Reading Women

I’ve decided that for the near future I’m going to only read books by women. Over the last few years I’ve read several articles and blog posts that have discussed a similar intent or accomplishment and for a variety of reasons from political to personal, and usually for a specified period of time. I’m not sure why it’s gotten in my head to do something similar. I went through my books, both physical and electronic, and I have a fairly even split between men and women. The books I’ve read in the last six months have definitely leaned towards women authors. Perhaps it was the recent election and the disturbing misogynistic tone that prevailed throughout. Maybe it’s because I’ve realized that while I read plenty of women I haven’t really thought about who’s writing what I’ve been reading. I don’t really fully understand my intent, yet, but I seem intellectually and emotionally called to this excercise. So I shall proceed.

I shared this with one of my hard-core reader friends and she offered to set me off on the journey with some options. It’s an impressive list. First, she wrote:

Even if you’ve read them it doesn’t hurt to revisit Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte because we tend to have read them when we were young and really didn’t appreciate what’s going on. Austen didn’t write charming romances she wrote sharply satirical social comedies and I like Emma and Persuasion best. And Bronte’s Jane Eyre isn’t really a gothic romance, it is a feminist adventure.

…and continued with a long list that included Sybille Bedford, Willa Cather, Jessica Mitford, Claire Tomlin, Virginia Wolfe, Margery Allingham, Dorothy B. Hughes, among others. Many of the names were ones I did not recognize, so I already feel fortified for the journey ahead.

This is what I’ve picked for my first few:

    The American Way of Death, by Jessica Mitford
    The Magician’s Assistant, by Ann Patchett
    The Edge of the Light, by Elizabeth George
    Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë

I welcome other recommendatins, so feel free to pass some along!


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