• Alexandra Graff

Let's make it official

The year was 2018; the day was January 1st, and like many others I scoffed at the idea of making a New Year resolution. Although New Year Day happens to be my favorite holiday, I'd never been much of a resolutions girl.

HOWEVER, this year something was different ... I felt a new twinge to resolve to do ... something. I wanted something that would be helpful and yet challenging, something that connected with the current political/social climate and yet was still enjoyable and sustainable for an entire year. I had recently noticed myself reading more and more and had been looking more closely at my book choices, finding myself almost exclusively picking up books written by women, which made me consider all the authors I had read in my life previously and how most of them were, well ... men.* The decision was suddenly clear: my 2018 New Year Resolution would be to ONLY read books written by women.

I soon after expanded this to emphasize books by women in marginalized groups: women of color authors, queer authors, trans authors ... basically authors who weren't straight men. I thought this would add another layer to the challenge, but it surprisingly (unsurprisingly?) wasn't difficult. Their books are out there! And guess what? They're fantastic! So fantastic, in fact, that when 2019 hit and I allowed myself to read a book written by a man I was so underwhelmed that I quickly moved on to the next book in my TBR list, which is still to this day almost entirely filled with books written by women authors.

Alongside my reading resolution, I also started reviewing select books on my instagram account (@artcatsattack). I've decided to add these "mini reviews" here as a record of books I have read and how I felt about them at the time, and I'd love to hear your opinions as well. So I urge you to comment and engage as much as you like!

While I'm no longer resolving in 2019 to ONLY read books by women authors, it seems that a year of excluding men authors has blossomed into a habit when looking for new books. If anyone else is interested in trying a similar challenge, please let me know how it goes! And of course if you have any recommendations of books by women authors, specifically by women of color authors or queer authors, I'm always interested!

My 2018 reading list: (not in order)

// "Pretend I'm Dead" – Jen Beagin

// "Goodbye, Vitamin" – Rachel Khong

// "The Female Persuasion" – Meg Wolitzer (ARC)

// "It" – Alexa Chung

// "Getting Off" – Erica Garza

// "The Idiot" – Elif Batuman

// "Sweetbitter" – Stephanie Danler

// "My Year of Rest and Relaxation" – Ottessa Moshfegh

// "Ultraluminous" – Katherine Faw

// "Circe" – Madeline Miller (Favorite 2018 release)

// "Awayland" – Ramona Ausubel

// "Clock Dance" – Anne Tyler

// "Emergency Contact" – Mary H.K. Choi

// "The Truth About Twinkie Pie" – Kat Yeh

// "Eat My Heart Out" – Zoe Pilger

// "The Dinner List" – Rebecca Serle

// "Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud" – Anne Helen Peterson

// "Vacuum in the Dark" – Jen Beagin (ARC)

// "Play It As It Lays" – Joan Didion

// "She Wants It" – Jill Soloway

// "I Might Regret This" – Abbi Jacobson

// "Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race" – Reni Eddo-Lodge

*Note: This resolution was not meant to imply that books written by men are inherently bad and should be avoided. Instead, after realizing that the vast majority of all media I consume is written, produced, created by men, I wanted to challenge my consumption and support media created by women, people of color, and queer people as much as possible.

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