The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Looking For Recommendations > Female author recommendations?

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message 1: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) This was brought up in another thread, and I realized that I have read far too few, so I thought that I would "officially" ask for recommendations for female authors.

Thanks in advance!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 1733 comments What kind of books do you like to read? Mysteries, horror, science fiction, or what?


message 3: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) All of the above, but I'm just looking for any and all recommendations for good books written by female authors. :)


message 4: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4889 comments Becky, some female writers I like books of are
Patricia Cornwell
Donna Leon
Kathy Reichs
Kate Mosse
Lisa See


Patricia Cornwell has a great 'serie' (you can read th books on their own too) with Kay Scarpetta a main character.
Donna Leon writes stories about Commissario Guido Brunetti. Everything appens in Venice. she writes nice, exiting detective stories.
Kathy Reichs writes stories like Patricia Cornwell but not at such a high level.

Kate Mosse wrote
Labyrinth and Sepulchre and some others. It are historical fiction stories, very good ones.

Lisa See wrote the lovely Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel


Minette walters is good too.


message 5: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) PD James (mysteries, dark and brooding ones)
Ruth Rendell, ditto

http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/
but you can take your pick here... : )


message 6: by Fiona (last edited Dec 29, 2008 10:20AM) (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) I'll recommend Paulina Simons' The Bronze Horseman, Tatianna and Alexander and Tuly. Don't read anything else by her as the rest are absolute rubbish.

Diana Gabaldon who writes the Outlander series... I haven't read a lot of female authors. I'd like to read one who writes perhaps spy/thriller books?

I have a Cornwall and Minette Walters. Val McDermid doesn't appeal to me (that is a she right, not a male with a funny name?)



message 7: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4889 comments I agree with hayes. PD james is good and Ruth Rendell too. haven't read anything by Paulina Simons but have two books I want to read from her.


message 8: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Which books?


message 9: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4889 comments Tuly and maybe Tatiana and Alexander


message 10: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) You gotta read The Bronze Horseman if you haven't already before Tatiana and Alexander as that's the sequel. There is a third in that series but it was such a pile of bollocks I didn't even get half way before chucking it.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 1733 comments Jane Austen
Barbara Tuchman
Elizabeth George
P.D. James
Ellis Peters
Colleen McCullough


message 12: by silvia (new)

silvia  | 282 comments same of my favourites:


for mysteries:
ruth rendell, minette walters and patricia higshmith

for general fiction: margaret atwod. Love her.
the handmaids tale is one of "my books"

for fantasy and sf: marion zimmer bradley
the mists of avalon are a must read in my opinion

for paranormal/horror: anne rice, the vampire chronicles or the mayfair saga.


message 13: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4889 comments How could I forget Elizabeth George! I love ehr books!


message 14: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (TheNightOwl) Sue Monk Kidd- The Mermaid Chair & The Secret Life of Bees

Julie Garwood- I like her historical romances for a fun, fast read. Her heroines are not usually waiting around to be rescued.

Sophie Kinsella- Shopaholic Series- funny, fast chick-lit.

Philippa Gregory- loosely based historical fiction, usually involves romance. ex. The Boleyn Inheritance

Sarah Dunant- also loosely historical fiction, mostly based in Italy. Wrote In the Company of a Courtesean & The Birth of Venus

Lauren Weisberger- Funny chick-lit

Amy Tan- Her books mostly involve the Chinese Culture- ex. Joy Luck Club (if you like Lisa See you should check Amy Tan out)

Sara Gruen- Water for Elephants

Lauren Willig- loosely based historical romance with a bit of mystery thrown in. She has a flower series that I like.









message 15: by Donna (new)

Donna | 137 comments What about Geraldine Brooks. Year of Wonders,March, and People of the Book: A Novel


message 16: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) Of course, Austen is required... I've read about 1/2 of her work (Mansfield Park, P&P, S&S, Persuasion) and loved all of it. I have Northanger Abbey and Emma and her unfinished works at home TBR.

I have Labyrinth by Kate Mosse on CD, but I don't like the reader, so I haven't listened to the whole thing. I'd like to read it though.

I've read some Cornwell, which is pretty good. PD James is one that I want to read, I loved the movie Children of Men.

Philippa Gregory is another that I want to read soonish.

Thanks for all the recommendations, keep 'em coming!


message 17: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 3501 comments Colleen McCullough- I don't generally like romance, but her books are so sweeping, I forgive that.

Amy Tan-She really puts you right in her stories.

