Read Women 2014

Read Women 2014 by Joanna Walsh

Have you heard? 2014 is the Year of Reading Women. Information released last year from VIDA, an organization dedicated to women in literary arts, highlighted the disparity between how male and female authors and book reviewers are treated. For example, in 2012 at The New York Times Review of Books, only 22 percent of the books reviewed were by female authors, and 16 percent of the reviewers were women (The Guardian, 2014). This information has sparked a movement in the literary world encouraging people to examine their bookshelves and reading lists for female representation.

Author and illustrator Joanna Walsh started the Twitter hashtag #Readwomen2014 after creating bookmark-shaped cards with her favorite authors (see above picture). After posting the pictures on Twitter, Walsh was asked to tweet the names of the 250+ female authors listed on the back of the cards. The campaign has only gotten bigger. American author and literary reviewer Matthew Jakubowski will only read and review books by women in 2014. And, as of May, literary journal The Critical Flame is only reviewing books by women writers and writers of color. 

If you're interested in learning more about the Year of Reading Women, here are articles from The Guardian and Time magazine, as well as a blog post from the Joanna Walsh, the woman who helped start Read Women 2014. The campaign has also taken off on social media: You can also find Read Women 2014 on Twitter @ReadWomen2014 and using #Readwomen2014 hashtag, and on Facebook by searching Readwomen2014

If you find your reading habits or personal bookshelves could use some more female authors, Time has a list of 22 female authors you should be reading and Goodreads created a list specifically for The Year of Reading Women. And, because I love this campaign and love reading books written by women, I've created my own shelf below of some of my favorite books from female writers, as well as a few that I plan to read this year for my own #readwomen2014. I hope you'll take a look at some of the lists, and maybe even begin your own Year of Reading Women. Happy reading!

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