Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Women Authors -- BOOK THOUGHTS

Women Authors

March is Women's History Month, so I thought I'd highlight some of the women authors sitting on my TBR shelves. My reading is split pretty evenly between male and female authors and this is reflected in the books on my TBR shelves. 

Who are some of your favorite women writers? Or those you want to try?

Here’s are two stacks of books by women. In the stack on the left are ten books by women writers whose books I’ve already tried. Some of these, like Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark, are favorites and I've read most of their books. Others, like Margaret Atwood and Elizabeth Strout, are those I've only dipped into but want to read more of their work. In the right stack are ten book by women writers whose work is new to me. There are many other women authors I love, but I limited myself to ten of each. 


Kate Atkinson, Transcription. I love everything by Atkinson. I really like her Jackson Brodie mystery series, but I also like her historical fiction. 

Margaret Atwood, Hag-Seed. This is Atwood's retelling of William Shakespeare's last play, The Tempest. I've read and enjoyed a few other books from the Hogarth Shakespeare series so am really looking forward to this one. 

Joanne Harris, Five Quarters of the Orange. I've only read one Joanne Harris book and can't remember which one, other than it wasn't Chocolat. I need to remedy this situation. 

Patricia Highsmith, Ripley Under Ground and Ripley’s Game. My book club read her first Ripley book a few years ago and I intended to read the others straight through, but I got off track.

Iris Murdoch, Nuns and Soldiers. I love Murdoch's books but she was so prolific! I feel like I must have read them all but I'm only halfway through. 

Ann Patchett, State of Wonder. I read Bel Canto right when it came out and didn't like it so never read any more books by Anne Patchett. Then my book club read The Dutch House and I loved it, so I read Tom Lake when it came out. Now I want to go back and read her earlier books. 

Annie Proulx, Bad Dirt. The Shipping News is one of my very favorite books. I think I've read almost everything Proulx has written. I don't gravitate to short stories, so what is left on my TBR shelf are a coup of sort story collections, like this one.

Barbara Pym, An Academic Question. Pym is another author I love but have not read as many of her books as I think I have. Time to catch up!

Muriel Spark, The Comforters. I love Spark's snarky, dark humor but have never read this, her first novel. 

Elizabeth Strout, Oh William! I'm not wild about the two other Strout books I've read, but I found this one in a little free library so want to give her another chance. 


Ann Beattie, Chilly Scenes of Winter. This one is on Erica Jong's list of Top 20th Century Novels by Women, one of my favorite sources of women authors. 

Suzanne Berne, A Crime in the Neighborhood. This one won the 1999 Women's Prize for Fiction (then the Orange Prize), my other favorite source for finding women writers.

Gina Berriault, Women in Their Beds. Again, I am not drawn to short stories. But this one won both the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and I am working my way through both those lists. 

Harriet Doerr, Stones for Ibarra. Another Erica Jong listed book.

Shirley Hazzard, The Transit of Venus. This has been on my TBR shelf for years, even though it sounds like a wonderful ovel about two sisters. 

Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of Pointed Firs. It isn't easy to find classic books by women so I don't know why I haven't read this before now. 

Hiromi Kawakami, The Nakano Thrift Shop. I don't know anything about this, but bought it on a whim because I liked the cover and title. 

Molly Keane, Good Behaviour. This one gets a lot of love on Instagram so I am excited to read it. 

Olivia Manning, The Balkan Trilogy. Anthony Burgess included this trilogy on his list of the Best 99 Novels in English Since 1939 (to 1984), another list I'm working on.

Jody Picoult, Keeping Faith. Despite Picoult's enormous popularity, I have yet to read any of her books. 

Do any of these look good to you? Where would you start?

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