Reading Challenge

“No black woman writer in this culture can write ‘too much’. Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much’…No woman has ever written enough” –Bell Hooks

Many people talk about the difference between men and women as writers. Some believe that the difference is apparent and others that it’s negligible. My reading career has been split pretty evenly between male and female writers. Over the past three years, I’ve read 108 books by women and 92 books by men along with several anthologies with authors of both sexes. But as a woman writer, I believe that I should encourage people to read women’s work, and so I’m issuing myself the following challenge for next year.

I will read around 75 books written by women writers only for a year and then I’ll follow that with a year of reading only male authors. There will be no restrictions in genre or time period of authorship (though if I need to read something for book research, I’ll still be reading it, regardless of the gender or sex of the author). I’ll be looking to see if there are any large differences between writers of different genders, or if that’s a myth we’ve accepted for a long time. I’ll be sharing the books I read on the blog by cooking from them, and I’ll share what I’m reading with just a sentence or two about the book (but I’ll also have a link to my reading challenge on Goodreads so you can read my more in depth book reviews).

I hope this encourages you to set your own reading challenge for 2015. It doesn’t have to concern gender. If you’re a British literature fan, try American for a year, or if you only read Americans and UK writers, try reading novels written outside these countries. Read books by authors of different ethnicities or on different subjects or in new genres. You may find out some surprising new things about yourself as a reader and a person by setting a goal outside your comfort zone. Or perhaps your goal will be a simple as setting a number of books to read and holding yourself to it. Share your challenges and your favorite books with me and together we can make 2015 all about reading.

Love any particular women writer? Share your favorite book written by a woman in the comments and I’ll try to include it during the year.

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