Reading Challenge 2019 is ready! I’m finally doing something this year that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time: 2019 will be the year of women writers! All the books I’m going to read for this reading challenge will be by women writers. Take a look at your library. You will realise that male writers are much more numerous than female writers. It is the same in my library. But we are not doing this with awareness; it is not something we want to do. It just is. To equalise the situation, I would like to discover exquisite women writers this year and let them enchant me, one by one.
I remember reading Flannery O’Connor, Joan Didion, Patti Smith, Virginia Woolf, A.S. Byatt and many other women writers for the first time. I fell in love with their voices and admired their differences. Now I would like to thank women writers by doing the best thing I can do; reading at least twenty books and sharing them with those who are listening. Oh and we must never forget that we cannot be ‘well read’ without reading women.
I don’t want to put any restrictions on Reading Challenge 2019, but I’ll have a few suggestions to move our reading experience to a higher level. Join me if you want, or do whatever you feel like doing. Just remember to read at least 20 women writers.
- Let’s choose different writers for each book. The more different sounds we hear, the richer we get.
- Let’s try to choose at least five books by living women writers; let them know we are here, and we are reading.
- If we can, let’s consider that the translators of foreign authors’ books are women. Let’s support their contribution to literature as well.
Reading Challenge 2019
The Year of Reading Women Writers
1. A book by a Turkish author (other than Elif Shafak!)
Noontime in Yenisehir – Sevgi Soysal
2. A non-fiction book
At the Existentialist Café – Sarah Bakewell
3. A book with a plant on the cover
Remarkable Plants That Shape Our World – Helen Bynum, William Bynum
4. A book with at least 800 pages
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
5. A biography
Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story – Bernadette Murphy
6. A book with a place name in the title
In Montmartre – Sue Roe
7. A foreign author’s book that you have not read before
Unlearning with Hannah Arendt – Marie Luise Knott
8. A narrative or an essay
On Cats – Doris Lessing
9. An Iranian author’s book
The Cypress Tree – Kamin Mohammadi
10. A short story book
Love in a Fallen City – Eileen Chang
11. A book with a first name in the title
Malina – Ingeborg Bachmann
12. A book with a face on the cover
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
13. A children’s book
Pax – Sara Pennypacker
14. A book with a maximum of 150 pages
A Very Easy Death – Simone de Beauvoir
15. A book from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list
Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
16. A book from a country where you have not read any authors
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows – Balli Kaur Jaswal
17. A book recommended to you
White Teeth – Zadie Smith
18. A book that has been waiting to be read for years
Asleep – Banana Yoshimoto
19. A book you bought in the last six months
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life – Barbara Kingsolver
Heat Wave – Penelope Lively
20. A book of an author who is at least 70 years old
The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
You can download the high-resolution version of the image HERE. Please do not forget to share your choices with me. I’m curious about the writers you’ve chosen for this project. Enjoy!