J.D. Robb- I skip over the sexy scenes, but her books are really quick, solvable mysteries. Along the lines of Patterson

Billie Letts-Like Tan, I feel like her characters are people I really know, and would recognize on the street.


message 18: by Laura (new)

Laura | 56 comments Geraldine Brooks
Elizabeth Berg
Margaret Atwood
Kate Chopin
Amy Tan



message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Jane Austen & Virginia Woolf.


message 20: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) I'm so dopey. I forgot - Elizabeth Gaskell! I prefer her to Austen.


message 21: by Hayes (last edited Dec 29, 2008 02:38PM) (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) don't know Elizabeth Gaskell... research to do tomorrow!! Almost midnight - I'm off to bed and book!


message 22: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Goodnight Hayes - Gaskell is of the lesser known but greater quality authors I think. She wrote North and South, Wives and Daughters, Ruth, Mary Barton and some gothic tales from what I remember. Only read N&S myself but will read others.


message 23: by Darla (new)

Darla (isishalo1) | 576 comments Margaret Atwood
Amy Tan
Maya Angelou
Alice Walker
Jane Austen
Philippa Gregory

That's all I can think of right now :)


message 24: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Margaret Atwood! She's one I really want to read. I have a couple of her books, 3 actually The Blind Assassin, The Edible Woman (I think) and another I can't remember.


message 25: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 3501 comments Fiona wrote: "Margaret Atwood! She's one I really want to read. I have a couple of her books, 3 actually The Blind Assassin, The Edible Woman (I think) and another I can't remember."

Have you read the Blind Assassin? I am desperately trying, but just can't get into it?



message 26: by Jane (new)

Jane | 4 comments Oh, so many! Here are some of my favorite "classics":
Katherine Mansfield
Alice Hoffman
Margaret Atwood
Toni Morrison
Isabel Allende
Sylvia Plath
Marilynne Robinson

Here are some that may not be taught in English classes, but I still love:
Manette Ansay
Jenny Maxwell
Sue Monk Kidd
Anita Shreve
Anne Rivers Siddons



message 27: by Jane (new)

Jane | 4 comments I forgot Joyce Carol Oates, another favorite - some of her books I like more than others, but her short stories are intense.


message 28: by El (new)

El Edith Wharton is a must-read (The House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence).

I also highly recommend Margaret Atwood.
Others I would recommend:
Flannery O'Connor
Annie Dillard
Joan Didion
Cynthia Ozick
Hilda Doolittle (H.D.)
Anais Nin
Alice Munro
Doris Lessing
Charlotte Gilman Perkins
Toni Morrison
Kate Chopin

I really could go on forever... :)


message 29: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Kandice wrote: "Fiona wrote: "Margaret Atwood! She's one I really want to read. I have a couple of her books, 3 actually The Blind Assassin, The Edible Woman (I think) and another I can't remember."

Have you re..."



Haven't read any of hers yet. She seems a bit weird! I did start Assassin and I remember liking it but I was just too busy at the time to get into it.



message 30: by Angela (new)

Angela | 1934 comments Joy Fielding, Erica Spindler, Sandra Brown, Lisa Gardner (great mystery authors)

Jodi Picoult another favorite of mine.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 1733 comments Oh, and I forgot Ursula K. LeGuin. I've really liked some of her science fiction/fantasy novels.


message 32: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8657 comments Mod
I dont kow why, but the woman authors I have read tended to be chick lit authors.

Here are a few that were very well written, and a more mature type of chick lit:
Monica Wood - Any Bitter Thing
Michelle Wildgen - You're Not You

For fun chick lit:
Anna Maxted - Getting Over It
Sophia Kinsella - Shopaholic series
Aimee Bender - Invisble Sign of My Own

For fun paranormal lit:
Charlaine Harris - Sookie Southern Vampire series.




message 33: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) I read "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood and didn't love it, but it stays with me, and I find myself thinking of the world she created at odd times, so perhaps I should reread it. I may appreciate it more the 2nd time around.

I do have "Oryx and Crake" on my OTR (Owned to read) list, and I am looking forward to that one. Post-apocalyptic wasteland? Count me in!

Also, I picked up "Year of Wonders" today, by Geraldine Brooks. And I am planning on getting "Water For Elephants" tomorrow.

