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Looking For Recommendations > What's your favorite female author or favorite book by a woman?

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message 1: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 3 comments Hi all. I was recently on a trip with a group of people, one of whom had decided to read only female authors for 6 months because she had realized that all of her favorite authors were male. She figured this was because she tended to read more books by male authors than female authors (not that women don't write as well as men do). As it turned out, the rest of our group noticed we also tended to mostly read male authors and EVERY book we had brought on the 2 month trip was written by a man.

I have since decided I want to read more female authors, and so I'm looking for some suggestions. Please let me know your favorite female author or any book that you love that was written by a women.

message 2: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (sbez05) | 556 comments Some ones I've loved (in no particular order):

The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
To Kill a Mockingbord - Harper Lee
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Piccoult
Hunting and Gathering - Anna Gavalda
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer
The Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling
The Shopaholic Series - Sophie Kinsella (for a lighter read)

There are a lot more, but that's a good start! :)

message 3: by Lori, Super Mod (last edited Apr 15, 2009 08:48PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 9965 comments Mod
I can give you specific books that Ive enjoyed by female authors.

Any Bitter Thing A Novel- Monica Wood
This Book Will Save Your Life - AM Homes
The Sookie Series - Charlaine Harris
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

Im not much into chick lit anymore, but when I was I really liked:

Anna Maxted
Sophie Kinsella
Helen Fielding
Jane Green

Believe it or not, all my favorite authors are men.
Huh! I never thought of that

message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 16, 2009 03:41AM) (new)

There are some great women writers out there, like....


1.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. The Bronte Sisters: Wuthering Heights,Jane Eyre,Agnes Grey
3. Of course, Jane Austin

1.Naomi Klein, who wrote No Logo No Space, No Choice, No Jobs, and The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
2. Samantha Power who wrote A Problem from Hell America and the Age of Genocide. This won the Pulitzer Prize
3.Inga Muscio who wrote one of my all time favourite books Cunt A Declaration of Independence
4. Emma Goldman
5. Anne Frank
6. 2. Virginia Woolf

Non- chick-lit
1. Anne Rice who wrote Interview With the Vampire
2. Joyce Carol Oates Solstice
3. Toni Morrison who wrote The Bluest Eye
4. Alice Sebold who wrote The Lovely Bones
5. Alice Walker who wrote The Color Purple

Chick Lit
Theres some good recommendations about female chick lit authors already but heres a few more...
1. Marian Keyes Watermelon
2. Karin Kallmaker

1. Elizabeth Bishop
2. Sylvia Plath
3. Susan Glaspell Trifles
4. Shirley Graham

1. Alice Holman The Last Days Murder List
2. Nandita da Cunha The Magic of Maya
3. Laurell K. Hamilton
5. Flora Nwapa Efuru.

I have tried to be as inclusive as I can (for the short amount of time I have to write this) by including female authors from all around the world. There are some amazing female authors out there, and there are TONS more that I didn't include. Hope thats some help! Happy reading! :-)

message 5: by Kate (new)

Kate (kathrynlouwca) | 423 comments Jane Austen
Kate Brian
J.K. Rowling

There are others... I will post more as them come to me!

message 6: by Dorie (last edited Apr 16, 2009 04:33AM) (new)

Dorie (dorieann) | 430 comments Some of my recent favorites:

Ariana Franklin - Mistress of the Art of Death (historical mystery series)
Amy MacKinnon - Tethered A Novel (mystery featuring a female undertaker)
Hannah Tinti - The Good Thief (about an orphan who gets adopted by grave robbers)

message 7: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 954 comments L.M. Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables
Barbara Kingsolver, everything she writes is fantastic
I really, really enjoyed Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind
Oh and Juliette Marillier is really a gem if you enjoy fairy tale retellings.

message 8: by Allison (The Allure of Books) (last edited Apr 16, 2009 08:30AM) (new)

Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) I agree with April about L.M. Montgomery and the Anne of Green Gables series.

Harry Potter is brilliant if you haven't read it already.

If you like vampires, there is Stephenie Meyer and Charlaine Harris, for Twilight and the Sookie Stackhouse series.

For a classic, instead of Pride and Prejudice, you should try North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell...HIGHLY recommend that!

If you like fantasy, you should try my two favorite YA fantasy books, both recent: Graceling by Kristin Cashore and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (first of a trilogy)...overall my fave YA fantasy author is Robin McKinley.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

J.K. Rowling
J.R. Ward is a new favorite (Black Dagger Brotherhood)

Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) ooo I forgot Lian Hearn and the Otori series...hate when I do that. Course, Fiona is the one that made me read it in the first place.

Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) Fiona wrote: "Oh yeah and Diana Gabaldon, duh. :P"

double duh :P Glad you remembered her Heather :)

message 12: by Allison (The Allure of Books) (last edited Apr 16, 2009 08:43AM) (new)

Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) oooo just thought of should also check out Lauren Willig's Carnation series, Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series, and Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series. hehehe.

message 13: by Kate (new)

Kate (kathrynlouwca) | 423 comments Oh, Redeeming Love is a good one!!!

Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) Kathryn wrote: "Oh, Redeeming Love is a good one!!!"

yes it is, my fave Christian fiction by far!

message 15: by Kate (new)

Kate (kathrynlouwca) | 423 comments Allison wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Oh, Redeeming Love is a good one!!!"

yes it is, my fave Christian fiction by far!"

Definitely... a lot of Christian fiction is too cheesy to be allowed... but this one is good!

message 16: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Tied as my all time favorite author period, female or not, is Colleen McCullough. She writes all different sorts of stories, but they are all beautiful, moving, informative, amusing, whateve she is trying to do at the moment, she pulls it off.

message 17: by El (new)

El Roisu wrote: "There are some great women writers out there, like....


1.To Kill a Mockingbird by ..."

Wow, Roisu, I never see anyone throw out Emma Goldman's name! I'm impressed!

Some other good ones are:
Edith Wharton
Margaret Atwood
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)Katherine Anne Porter
Flannery O'Connor
Joan Didion
Octavia Butler
Ursula K. Le Guin

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments Barbara Tuchman
Antonia Fraser
Nancy Mitford
Dorothy L. Sayers
P. D. James
Elizabeth George (the mystery writer; haven't read the other one)
Agatha Christie
Madeleine L'Engle
Joan Aiken
E.L. Konigsburg

Those are some off the top of my head, that I've enjoyed at various ages.

message 19: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Joyce Carol Oatesis probably my all-time favorite author. Beastsis easily my favorite from her (just a warning though, some of her subject matter can get a little graphic...)

Amy Tanis another favorite. Granted, her books have similar themes and characters, but I love turning to her books when I am stuck with a "What on earth should I read next???" mood and want something that I know I will enjoy.
I suggest reading The Kitchen God's Wife. It's a great read, and the main character is based on Tan's mother's experiences and life.

message 20: by Christina (new)

Christina (chold) | 99 comments I'm not sure what your type of book is but these are some of my faves:

Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck (she had a very interesting life!)

I also liked Fountainhead by Ayn Rand but she's not really for everyone. I personally LOVED her writing style.

message 21: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) | 1045 comments Agatha Christie
Anne Perry
Margaret Weis
Tracy Hickman

message 22: by Donitello (new)

Donitello Raisu, may I say you are a god(dess)! Fabulous list!

I would certainly echo many of the suggestions so far, especially Margaret Atwood (and especially The Handmaid's Tale). But one brilliant writer no one has mentioned (she's lesser known) is Haven Kimmel. Check out A Girl named Zippy to start. Then definitely go on to She Got Up Off the Couch.

Oh, and also E. Annie Proulx's The Shipping News is a beautiful page-turner.

message 23: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I have to agree with some of the previously mentioned authors, specifically:
Jane Austen (I've yet to read Gaskell, so I can't vouch for her)
J.K. Rowling
Harper Lee
Diane Setterfield
Charlotte Bronte

I must add:
L.M. Montgomery
Libba Bray
Daphne Du Maurier
Anne McCaffrey
Kate Mosse
Billie Letts

message 24: by Mosca (last edited Apr 16, 2009 05:42PM) (new)

Mosca | 828 comments Leslie,

I don't think that you or your friend will find that you are making much of a sacrifice to read only women authors. There is a wealth of talent available from these authors.

Louise Erdrich-She writes with an emotional edge; but she is a master.
Carson McCullers-Likewise a master of the emotional edge.
Barbara Kingsolver-Easy to love her work.
Sara Gruen - Water for Elephants
Audrey Niffenegger - The Time Traveler's Wife
Mary Doria Russell - A Thread of Grace

A number of women friends tell me they don't like Science Fiction. My personal theory is that they haven't read:

Ursula K. Le Guin
Connie Willis
Lois McMaster Bujold
Susanna Clarke
Kate Wilhelm
C.J. Cherryh
Mary Doria Russell - The Sparrow

Economic/Current Events:
Naomi Klein-The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Barbara Tuchman

If I didn't list a particular book after an author's name, it's because she has written a number of good books; and I didn't want to clutter this thread.

