Reading Women

I don’t make new year’s resolutions, more just a list of ‘shit I’m going to do this year’ generally based on my successes of failings of last year.

Last year I read 14 books by women (out of a total of 46 books read). 14!  FOURTEEN! This is really not good enough.  Why do I read so many books by men?  Do I deliberately seek them out?  Do women not write the genres I read? Are more books published by men than women?  I’ve thought about all these questions and more over the last few months.

I don’t have a particular genre I read and tend to pick books based on recommendations from both online and offline friends as well as new publications from authors I’ve read previously.  Perhaps I am unwittingly reading more men than women, who knows.  Whatever the reason I decided that in 2016 I would make more of an effort to read fiction written by women.

But I don’t just want to read modern fiction, I don’t think I’ve made much effort in the past to read from the full history of female writers so I want to go back and read as widely as I can.

I don’t intend to read only female writers this year, but I hope I can start to force myself to look more closely at why I choose a particular book and expand my knowledge of the great writing done by the women of the world.

Lots of people have recommended books to me that cover the history of novels published by women. I’ve added the list below for you all to have a look at and see if there are any you want to add to you to-read pile.

Aphra Behn – Oroonoko (1688)
Jane Barker – Love Intrigues (1713)
Clara Reeve – The Old English Baron: a Gothic Story (1777)
Ann Radcliffe – A Sicilian Romance (1790)
Mary Hays – Memoirs of Emma Courtney (1796)
Charlotte Dacre – Zofloya: or The Moor (1806)
Lady Caroline Lamb – Glenarvon (1816)
Mary J Shelley – Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus (1818)
Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights (1847)
Anne Brontë – The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
Elizabeth Gaskell – The Moorland Cottage (1850)
Charlotte Bronte – Villette (1853)
George Eliot – The Mill on the Floss (1860)
Ellen Wood – East Lynne (1861)
Mary Elizabeth Braddon – Lady Audley’s Secret (1862)
Edith Ellis – Seaweed (1898)
Mary Cholmondeley – Red Pottage (1899)
Elinor Glyn – Beyond the Rocks (1906)
Marie Corelli – The Secret Power: A Romance Of The Time (1921)
Katherine Mansfield – The garden party : and other stories (1922)
Virginia Woolf – Mrs. Dalloway (1925)
Radclyffe Hall – The Well of Loneliness (1928)
Rosamond Lehmann – Invitation to the waltz (1932)
Daphne du Maurier – Rebecca (1938)
Ivy Compton-Burnett – Manservant and Maidservant (1947)
Barbara Pym – Excellent Women (1952)
Dorothy Whipple – Someone at a Distance (1953)
Elizabeth Taylor – The Soul of Kindness (1964)
Flannery O’Connor – A good man is hard to find, and other stories (1968)
Susan Hill – The Woman in Black (1983)
Angela Carter – Nights At The Circus (1984)
Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale (1986)
A. S. Byatt – Possession (1990)
Jeanette Winterson – Written on the Body (1993)
Amy Tan – The Hundred Secret Senses (1995)
Charlotte Roche – Wetlands (2003)
A. M. Homes – This book will save your life (2008)
Kristin Cashore – Graceling (2009)
Evie Wyld – All the birds, singing (2013)
Joanne M Harris – The Gospel of Loki (2014)
Louise O’Neill – Asking for it (2015)
Kirsty Logan – The Gracekeepers (2015)
Juno Dawson – Under My Skin (2015)
Melinda Salisbury – The Sleeping Prince (2016)

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