Today marks the end of #ReadWomenMonth, and not only did I pledge to read only female authors this month (wrap-up on that coming soon), but I also participated in the Instagram challenge – as best I could anyway. So today, I’m wrapping the month up with a compilation of all my Instagram posts over the course of the challenge.
It’s been a blast participating in this, even though I didn’t hit every day of the challenge (mainly because my book collection is split between my apartment and storage). In addition to totally being down to do this again next year, it’s also definitely made some differences in how I choose books long term. Specifically I’m going to be trying to make a more concerted effort to track down and read works by female historians, since that’s the one place in my collection that definitely seems to be lacking!
So how’d I do? Let’s see!
Day 1 – TBR: Japan, 1941 by Eri Hotta, Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas.
Here are my first three TBRs (though I’m already halfway through the Hotta, but I’m still counting it!). Judging by how quickly I blew through the first two Throne of Glass books, I’ll probably be adding to the list sooner rather than later, because there’s no way this’ll last me through the whole month.
Day 2 – Favorite Female Character: Nancy Drew and Katniss Everdeen.
I couldn’t really decide on this one, so have two! First is, of course Nancy Drew, and second is Katniss Everdeen. I love both characters for they ways the buck convention, stand up for what they believe in, and Katniss’ expertise with a bow and arrow sure doesn’t hurt! I’ve got more to say about both leading ladies than can properly be expressed in an Instagram caption, so I’m thinking maybe there’s a blog post brewing in the future!
Day 3 – Last Read: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve mentioned a couple times that I’m in the middle of the Throne of Glass series, and I just sped through this book. I finished it within 24 hours, and now I’m chomping at the bit for book 3 – but I promised myself I’d finish the Hotta first!
Day 8 – Made You Cry: Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation ed. by Ellen Fitzpatrick
For this one I’ve got to go with Letters to Jackie, even though as a collection of letters it kind of pushes the boundaries of the rules a little bit (but the editor and writer of all supplemental material is a woman, so I’m counting it). I did not expect this to hit me the way it did when I picked it up – the Kennedy assassination is not something that strikes any particular interest or emotional buttons with me – but I just sobbed my way right through this. The letters are each so touching – even jaded ol’ me just couldn’t help it.
Day 10 – Underrated Read: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
I know this choice might seem strange because of how crazy big this series is, but Mockingjay gets all sorts of flack from so many people for being a less-than-stellar way to end the series. The complaints are many. Everything from pacing, to the ending, to Katniss herself… But I loved it. Every bit. From the uneven pacing, to Katniss’ PTSD, to the slow wind-down where very little of the story got any sort of “happy ending…” As someone who studies war, and specifically first person accounts of war – it all felt very real, despite being a book about a dystopian future.
Day 12 – Non-Fiction: Grunt by Mary Roach
I just love everything Mary Roach does. She’s entertaining, and funny, and poignant… and Grunt was no different. I did a full review on the blog a few months ago, which you can see here.
Finding a book for this one that wasn’t the Hotta (which I just finished and have featured already) was a lot harder than I thought it would be considering my heavy heavy preference for non-fiction for the last 7 or 8 years. I assumed I’d have a ton of history stuff to choose from, but as I combed my bookshelves I realized that pretty much everything I own is written by dudes. I realize that my topics of choice tend to be male dominated fields – but I didn’t realize the imbalance was THAT significant. So I’m going to try to make more of a conscious effort to seek out and support female historians from now on.
Day 13 – Newest Purchase: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Yea, yea… another Throne of Glass book. Can you tell I’m knee deep in this series right now? Because I am. I started Queen of Shadows yesterday, and had to make sure I’ve got the next on hand, because when I finish one of these books I basically can’t wait to start the next. I’m just worried that I’m not going to know what to read next after I finish, since the next book in the series apparently doesn’t come out until September!
Day 14 – Current Read: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas.
One of my big projects for the month is working my way through the Throne of Glass series, so I realize that my challenge posts for this have been pretty Throne of Glass heavy – but I can’t help it! I’m knee deep in this series and super emotionally invested in the characters – I just can’t really bring myself to take a break from it! On the bright side, I’m FLYING through these books at a rate of 2 to 3 days per book, so there should be plenty of time in the later parts of the month to squeeze in some other authors!
Day 16 – Shortest Read: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher.
Carrie Fisher is one of those figure that if, as a kid, you would have told me what a profound impact her existence would end up having on me, I’m not sure I would have believed you. And this book was fabulous. Like she was.
Day 18 – Series: Throne of Glass
Because what other series would I feature when this has consumed so much of my month?
Day 20 – Graphic/Illustrated: Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa.
I love this series so much. It’s such an amazing ride from beginning to end. 10/10 would recommend.
Day 23 – Still Thinking About: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
This book was just SO MUCH FUN. I did a full review here a few months back, but I still can’t get over how much I enjoyed it. It’s right up there on my favorite fun reads with The Princess Bride, and it reminds me of it in so many ways!
Day 24 – Summer Read: Kathy Reichs Novels
I was a big fan of the TV series Bones in college and beyond, and when I decided to pick up the first Temperance Brennan novel the summer after college, I didn’t know if I’d like it because book Tempe is SO VERY DIFFERENT from TV Tempe. But ultimately I ended up loving them. They’re fun, fast reads, and ever since I read that first one, they’ve been a staple of my summer reading habits. I’m a few books backlogged, and so I’m looking forward to catching up this summer.
Day 25 – Flowers: Empress Orchid by Anchee Min.
This book has been on my TBR list for so long – I’m really hoping to be able to check it off before the summer is over.
Day 26 – Favorite Female Author: Agatha Christie.
There’s just no other author out there – male or female – who’s novels are such a consistent delight for me to read. She’s been a staple of my reading since I first read And Then There Were None in 8th grade, with no signs of my love for her mysteries waning any time soon.
Day 27 – Around The World: The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy.
Taking place in Poland during WWII I think makes this fit the theme for today. Another book from my TBR list – I’m such a sucker for anything that takes place during WWII.
Day 28 – Most Excited to Read: Bloodline by Claudia Gray.
I’ve never read a Star Wars novel before. I loved the original trilogy, and love the newest movie, but never really got into the EU. That said, I’m super excited for this one, which features my favorite and childhood hero, General Leia.
Did you participate in #ReadWomenMonth? How’d it go for you?