Despite our collective appetite for female authors and their ascent to equal weighting on bestseller lists, publishing houses still submit more men for literary awards. And sadly book reviews also tend to cover more men than women as well. But women do continue to wow with compelling work. And there are more voices than ever promoting women’s writing. So we thought we’d share our favorites too and launch a book category on FromAtoSHE.
And, p.s., while you can buy any of these books just about everywhere (of course..we make great use of Prime too). The links to buy are from our local bookseller, McNally Jackson. You can learn more about this women-owned business here. We hope you’ll try to find a women-owned shop either online or in your community to patronize.
You’ve Seen the Show Now Read the Book
Normal People, Sally Rooney
We read this after watching the beautifully rendered TV series on Hulu. So it was worth digging in to see what Sally Rooney originally wrote. The story centers on Marianne and Connell as they dance around their feelings from secondary school through university. It’s a soulful tale of messy love. And don’t forget to watch the tv adaptation.
Conversations With Friends, Sally Rooney
Having dug into Normal People, we quickly followed up with Conversations With Friends. Also a wonderful study in emotion and the complexities of relationships. Irish author Rooney is able to paint rich pictures of smart, witty characters who struggle (like all of us) with the relationships around them. And p.s. an adaptation is also in the works.
Glimpse into Lives of Inspirational Female Authors
Untamed, Glennon Doyle
Untamed tells the story of how writer and Momastery blogger Glennon Doyle saw her traditional marriage break down and a new, more authentic life being rebuilt in its ashes with her now wife Abby Wambach. Doyle is incredibly authentic and so real that you find yourself not only rooting for her new life but seeing the opportunity in your own for happiness.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Lori Gottlieb
Psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb takes us on a journey through her therapy sessions juxtaposed against those of her patients. The result are universal truths about love, loss, pain and hope. The book is a glimpse into the raw reality of someone who should have their act together but is just trying like us all.
Catching Up On New York Times Bestsellers
Where The Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
The story of Delia Owens transcends her absorbing book. As a retired wildlife biologist her quirky book was published in a short run with publishers unsure of genre or audience. Well, this tale of a wild, special woman and a murder mystery to boot has now spent 30 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list with no signs of stopping.
American Dirt, Jeanine Cummins
American Dirt is one of the most gripping tales we’ve read. And while there has been a lot of justified criticism and discussion about the book, it does remind readers to consider how and why migrants risk their lives to protect their children. And that any of us would be so brave to take this on (not to mention the subsequent stigmatization that comes of illegal entry into the United States).
Female Authors at The Top of Their Game
Grown Ups, Marian Keyes
Grown Ups is a book with a family tree on the first page and you need to study it to get ready for the intricate, engaging tale of family secrets ahead. The book zigs back and forth and Irish female author Keyes is a genius for finding creative ways to ‘catch up’ the reader on details (such as a sharp newspaper ‘profile’ of one of the characters). If you want an escape into other people’s problems, this is your book.
The Dutch House, Ann Patchett
Patchett’s 8th novel is a modern fairy tale centering on two siblings whose bond is the centerpiece of the novel. The book’s narration is full of jumps and nostalgic aches. Patchett is not only one of America’s most celebrated female authors but also known as a champion of independent bookstores. Read more about her life; her work; and bookshop.
Female Authors With Deep Insight Into Country Leaders
Lady in Waiting, Anne Glenconner
Though she was the firstborn child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, as a daughter, Anne Glenconner was unable to inherit her father’s wealth. But having befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Princess Margaret, Glenconner shares an insider’s view of a rich period of history. Her own personal story is extraordinary and worth the time to dig into.
Too Much and Never Enough, Mary L. Trump
Most books written about Trump are not worth the headache of knowing his sins (which we can all see in full light), but Mary Trump’s book is different. She is a trained clinical psychologist and used her corrupt and damaged family as fodder for research. And her tale is one deemed ‘in the public’s interest’ by a judge. We salute her bravery and willingness to go public.