Women Read Women Update

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At the end of March, I set myself a personal reading challenge. So, how have I done in my first month of trying?

Compared with the first three months of the year, when I wasn’t consciously trying, not brilliantly! I’ve managed two women authors, and three books. I read a total of 10 books last month.

Most of what I read last month was either for the March Madness challenge or for the 1001 Books group I’m a member of, and I think that had an effect on who I read books by. I chose to read mostly male authors.

One of the books I read was a recent debut, though, and a self-published work, which is something else I’m trying to explore more.

The other author I discovered was Nancy Mitford. I’ve wanted to read Love in a Cold Climate for years, but never found time to do it (too many new books being published, too many favourite authors’ works to devour). I enjoyed it so much that I read The Pursuit of Love straight after. As I have the Penguin complete works, I’ll be reading more Mitford in the future.

I was happy that my best friend took up the challenge and posted a request for recommendations on her Facebook page. Her friends suggested some interesting authors I hadn’t read before, so I’ve got books to look out for in the library now.

May is going to be better. I’ve got Zora Neale Hurston lined up for the 1001 Books group. I’ve got Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for the March Madness Challenge. I need to read Life After Life before I read A God in Ruins in June for the same challenge. Need makes it sound a chore. It won’t be, I love Kate Atkinson. I have Margaret Atwood’s Stone Mattress on loan from the library, too.

When I was searching for a picture to represent Women Read Women (which is what I call this challenge in my head), I found this list from Powell’s Books. There are also the books nominated for this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, and I have the winner of this year’s Stella Prize on pre-order, thanks to Weezelle’s recommendation.

One final thought: the book might have been written by a man, but A Constellation of Vital Phenomena had five wonderfully observed female characters in it. I thought I’d mention it because male writers often don’t know how to write women.

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11 thoughts on “Women Read Women Update

  1. You did well! I read two female authors last month, both books about/set in Sri Lanka.

    You’re in for a treat with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – which book will you read? I hope you like Life After Life too!

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    1. I’m reading Half of a Yellow Sun for the challenge. I’m excited! I have Americanah as well. I’m sure I will like Life After Life. I’ve only read her first novel, which I loved, but my sister has read her other stuff and keeps telling me to read more by her. Reading taste is one of the few things she and I have in common. It’s how I know she really is my sister…!

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      1. They’re the two books by her that I’ve read! I’m excited for you too! I haven’t read any other Kate Atkinson but need to get A God In Ruins soon, and investigate her other books. I’ve only ever heard good things about her writing.

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      2. Behind The Scenes At The Museum made me laugh out loud. Four of us in my immediate family read it and loved it. I’m itching to read Case Histories as well.

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  2. I’m surprised to see that I didn’t do very well at all! I read 21 books in April, but 16 were comic books or manga. Of the remaining five, only two were by women—Revenge, by Yoko Ogawa, and Notorious RBG, a biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. At least I did better with the comics/manga; ten were by female authors, and almost all the protagonists were strong women.

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      1. Mine keeps telling me to read that! I haven’t yet, but I’m planning to. I’ll be interested to see how you like it.

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      2. I’m looking forward to it. Westerns are one of my favourite genres when it comes to film. My father in law reads a lot of Westerns, and I keep meaning to read Zane Grey. I thought comics would be a good transition from film to novel format.

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      3. Ah, see, Westerns are one of my least favorite genres. 🙂 But Mike says it’s so good that I’ll like it in spite of that. If you like Westerns, you might also like Copperhead, by Jay Faerber—I just read it a couple weeks ago.

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