The Happenings – October 2016

What a month! I’ve been busy, to say the least, but I also got a chance to get A LOT of reading in. And listening…. I think this has been my biggest month and then I finally hit my “read a book over 500 pages” part of the Read Harder Challenge. It was the last one. I gotta be honest, it wasn’t until it was suddenly October that it hit me that I did not have much time left to finish my challenges. The realization was a bit inspirational. I even went back and made sure all my comics were in order and I was taking credit for reading what I had. Comics can be tricky that way, but I was missing some and that’s helping my overall goal of 150 books for this year.

Currently Reading

The Golden Notebook - Doris LessingI decided after the new Nobel prizes were awarded that I would read one book by or about each of the women who have been awarded the Nobel prize since it’s inception. That’s 48 women, according to Wikipedia. This book was written Doris Lessing, the laureate of literature from 2007. It also works as my “book over 500 pages” for Read Harder.

It’s interesting. Molly and Anna are interesting women with a set of problems that they are working through in an interesting way.  To read or listen along or find it for later, try your local library, Amazon, or the Book Depository. Personally, I have the audiobook from the library which is about 27 hours long. Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit

I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into with Men Explain Things To Me. I had thought that it may be a serious of anecdotes about mansplaining, but it actually expounds on the greater problem that this represents. There is men who simply like to explain things to us in ways that make it obvious that they think we are stupid, and then there is the way it silences us. To read or listen along or find it for later, try your local library, Amazon, or the Book Depository.

Read this month




Bible Reading

I did manage to finish 2 Kings this month and start on 1 Chronicles of my Bible reading. It’s going well still. It’s not a particularly entertaining part of my reading or even enlightening part of my feminist search right now, but some of the other books were eye-opening. I have mixed feelings about the status of women in these last few books. We aren’t central to what’s going on most of the time and there’s no way to tell if any of it was erasure or just the patriarchal nature of the people that women were generally not involved. Also, the language barrier makes some things confusing. But then there were the genealogies that made the erasure of the women clear. Coincidentally, I also happened to come across this paragraph in Men Explain Things To Me as I was reading the genealogies:

I have a friend whose family tree has been traced back a thousand years, but no women exist on it. She just discovered that she herself did not exist, but her brothers did. Her mother did not exist, and nor did her father’s mother. Or her mother’s father. There were no grandmothers. Fathers have sons and grandsons and so the lineage goes, with the name passed on; the tree branches, and the longer it goes on the more people are missing: sisters, aunts, mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, a vast population made to disappear on paper and in history.

So there’s that.

Reading Challenges

Read Harder:

  • No Time For Tears by Cynthia Freeman
  • Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran by Shirin Ebadi

Reading WOC:

  • A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  • In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park

I reached my goal for the Year of Reading Women of Color! I even did a post about it here. Two books left on Read Harder and I’m way behind on my overall reading goal for the year but I am determined to catch up!

I also had to make some more changes to my Read Harder challenge once I decided to embark upon my own Nobel Women Challenge. I only had two books left for Read Harder but I also have a few other reading goals and wanted everything to streamline. I’m looking for a way to eventually have read a memoir or biography written by or about a woman in every country. It’s going to take a long time and I’m not trying to do it in a year but I figured the Nobel Women would help me along with that in those countries where a woman has been awarded one. I’m also not going to stop everything for it. It’ll come along and happen in due time.

That said, I knew it would make my life easier to change the last two Read Harder books to Nobel Women books and let them work for both challenges. Then there’s also the little problem of my goal of reading 150 books in 2016. Yeah, I get how ambitious that is, but I had started out with 200, so I’ve tapered down already and desperately want to hit that goal. Comics are included, so that makes it doable. IT IS.

So anyway, I’m going to tuck that little bit of crazy back in and I made the changes to Read Harder to help me out in all those goals. I’m not sure if I uploaded this right, but here’s a fillable pdf I made for the Reading Nobel Women challenge.

If you are interested in and can’t download or get the pdf, let me know and I’ll figure out another way.

Life and feminism

So much is going on right now in feminism and it was a busy month in my personal life too. It was my son’s sixth birthday and we had a church trip and my mother-in-law spent the weekend and you see how life spiraled out of control. All the same, I managed to read a lot more this month than I had been and I even got to some more comics than I had been.

Meanwhile, not one person awarded the Nobel prize this year was a woman. I looked, on a whim, at the total Nobels awarded and I had already thought that it was little insane that only 48 of the 822 awards went to women but there was another bit that just added insult to injury. Did you know that the Nobel has gone unawarded about as many times as a woman has received it? Insanity.

Anyway, the US election rages on and I just can’t. It was probably a bad idea to read Asking For It and start Men Explain Things To Me the same month as two of the debates. If there was even an inkling of a thought that voting for Trump was a good idea (not that it was) reading these books as he attempts to silence Clinton with these very same tactics makes the thought unimaginable. This election really is different because she’s a woman. Having a woman on the ballot has changed the way the fight has been fought.

Good Girls Revolt finally came out on Amazon this month and I posted about it, recounting all the stories about good girls who have just had enough. I plan to watch it in November. Thinking about November is a stressful, though. It’s plagued by a question:

To NaNoWriMo or not to NaNoWritMo?

I supposed I’ll see. Maybe not a whole novel but a novella….

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