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.