Hey! Are you a reader who appreciates diversity? Are you always looking to include more diverse representation to your reading lists? Are you willing to add more South-Asian books to your lists in 2020? Well then, THE SOUTH-ASIAN READING CHALLENGE 2020 [SARC2020] is meant for you! Let’s appreciate the desi representation in literature and read more South-Asian stories.
Why does this mean so much to me?
As one of the hosts for SARC 2020, I wanted to explain a little about why I’m so passionate about this challenge and why I jumped at the chance to take part in it all. As a South Asian myself, I’ve always wanted to read more SA stories and see myself represented in literature and whilst this wasn’t really around when I was growing up, I’m so happy that in recent years there has been a highlight and shift to more South Asian stories and characters being written in a variety of genres. This is not to say that these stories haven’t been written previously of course, but I think that in the past few years especially, writers of colour have been given more of a platform to showcase their talents and tell their nuanced and diverse stories.
How will I be contributing?
Since this is such a huge project and there are quite a few of us participating – I wanted to contribute in any way I could so I decided to work on written content as well as helping to manage the Twitter account. So definitely look out for my posts and keep up to date by following the twitter account. I’m excited to really get stuck in to this project and help highlight the abundance of brilliant South Asian literature out there!
What Counts and What Doesn’t Count?
The only goal to have in mind when taking up this challenge is to read more South-Asian books. That’s it. You can decide the milestones yourself, set numbers to encourage you, and scream with happiness when you reach them. All books are welcome! Whether it’s a backlist title or an Advanced Reading Copy; whether it’s a huge novel or a quick poetry collection; whether it’s your first read or a re-read, we simply want you to enjoy the South-Asian stories! However, you can only count the books you’ve started reading and finished reading in 2020. You can always contact us through our Twitter and Instagram profiles or in the comments section here if you wish to ask something.
What Regions are in South-Asia?
While there are many countries in Asia itself, South-Asia only has a handful and we would appreciate if the books read as part of this challenge are adhering to these regions in one way or the other. The author can be of these regions or the book can be set here, anything that includes these countries can be considered South-Asian.
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Maldives are the countries that make up South-Asia!
How To Take Up This Challenge?
- Shout to the world! Tell everyone you’re excited and ready to participate in the South-Asian Reading Challenge. This can be done through a social media profile like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads or through a blog post! All you need to do is create a spot where you can showcase your progress.
- Link back to this post so others who might be interested can join you in this challenge.
- Make a TBR of two books or two hundred and make it official: you wish to read them this year! Wohoooo!
- Start reading and share your progress: use the hashtag #SARC2020 on social media and make sure to leave your blog post links (if you wish to update your progress through those) in the comments below. We’re always happy to cheer everyone!
Feel free to use this logo or paste it on your blog to show your support for the South-Asian Reading Challenge!
We want this challenge to be fun and often times, we just don’t know what to pick up next. This list of monthly themes will help you draft your TBRs according to specific ideas, help you form a group so you can support and be supported by other readers on the basis of your TBRs that are fitting a particular theme, make you think less and read more.
A Hundred Book Recommendations
Reading can be subjective and you might end up not liking some of the books you pick up but we want you to shout your love for the ones you do end up giving your heart to. We wish to have at least 100 South-Asian book recommendations by the end of 2020 and you can help us by being a contributor. Here’s a form you can fill up every time you end up loving one of your reads and we’ll feature you in the master post as a contributor!
Books of the Month
Every month, we will be deciding one backlist desi title and one 2020 South-Asian release as our ‘books of the month’. This is for those who want to start slow this year and pick up only a book or two every month as a part of this challenge and even for those who wish to discuss some books with other readers and treat this challenge as a book club in disguise.
You can expect monthly newsletters from us which includes summing up all the book recommendations that went up that month, the books of the month, some blog posts by the participants themselves, etc. Of course, signing up for the newsletter is completely your choice but it can definitely be a great option with all the fun incentives like exclusive giveaways, author chats, and more!
Samaachar in Hindi means ‘News’ and that’s exactly what we wish to give you all biweekly through this feature. It includes two master posts every month: one would have all the publishing related news like book launches, cover reveals, release announcement of South-Asian books, while the other will flaunt some link-up posts, updates, interesting South-Asian literature related blog discussions, etc. The posts will be going up over at Fanna’s blog so please subscribe and follow to keep up to date!
Twitter Chats & Bookstagram Challenges
We have an excellent Twitter team who would love to hear all about the South-Asian books you read in a month, your experience reading South-Asian literature and other fun stuff. So make sure to follow SARC on Twitter @southasianrc for monthly Twitter chats and use the hashtag #SARC2020 on there!
Similarly, our Instagram page @southasianreadingchallenge is going to feature some amazing South-Asian bookstagrammers, readers, and authors along with pretty pictures so you should definitely follow it to stay updated. Not only this, we plan to repost pictures of some of our participants so make sure to use the hashtag #SARC2020 on there too! Also, we have Bookstagram challenges lined up every month for the enthusiastic readers who wish to support the South-Asian reading challenge by clicking some pictures.
Though we can’t give an exact date or dates for you all to mark, we can definitely assure you a SARC Readathon will take place and it will be all sorts of interesting with a bingo, prizes, and chats.
Finally, A Huge Thanks To YARC!
We’re happy to bring the South-Asian books to the table when it comes to specific reading challenges but we believe in appreciating the initiatives taken by other amazing members of this Asian readers’ community. Year of the Asian Reading Challenge that was started by Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea, CW @ The Quiet Pond, Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads and Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams in 2019 has been a huge inspiration for us and a huge propeller to emphasise more Asian books in reading lists. So here’s a huge shout-out to them!