Good Minds Suggest: Jojo Moyes' Women Living Boldly

Posted by Goodreads on January 1, 2017

In Jojo Moyes' new book, Still Me, the author reunites readers with Louisa Clark, the beloved character she created in Me Before You. This time the small-town girl finds herself in New York City.

Me Before You explored how it would feel if life had somehow slipped away and you found yourself leading a very small life, and After You focused on Louisa's grieving process. This new book takes Moyes' heroine on a big-city adventure, where Louisa yearns to start over and is thrown into the world of high society.

Moyes recommends five great books about women living boldly. "For some years I've made a conscious choice to write about women who do things. They can be surprisingly hard to find in commercial literature—female characters are often defined by their romantic lives or what they wear," says Moyes. "I want today's girls to read about other girls being strong and pushing beyond their boundaries, being true to themselves and their ambitions. It's a big old world out there—claim it!"

"For a book published in 1935, it's an oddly radical book. Young Velvet Brown, a weedy teenager, trains her wild horse to run in the Grand National—Britain's toughest horse race—with the help of her mother, who was once a cross-Channel swimmer. Funny, original, and inspirational."

"Nearly all female writers have identified with Jo, who so far pushes outside traditional boundaries that her father calls her his 'son.' Her strong, willful personality helps her dictate her own career and romantic life, unlike those of her sisters."

"Has there ever been a more singular heroine than Jane Eyre? She survives a brutal childhood at Gateshead Hall and Lowood to find herself in thrall to the surly, uncompromising Rochester. She leaves him, despite her love for him, when she discovers the truth about him, but she refuses to make life easier for herself by marrying St. John Rivers. When they finally reunite, Rochester asks her, 'Am I hideous, Jane?' She replies, 'Very, sir: You always were, you know.'"

"Strayed's memoir of her 1,100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail is a redemptive one. It shows the many ways in which the author messes up, but in fierce, bald prose shows how the physical and emotional stresses of her journey strengthen her and bring her to a new place. The New York Times describes it as 'a classic of wilderness writing and modern feminism.'"

"Is there any better example of 'living boldly' than Malala Yousafzai? This memoir, co-authored with Christina Lamb, tells the story of the young Pakistani activist shot by the Taliban. Despite continuing threats to her safety, she went on not just to become a Nobel Prize laureate but to spearhead the fight for education for girls."

Want more book recommendations from authors? Check out our Good Minds Suggest series.

Comments Showing 1-50 of 55 (55 new)

message 1: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Tobkes I read them all, years ago. They're classics.

message 2: by Krissy (new)

Krissy I Am Malala. I wrote a report on it FOR FUN. That’s how inspirational she is, even to a then eleven year old.

message 3: by Whitney (new)

Whitney Currently reading Wild and I love it! I'm excited to discover the rest of Cheryl's journey

message 4: by Norma (new)

Norma Hughes Love to read about strong woman, helps me to be stronger.

message 5: by Esther (new)

Esther Bradley-detally Tead them all

message 6: by Esther (new)

Esther Bradley-detally Read them all

message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary Sobczak Can't wait for this, the others were great

message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan National Velvet and Little Women were two of my favourite childhood books. I'd also add The Secret Garden with its strong-willed main character, Mary.

message 9: by Nagaraj (new)

Nagaraj Yes I do

message 10: by Christine (new)

Christine I totally adore creating strong female leaders... Since I believe in them wholeheartedly, I feel priviledged to be able to observe their deeds, to read their minds and to hear them speak...
I love to follow their passion and witness their incredible courage.
It's true, my heroines inspire me to do better, be braver, more outspoken and virtually fearless. Hoofbeat Heartbeat Fifteen Hands Above the Ground by Christine E. MacKenzie

message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann I've read and been inspired by all five books.

message 12: by Lisa of Hopewell (new)

Lisa of Hopewell Couldn't stomach Wild. Heroin is so not cool.

message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann I've read them all. I Am Malaya is the best chronicle of the history of the Middle East turmoil, written by the bravest young lady.

I also recommend A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout, the courageous story of her horrifying captivity in Somalia.

message 14: by Claire (new)

Claire Scorzi I read Little Women & Jane Eyre, Unforgettable!

message 15: by Debra (new)

Debra Thank you and there is only 2 I haven't read. The others I read when I was young. Amazing books!! I was so lucky to have won Still Me from Goodreads. I just received it and I am very excited to read it. I love JoJo Moyes' books!!!!

message 16: by Christine (new)

Christine I have read all these books, Little Woman, Jane Eyre, national Velvet, in my childhood and enjoyed them, I read them more than once. Wild I read a while ago when the film came out. I Am Malala I read as soon as the book came old, what a inspirational young girl she was, and I hope that she goes on from strength to strength

message 17: by Nicky (new)

Nicky Chivers Slave by Mende Nazar is also an insightful read

message 18: by Deanne (new)

Deanne One of my childhood favourites was Anne of Green Gables - also a strong minded determined feisty character.

message 19: by Stu (new)

Stu Webbb Did you know that Jojo wrote a great book about war brides, called "The Ship of Brides"?

