My Year of Reading Women

Courtney Seiter
Mar 30, 2015 · 7 min read

(and other underrepresented groups)

In 2015, I’m challenging myself to read a book a week (or, 52 books in the year), focusing primarily on female and minority authors.

I’m doing this in an attempt to fill in some of the blank spots in my cultural and literary awareness, and because there are a ton of amazing books out there by women authors and writers of other underrepresented groups. Here’s what I’m reading, week by week:

Week 1: Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham

Week 2: The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez and Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Week 3: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and Peace is Every Breath by Thich Nhat Hanh

Week 4: Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

Week 5: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Week 6: Euphoria by Lily King

Week 7: The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion by Meghan Daum

Week 8: Open City by Teju Cole

Week 9: A Tale for Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Week 10: Seven Steps to Leading a Gender-Balanced Business by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox

Week 11: The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession by Dana Goldstein

Week 12: The Teacher Wars (again; this one was quite long but super interesting!)

Week 13: Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald

Week 14: Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Week 15: Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Week 22: The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

Week 23: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

Week 24: Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records by Laura Ballance, John Cook and Mac McCaughan

Week 25: Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals by Patricia Lockwood

Week 26: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. by Viv Albertine

Week 27: Long Division by Kiese Laymon

Week 28: Men We Reaped by Jessmyn Ward

Week 29: 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theater by Sarah Ruhl

Week 30: Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti and Heidi Julavits (this one went a bit into a few following weeks as well; it’s a LOT longer than I had anticipated)

Week 31: It Starts With Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig (prepping for my Whole30 experience!)

Week 32: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Week 33: Make it Mighty Ugly: Exercises & Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain’t Pretty by Kim Piper Werker

Week 34: The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper

Week 35: Dietland by Sarai Walker

Week 36: Lightness of Body and Mind, a soon-to-be-published manuscript by my awesome friend Sarah!

Week 37: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Week 38: You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

Week 39: The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Week 40: Blueprints for Building Better Girls by Ellisa Schappell

Week 41: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

Week 42: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Week 43: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Week 44: Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

Week 45: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Week 46: Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein

Week 47: The Clasp by Sloane Crosley

Week 48: Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Week 49: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Week 50: I Want to Show You More by Jamie Quatro

Week 51: Get In Trouble: Stories by Kelly Link

Week 52: Infinite Home by Kathleen Alcott

This has been an experience that has opened me up to so many amazing women authors in nearly every genre. I’m so grateful to the incredible, creative and immensely talented women I’ve had the opportunity to discover this year.

For more about the many things I’ve learned from this year of reading, I wrote a whole ‘nother post you might want to check out!

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