Read Women

In 2014 a twitter campaign was set up to read books by women only for the year of 2014. I decided to be part of this. I’ve always enjoyed and been interested in women’s fiction and thought this would be an interesting way to spend my reading year.

It was! I followed the Read Women twitter account and shared what I was reading and got inspiration for other books to read from what others were reading. It was a great, supportive community. I was introduced to authors I’d heard of but never read, I read Maya Angelou for the first time, reacquainted myself with Barbara Pym, read my first Kate Atkinson (Life after Life which I loved, I have the follow up on my to read list!) and went back to Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole – a book I’ve read many times at different stages of my life, and got so much from it each time. I also read A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam which was excellent, and about Bangladesh’s fight for independence in the 1970s (I must read the rest of those books!)

When 2014 came to an end I still had many books I’d not got round to reading, so I carried on reading books by women into 2015. I discovered Chimimanda Ngozi Adiche and was bowled over by her writing. I read her Half of a Yellow Sun and learnt so much, this led me to read more about Nigeria so I strayed from my women only rule and  read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe which also opened my eyes to a world I knew nothing about. I love it that reading takes you on a journey to discover new worlds, and how reading around subjects, deepens your understanding of the world and the people around you.

I still mainly read books by women, and have had a rich experience of reading over the last few years, which has opened my eyes to new cultures and lives around the world. In the coming year I am going to try and read books by authors who are not straight white men, I have nothing against straight white men (my Father is one of them!) but I feel like I know their experience and I’m interested in finding out about a new perspective for 2017.

Advent reading!

I have a Christmas tradition that I had since I was a child. I love reading Christmassy books in the run up to Christmas. I still do it now, and I’ve passed the tradition on to my daughter. When she was smaller we would read her a Christmas/winter themed picture book each night during advent bedtimes. Now she’s older we read Christmassy chapter books, like this Enid Blyton one (beautifully old fashioned!) and we also have the much more modern A boy named Christmas on our list. I’ve heard of some people wrapping up 24 Christmas books to be opened on each night of advent. I love this idea, but never got round to actually doing it! 

I will share my fave adult Christmas reads in another post soon, so please watch this space! 

#christmas #advent #books #traditions #parenting #kidsbooks

Reading after having a baby

If you’re anything like me it took you a while to get back to reading after having your babies. When I was pregnant I read everything about pregnancy and birth. Then all the baby books and decided how I’d look after the baby, when it would nap, how I would feed it etc etc. I also thought that whilst on maternity leave I’d be able to catch up on my reading… The Complete works of Shakespeare, Dicken’s back catalogue, you know, the classics. Obviously that all went out the window once the baby was born and I didn’t have a millisecond to do any of those things – apart from try and keep the baby alive!

I finally got back into reading again (thanks to the amazing Ideas Store in Roman Road – libraries will be another post) when my baby was around 1. The first book I read was Room by Emma Donoghue. Maybe not the best choice for a women with a baby, but it touched me to the core. I still think about it now 6 years later. I remember how great it felt that I’d been able to get through a novel at last, and how happy I was that I’d got my reading mojo back!

First blog post

Hello! This is a blog for people who love reading and all things book. For adult (not adult fiction, it’s not that sort of blog!) and for children’s fiction I have a 7 year old who loves to read, so I’m always looking for great books for her to read. I thought I’d start this blog to talk about what I’m reading, what I’ve read, and also what she’s reading and what she has loved! Hopefully providing inspiration for you and your children along the way! Tell your friends. I’m also on instragram @thebookishmother so please follow me there too!