Friday, 25 March 2016

Reading Challenge: Read only female authors for a year Part 1/?

I'd heard of this challenge before and I'd never really considered having the time for it until a last month.

I was reading some Jane Austen books I'd never actually read all the way through before and was enjoying them immensely (who wouldn't? they're hilarious!) and it occurred to me that since New Year's Eve, up until that point (late February?) I had only read books by a female author.

I WAS ALREADY 2 MONTHS IN! And I'd read 7 books by female authors! (Ok, 5 of them were a series by the same one and I'd already read 4 of them before, but so what?)

So I made more of conscious effort to do so. Which I guess means that one book I bought ages ago won't be read this year....

Now, technically, you're meant to read only new books by female authors? But I'm a teacher. I do not get to read a lot. I do not get a lot of time to do anything I like a lot. I love reading.
I've been deliberately trying to carve out more "Me Time" for myself this half term, because it is all getting to me a bit. And reading is what I'm doing. So if I end up re-reading books I love and have read more than once, so be it!

So far, I have read:

  • The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries - Emma Thompson*
  • Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen*
  • The Otori Trilogy, The Harsh Cry of the Heron and Heaven's Net is Wide* - Lian Hearn
  • Emma - Jane Austen*
  • Shadow Scale - Rachel Hartman*
  • The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley
  • Volumes 1 - 7 of My Love Story!  - a Manga by Kazune Kawahara*
  • Anya's Ghost - Vera Brosgol*

*All new books I've read.

...huh. Actually, I've managed to read quite a lot of new ones.  I've started re-reading "Kitchen" by Banana Yoshimoto and "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberg.

I dunno. I do find after reading utterly amazing ones that have gripped me so that I really had to wrench myself away to continue with trivial things like my job or living, I have to go for short stories or what I call "my gorgeous trash pile". I'm not saying that The Devil Wears Prada is trash by any means. All books have a place on my shelf. (Except for The Far Pavilions. That is just TOO LONG. It should have ended over 300 pages earlier. It's the only book I actually gave up on.)  I just mean it's my easy read. It's simple. It's got a few themes in it that are interesting but otherwise it's not really what I tend to go for? It's my Brain Holiday book.  I actually much prefer Everyone Worth Knowing, (same author) because it much more closely follows the RomCom formula and is much more predictable.  Also because the people in it are nicer!

We all have films we default to when we're in the slouch-on-the-couch-with-ice-cream-or-a-giant-packet-of-doritos-and-a-fizzy-drink mood, so I refuse to ignore the fact that I have some books I have bought simply because they are easy and formulaic and you got a pretty good idea of the entire plot from the blurb and review quotes on the cover. I am not a book snob, no more than I am a t.v. snob. Dammit, I need those shitty soaps to give me something to escape to for a very short time and then I can laugh, gasp or cry at some actors who clearly are good and I hope want to be there and enjoy some convoluted (Looking at you, Once Upon A Time) storylines.

So I'm currently going through Brain Fart period, where I've over-done it like an addict who's fallen off the wagon. Also it's end of a very very very very short half term and we are all cream crackered having tried to shove 7 weeks of learning into 4.

This Easter the majority of my reading time will be children's workbooks across a whole range of topics so I doubt I'll be adding many more to the list.

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