This week, I am finishing up the final book that I will read by a man this year – The House of Hades by Rick Riordan.  I’ve read the other three books in the “Heroes of Olympus” series, and I am really enjoying how the characters and stories come back into this book as well as the way that Riordan incorporates Greek and Roman mythology without being pedantic or teacherly.  photo(20)

I also really appreciate that Riordan incorporates characters of diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexual orientations and does so without making the story about these features of identity but instead about each character as an individual.  It’s a model I would like to see repeated in my own work and the work of others.

So, yeah, I love these books and highly recommend them.

But this will be, as I said, the last book by a man that I read this year because I’m committing to read only women in 2014 as part of the #readwomen2014 movement.  So last week, I stopped at my hometown library and picked up a stack of books by women from their book sale.  (See the photo above.)

Because I was looking for something light to read this week when much of my energy was going to being nervous about my first ever bookstore reading (tonight in Charlottesville, if you’re interested).  So I took from my new stack of books Knit One Kill Two by Maggie Sefton. As I said the other day, I’m really enjoying this book because of the relationships between the women in it.  I love how they all gather at a yarn shop and share stories and ideas while they knit.  Sure, the setting is a little idyllic, but then, well, isn’t that what we all need from time to time?

It occurs to me that this week I’m reading a lot of myths, a lot of stories we make up to make sense of the world – whether it be ideas about where we originate or how things come to be – like the myths in Riordan – or the ideals we have about our place and the people we want to share it with – as in Sefton’s work.  There’s just something amazing about the way story helps clarify our perspectives and ideas.  Just one of the many reasons I read and write.

So what are you reading this week?  What are those books clarifying for you?