For the last four years, I have been challenging myself to read more new-to-me female authors – at least 12 a year, and review the ones I enjoy the most to share my discoveries. I was a little bit slack with reviews last year, but I discovered more female authors. Hoping to review more this year – that’s my pledge!

In 2017 I read 60 books, 20 of which were single-author novels or novellas by women. I read quite a few anthologies and dual-author novels too, but I’m not counting them for the purposes of the challenge. That’s about proportional with last year, when I read more books overall, but this year I really want to try to get my reading closer to 50/50. I gave eight books five stars on Goodreads this year and four of those were by women.

Best discoveries of the year were Zen Cho, Lucy Hounsom, Cassandra Khaw, Tricia Sullivan and Frances Kay.

Last year I pledged to read more books by women that I really should have read – classics, I suppose. That kind of fell by the wayside because of moving house, unfortunately. This year I’m just going to throw myself gleefully into reading whatever I can get my hands on!

If you want to join in with the annual challenge you are most welcome. It’s not massively hard, whether you read 30 books a year, or 60, or 100, to make sure you read one book a month by a female author you’ve never read before, in any genre, fiction or non fiction – there are an awful lot of books out there begging to be read, and I know y’all have massive TBR piles… 😉

I’ll update the list on this page, and as I post reviews I’ll link to them (and be better at reviewing than I was last year), and we’ll see if we can’t get some discoverability going. If you feel that your reading list needs more women on it, or you just want to discover some great new writers, why not join in with the challenge, share your lists and see how you get on? You might discover some brilliant new books, and you’ll be helping to promote awesome female writers at the same time – everybody wins!


  1. Lolly Brown – Doves as Pets
  2. Sarah Hall – The Carhullan Army
  3. Louise Riotte – Carrots Love Tomatoes
  4. Kay Kenyon – The Braided World
  5. Lily Bailey – Because We are Bad : OCD and and Girl Lost in Thought