So I was attempting to get my act together on Goodreads when inspiration hit me. While I have shared with everyone my opinions on books I’ve read since starting the blog, I’ve read far too much in the years before it to go back and attempt to review them all now. At the same time, one of the things I’ve learned on my journey through feminism is that I have been one of those people who take my authors for granted. I spent years not paying attention to the diversity of authors that I’ve read.
On the outside, this doesn’t sound like a big deal. I didn’t “see gender” and there’s no way to ensure a diversity of race before every author had an author page or picture in their book. I read books that I enjoyed, why wouldn’t I just look for that? Well, if we aren’t venturing further outside our comfort zones, we’re going to come to a point where we read the same point of view over and over again. That’s what was happening to me. It seemed like all my protagonists for years were white males. Of course, most of my books were whatever my dad left lying around the house at the time. They were still the easiest to find for years. When I started wanting to read female protagonists that I could better identify with, finding a good series became harder to do. Or at least it felt that way, but that was well before I discovered Goodreads. There are men writing female protagonists out there nowadays too, but these aren’t exactly easier to find.
Anyway, this all prompted me to take a look back at the female authors I have read and share them with you. Some are already famous and have been for a while, but others have only published they’re debut novels.
Before the blog:
- Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights
- Margaret Mitchell – Gone with the Wind
- Anne McCaffrey – The Rowan series (4 books), and Powers That Be
- Kami Garcia – Caster Chronicles (4 books)
- Gloria Craw – Atlantis Rising
- Lauren Kate – Fallen series (4 books)
- Stephenie Meyer – Twilight series (4 books)
- Mary Shelley – Frankenstein
- Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games series (3 books)
- Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion
- Toni Morrison – Beloved
- Madeleine L’Engle – A Wrinkle in Time
So that’s 12 authors and 19 books that I read by women before I decided to do this blog. For a little perspective, there are about 114 fiction books in my read shelf, most of which I read before I started this blog in August. Of course, this is only of the books that I could readily remember having read, particularly those for school, as I have tried to block them out afterward.
Since the blog:
- Gail Carriger – The Finishing School series (4 books but I’ve only finished 3)
- Tahereh Mafi – Shatter Me series (3 books and 2 novellas)
- L.J. Smith – The Vampire Diaries series (4 books)
- Kate Chopin – The Awakening
- Ally Condie – Atlantia
- Paula Hawkins – The Girl on the Train
- Marissa Meyer – The Lunar Chronicles (4 books and 1 novella)
- Krista McGee – Anomaly
Almost as many authors and not quite as many books in six months while reading women on purpose compared to my entire life before that. I feel like I have a lot of making up to do. And no, it’s not an accident that Rowling is not on the list. I am just older enough than the group that grew up with her that I hadn’t wanted to read the books when they first came out, but I did enjoy the movies (okay, this was long after these came out too). I know, but I’ve been saving the read for when I can do it with my son who is getting close to that age.
Anyway, I’m not saying to not read men, but remember that women are good writers too and just may have published your next favorite series. If your in the market for the next series, I highly recommend the Lunar Chronicles or Shatter Me series above all others listed. Well, except Hunger Games, but if you haven’t read it yet, you probably already have a reason why you don’t want to.
Do you enjoy reading women’s novels? What’s your ratio?