Sunday, July 4, 2010

My 1 Year Blogoversary!

Today is my one year blogaversary! I didn't think I would make it (or ever reach more than 20 followers!) but I'm glad I proved myself wrong :) Also throughout this post I will alternate with blogoversary (which reminds me of Blago. If you live in Illinois you know what I'm talking about. *shudder*) and blogaversary.

I don't want to get ridiculously sappy but just know that your support and encouragement means the world to me. It really does. When I get the emails with comments on my posts or just an email saying that what I posted left an impact on someone or that I am 'awesome' (which I completely disagree with), tears have been known to well up in my eyes. It's just so mind boggling to me that people are actually reading what I have to say and they think it's GOOD. I always do my best, but I always worry that my best isn't good enough. You can read a thank you post I did that gives a shout out to those who have been with me from the beginning along with new friends I've met along the way. I wish I could meet all my readers/bloggers/followers, etc. in the real world.

If you want to learn more about me, read this interview I did with Edi at Crazy Quilts. Thank you for the interview Edi!

Some firsts

My first blog post/review of My Life As A Rhombus by Varian Johnson (I'm cringing as I link to this but it's only fair, feel free to laugh at the post but then you need to reassure me that I've gotten better, ok? haha)

My first blog name: young, black, a reader? Yup it was. I decided to change the name to be more inclusive. However I never changed the URL because I didn't want to be too much of a pain to the few followers I had at the time.

My first book sent to me for review: A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot, this book forever opened up the door to wonderful historical fiction. It also set the bar for self published book because it's fantastic. No self published book that I have read since has lived up to it, but I accept them because of AWAM. When I started my blog, I didn't know that many bloggers didn't accept self published books. I now understand why they wouldn't but since I want to promote books by/about POC, I do accept them (although I need to be more selective).

My first interview: Zetta Elliott (surprise, surprise. She's such a lovely person)

My first autographed book (it's a tie because I can't remember for sure): Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon and Gringolandia by Lyn Miller Lachmann

My first discussion post: The Lack of People of Color in Historical Fiction (catchy title eh?)

My first guest post: At Justine Larbalestier's blog. That guest post was the result in my gaining many many followers.

My first ARC: I don't remember. *sigh* I think it was 8th Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday Perkovich because she sent me two copies for a contest about six months before the book came out.

My first Male Monday post: Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher (I think I actually started that feature just to review the book, lol. But I'm so glad I've kept up with it).

My first review that I sent to the author: Mare's War by Tanita Davis. There is a funny story behind this. I really loved Mare's War and I wanted to share my review so I visited Tanita's blog after I emailed her my review. Her blog has changed now but at the time she had a blogroll of children's literature blogs. One that caught my eye was Color Online and theHappyNappyBookseller. I checked them both out, commented and the rest is history. Seriously. Tanita, susan and Doret replied to my comments and immediately visited my blog and gave me much needed advice. They spread the word which is how I met Edi and Colleen. They were my earliest supporters (along with Zetta, Jill and Shveta) and Reading in Color would not be what it is today were it not for them.

When I look back at my earliest reviews, I cringe. Therefore I've decided to re-review some of them. I'm not going to give them new ratings, but I do want to write more articulate reviews. Also for some of my earliest reviewed books, I didn't feature an Incredible Quote (IQ) and I want to fix that. They will be published throughout July. I will be re-reviewing My Life As A Rhombus, Whale Talk, A Wish After Midnight, Mare's War, Silver Phoenix and Gringolandia (not in that particular order). I'm partially doing this as an excuse to re-read them =) Through blogging I've learned a little more about racism, how the publishing industry works, how to write reviews (positive and negative) and the joy that comes from connecting with fellow book lovers. The world of book blogging is an amazing community and I'm so pleased to be a part of it.

I appreciate all the well wishes on behalf of my blogaversary. The very best thing you could do for me (not that you have to) that means more than simply 'happy blogoversary' would be for you to write a letter/email to Borders and/or Barnes and Noble and to buy a book about a POC. Let me know if you do.

I will also have a giveaway each week (unfortunately not all of them will be international). This week's giveaway is what I've dubbed the Whitewashing Pack. Heehee. I'm giving away a copy of Liar, Magic Under Glass and Silver Phoenix to three winners. One winner wins one book. Cindy Pon has graciously donated a Silver Phoenix bookmark and one of her own brush art cards (they are so gorgeous) of the winners choice to go with a copy of Silver Phoenix.


Open internationally, you MUST be a follower.

Ends: July 10, 2010

To all those in America, have a great Independence Day!

To all of you who read my blog, leave comments, email me and spread the word about my projects/posts,THANK YOU

To all of you who have donated books for me to give away in order to get more books by/about POC into the hands of more readers, THANK YOU.

To all of you who have sent me books either by emailing/commenting with recommendations or actually sending me books. THANK YOU.

To all of you who added me to your blogroll, THANK YOU.

Most importatnly, to all who Read in Color, THANK YOU so so much. As cliche as it sounds, you guys are making a difference.

