The Year of Reading Women

On top of The List, and my IRL book club, and my 2015 reading goal, I’m taking on another challenge, starting today.

Charlie Stross’s blog has recently featured several guest posts by women sf writers (Judith Tarr, Nicola Griffith, and Linda Nagata, to be more specific) about the invisibility of women writing science fiction, among other things, including readers’ propensity to choose books by men above those by anybody else. A lot of other people are talking about this sort of thing right now, too. Perhaps you’ll recall that even I did, last July, and if there was ever a blogger with her finger on the pulse of things, it's me. The issue honestly has been on my mind ever since, although unconscious bias means that my reading this year has still been heavily weighted toward male writers. I plan to explore that further at the end of the year when I tally everything up.

A woman whose work I actually have read.
One of the commenters on Linda Nagata’s blog post proposed a challenge to read twelve new women writers over the course of the next year, beginning today: Mary Shelley’s birthday. Said commenter also registered a domain, although I’m not sure if there’s anything there yet. This struck me as an excellent challenge: doable, not necessarily a distraction from The List, and concrete enough that it’s possible to track. I'll post about each new writer as I read their books, but it won’t necessarily be a monthly thing.

I will add that while Nagata’s post is about women writing hard sf, I’m not going to restrict myself to any particular genre. God knows that I need more sf in my life, considering how voracious I am whenever a bit of it crosses my path, but time is an issue as usual. I’ll be reading sf, fantasy, historical, probably even some romance, and definitely some non-fiction.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some new-to-me women writers whose books I’d like to get to very soon:
  • Octavia Butler
  • Lyndall Gordon
  • Chantal Hébert
  • Naomi Klein
  • Laila Lalami
  • Ann Leckie
  • Flannery O’Connor
  • Sharon Kay Penman
  • Marilynne Robinson
  • Victoria Schwab
  • James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon)
  • Sarah Waters
  • Sheila Watt-Clouthier
  • Banana Yoshimoto
  • a whole bunch more
Also just a reminder that if you want to see what I’m reading in much closer to real-time than what ends up on this blog, my Goodreads profile is here. I rate books there when I finish them but I don’t post reviews.

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