Why I Love New Beginings


Little aesthetic upgrade to the blog this evening. Because, IT'S A NEW YEAR!

Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love the holiday season. From Thanksgiving to New Years, it's just joy and excitement emanating from my entire person. And I've always credited that primarily to the Christmas season, but here's the thing: I really, really love New Years. The idea of getting a blank slate, of wiping away the (in this case particularly horrible) struggles of the previous year and picking up with a new vision, a new attitude. Perhaps its a bi-product of being a self-employed artist that I am constantly examining what's working and what's not, assessing the progress that needs to be made, making new goals and striving to be better. And ringing in the new year is a chance to do this on a grand scale. I find it thrilling and, regardless of whatever uncertainty lies ahead, I welcome each new year as an opportunity to make it the best of my life to date.

This blog was started as a combination of New Years Resolutions. On a public level, it's centered on a hope that more people will have recommendations and access to books that have a better representation of female characters. Because representation matters. And on a personal level, it was to make sure I continued to read avidly, and to look for better books to be reading. By searching for better female characters I have, inevitably, found some amazing female authors and discovered books I likely wouldn't have if not for the purposes of finding content for this blog. The growth has been (expectedly) small but I am thankful for you, my small following, and whenever I have more literature in my life, my life feels richer. By all measures, a success.

My Goodreads account tells me I read 30 books this year. I take issue with that number because, well, I read The Complete Sherlock Holmes which they only count as one book. ONE BOOK!!?!??>!>! That's four novels and 56 short stories. One book. Phhhhh. Regardless, I suppose I didn't meet my goal of 75. So this year I've set a more modest goal of 52. One book a week. Should be cake ;)

For this blog, I reviewed 20 books of better characters. What were my 10 favorites? I'm glad you asked! (Also, found here.)

1. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

2. Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

3. The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church

4. Fellside by M.R. Carey

5. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

6. The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

7. The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck

8. Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

9. Emma by Jane Austen

10. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

(I can almost promise to not put this on my Top 10 list as the end of 2017)

Read those, if you haven't already. And now......enough looking back. Let's focus on the future! New year, (slightly) new look, NEW GOAL!

Blog about at least 26 better characters,

which means one every other week, and to make sure half the books I read have strong female leads.*

So thank you for joining me on this journey, year two. Look for more to come - more consistently - in the coming year. And I hope your 2017 is filled with blessings, adventures and some really great books!

Best,

Ashley

*Other Goals:

2. Have 20 more people on the website mailing list.

3. Have 100 people following on Facebook (what? I said it was a small growth)

4. Have 50 followers on Twitter (because I am not great at Twitter)

5. Self-promote, because I am also not great at that but I think this whole blog is pretty neat-o and that means I need to tell more people about it.

So tell your friends they should check out Better Characters Blog and help me achieve my goals!


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What I'm Reading
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2020 Resolution Count

Books Read: / 25

Blog Posts Written: / 15

Added to Mailing List: / 20

Facebook Followers: 44 (Goal 100)

Twitter Followers: 22 (Goal 50)

How BCB Began
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Favorite Book of 2020 So Far

This mailing list is ONLY to get updates on the latest books I've read. My promise to you is to never use this for promotional purposes. Just better female characters delivered to your inbox. 

Tales of a Female Nomad is the story of Rita Golden Gelman, an ordinary woman who is living an extraordinary existence. At the age of 48, on the verge of divorce, Rita left an elegant life in LA to follow her dream of connecting with people in cultures all over the world. This book encourages us to dust off our dreams and rediscover the joy so many of us bury when we become adults.

The Bookshop

 by Penelope Fitzgerald


The year is 1959 and the kind-hearted widow Florence Green risks everything to open the only bookshop in the seaside town of Hardborough. What follows can only be described as the quaint, strange, and often sad happenings of a small, isolated community. The plot is not filled with grand parties, unlikely lovers, or a shocking penultimate event. But somehow, because the world of this story seems to fit in a snow globe, each small shake builds on the one before until those same every day situations are riddled with dramatic tension. I was truly amazed at how invested I was in the life of Florence's small bookshop.

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