Rebel Girl Reads Update #1!

The reading challenge I’m running with my flatmate next year is off to a good start! By which I mean, I’m a massive nerd and I’ve started the first book, I Am Malala, because I couldn’t help myself.

~ A woman’s place is in the Revolution ~

Also, I want to try and stay ahead if I can, in case something happens and I can’t get to a book that month. Since we’re the ones running the thing, it’s good if we can read ahead and know what we’re talking about!


  • We’re reading books by and about badass babes. All women, all the time. Good? Good.
  • The reading list will be a little be prescriptive and a little bit interpretive. That is to say, there’s one ‘required’ book per month – that will be decided by what’s on the 2018 Reading List, which is an open Google Doc where anyone can add their ideas, faves, dearly-desire-to-reads. Please add to the list! We want to be as collaborative as possible.
  • We’ll announce the book to be read that month, in the month previous. So, for example we have announced that I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is the January read.
  • There’s also little extra reading challenges to do, often related to certain themes or genres. You don’t have to do these! It’s just a stretch for those who are keen. They’re very flexible too, for example “Read a book written by a women in the genre of historical fiction.”
  • You can follow the Instagram and the Tumblr for updates, discussions and news. We’re getting a little community going now!
  • We are planning a meetup in Nelson at Volume Bookstore at the start of February, for anyone who is local and keen. Thanks to Volume for being keen supporters of this whole thing! (Most of the books we read will be available at Volume and you can order from them online, if showing some love for a local business floats your boat!)

The background

This was all Michelle’s idea – she’s a much more committed reader than me, and she’s been doing a challenge for this year, so she decided she wanted to run one in 2018. I jumped on the bandwagon because I don’t read enough books that I would consider “of literary merit” (see: I read trash), and I need a little bit of gentle encouragement. 

So, for all of the coming year we’ll be reading books for, by, and about badass women, and we’d love people to participate. There’s pretty much no rules or requirements, other than joining in.

There will probably be a minimum of two books listed for any one month (the main one, and then some ideas for the mini challenges). Don’t worry if that sounds like too many or you can’t commit to finishing them. The point is to try, and to have fun!

Every month there will be a number of minichallenges posted, associated with different themes, genres or ideas. We’ll be encouraging people to share thoughts, feelings, photos and other responses on social media.


We’ve announced two of the minichallenges so far. There’s no hard-and-fast deadlines on these and they’re super open to interpretation. It’s just another way to engage if you want to. After all, it might be that the book chosen for a particular month doesn’t interest you, or you’ve already read it, so you decide to do one of these instead, and let us know what you’re reading.


My thoughts so far

I am really enjoying I am Malala. It’s hard going in some places, in terms of just feeling upset about what she and her family and her whole country basically have been through. But I feel like I am gaining so much knowledge and insight about a part of the world and a culture I know embarrassingly little about. And Malala truly is exceptional. I mean obviously, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for a reason, but jesus. It makes you look at your own life and be like… yeah… I could probably be doing more than sitting on the couch getting biscuit crumbs on my pyjamas.

I’m super stoked that people are engaging with the social media and hoping to build the community more as we go.

After all, there’s not much I love to talk about more than writing and books. And this way I get to read books, and write about books, and talk about writing about books… It’s good all the way down.

This feminist #wordnerd is happy!