Tuesday, December 09, 2014

2015 Women's Fiction Reading Challenge

Hosted by: Kathryn T @ Book Date
Dates: January 1 - December 31, 2015 (sign-ups are open until mid-October)

Kathryn T. is hosting this reading challenge for readers who enjoy women's fiction. As she defines it, women's fiction is "mainly written for women (although that doesn't stop men reading them)." It "may contain elements of romance but the book mainly centres around the development of women or a woman throughout the book. Women centered books, that might focus on the issues relating to women, it may be a mainstream novel, slightly less or slightly more."

But she also says that each challenge participant should define the term for herself (or himself), and use that as a guide. She includes a definition from the Romance Writers of America organization that says women's fiction is:
"...about a woman on the brink of life change and personal growth. Her journey details emotional reflection and action that transforms her and her relationships with others, and includes a hopeful/upbeat ending with regard to her romantic relationship.
...and I think I can pretty much go along with that, except for the part about the hopeful/upbeat ending -- personally, I don't think that's an absolute requirement (nice, but not necessary). I've read plenty of books that I'd label as "women's fiction" that had more ambiguous endings, as well as some that didn't involve actual romantic relationships at all. So, I guess my definition will be a little broader than most.

See the announcement page for more info and to sign up. The challenge has several levels of participation to choose from:
  1. Motivated 1- 5
  2. Savvy 6 - 10
  3. Classy 11- 20
  4. Go-getter 20 -30
  5. Fearless 30+ 
Books can overlap with other challenges, and all formats are allowed.  I'll probably play it safe and sign up at the first (Motivated) level. Pretty sure I can handle at least a few books that fit the requirements. I did a quick scan of my TBR lists, and came up with quite a few -- here's a sample (not necessarily ones I'll actually read, but some definite possibilities):
  • Dreams of Joy, by Lisa See (also her Shanghai Girls)
  • The Elm Creek Quilters series, by Jennifer Chiaverini
  • The Evolution of Jane, by Catherine Schine
  • The Pull of the Moon, Tapestry of Fortunes, and What We Keep, all by Elizabeth Berg
  • The Road to Lichfield, by Penelope Lively
  • Sarah's Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • The Seven Sisters, by Margaret Drabble
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs, by Anna Quindlen
  • The Summerhouse, by Jude Deveraux
  • While I Was Gone, by Sue Miller
Most of these are authors I've never read before, so that's an added plus. I'll be tracking my progress (and listing more possibilities) over on my challenge blog.


  1. Thanks for joining and adding your thoughts on women's fiction. I do want to try reading Anna Quindlen and possibly 2015 will be the year for me to do it. I started the Elm Street Quilters by reading the first book and loved it, want to read the others too. Time!

  2. I could do this challenge since I am really into the Agatha Raisin series -- written by a woman and the main character is obviously a woman. However, the upbeat ending part -- well, maybe not so much -- she is usually exhausted, heart broken but glad to be alive! So, I might look at this challenge because I have a number of books on the shelf that fit the description.

  3. I don't do many challenges, but this one sounds promising!


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