Reading Women Challenge 2020

Is anybody else completely confused as to how it is March 2020 already? Where did the time go? I’m sure the last time I checked it was 2015! But, on the plus side, a new year means a new Reading Women Challenge. The prompts were released in December 2019 and I have been participating in the challenge since the beginning of the year, I just haven’t been able to get this blog off the ground before now! One positive side to self-isolating during the Coronavirus pandemic!

Some of the prompts in particular have really caught my attention and my mind has been buzzing with possibilities for each of the different categories. My personal challenge is to try and find books on my (very tall) TBR pile which fulfil some of the challenge prompts. Otherwise I will just end up buying lots of new books and ignoring the poor books which have been sitting on my shelves for ages already.

In case you don’t know about The Reading Women and their yearly challenge, let me catch you up a little bit. Reading Women is a podcast which I have been listening to for a little over a year now. They upload weekly podcasts about our favourite things, books! But more specifically, they focus on books written by women. So, the challenge is to read a book for each prompt, which was written by or about a woman. Here is a link to the challenge website page if you want more information or are interested in joining the challenge yourself:

Below are the Reading Women Challenge prompts for this year and some ideas I have already for the books I’m going to read. I am, of course, open to any suggestions!

  1. Author from Caribbean or India
  2. Translated from an Asian Language
  3. About the Environment

The obvious pick for this category is, I think, No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference, by Greta Thunberg, but I will keep an eye out for anything else which might pop up in the mean time.

  1. Picture Book by a BIPOC Author

I hope I’m not the only one, but I had to Google this: BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. After doing a bit of research for this one, I came across Malala Yousafzai’s picture book, Malala’s Magic Pencil. I have read Malala’s memoir I Am Malala, and really enjoyed her style of writing and she is a very inspirational individual, so why not see what her picture book is like?!

  1. Stella or Women’s Prize Winner

An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones; The Erratics, by Vicki Laveau-Harvie; The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, by Clare Wright

  1.  Nonfiction by a Woman Historian
  2. Afrofuturism or Africanfuturism
  3. An Anthology by Multiple Authors

When I first saw this prompt, my mind went immediately to a collection of essays which has been on my TBR since the Reading Women did a podcast series on books by Muslim women authors last year. So, I think I am going to read Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World. An added bonus is that this book would also work for prompt number 13. Another option would be It’s Not About the Burqa, edited by Mariam Khan.

  1. Inspired by Folklore

Last year I read The City of Brass, by S. A. Chakraborty, which was the first book in a trilogy based on Islamic myths and folklore. So, I think I may read the second book, The Kingdom of Copper for this prompt. But, I also picked up The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey at a book sale last autumn, so that is also a contender for this prompt.

  1. About a Woman Artist
  2. Read and Watch a Book-to-Movie Adaptation

I am considering several options for this one: Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Mariam Semple, which has recently been made into a movie by Richard Linklater, featuring Cate Blanchett; The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, as television shows are also possible for this category and I have been wanting to read this book and watch the TV show for ages; The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, which was made in a movie last year by John Crowley, featuring Nicole Kidman.

  1. About a Woman Who Inspires You

I am planning to borrow from someone else’s bookshelf for this one. Last year I bought my sister Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming, and I have been wanting to borrow it and read it ever since. So, this is a perfect opportunity!

  1. By an Arab Woman

The Map of Salt and Stars, by Zeyn Joukhadar has been on my Goodreads TBR for a while so this might be a good opportunity to read it.

  1. Set in Japan/by a Japanese Author
  2. A Biography
  3. Featuring a Woman with a Disability

As this includes mental illness as well, I may read Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren, which conveniently is already on my Kindle ready to read.

  1. Over 500 Pages

My brother bought me The Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling about 3 years ago for my birthday and I am ashamed to say I still haven’t read it. It’s a very big hardback book and I just haven’t found the time to sit down in one place for a few days and read it. I’ve been traveling a lot and big hardbacks just don’t make great traveling companions. But, since the book is 503 pages long (I checked), this seems like the perfect time.

  1. Under 100 Pages
  2. Frequently Recommended to You
  3. A Feel Good/Happy Book
  4. A Book about Food
  5. By a Favourite/New-to-You Publisher
  6. By an LGBTQ+ Author
  7. From the 2019 Reading Women Award Shortlists

The nonfiction shortlist includes three books which have been on my Goodreads TBR for some time: The Old Drift, by Namwali Serpell; The Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli; Cantoras, by Carolina De Robertis.


  1. Book by Toni Morrison
  2. Book by Isabel Allende

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