Goals for 2017

January 5, 2017

For this year, I have decided not to participate in any reading challenges except for one, which I don’t even really consider a challenge since it’s what I planned to do anyway. Let’s call it a reading community, shall we?



What I like about the #MustReadin2017 Challenge is that it’s just a way for those of us who participate to remind ourselves that, yes, there are specific books we actually want to get as we read throughout the year. Also, I love that Carrie is all, “You probably won’t get to all of these books either, which is super cool.” Plus, only three check-ins! Since one of my personal goals for 2017 is to stop doing the absolute most, I dig it. I’m all about being super chill and laid back this year. (Okay, making an attempt at being super chill and laid back.)

One of the reading goals I set for myself after the presidential debate and then the election is to read more non-fiction–particularly more books about nasty women and bad hombres. I also want to read more fiction written for adults, especially fiction by black women, so I think you’ll see that reflected in my list.

So without further ado, here are the books I want to get to in 2017:


1. Black No More by George S. Schuyler

2. 1984 by George Orwell

3. The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves’ Civil War by David S. Cecelski

4. The Mother by Yvvette Edwards

5. Not a Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu by Yi Shun Lai

6. The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner

7. Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married by Nancy Rubin Stuart

8. Ida: A Sword Among Lions by Paula J. Giddings

9. Josephine Baker: The Hungry Heart by Jean-Claude Baker

10. The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refused to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan by Dahr Jamail

11. Rebel Without a Crew, or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker with $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player by Robert Rodriguez

12. The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

13. March: Book One by John Robert Lewis

14. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

15. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

16. Trade Me by Courtney Milan

17. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

18. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

19. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

20. Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge

21. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda

22. Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit

23. True Love: A Story of English Domestic Life by Sarah E. Farro

24. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


Another personal goal: stop taking so long to write blog posts. I mean, seriously. It’s a little embarrassing how long it took me to write this post.

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  1. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Oh man, Sorcerer to the Crown is a LOT of fun. The ending is one of the most satisfying endings I encountered all year. I would best describe it as “women getting shit done.” ALSO I remain v. excited for you to read King of Attolia, which is my favorite of the Queen’s Thief series (although all bets are off when the new one! comes out! in 2017!).

    • Akilah

      Good to know about Sorcerer to the Crown because I love a good ending. Also women getting shit done, obviously.

      I am so embarrassed (not really) about how long it’s taking me to make my way through the Queen’s Thief series. The books are all out there! I like the ones I’ve read!

  2. Kokoba Jewelry (@kokoba42)

    The Fifth Season is the best fantasy and/or apocalyptic and/or dystopia (it fits all three) book I’ve read in ages. Probably the best fantasy since Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and the best apocalyptic/dystopia I’ve read hands down. It can take a little while to adjust, but hoo boy is it worth it. Have fun with that one!

  3. Monica Reeds

    I absolutely loved Homegoing, The Fifth Season (Jemisin is one of my favorite authors), and Josephine. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did. I am actually starting Sorcerer to the Crown today. I had not heard of The King of Attolia, but I will be looking it up now. Good luck with your laid back challenge! I look forward to reading your reviews throughout the year.

  4. Ally Bean

    Your list is fascinating and I look forward to reading what you thought of each book. Sorcerer to the Crown needs to go on my list of books to get when next I go book shopping. I’m seeing it everywhere. As for taking a long time to write a post, I’m the same way. I write slowly, rather deliberately and formally, then have to go back to lighten things up. It takes me forever, and explains why I could never be a newspaper reporter. In the moment writing? Not for me.

    • Akilah

      Yeah, this post was a lot longer and then I also had to go back and lighten it up. That’s cool, though. Writing is a process. I mean, I tell my students that so I should remember that in my own writing.

  5. Brendon

    I really like this challenge too. You have some really awesome picks in there. Good luck with your challenge, although no pressure 🙂

  6. cweichel

    March and Homegoing are books I want to get to this year but didn’t make the short list. Sigh. There are just so many books!

  7. Elisabeth Ellington

    You have two of my favorites on this list: The King of Attolia (seriously on my top 10 books of all time list! Not that I actually have such a list, but if I did… I’d definitely have a place for that novel) and Sorcerer to the Crown, which was one of my two favorite books of 2015. I’m hoping to get the March trilogy finished this year. I totally spaced #MustReadin2017 so I’m glad I visited your blog today and saw this post! Now I’m off to figure out what I’m doing. Not that I EVER read the books on my list, but it’s awfully fun to make it!

    • Akilah

      You are the reason I want to read Sorcerer to the Crown! Also, it’s so funny that you don’t ever read the books on your list. Hahahaha.

      I wound up checking out a Grace Lin book that is NOT the one on my list today. So that sort of counts, I guess? Hahaha.

  8. carriegelson

    Love reading these varied lists! So pleased your joined our community!

    • Akilah

      So glad you have created/hosted it!

  9. crbrunelle

    I love the MustReadin…. community. Your goal to read more about nasty women and bad hombres is awesome. I may have to follow your lead. I still haven’t created my list for this year, but I’m going to work on that tonight. 🙂



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