Reading Women Challenge 2019: TBR & thoughts


In 2018 I have been loving The Reading Women Podcast, a literary podcast run by two women discussing books by and about women. I noticed that the best books I read in 2018 are all written by women – which is amazing! This year I definitely want to read more women writers, and so I decided, why not join in on their reading challenge in the beginning of this year!

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So here is the Reading Women Challenge list.

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Let’s talk about the challenges that I might struggle to tick off:

#1. Mystery/thriller by a WOCThe Hole by Hye-Young Pyun; Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

#2. Woman with a mental illness Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is top on my TBR but I think I’ll stumble into a lot of characters with mental illnesses in my other random reads that might fit the pick as well.

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#3. Author from Nigeria or New Zealand – I have never read a book by anyone from New Zealand, but I am definitely willing to give it a try! I did however, read and loved Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo, who is Nigerian and the book is also set in Nigeria. My top picks include The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (NZ) or anything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (N)

#4. About or set in Appalachia – I know close to nothing about US geography, so this sounds like just a random word to me. I’m pretty sure Little Fires Everywhere, set in Cleveland Ohio, is considered this one, but I’ve read that one so I’ll definitely need to look more into detail about books set here.

#5. Children’s book – I’ve been planning to reread Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in audio format this year.

#6. Multi-gen family saga – definitely excited to either try Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver which also counts for prompt #4.

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#7. Featuring a woman in science – my top picks are The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot; Lab Girl by Hope Jahren which I DNF-ed a couple of years ago.

#8. A play – honestly I am not a huge fan of Shakespeare cause I just don’t like the style of a play and reading a play, but I might give other plays another shot if there is an interesting one by a woman that I stumble upon. From the Goodreads group I got lots of info, some of them like A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Daney and The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler which I both have in ebook format.

#9. A novella – I’m sure a really short book Imaginary City by Rain Chudori which I’m currently reading counts for this prompt.

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#10. About a woman athlete – haven’t really found anything that peaks my interest for this prompt, maybe a memoir of an athlete would really be interesting to pick up.

#11. Featuring a religion other than your ownA Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is the top of my list and the only one I can think of, which I already have in queue from my library and also will fit prompt #17.

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#12. Lamda Literary Award winner – this is the first time I’ve heard of this award, but it sounds amazing. Hunger by Roxanne Gay is the top on my list from this prompt which I already bought in Audible!

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#13. A myth retelling – I adore Madeline Miller so Circe which has had a lot praise is on top of my list.

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#14. A translated book published before 1945 – old, and translated? Interesting! Definitely will need to take more effort to find these books. This list is a very enlightening one, but I haven’t had the time to research it much.

#15. Written by a South Asian author – my picks are The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai or The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, both from India.

#16. By an indigenous woman – I’m eager to check out indigenous women from various places, including Australia and Canada which might be very interesting. No particular titles are in my list yet, though.

#17. From 2018 Reading Women shortlist – like I mentioned, A Place for Us is a definite read for me.

#18. Romance or love story – I’m not a huge fan of romance but I feel like Imaginary City is a very clear love story that will fit this prompt.

#19. About nature – I looove nature and have been meaning to read Jane Gooddall (either her own books In the Shadow of Man or My Life with the Chimpanzees or any of the biographies) for a while. Additionally Lab Girl which is also in a previous prompt is high in my list.

#20. Historical fiction book – one of my TBRs for this year is The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey and Kindred by Octavia Butler.

#21. Book bought/borrowed in 2019 – all my library books will be the perfect fit for this, which I’m not very worried about cause I know I’ll borrow a lot of books from the library this year.

#22. Book you got because of the cover – one of my top picks and also a book I’m super excited to read is Conversation with Friends by Sally Rooney. The edition I have is such a unique cover!

#23. Any book from a series – I’m planning on finishing Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy. I have yet to read the last book of the trilogy, Assassin’s Quest.

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#24. YA book by a WOC – honestly I’m not a huge fan of reading YA anymore and I do not want to force myself to buy/read something I’m not loving. We’ll see how this one goes.

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Well, this is going to be a fun year indeed! I’m all about pushing myself to discover more authors, especially women and women of color authors. It’s definitely going to be constant on the back of my mind as I am selecting next books to read, or books I will buy. But I’m super excited with what I will read in 2019, and hopefully this challenge will push me more to read more diversely.

What books in your 2019 TBR will fit this challenge’s prompts? Will you be joining on this challenge as well? Let’s talk in the comments down below!

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23 thoughts on “Reading Women Challenge 2019: TBR & thoughts

  1. I haven’t heard of the podcast, I need to check it out. They have some great prompts in that challenge, though! I loved The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and especially Hunger, it was amazing. Lab Girl is also on my reading list too. Will be interested to see your thoughts and good luck/have fun with the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t listen to podcasts but I watch Kendra’s booktube channel and she’s great, so I’m also thinking of doing this challenge… but we’ll see! So interesting to see which books you’ve picked, I see a lot of faves that I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on (Pachinko!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely love this post. You bring up so many awesome books! The Luminaries, Circe, and Pachinko are all on my TBR and I really can’t wait to get to them. Another diverse multi-gen story is The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Oh, and you REALLY need to read Americanah. Adichie is such a great writer and Americanah is a true masterpiece. Happy readings year-round!

    Liked by 1 person

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