I'm also repeating some names others have also mentioned. That's likely to mean they are particularly worthwhile writers.

You are going to thank yourselves for your choice.

message 25: by Mosca (last edited Apr 16, 2009 05:45PM) (new)

Mosca | 828 comments Megha,

You've mentioned a book by one of my favorite political essayists - Arundhati Roy.

I have not yet read The God of Small Things. But it is high on my to-be-read list.

She is an awesome public speaker.

message 26: by GracieKat (last edited Apr 16, 2009 05:54PM) (new)

GracieKat | 864 comments Here are a few of my favorites:
The Poisonwood Bible-Barbara Kingsolver
Just about anything by Jane Austen (except Emma, I just can't seem to get into that one)
Chocolat-Joanne Harris
Five Quarters of an Orange-Joanne Harris
Rebecca-Daphne Du Maurier
The Color Purple-Alice Walker
Practical Magic-Alice Hoffman
The Kitchen God's Wife-Amy Tan
The Joy Luck Club-Amy Tan
The Bonesetters Daughter-Amy Tan (WARNING: Don't read this if you have a loved one going through senile dementia or Alzheimer's Disease, it'll make you cry your eyes out)
The Hundred Secret Senses-Amy Tan
And (if you want a quick read) Trick or Treat, April Fools, The Locker, The Lifeguard-Richie Tankersley Cusick, she's a teen horror author but they're pretty good, especially The Locker)

On a side note, has anyone noticed that there are very few women horror novelists?

message 27: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (CherylsPearls) I don't think anyone has mentioned Maya AngelouMaya Angelou or Ayn RandAyn Rand.

For lighter reads, I love M.C. Beaton, too. I adore her Agatha Raisin novels (and Hamish MacBeth series, too).M.C. Beaton

message 28: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 17, 2009 09:52AM) (new)

Thanks Doni! Yep, I'm female. El, Emma Goldman is a legend! I agree with much of what she says.. I think I might try what the author Inga Muscio does in 'Cunt: A declaration of Independence' and read only female authors for the whole summer.

Oh, and I forgot another book written by female authors, which I haven't read yet, but I've heard is amazing: Off the Map by Hib Chickena.

message 29: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 3 comments This is great. I've already made a long list of books to look for when I visit a local used book store this weekend. Thanks for all of the advise!

JG (Introverted Reader) A book written by a female author with strong female characters that I love is Ahab's Wife Or, The Star-gazer A Novel by Sena Jeter Naslund. This is one of my favorites.

message 31: by Brenda (last edited Apr 18, 2009 05:48PM) (new)

Brenda | 266 comments JG wrote: "A book written by a female author with strong female characters that I love is [b:Ahab's Wife Or, The Star-gazer A Novel|7742|Ahab's Wife Or, The Star-gazer A Novel (P.S.)|Sena Jeter Naslund|ht..."

Oh yes... I loved that too. She's also written Abundance:A Novel of Marie Antoinette which is good also.

I'd recommend A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

message 32: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 266 comments oops.. I forgot - Margaret Mitchell, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence, Dorothy Allison, Carol Shields, Anita Shreve and Alice Munro.

message 33: by Liz M (last edited Apr 20, 2009 07:59PM) (new)

Liz M Some favorites that haven't been mentioned yet:

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, a fantastic book about a Native American Veteran who must reconcile who he was with who he has become.

Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck, same amazing writing as The Good Earth, but the subject matter is more focused on family dynamics/power.

Suite Française gorgeously written novel set in occupied France in WWII.

Isabel Allende I especially enjoyed the Eva Luna stories and Zorro

Land of the Burnt Thigh, I think this is non-fiction, but reads like fiction. It's the story of two sisters & their difficult, but ultimately successful life as homesteaders in the early 1900s.

Lizard by Banana Yoshimoto, a collection of six connected stories.

Half of a Yellow Sun mesmerizing enough that I wasn't bothered by a six-hour flight delay, although the subject matter can be tough -- set in Nigeria during a civil war.

Jane Smiley is a favorite author of mine. Especially A Thousand Acres, which is a retelling of King Lear and Moo a send-up of University/academia.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe A Novel Hilarious!

Martyrs' Crossing heartbreaking novel centered on a tragic event at a Jerusalem checkpoint and it's effects on all the characters involved.

What I Loved well-crafted book about two couples in the NYC art world.

message 34: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 25 comments Oh! So many, so many...faves off the top of my head...

