Scanning through my Twitter feed recently, I came across a Time.com message touting 35 Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime. List lover that I am, I dove in, eager to refresh my to-be-read pile.
Instead, I found the same old, same old: an overwhelmingly white and male list. It featured just three women authors — Harper Lee, Margaret Atwoood, L.M. Montgomery. Haruki Murakami and Alexandre Dumas the lone people of color.
Irritated, I replied: “I hope this is a first draft and you plan to do some soul searching about the bias you just put on blast.” I wrongly assumed that the whitewashed list, like so many others every year, was a sole author’s creation. Turns out, the real origin was more interesting. Time reprinted a Business Insider article summarizing a Reddit thread that asked, “What is a book that everyone needs to read at least once in their life?”
A. Reddit. Thread.