I’ve been doing the Discoverability Challenge alongside Jo and Pete Sutton for the past six months, and I have a confession.
The challenge was to read 12 books by unknown (to me) women authors in 12 months. I, uh, may have just read 12 in six months.
I’m a fast reader, ok?
(I probably shouldn’t mention that those 12 were alongside a large stack of submissions, a pile of other books and my review reading as well… *ahem*)
- Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik [I have previously read the Temeraire series, so unfortunately I can’t include this!]
- The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth.
- A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab
- Who Killed September Falls? by Annette Young
- White Cat by Holly Black
- Finding reliable information online: adventures of an information sleuth by Leslie Stebbins [because I might be a fiction writer, but I’m also a librarian!]
- Fight Like A Girl
- The Stars Seem So Far Away by Margrét Helgadóttir
- 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf by Jo Thomas
- Beyond the Veil by Pippa DaCosta [I had to give up on this one; review coming]
- Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
- The Tree of Souls by Katrina Archer [review on SFF World]
- The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers [review here]
If I break it down by genre, that’s two YA, one crime, two sci-fi, two urban fantasy, one non-fiction, three fantasy, and one steampunk / plain good fun! So it’s not all fantasy, which is nice; I was a little worried about getting genre-bound.
My favourites are Uprooted, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and The Stars Seem So Far Away. The series-I-couldn’t-stop-reading was a tie between Etiquette & Espionage (I went through the first three in a day) and 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf (it turns out that badgering the publisher on Twitter will get you a review copy of the second one, which was very nice!) My least favourite of this list has to be Beyond The Veil, as I just couldn’t get into it, but I didn’t really do very well with Who Killed September Falls either – apparently predictable crime isn’t my reading style.
So, what have I learned?
- There are a LOT of female authors out there, and not just in fantasy.
- It doesn’t take a lot to find them – for most of these, I wasn’t deliberately looking for female authors.
- Recommendations from friends and book sites are a brilliant way to increase your TBR pile.
- Brandon Sanderson and Mark Lawrence still count as female, and they’ve been joined by Patrick Rothfuss. In related news, I am quite grateful I don’t have the power to strangle people through the internet. That amount of bodies could be hard to explain.
- This was EASY, and this was AMAZING. I have read some absolutely brilliant books, and I did most of it without thinking. It really isn’t that hard to find alternative authors who happen to be female, and write excellent books that you want more of.
So, what now? Well, my list [http://writingandcoe.co.uk/the-discoverability-challenge/] currently has another seven books on it, plus I know my wish-list has another three that I don’t yet own, plus I have a whole lovely review pile to go through…I think I’m going to keep at it!
24 books in 12 months – let’s do this thing!
Ps. If you haven’t yet read them – Darkhaven by AFE Smith, The Copper Promise by Jen Williams, Cruelty by Ellen Croshain, The Reluctant Prophet by Gillian O’Rourke, anything by Rachel Aaron or Emma Newman, and if you haven’t read Spark & Carousel yet, what are you doing here?!
Well, yes, you should totally read Spark and Carousel, as well as all this other good stuff! Thanks very much to Kate for stopping by – as she says : Discovering women writers isn’t hard, and it’s a lot of fun! So why not join us for the second half of the year?