Women Read Women Update 7

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At the end of March, I set myself a personal reading challenge. So, how did I do in October?

October was a strange reading month. I decided I was only going to read books by women, to see whether that helped adjust the balance of male and female authors on my LibraryThing stats. I think I’m feeling frustrated by the way those stats barely shift from 65% male 35% female, no matter how many books by women I seek out.

I’m also starting to feel hemmed in by my self imposed goal. There are lots of male authors whose work I love and I feel as though I’m throwing them over on some spurious point making exercise. I am expanding my reading experience, finding new to me women writers, but at times I feel as though I’m reading them because I should, not because I really want to. It feels like school in a way.

Anyway, October was strange because I was on holiday for half of it and it has definitely affected my reading mojo. I seem to have broken my chain reading habit. The book I’m currently reading I should have finished in three or four days, but it’s been over a week and I’m only three quarters of the way through. There have been days in the past week when I’ve only managed 30 minutes’ reading in total the entire day.

I’m curious as to whether this represents some kind of shift, or whether it’s just this particular book not fully grabbing my attention. We shall see.

My tally for the month was six books, and all of them by women. Four were by women I’d never read before. One was a debut, published by a local publishing house that I discovered thanks to last winter’s reading challenge on The Reader’s Room blog. Two were outstanding. Written On The Body blew me away, and Patti Smith’s memoir about life in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe was fascinating.

I’ve knocked a few off my TBR, but then had a birthday and got 6 new books to replace them with.

October has been a month of losing battles.

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