Sunday, November 1, 2009

CHALLENGE: Women Unbound

There is a new challenge on the go: Women Unbound, to celebrate women's studies:

the multidisciplinary study of the social status and societal contributions of women and the relationship between power and gender.

There are plenty of details and ideas over the the Women Unbound Blog, set up especially for this challenge.

Length of Challenge: November 1, 2009-November 30, 2010

There are several levels to chose from:
  • Philogynist: read at least two books, including at least one nonfiction one.
  • Bluestocking: read at least five books, including at least two nonfiction ones.
  • Suffragette: read at least eight books, including at least three nonfiction ones.
My first reaction was to pick the lowest level, but then I decided I should try to really challenge myself, so I will go with the Suffragette, to read at least eight books, and three must be nonfiction.

Here's what the blog says about the types of books:

For nonfiction, this would include books on feminism, history books focused on women, biographies of women, memoirs (or travelogues) by women, essays by women and cultural books focused on women (body image, motherhood, etc.) It’s trickier to say what is applicable as fiction. Obviously, any classic fiction written by a feminist is applicable. But where do we go from there? To speak generally, if the book takes a thoughtful look at the place of women in society, it will probably count. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to explain in your review why you chose this for the challenge and its connection to women’s studies

Potential Book Ideas:

  • The Bridal Wreath (Book 1 Kristin Lavrandatter) by Sigrid Undget - Nobel prize winning author about women's life in 14th century Norway
  • Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto - young women deal with grief
  • Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey - set in Ghana, the life of women played an important point, as young girls are offered as wives to fetish priests to reverse family curses
  • Sky Burial by Xinran - woman journalist writes story of Chinese doctor who searches for her husband, and lives in Tibet
  • The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg - caribousmom says Berg always has strong women characters
  • The Tenent of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte - Brontes! nuff said (not reviewed)
  • The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor - about a woman settler in 18th century New Brunswick

  • The Book of Negroes by Laurence Hill - about a slave who survived
  • The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver - was on the tagmash at librarything
  • Affinity by Sarah Waters - was on the tagmash at librarything
  • American Girls About Town short stories - all written by women

I think there will be fiction books I decide after I read them that fit in this category, so it's hard to know before hand what will count.


  1. Wow nice games thanks a lot
    Really good job

  2. This challenge looks really neat - I'm trying to decide if I want to play.

  3. jenny - come on, you know you want to. It's a full year, and only two books if you want. easy, peasy.

    laughing stars - ooh, good. I've had it for a while, so it will be good to get to it.

  4. I'm glad you're joining us in this challenge. The Bean Trees is a great book, one of my favorites. Happy reading!

  5. Kristin Lavransdattir is a novel about a 14th century woman in Norway by Sigrid Unset (I think). It is excellent! There are three that I read sone summer, condensed into a 1,000+ page book.

  6. I am looking forward to this challenge! I only listed non-fiction, but I am sure I will read fiction too.

  7. I'm still thinking about my book list but I'm almost there. I think I'll do #2.


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