Tag Archives: Lucy Cavendish College

Why Don’t Men Read Books By Women… Or Do They?

Today’s post title might seem like a silly question initially but actually it is a rather pertinent one as it is a common fact that a lot of male readers will only read books by men. I can hear people here there and everywhere saying ‘pah, that’s not true’ and if that is the case then that’s great, but as I am one of the speakers on ‘Why Don’t Men Read Books By Women?’ at the Lucy Cavendish Woman’s Word Literary Festival in June this year, which I will also be reporting on from behind the scenes too, I thought it was a subject that we could have a good old natter about on Savidge Reads today please.

As I am sure you will have gathered by now I am definitely a man who does read books written by women, in fact I think I read more books by women than I do by men actually. I myself have a whole host of varied female authors in Mount TBR some of which, as pictured above, that I am going to be reading in the lead up to this event. I have chosen some modern crime, some classics (I didn’t feel that I could do this even having never read a full novel by Jane Austen, oops, it is frankly high time I did, I do think the reasons I have been put off are possibly rather like a lot of blokes I know – more on that in due course), some recently released contemporary novels (which nicely combine with my decision to read the whole of the Orange longlist, currently on hold at the halfway point as I have slight Orange overload at the moment) and some of the female greats I have loved in the past and want to read more of. Where oh where to start with a lovely loot like this?

I have noticed that apart from two modern debut novels and a Booker winner from many moons ago, I haven’t plucked out any books by female authors I haven’t tried before so any recommendations for those are welcome if you have any?

So in the name of research, and also because I am rather nosey and fascinated by other peoples reading habits, what about all of you? Which men will happily put there hands up and say that they too read lots of books by women? Any male readers of this blog who are happy to say they don’t and if so why not? And my lovely female readers what about your male relatives and partners do they read books by women or not and if so which titles have they particularly loved? Oh and let me know your thoughts if you have read any of the books pictured above and what you thought of them please. Oh and of course if you are a female reader, do you find you read more books by women than you do men, or vice versa? All thoughts welcomed and, as ever, most appreciated.

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Come See Me in Cambridge, Oranges & Favourite Female Writers

A few bits and bobs today, that all evolve around female writers. First up is the exciting announcement I have been hankering to tell you for a little while, and that is where I am going to be talking about ‘female fiction’ in the Summer at a literary festival I hinted at a while ago (after which a small Orange update will make perfect sense)…  

I had an email from the lovely Sophie Hannah a while back asking if I would be up for joining a panel she is hosting on Sunday June 26th 2011 at Cambridge’s Lucy Cavendish College who host ‘Women’s Word’ each year. I will be on the panel talking about ‘Why Men Don’t Men Read Books By Women and Does It Matter That They Don’t’ and I’m literally be the good guy on the panel that does indeed read a lot of fiction by women writers. I will be up there with our host Sophie Hannah (as I mentioned), and the other confirmed panel members who are poet, playwright and short story writer Michelene Wandor along with writer and Persephone Books founder Nicola Beauman. As you might guess I am really, really excited (it’s the perfect pick me up with all this health nonsense) and already gearing up for it. Which is where the next part of this post might just come in handy…

I am sure you are all aware that The Orange Longlist 2011 was announced this week and I mentioned that I didn’t think I was going to read the longlist… well I am. I am also going to try and read all the books I hadn’t yet managed on my guess list. I have been quite lucky as some Oranges have already made it through my letter box and are now about to be read through (see there are some benefits to having a big operation on your birthday, this coming Thursday, and then having lots of recuperation time), I doubt very much I will manage the 19 I haven’t read yet, for ‘Room’ was devoured last year, but then I don’t have them all. I do have these to be getting on with…

I think this will be perfect reading material to get me thinking and bursting with ideas and thoughts for the talk. I will also be doing a post next week asking you for your help, but I think maybe that’s enough excitement for one day. If you do happen to be free on Sunday 26th of June I would love to see you in a hopefully sunny Cambridge. I will be making a weekend of it and going backstage and meeting everyone so will report back if you can’t! Oh, and on the subject of books by women, don’t forget you can win one of the best, in my opinion, female novelist debuts in recent years – so go have a gander at that.

In the meantime can you tell me who your favourite female author (alive or dead) is, why and what it is about them that simply means I have to go and read them now? I might just surprise some of you with some more goodies for this one too as would be very good research for me! You can probably all guess mine.

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