashtag #bookcasey, so that I can look at all of them at once when I'm trying to remember what it was that I read whatever months ago. 

If you are interested in what I intend to read, my 2017 reading concoction is in this Google doc. If you would like to read along with me, go for it! The order in which I will read the books is not super set, so I'm not a very orderly reading partner. But some (like the ones that are related to history months) are clear.

I am not really on the lookout for additional reading for this year, since this list is pretty full as it stands. But of course book recommendations are my love language so you are always welcome to tell me about something wonderful you read that you think will make me a better me. Maybe I'll squeeze it in. :)

So! What are you reading this year?

New Year, New You — A Sermon on the Baptism of Our Lord

Listen, I Will Tell You A Mystery--A Sermon on Death and Hamilton