message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol Yes I have also read most of them. I do need to read I am Malia so will order it today

message 21: by Latarsha (new)

Latarsha I've loved Jane Eyre for decades.

message 22: by Ctriko (new)

Ctriko I've read Jane Eyre. Can't wait to read others definitely.

message 23: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Pickford Little women and Jo's Boys were two my Favourite classics from my childhood

message 24: by Mahra (new)

Mahra Okay I couldn’t read the second book for “Me Before You” but seeing that there is a third book for the story is exciting!! Missed JoJo Moyes writing!

message 25: by Mon (new)

Mon I’ve never heard of National Velvet and I’m def going to read Malala 💚

message 26: by Ngozi (new)

Ngozi Johnson A VERY good list to walk through for new readers trying to enjoy reading. Currently going through Jane Eyre and loving it so far.

message 27: by Drew (new)

Drew Irons Meh. Everyone knows Jane Eyre and Little Women are about strong female characters. This is a missed opportunity to highlight some amazing contemporary female authors writing stories about some great heroines, Jenny Ashcroft amd Rachel Burton to name but two!

message 28: by Anne (new)

Anne Blunsden Drew wrote: "Meh. Everyone knows Jane Eyre and Little Women are about strong female characters. This is a missed opportunity to highlight some amazing contemporary female authors writing stories about some grea..."

Thank you Drew, I haven't read either of these authors, I will make a note.

message 29: by Jessica (new)

Jessica H I'm happy to add some of these great books to my TBR but having just finished Jane Eyre yesterday and loving it, I'm kind of disappointed that this summary basically gives away the entire book. How about no spoilers?!

message 30: by Creative Orange (new)

Creative Orange (Rumell Khan) Love them

message 31: by Linda (new)

Linda Oleniuk Good choice. I’ve read them all and they are great.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery would complement this list.
Truly a remarkable book.

message 32: by Marion (new)

Marion Roux Two different types of books are "I am Malala" and "Wild", but I enjoyed both immensely. The others are heart-warming reads from my childhood.
More contemporary reads about interesting women that I also so enjoyed were "The Seamstress" by Maria Duenas, "Fever" by Mary Beth Keane and "
Still Alice" (non-fiction)

message 33: by Lexie (new)

Lexie Stu wrote: "Did you know that Jojo wrote a great book about war brides, called "The Ship of Brides"?"

I loved "The ship of Brides"!

message 34: by Mercedes (new)

Mercedes Fernández Beschtedt I also liked The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown. Yet Moyes' The Horse Dancer remains one of my favourite!

message 35: by Christine (new)

Christine Geery I have read all of these books and loved them all.

message 36: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Read them all; the classics as a child. Wild is a favourite.

message 37: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor Just studied Jane Eyre at university
It was so interesting
I can't wait to pick it up

message 38: by Cherie (new)

Cherie Dinah from "The Red Tent" is probably my favorite heroine. She stays true to herself even as life sends her trial after trial.

message 39: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Drew wrote: "Meh. Everyone knows Jane Eyre and Little Women are about strong female characters. This is a missed opportunity to highlight some amazing contemporary female authors writing stories about some grea..."

My thoughts exactly!

message 40: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Read them all! What great role models (and stories). And even if "everyone knows," rediscovery is important.

message 41: by Holly Klass (new)

Holly Klass Read the first three and the other two are now on my wish list. I agree about The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables. I'm currently reading Still Me. I read on my Kindle and, at my recommendation, my library recently bought the title in EPub format so I'm having to read it in my browser. Takes away from some of my computer time. So far I'm enjoying it.

message 42: by Louise (new)

Louise I have read all but one. They are all fantastic books that I will be sure that my daughter reads when she is older.

message 43: by Zsofia (new)

Zsofia I've only read Jane Eyre, thanks for the recommendations - only one of them hasn't before reading this article been on my list!

message 44: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Seyfried Susan wrote: "National Velvet and Little Women were two of my favourite childhood books. I'd also add The Secret Garden with its strong-willed main character, Mary."

The Secret Garden was one of my favorites growing up! Even more than Little Women, which is one of the great classics everyone should read.

message 45: by Simona (new)

Simona I am planning to read Jane Eyre this year. I have so much to read so I would be pleased if I read this book. So many people there who read all of the books which are mention in the article. That's praiseworthy!

message 46: by Nancy (new)

Nancy I've read them all except for the last book (on my TBR list)... Jane Eyre is one of my top 10 books!

message 47: by deadinside (new)

deadinside These are classics and everyone knows about these books. I have read these years ago

message 48: by Tasneem (new)

Tasneem Khaled Will read these books again. Thanks for the recommendations

message 49: by Eibhlis (new)

Eibhlis Lucey Lisa of Hopewell wrote: "Couldn't stomach Wild. Heroin is so not cool." Did you finish it?

message 50: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Just read a fascinating book about the strongest girl/woman I've ever encountered. "The Girl With Seven Names" is a non-fiction book about a North Korean girl who defects. It reads like a novel and is spellbinding. No fiction character I've read about is stronger than she is. I highly recommend, not just for the her strength, but as an eye-opener to life in North Korea. This book will stay with me for a long time...

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