Also.Also.Also: Challenge Yourself to Read 25 Books by a Black Woman This Year

Tonight is the Golden Globes — hosted by Jerrod Charmichael, c’mon Black gays — so it’s time to do this little linky link round up, so that I can close out of work and engage in my favorite time-honored awards season activity:

A gif of Issa Rae at the 2017 Emmys red carpet saying "I'm rooting for everyone Black"

Said what I said.

Saw This, Thought of You

I’m seriously thinking about taking this challenge! The goal of the Free Black Women’s Library Challenge is to read 25 books written by Black women and/or Black nonbinary writers by December 31st, 2023. There’s a variety of categories that you’re supposed to read from, including science-fiction, queer books, books written by an author from the Caribbean, books that deal with disability or neurodivergence, books written by activists, books that take place in your hometown, and a lot more. I found it insomnia scrolling (New Year’s habits be damned) and I haven’t been able to put it down.

I hope that someone seeing this can’t put it down, either.

Consider Drugs and Surgery Early for Obesity in Kids, New Guidelines Say: “Waiting Doesn’t Work.” As a former fat kid who grew up to be a fat adult, THIS MAKES ME SO ANGRY — THERE ARE NOT WORDS FOR HOW ANGRY IT MAKES ME (we have something about it coming up in the works, be on the lookout later this month!)

NWSL Issues Lifetime Bans to Coaches at Center of Abuse Reports. “Paul Riley, Christy Holly, Rory Dames and Richie Burke have been barred permanently, and the league also issued further fines and suspensions.”

The Hottest Gen Z Gadget Is a 20-Year-Old Digital Camera. This sent a lot of us in the Autostraddle Slack looking for our old digital point-and-shoot photos! I found mine from college and immediately closed them out, because they’re all “straight” and painful. Nico pointed out that the quality on those 00s digital cameras was not great, and friends… they are not wrong! But I’m still a little bummed I got rid of mine along the way.

Queer as in F*ck You

Featuring Autostraddle’s own Meg Jones Wall and friend of Autostraddle Jenna Kadlec, being happy gay and in love in the New York Times 💕 How an Astrologer Spends Her Sundays

Want to Understand LGBTQ Life in America? Go to Alabama. Laneia would like you to know that “the assistant director of magic city acceptance center — Lauren Jacobs — used to write for us!” (speaking of Autostraddle connections!) (Also.Also.Also! I hope you read this because it’s important and the way that far too many gays in big Northern cities write off the South is extremely not OK with me)

Some Trans People Are Preparing to Flee the US and Seek Asylum Abroad.”All you need to do is look at the news and see how bad it’s going to get.”

DeSantis Moves to Turn a Progressive Fla. College Into a Conservative One — if you remember X González’s essay in The Cut from last week, you’ll remember how transformational New College was for them, and of course one week later… we get this news.

Some news from England, Census Data Reveals LGBT+ Populations for First Time

Political Snacks

What Banning Noncompetes Could Mean for the US Workforce. “Lina Khan’s FTC wants to change how we think about anti-competitive behavior.”

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Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 715 articles for us.


  1. when i saw the headline about the obesity guidelines i was overcome with such instantaneous rage that my vision greyed out. obesity in of itself is NOT unhealthy!! and giving literal, actual children surgery or medication to treat a thing that is simply the way many bodies exist is horrifying!

    also what a double standard from the right? if a trans kid wants blockers or surgery they’re too young to know what’s good for them, or they’re desecrating god’s gift, but fat kids? fuck fat kids

    ALSO ALSO ALSO i would like to state for the record that one of the reasons that i was able to make peace with my fatness despite Everything The Media Says is that my family doctor as a kid never stigmatized weight or implied that fatness caused my health problems

  2. There are some 20 year old point & shoots that offer decent quality even by today’s standards as they were using larger sensor(even when compared to some higher end modern phones like the iPhone 12 regular or Pixel 6a).

  3. I love the reading challenge! It made me curious so I went back and counted and in 2022 I read 18 books by black women and nonbinary people. I think it’s doable for me to up that to 25 this year!
    Two that I loved especially last year were Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid and Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in case anyone wants a rec for the “Caribbean author” or “book that explores death/grief/afterlife” categories :)

  4. Added the reading challenge to my StoryGraph. I’m ignoring the fact that I didn’t successfully complete either of my challenges last year (I still probably read more than I would have without them)

  5. i don’t have space in my brain to track my reading but very into this reading challenge! . . . after college i decided to just read 0 books by white people for a while, and focus on books by Black and Indigenous women, to balance out my first decades of life being so many books by white ppl. now i read 2-5 books/yr by white ppl. my life, mind, heart, and imagination are all SO MUCH IMPROVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED. highly highly highly recommend.

    • i guess i should clarify i read at least 50 books/yr probably more, i don’t count them. MANY THANKS to everyone pushing for more BIPOC YA books who have made this possible for meeee. And support the HarperCollins Strike yall so we all can have more books by BIPOC!!!!

  6. I am inspired by the reading challenge! I am surprised/disappointed that I only read 3 books (out of about 50) by Black women last year. I have another 3 in my to-be-read pile, so that will be a good starting place for me.

  7. May I recommend “And Other Mistakes” by Erika Turner?

    My amazing friend Erika is an author and editor and she has a new GAYYY Black YA book, And Other Mistakes, coming out on February 14, 2023. I was lucky enough to preview a copy and it is objectively an amazingggg book and I just wish I had had more books like this available to me as a queer-questioning kid/YA.

    Pre-orders help the author a lot so if you can, pre-order it!

  8. Oh rad, thanks for sharing this reading challenge, Carmen! In 2022 I decided to pretty much read books by women, and in 2023 I’m aiming to take in a lot more speculative fiction by black people, indigenous people, and people of colour. This definitely seems like a neat goal to fold into that!

    Right now I’ve just finished Octavia E Butler’s Parables of the Talents (bleak/uplifting/harrowing/hopeful – my kind of post-apocalyptic fiction) and as a bit of a brain cleanser am reading (as per AS recommendation!) Take A Hint, Dani Brown, by Talia Hibbert.

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