I love books. I inhale books on a daily basis. If books were drugs, I would be hooked up to a book intravenously…you get it.
Last year, I looked at all the books I read over recent years—yes, I keep lists—and most of the authors were men. Even the children’s books I borrowed at the library to improve my German were written by men or featured male protagonists. It was hard to find any story of a hero that wasn’t a white boy (unless it had to do with ponies).
That’s why I dedicated 2019 to women!
In January, one of my friends and I embarked on the Reading Women Challenge: read 24 books. The catch? There are 24 different categories and the author must be a woman. It was a great way to get me to explore new topics and authors. So far, I’ve read 18/24. During my search, I’ve discovered various female authors and have read them too (or added them to my to-read list).
Sources: Reading Women Podcast
There are many books out there written by wonderful authors that aren’t men; we just haven’t been talking about them as much.
Here’s a list of my current favourites:
- Little Women - Louisa May Alcott (1868)
- I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith (1948)
- Rubyfruit Jungle - Rita Mae Brown (1973)
- The Women’s Room - Marilyn French (1977)
- Le rouge vif de la rhubarbe - Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir (1998, French/original Icelandic)
- Eine Exklusive Liebe - Johanna Adorján (2009, German)
- A mind for numbers - Barbara Oakley (2014)
- Green Girl - Kate Zambreno (2014)
- Maybe in Another Life - Taylor Jenkins Reid (2015)
- Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own - Kate Bolick (2015)
- Shrill - Lindy West (2016)
- Lab Girl - Hope Jahren (2016)
- Eat, Sweat, Play - Anna Kessel (2016)
- We Are Okay - Nina LaCour (2017)
- Next Year for Sure - Zoey Leigh Peterson (2017)
- Educated - Tara Westover (2018)
- Motherhood - Sheila Heti (2018)
- Heart Berries - Terese Marie Mailhot (2018)
- My Sister, the Serial Killer - Oyinkan Braithwaite (2018)
- Convenience Store Woman - Sayaka Murata (2018, original Japanese)
- Unladylike: A Grrl’s Guide to Wrestling - Heather Bandenburg (2019)
What I love about this list is that each author is different from me. I’ve learned something valuable from each and every one of them.
I realize that this list comprises many white authors (a problem in our current society). But I’m actively searching for a more diverse set of books. Three of my upcoming reads are Grand Union by Zadie Smith, Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim. I even found this bookshop gem, InterKontinental, in Berlin. It’s the first bookstore specializing in African literature in Germany.
Want more? Ask me. I have many more recommendations up my sleeve. Let’s trade book recommendations. #EvulvingBooks