Sigh. Amazon has just released a list of 100 books everyone should read. Of course I started out counting how many I'd read. But I quickly became distracted, as I scrolled through the rows of book covers, by how few of the books were by female authors.
So I ended up counting the male authors on the list. Seventy of the books are by men.
I want to acknowledge that progress has been made. Traditionally, lists of this kind contain only a handful of books by women. Or none.
There are also five (5) books on the list by black writers.
Now, here are a few books by women and/or black writers that are not on the list although most bookish people have probably read most of them:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (probably not qualified because she's already on the list once)
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Roots by Alex Haley
Just off the top of my head.
There are 22 children's books on the list (thanks, Sarah!) of which 15 are by men. I won't bother to list those books by women that could have been included, because it's my impression most children's books are by women. But here are a few by African-American writers that surely qualify for a literary to-do list:
The Watsons Go To Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Anyway. These (not so) minor quibbles aside, let me get back to my original count. I find I've read 36 of the 100 books on the list. Of those, I liked 16 and loved 3. There are also 6 books on the list that I tried to read but gave up on. But that's not the authors' fault. It's this darn ADD.