This month is an exciting time of year – it’s Women’s History Month! Women have made some amazing contributions to history, not just in the US, where I live, but all across the world. Take this infographic for example:
Of course this leaves out dozens of influential and trailblazing women. But I have to say, I love that one of them is a pirate. I absolutely love reading about pirates.
This really made me start thinking about a reading challenge I read about recently. I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now, especially if you’re on Twitter. Author K.T. Bradford posed an interesting — and, on the surface, difficult — reading challenge to readers at XO Jane: stop reading straight, white, cis, male authors for one year.
Hm. I like this! I really like this challenge a lot. I’ve recently been pushing myself out of my own comfort zone, and in a way I suppose I had already started on this challenge before she posted it, because I somehow came to realize that I did not read nearly enough female writers. But I could do better. For example, I find myself not reading many works by POC, which is not intentional but it is something I would like to change.
So I challenge you to join me in the quest to expand my literary horizons. Let’s encourage one another to discover new voices and new perspectives that we unwittingly exclude from our bookshelves. If you’d like to take the challenge with me, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to get recommendations, as well, even — and especially — if you’ve written a book that fits the challenge.
Here’s an incredibly helpful list of books you can start with, all of which look very interesting and none of which I have read already.
Additionally, here is a list of books that I have personally read in the last year which fit the parameters of this reading challenge, not to mention which are among some of my favorite books (most of them are, at least). It’s been awhile since I posted a book review, but if you’d like to read my review of any of these books, toss a request in the comments!
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
- Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, edited by Rose Fox
- The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley
- All The Birds, Singing, Evie Wyld
- The Butterfly’s Daughter, Mary Alice Monroe
- Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult
- The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, Deborah Blum
- Maplecroft, Cherie Priest
- Servants of the Storm, Delilah S. Dawson
- The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
- The Summer Girls, Mary Alice Monroe
So, what about you? Are you planning to join me? Do you have any recommendations for me? Leave a comment and let’s get started!
Go out and do something awesome.