Handmaid's Tale -Atwood
Still Alice - Genova
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Smith
Time Traveler's Wife - Niffenegger
History of Love - Krauss
The Awakening - Chopin
H. Potter - Rowling
Ahab's Wife - Naslund
My Antonia - Cather
Necessary Madness - Crowell
The Historian - Kostova
To Kill a Mockingbird - Lee
Anne Frank - The Diary of a Young Girl - Frank
Rebecca - Maurier
Cold Sassy Tree - Burns
Bel Canto - Patchett
The Boys in the Trees - Swan

Have a great time reading the work of these amazing women!

message 35: by Marci (new)

Marci (iread49) | 215 comments Barbara Kingsolver esp Poisonwood Bible
Lisa Lutz - The Spellman Series unique and hilarious
Katrina Kittle - The Kindness of Strangers(very difficult subject matter handled very well)
Jodi Picolt, Jennifer Haigh plus I agree with so many of the aforementioned!!!

message 36: by Donitello (new)

Donitello Okay, just for fun: Which of the above-mentioned books are real page-turners?

The reason I'm asking is that some of these books -- which I consider fabulous and very worth reading -- were, in my opinion, a bit of a slog. I'm always dying to get my hands on books by female authors who can tell a damned good story. That's why I suggested Margaret Atwood and Haven Kimmel (Message 28, above). I'd be tremendously grateful to hear about some of these other recommended titles: Besides being worthy books, which ones are also hugely fun to read??

Thank you in advance, ladies!

Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) Huge page turners:

The Hunger Games
Across the Nightingale Floor
Harry Potter

JG (Introverted Reader) Page turners? Hmmm. I think a lot of these are books to be savored. I'll suggest Mary Kay Andrews as being a very fun, quick read. I think of page turners as being full of action, and I'm drawing a pretty big blank on that at the moment.

message 39: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Charlaine Harris or J.D. Robb both write super quick, easy reads, but you can't be looking for literature, just fun:)

message 40: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) Here are some of my favourite novels written by female authors:

- all of Jane Austen's novels =)
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
- Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
- A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewychka

(Hmm, I just scanned through my shelf and realized my shelves predominantly consists of male authors...)

message 41: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) | 1045 comments Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold- I could't put it down once I read the first sentence.

message 43: by Kendall (last edited Apr 21, 2009 03:10AM) (new)

Kendall (kendallfurlong) | 5 comments Interesting, it seems that no can answer the questions as asked. My singular answer is:

Favorite book by a female author? MIddlemarch
Favorite female author? Jane Austin.

Of course, it's easy to understand why everyone feels compelled to give multiple answers; there're so many good ones leaving any of them out seems blasphemous! Still, I'll stick with my literal interpretation. History supports them, and while future history will undoubtedly support some contemporary writers, we don't know which of the many will be so consecrated.

message 44: by GracieKat (new)

GracieKat | 864 comments It doesn't say any single author though. The original post just says to recommend any books by female authors or female authors in general. That's probably why there are so many multiple answers.

message 45: by Molly (new)

Molly (slinkyxo) | 8 comments I loved Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

message 46: by Irene (new)

Irene (irenee) Barbara Kingsolver - Poisonwood Bible
Anything by Miriam Toews
Anne Marie MacDonald - Fall on Your Knees , As the Crow Flies
Jane Smiley - esp. Horse Heaven, My Year at the Races
Pat Barker - especially the regeneration Trilogy
Sarah Hall - The Electric Michaelangelo
Nualla O'Failloan - My Dream of You
Frances Itani - Deafening
Nadine Gortimer
Annie Proulx
P.D. James - great mysteries
Alice Munro
Louise Erdich
Doris Lessing
Isak Dinesen

message 47: by Liz (new)

Liz Durham | 58 comments Elizabeth Straub (Amy & Isabelle) is really good, as well as Ann Patchett (The Patron Saint of Liars) and Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic).

message 48: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 218 comments Mists of Avalon by Marian Zimmer Bradley

Also love Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood and Catherine Cookson

message 49: by Stef (new)

Stef (buch_ratte) | 650 comments These are some of the female authors I read and liked:

Diane Setterfield
Kate Mosse
Brenda Joyce
Luanne Rice
Jennifer Lee Carrell

I probably read others but I don't remember them right away. but it is like Li said: I mainly read books written by men. Wasn't aware of it because I choose my books by the title/cover not by the sex of the author.

message 50: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia (pandoraphoebesmom) | 1826 comments My favorite female author is Diana Gabaldon - Her Outlander series are my favorite books of all time - LOVE THEM - I haven't read her other series The Lord John's yet - not sure why but she's fabulous.

Just check my page

You'll find a ton of really great female authors.

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