There’s no better time to celebrate female authors than on International Women’s Day. There are so many authors I love that could have made this list but I’ve condensed it to a select few auto-buy authors and authors I have recently fallen in love with. Below I will recommend one book by each writer that I really loved.
How could I write this list without including the wonderful Jane Austen? I adore all of her books. But two of them stand out to me the most. While Pride and Prejudice is close to my heart, I have chosen to recommend Emma and not because we share a name! It’s the first Austen book I fell in love with and it has a really lovely story about a woman who always plays matchmaker and meddles in everyone else’s love life. But her meddling doesn’t always go to plan. Emma, the main character, is described as “handsome, clever and rich” and even though some would say she’s spoiled, she adds a lot of humour to a very engrossing read. She’s also a very independent character, because of her family circumstances, which I think is quite rare in books written in the 1800s. Even though Austen’s books aren’t set in our modern world, her writing is something that is still relevant today, especially Emma, which I think could be seen as a feminist book.
My recommendation: In Case You Missed It!
I could list every single Lindsey Kelk book and know with certainty they would bring a lot of joy to anyone reading them. Kelk became my auto-buy author after I read I Heart New York in 2009. Her writing is so funny and it’s impossible not to fall in love with all of her characters. In Case You Missed It! is her latest release and it is the perfect read for anyone who loves a bit of a rom-com. The story follows Ros who heads home after a few years working abroad. She’s dealing with a lot of emotions, especially as she is now living in her parents’ shed. She misses her life post-move especially as her friends have grown up a lot since she last saw them. She decides to start dating her ex with the hope of getting some of her former life back but it might not all go to plan. This book is all about learning self-worth and leaving everything that was toxic in the past.
My recommendation: Sharp Objects
Gillian Flynn has a flair for writing haunting, creepy thrillers. She’s also written one of my favourite thrillers so I had to include her in this list. In a good way, Sharp Objects is probably one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. It follows journalist Camille who heads back to her hometown to report on the mysterious murders of two young girls. This story will have you gripped from the start. At times it can be quite eerie, especially as the main character is dealing with some traumatic memories of her own which lead to self harm. Flynn manages, as she always does, with her writing style, to make the reader feel as uncomfortable as possible with every turn of the page and also keeps us guessing until the very last page. One of the things I liked about this one was the impact it had on me after finding out who the killer was.
My recommendation: Wuthering Heights
If you love a dark, gothic tale, then I would highly recommend this heart-breaking novel. I would insist you have a bunch of tissues at hand if you decide to read Wuthering Heights. When writing this list, I didn’t know which Brontë sister to include because I’m also a huge fan of Jane Eyre but I decided on the author that has had the biggest impact on me. Wuthering Heights follows the tumultuous romance between Heathcliff and Cathy. Even though lots of people think this is a romantic novel, there’s a lot more to it, including ghosts and a lot of drama. It’s rare for me to love a book that has unlikeable characters. The only other book off the top of my head I can think of is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I think what makes Wuthering Heights so engrossing is the fact that the characters are flawed and aren’t these perfect people but Brontë somehow manages to get us as to root for them from the very beginning.
My recommendation: Take a Hint, Dani Brown
Talia Hibbert is a new author I have fallen in love with ever since reading the Brown sister series. I think she also writes a lot of steamier romance novels too but I haven’t read any of those as I prefer more of a rom-com type novel instead of all the smutty stuff. For this author I am recommending the second book in the series, which is Take a Hint, Dani Brown. I loved this one because it has a fake dating trope. To summarise, Dani Brown starts pretend dating her best friend, Zafir, a security guard, after he carries her out of the building they both work at during a fire drill. A video of them goes viral and Zafir asks if she will pretend to be his girlfriend in order for him to gain a bigger audience for a charity fundraiser he is a part of. As you can imagine, they may or may not fall in love. It’s a really funny and cute read.
My recommendation: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Holly Jackson really knows how to keep the readers attention. Her first book, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, surprised me as I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s definitely worth the hype. It’s an immersive and clever thriller that has so many unexpected twists and turns. Following schoolgirl Pippa as she uses her class assignment to search for the true killer of Andie Bell, who was murdered 5 years ago. Sal Singh, Andie’s boyfriend, is suspected by the entire town as the murderer but Pippa thinks the allegations are wrong so she goes searching and it seems more than one person is a hiding a secret that they don’t want revealed. One of the things I like about Jackson’s writing is that everything in the story is useful to the plot, there’s no filler. I also found the articles, social media extracts and diary entries at the end of chapters to be a really interesting addition and something I rarely see in novels.
My recommendation: Such a Fun Age
Such a Fun Age is the first book I’ve read by Kiley Reid and it’s made me excited to see what else she releases in the future as I managed to read the book in one sitting. I enjoyed how the author managed to write two believable protagonists who are complete opposites but are intertwined in each other’s lives. The way she writes is really easy to read, which I always think is a sign of a good book. Emira, 20-something, is the first protagonist we meet. She often babysits for the Chamberlain family who are white and wealthy. Alix Chamberlain is the other protagonist and the mother of the baby that Emira takes care of. The plot starts with Emira being accused of kidnapping a child she is taking care of because the security guard of the local convenient shop believes it’s suspicious that a black woman like Emira would be looking after a white child late at night.
My recommendation: Love Your Life
I first fell in love with Sophie Kinsella’s writing when I was about 13 years old. And I will always pick up her books and recommend them to anyone who will listen. She has such a flair for writing comedy and I adore all of her characters, especially Becky Bloomwood from the Confession of a Shopaholic series. I think her newest book Love Your Life is a really great read and the perfect escapism. After a break-up, Ava ends up at a writing retreat where she meets Matt. No-one at the retreat is allowed to tell each other their names or anything about their lives. So when they go back to their normal lives, neither Ava nor Matt are what they imagined the other to be like and find out that they’re complete opposites. I loved the emphasis in this book on individuality.
My recommendation: On the Come Up
Angie Thomas became an auto-buy author for me after I read The Hate U Give. I think that book locked in a lot of her fans. Even though I did enjoy her first novel, I think a lot of people forget about her second book, On the Come Up, which is just as good in its own right. In this book she tackles issues surrounding poverty, race and discrimination. It is narrated by Bri, 16, who wants to make a success as a rapper. But faces many obstacles, including the horrible stereotypes placed on her. At school she’s deemed to be too cheeky for using her voice and by many others she’s labelled as someone with anger issues all because of the colour of her skin. One of the things I do love about Thomas’ work is the way she writes family dynamics as they’re very true to life. The author always seems to get the balance right between demonstrating the difficulties that face black communities and the lighthearted moments in life.
My recommendation: Legendary
Garber is an author that massively surprised me. I hadn’t been enjoying a lot of fantasy books for a while but when I picked up the Caraval series I was hooked. The world of Caraval is so magical and I love the characters she creates. I particularly enjoy the bond between the two sisters sisters, Donatella and Scarlett and their feminist beliefs. I prefer Legendary to the first book in the series because it has a different narrator and I enjoyed the carefree and fun nature of the book. The story follows the two sisters as they run away from home to attend a big magical event, known as Caraval. The audience members have to play the game in order to win a big prize. The story can be quite dark at times but it adds to the excitement. Garber’s writing is so enchanting and beautiful to read. I’m excited to pick her next book up once it’s out later this year.
What female authors do you always recommend? Let me know by commenting below. I also have more bookish content on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest – @bookwormgirl_24