Hour 12: A Whole New World (Challenge)

IT’S HOUR 12, Y’ALL. We’re a quarter of the way through this thing, and you 👏 are 👏killing 👏 it. 👏

This is a perfect opportunity to do some stretching, refill your snacks or-—you know—eat an actual meal if you’re into that, and drink some water while you crack those page-turning knuckles and get ready for our second challenge!

Before we dive in, here are the winners from the Hour 6 challenge:

Cassandra Wifert

Lindsay Knutson

Maria Angelis Rojas

Christina (christinastephaniereads)

Carla (simoes)

Chelsie Schadt

Simona

ingeveldkamp @leeskipje

Audrey Mattevi

Jana Eichhorn

Laura Cerone

Donia K

Kennedy Gelinas

Head on over to the prize page to stake your claim! And now, the second challenge:

One of the best things about reading, in general, is that it takes us outside of our own lives. Whether that’s through a cozy mystery, a fantastical adventure, or quiet poetry that reminds us of the beauty in the world, all those books on your shelves can help you do just about anything.

More specifically, we here at 24in48 HQ love books that open us up to the diverse experiences of humans the world over. Reading opens us up to truths, ways of thinking, and worldviews that we’d never have otherwise (particularly as three cisgender white ladies). And we’re always looking for more books to do just that.

For this challenge, share a book that has expanded your worldview or changed the way you look at something, whether it’s another culture, gender, race, a new concept, social justice issues…the possibilities are endless.

Here are ours:

Rachel: Homegoing by Yaa Ghasi wasn’t my first foray into “diverse” literature by any means. I’d been intentionally and consciously trying to expand my reading to find 

the cover of homegoing by yaa gyasi

Cover of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

 books and authors that didn’t look or sound or think like me for a while. But it was the first book I read that took my perception of the “American” experience and turned it on its head. It’s one thing to know academically about slavery and its impact on Black Americans; it’s something else entirely to be shown how generation after generation is damaged and scarred by the brutality forced upon vast swaths of people. It is also something else entirely to be reminded that America has never dealt with its abuse of slaves and its ongoing abuse of their descendants. The impact of Ghasi’s generational saga has never left me, and I am reminded of the story every time another abuse of Black Americans is in the news.

the cover of Salvage the bones by jesmyn ward

Cover of Salvage The Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Kerry: “It’s so hard to pick just one, but I’m going with Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. I’d read news coverage and nonfiction works about Katrina and many ways the system failed communities of color specifically in its aftermath, but Ward’s fiction brought the very human, very individualized world of the families most impacted by the storm’s path to light in ways that have stayed with me years after my initial read of the book.”

The cover of evicted by matthew desmond

Cover of Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Kristen: “I remember gasping, crying, and sitting in heartbroken sickness at various moments as Matthew Desmond shared stories of poverty-stricken Americans stuck in a system stacked against them in Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. It blew my understanding of poverty, the housing crisis, and welfare benefits wide open. Since reading it, I haven’t stopped thinking about what home means to people who are—over and over again—prevented from maintaining one.”

If you’re posting a photo of your entry on social media, don’t forget to use the official hashtag #24in48 so other readers can find you, and tag us so we can see! We’ll post the winners of this challenge in six hours (Hour 18), so make sure you check back to see if you won! You’ve also got 12 more hours to enter the Intro Survey

Reminder: This 24in48, we’re trying something new to get a geographic snapshot of all participants and log every book read over the weekend! Let us know where you’re reading from here, and track your books as you finish them here!

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24in48 With Intention: Focusing on Diversity

Over the past five years, our small corner of the bookternet has grown beyond anything we could have imagined. What started with Rachel and 5-10 friends on Twitter is now a sprawling, international, almost 2,000-reader strong biannual event.

I know, right?!

We love all of you, and we’re amazed and proud of how far we’ve come.

With that pride comes realization of the importance of our platform and the responsibility associated with it.

As the ‘thon has expanded internationally, it’s drawn our thon-specific attention and brainspace to the issue of representation and access, including everything from the books we post on social media to the ratio of U.S./Canada prizes to international ones.

The three of us are each dedicated to ensuring representation in our personal reading lives, and while that has naturally carried over into elements of the readathon, we’ve realized that we’re leaving a lot of intentionality on the table.

That’s why, this year, we’re making some changes both publicly and behind the scenes at #24in48.

Publishing is a notoriously white, privileged space filled with gatekeepers who don’t necessarily represent their readership, and we are not OK with carrying on that status quo when our #24in48 community has created this platform allowing us to not only be vocal about the necessity of industry change, but—hopefully—have a measurable impact.

Part of this effort means calling attention to what we’re doing, so we can be accountable for our actions—both when we hit and miss the mark.

We won’t get it right every time, but we’re sure as hell going to try.

What do these changes look like?

More representative book stacks. Actively seeking out titles to recommend that not only include/ represent/promote authors of color, but also LGBTQIA+, disabilities, neurodiversity, geographic diversity, and more. Including descriptions of our images on social media to facilitate accessibility. Encouraging publishers and supporters to consider these intentions when selecting and donating prizes.

We’ll have a few more surveys for you to fill out this year, including an anonymous survey to help us determine the regional distribution of our readership and a book log to show not only how many books are read over the weekend but also the diversity/inclusion statistics of those books.

There’s more to come, and we have more to learn.

Thank you for journeying with us this far; we hope we won’t let you down.

XOXO,

Rachel, Kristen, & Kerry