Reading Women hosts an annual challenge to encourage readers to “take back half the shelf” for women authors and to read more diverse authors, and I’m participating in the 2020 challenge. Visit Reading Women’s challenge page for more information. Here is a list of the categories with the books I plan to read or have already read (bold text):

  • A book by an author from the Caribbean or India: The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
  • A book translated from an Asian language: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
  • A book about the environment: Buzz Sting Bite: Why We Need Insects by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson
  • A picture book written/illustrated by a BIPOC author: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • A winner of the Stella Prize or the Women’s Prize for Fiction: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • A nonfiction title by a woman historian: The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell
  • A book featuring Afrofuturism or Africanfuturism: Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor
  • An anthology (bonus points if the editor is a woman): There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, Martha Spong, ed.
  • A book inspired by folklore: The King Must Die by Mary Renault
  • A book about a woman artist: Holy Skirts by Rene Steinke
  • Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  • A book about a woman who inspires you: Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • A book by an Arab woman
  • A Book Set in Japan or by a Japanese Author: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
  • A biography: Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
  • A book featuring a woman with a disability: How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall
  • A book over 500 pages
  • A book under 100 pages
  • A book that’s frequently recommended to you
  • A feel-good or happy book: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
  • A Book about food: The Spice Necklace by Ann Vanderhoof
  • A book by either a favorite or a new-to-you publisher: A Noel Killing by M.L. Longworth* (Penguin, favorite)
  • A book by an LGBTQ+ author: The King Must Die by Mary Renault
  • A book from the 2019 Reading Women Award Shortlists or Honorable Mentions: The Yellow House by Sarah Broome
  • BONUS: a book by Toni Morrison
  • BONUS: a book by Isabel Allende: My Invented Country


My lifetime challenge is reading a book for every Dewey Decimal section in use. I’ve read over 300 of the 900-something sections; too much to list here. If you’re curious, check out my list on LibraryThing.

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