PS Check out this site Bimbambim (awesome name!) which is for swapping books. It looks very easy to use and I'm thinking of trying it because I need more room so some books are going to have to go =/

PPSS For New Crayons this week I got The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (thank you Christina and Dominique!), Between Sisters by Adwoa Badoe, Payback by Rosemary Hayes (both from Lyn, thank you!) and Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy Duburke (ARC, thank you Lee & Low Books!). I will share more about these books next week since this post is already really long.

PPPSSS (last one, promise!) I did a guest post at Genre Reviews on LiveJournal. It's rather lengthy but I'd love to hear what you think. It's about what consumers, agents and writers can do to promote diversity in literature.


  1. Congradulations on coming so far with this blog!!! Your sucess is truly deserved!!!

  2. Happy blogiversary! I'm so happy that you're a blogger. You are definitely making a difference!

  3. Congrats! Your blog rocks.

  4. A very happy blogoversary. You're doing amazing things with this blog, and you're always a joy to read :)

  5. Loved your guest post, Ari! The issue of diversity not only in books, but in the publishing industry itself is HUGE. How to fix? Don't know, but I agree that raising awareness among students about publishing careers is a place to start.

    I'm a veterinarian in my day job, and this reminds me of discussions about why there are so few veterinarians of color. (Way fewer than in human med.) One reason I've heard is that awareness of vet med as a career is low among many kids of color. Another is that vet med doesn't pay nearly as much as human med, even though it requires just as much schooling (and just as much student debt.) There's a big push in the profession to address these concerns and recruit more POC.

    Still, a lot of students (white and POC) choose med school or law school instead of vet med, because the pay is higher. This is especially true when students have educational loans they have to pay back.

    Publishing careers often don't pay that much, which makes me wonder if that might turn students away, similar to vet med. This is where increased access to scholarships and grants might help a lot.

    Great post, with much, much food for thought.

    Congrats again on your blogoversary!

  6. Happy Happy Blogoversary! And yes, no blAgo - yuck, what a slime bucket!

    You've done so much in one year. The Blogoverse is infinitely richer with you in it!

  7. Great post! I love learning so much about the blogs and bloggers. Happy blogoversary; a year is impressive! Funny, Mare's War is one of the YA books I brought home this summer. Maybe I'll get to it sooner rather than later.

  8. Has it really been a year already?!? You're such an outstanding blogger, Ari--I absolutely rely on you to keep me up to date on new releases and issues involving PoC in publishing. I'm honored that you're re-reviewing Wish, and I know that you'll only continue to evolve as a reader, writer, and brilliant young woman. Thanks for all you do for readers and writers!

  9. Happy Blogaversary and congratulations on a great year! Your blog has already had such a huge impact--I don't think you mentioned that your open letter to the publishing industry made the national media.

    I'm also honored that you're reviewing Gringolandia again, and I can donate a signed copy for a drawing.

  10. Ari - Happy Blogoversary and thank you for blogging.

    The first time I saw your blog I was so freakin happy.

  11. Happy Blogoversary, Ari! You're doing such a great job with Reading in Color!!!

    Keep these posts (and rants) comin'! Hugs!

  12. Congratulations and many other good posts! You are doing really fine!

  13. You are awesome!! Can't believe you've only been doing this one year. We all love you and the work you do!!

  14. I feel as though I've known you for so much longer! :)

    Happy, Happy Blogaversary dear Ari! You know how highly I think of you, but it never hurts to say it again. (And again.)


  15. Happy Blogaversary! Wishing you even more success in year #2!

  16. CONGRATULATIONS! You are one of my absolute favorite blogs ever, and you deserve all the following you get. (:

  17. Happy Blogoversary! Your posts here are amazing, so hopefully there will be countless more blogoversaries to celebrate. :)

  18. Happy blogoversary luv and really only a year, your reviews have made such a huge presence on my TBR list it feels like you've been going for ages longer.

    Oh your guest post was great btw, you're always trying to be constructive. I just wanted to point you to the comments on this post: because I saw you got a comment about how if readers just supported the books surely everything would perk up. It may not be as simple as that, seems non-readers who can be converted to read one big push book(or people who read strictly the average amount of books which I think in the UK was something like 3 books a year)may have more influence than those of us who buy books every month. I don't think that's a cause for readers to stop buying in a way that we think will help shape a more diverse market, but I do think it's important that the limits of buyer power is seen, just as many have wanted to make clear the limits of author power, publisher power to buck the system. Everytime I think about all the things people say can't be done by authors, publishers, buyers I think of Zetta's success story and how her covers feature black children and teens. Although I know she has had such a hard route, the publication of 'Wish' by AmazonEncore with that cover shows that things can be done differently.

    Has gone on rant - once again 'Happy blogoversary to you!'.

  19. Thank you everyone for the well wishes! It truly means a lot to me and best of luck if you entered the giveaway :)

    I can't believe it's been a year either but hopefully this will be the first of many more celebrations!

    I'll reply to the longer comments/questions by email.

  20. Congratulations! You truly deserve it.I love your blog and the awareness you raise about teen books for poc.

  21. Happy 1st blogoversary girl! :D


I love to hear from you!! Thank you for sharing :) And don't be Anon, I try to always reply back and I like to know who I'm replying to ;)