And then I'm done book-buying. Until 2010 that is. ;)


message 34: by Donna (new)

Donna | 137 comments What about Maria Doria Russell and Andrea Barrett for general fiction and the Agatha Christie in mysteries.


message 35: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) I have read Mary Doria Russell... "The Sparrow" was pretty good, but I wasn't rushing off to get the sequel. One of these days, I do want to get "Thread of Grace" though. The historical-fiction aspect might be more up my alley.


message 36: by Mosca (last edited Dec 29, 2008 07:03PM) (new)

Mosca | 828 comments Female Science Fiction writers:

Ursula K. LeGuin
Kate Wilhelm
Connie Willis(excellent)
Lois McMaster Bujold
Pat Murphy
C.J. Cherryh
Octavia E. Butler
Maureen F. McHugh
Susanna Clarke

and separately in another catgory
Native American Literature:

Louise Erdrich

Also Southern (US) Literature:

Carson McCullers
Harper Lee

and my current favorite:

Barbara Kingsolver

Thank you, Becky, for starting this thread!



message 37: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) Anytime Mosca... I've never really thought about how many female authors there are out there that I haven't read. My TBR shelf is going to be overflowing soon!



message 38: by Maria (new)

Maria (mInks05) | 481 comments i agree with the recs of Elizabeth George, Anita Shreve, Anne Rice, Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, and Jodi Picoult.

i'd add Barbara Delinsky (her newer stuff is better) and also Jennifer Weiner. her stuff is mostly considered chic lit, but it's not all fluff.

on the chic lit strain, Jennifer Cruise is great (check out the two she co-wrote with male authors, they are laugh out loud funny) and Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Chicago Stars books. I haven't read any others from her, i couldn't get in to them. but the Stars books were really good.


message 39: by Emily (new)

Emily Definitely check out Barbara Kingsolver


message 40: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 329 comments Non-fiction: Sarah Vowell.

I wish she had taught my history classes in school.


message 41: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 25 comments Some of these are repeats but here goes:

Amy Tan
Barbara Kingsolver
Anne Rivers Siddons - southern lit
Diana Gabaldon
Billie Letts
Anne Tyler
Annie Proulx
M M Kaye - The Far Pavilions
Kiran Desai - her second and latest book, 'The Inheritance of Loss', was very good

Great thread, I haven't read many of these ladies' works or haven't been exposed to them...


message 42: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4889 comments I love books written by Maeve Binchy too. There are full of feelings and most of the time situated in Ireland, mainly Dublin. I also start to like the books Cecelia Ahern. She wrote PS I love you and another one I really liked was THank you for the memories.


message 43: by Robin (last edited Dec 30, 2008 03:56AM) (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 1002 comments Hmm I guess I don't pay attention to male/female but on thinking - I read more male then female authors.

My favorite female authors that I can think of off the top of my head:

J.K. Rowling
Ursula K. LeGuin
Sara Guen (Water for Elephants is very special)

-- Wife of GR Author Michael J. Sullivan | The Crown Conspiracy | Avempartha


message 44: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) Barbara Hambly is probably my favorite female author. Followed closely by Ursula K. Le Guin. For light reading, I also enjoy Mercedes Lackey.


message 45: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 711 comments I started reading this thread thinking I had a few to add but by the time I got to the bottom of the list you guys had named almost everyone I thought of!

A few more additions:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Marian Keyes-fun Chick lit
Emily Giffen-ditto
Marisa de los Santos-more women's fiction than chick lit

Jan Karon-The Mitford series





message 46: by Bettie☯ (new)

Bettie☯ Iris Murdoch is my favorite female wordsmith and along a more contemporary line I enjoy Sarah Waters, Kate Mosse and Diana Setterfield.


message 47: by Chrystal (new)

Chrystal | 144 comments I can't believe Dorothea Benton Frank's not on the list. She is one of my faves.....I met her at a book signing, and that made me like her even more. Her books are great.


message 48: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) Oh, and how could I forget Sara Douglas! Threshold is a must read.


message 49: by silvia (new)

silvia  | 282 comments Bettie wrote: "Iris Murdoch is my favorite female wordsmith ."

I have the book and the brotherhood on my tbr pille. i'm very curius about her




message 50: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4889 comments After all i heard about Iris Murdoch I am very curious too, since many years...but still haven't read anything yet to know what I think about it.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Labyrinth (other topics)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (other topics)
Sepulchre (other topics)
People of the Book (other topics)
Year of Wonders (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Kathy Reichs (other topics)
Patricia Cornwell (other topics)
Lisa See (other topics)
Donna Leon (other topics)
Kate Mosse (other topics)
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