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My Year of Reading Women


AbeBooks: My Year of Reading Women

In 2014 writer Joanna Walsh launched a project called The Year of Reading Women. The movement was largely about raising awareness in the book industry and encouraged publishers, distributors, and promoters to pull women writers into the spotlight so readers like you and I could better discover them. Looking back on my 2016 reading list, I’d say that Walsh nailed it.

At the time Walsh was making waves, I was in a reading rut. Books gathered dust on my nightstand as Netflix streamed on a continual loop. At the end of 2015 I put down the remote and vowed to read again. Like, really, really read.

Let it be known that I never pick a book based on its author’s gender. I typically select books based on press – I like contemporary fiction so I tend to select new releases in literature, and if a new book is receiving a lot of media attention I’ll probably pick it up. So when time came to build my 2016 reading list I did what I always do – I turned to the internet.

The first book I read in 2016 was Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. That was followed by The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah… Funny enough, it wasn’t until I was on book 13 that I noticed the unintentional trend – every single book I’d read since January 1st, 2016 was written by a female author. I decided to keep the trend going and by December 31st I will have finished All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, thus completing an entire year of reading women.

Thank you, Joanna!

The books from my year of reading women

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Station Eleven by Emily St. Mandel

As Close to Us as Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Girl at War by Sara Novic

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

The Girls by Emma Cline

All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

My favorite read of the year? It has to be Station Eleven, but honorable mention goes to As Close to Us as Breathing, Homegoing and Fates and Furies. Honestly, there isn’t one on this list that I wouldn’t recommend.

What was the best book you read in 2016?

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