Reading books by women really is not a problem for me.
In fact, I actually need to be challenged to read more books by men.
I keep a spreadsheet of all the books I read, and I’ve crunched the numbers; so far this year, 85% of the books I read were written by women.The next three books I plan to read are also all written by women, so it will probably end up being 90% by year’s end. That’s a pretty big gender skew.
The most notable books by women I read this year were debuts. I highly recommend The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P, Friendship, The Girls From Corona Del Mar, Life Drawing, The Last Days of California and Everything I Never Told You – all terrific first novels from American women.
‘This House of Grief’ by Helen Garner.
Debuts from four Australian authors – What Came Before by Anna George, What Was Left by Eleanor Limprecht, Dress, Memory by Lorelei Vashti and Nona and Me by Clare Atkins – all impressed me as well. This year, I fell in love with two rather famous family memoirs; Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club and Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle.
I revisited Nora Ephron’s Heartburn, and read and adored Delia Ephron’s collection of essays Sister, Mother, Husband, Dog, etc. (and, in fact, I have since gone back and re-read her best essay from the book “Why I Can’t Write About My Mother” twice more; it’s so good). I spent a cozy weekend in bed enjoying Sarah Water’s big, juicy new novel The Paying Guests.