2015: my year of reading women

With gender equality on the rise and features like Dive into Diversity + We Need Diverse Books making a splash in the blogosphere I shouldn’t be at all surprised that my reading has been affected. That said, until I actually sat down and looked at the numbers, I hadn’t realized just how much my tastes were skewed (subconsciously or not.)

Sarah makes a conscious effort to read books by women/diverse authors and I thought that would be a fantastic thing to try…starting next year. Turns out I’ve already been doing that, way way more than I would have guessed!

As of today, December 15, I have read 126 books and am 50 pages from 127. Out of those books, a whopping 90 are written by women, leaving 37 male authors. I’ve counted series as individual books, so my Harry Potter reread currently adds 3 books to the total for women, while Zita the Spacegirl earns the male column 3 books as well. Multiple standalone novels by one author (for example, Chevy Stevens with That Night and Those Girls) were each tallied individually too.

Also, the super disappointing Illuminae gave a tally to both sides, since it’s a co-authored novel.

I knew I read more books by women this year than those written by men, but until I actually saw how the numbers broke down, I had no idea the difference was so huge! Way to go, Subconscious Leah!

I was also curious to see how the ratings broke down: out of my 22 5-star reads this year, 16 are written by women and 6 are by men. (One of those reads is actually a 2016 release, the phenomenal Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase!) Interestingly enough, with the exception of Harry Potter (which are automatic 5-stars) my absolute favorite novel of the year is by a man: Erik Larson’s Dead Wake.

Out of those 22 novels, 6 were re-reads. Out of those six, 5 are from women (three Harry Potters, Catherine, Called Birdy, and Pioneer Girl. The only male reread was Roald Dahl with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

This year I’ve only had 2 1-star reads and 6 DNFs: 3 written by men and 5 written by women.

What initially drew my attention to my new-found preference for women authors was ARCs. Going through publisher catalogs and sites like netgalley, I noticed a distinct lack of interest in a novel once I realized the author was male. Obviously that’s not to say I’ll swear off male authors for good (Roald Dahl + Ernest Hemingway >>>>> everyone #sorrynotsorry) but I’ll certainly be more aware when it comes to requesting and buying those books.
How does YOUR reading stack up?? Have you noticed a preference for women authors? Male authors? Let’s talk!!

8 thoughts on “2015: my year of reading women

  1. I read about 75% female without that being a conscious choice. I try to make a point of reading minority race authors and my numbers still are low for the year.

  2. I like your break down! I think I could guess I read more women, but you’ve made me curious so go back and look. I am definitely trying to consciously read more diversely but I need to keep working at that,.

    • You and me both! I’m more than a little surprised by my numbers – and pretty impressed too. Next year will definitely be a year of diverse authors for me.

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