So with all of the “10 books that blew your mind” lists happening on Facebook, I decided to do my own. And then I did a list on this blog that went far beyond the ten I had on Facebook. After looking over my lists, I noticed that I’m pretty weak on reading women novelists. It’s not that I don’t read women novelists at all–and I’ve never actively tried not to read a novel because of the author’s gender–but the scales are way out of balance. I’ve read many women short story writers and poets, but those are different onions, so to speak. So, in 2014, I’m going to change it up.
Last year was my year of Camus. I decided to read all of the fiction he published in his lifetime. Turns out, it wasn’t that difficult. Only four books. For this coming year, I’ve already decided that I’m going to read Thornton Wilder’s novels (along with his new biography, by Penelope Niven) and I have a few other books that I’ve been dying to read that are by men, but I’m also committing to myself to read at least twenty novels by women. Many of these novels I already own but just have never read. Who knows, maybe I’ll read more than twenty. I’m also not counting short stories–so for instance, if I read an Alice Munro collection, that won’t count in my at-least-twenty-novels-by-women “count.” Poetry won’t count either. Just novels. Below, I’ve attached a photo of the novels that will start the year.
Also, while I’m at it, I’ll also try to read a few more women novelists this year. I have several weeks. I’ve just finished Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. And now I’m reading Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers. If there is a book you think I should add to my list, please let me know. And now…onward into the reading.