I had a completely different post planned for today and then I remembered yesterday was International Women’s Day. I usually don’t celebrate the day. For me, since I am a woman, every day is women’s day. Every accomplishment I do is for women. Every failure I have is just a moment of learning for this woman. But then I realized that I should be celebrating the day. Without the women before me I wouldn’t have my job, my freedom, my right to vote. I wouldn’t even have this blog.
I wouldn’t be free to write or be inspired to write.
So today, I’m taking a moment to talk about a few of my favorite women authors. Saying women authors feels weird to me because they’ve always just been authors to me. I hope that you’ll pick up some of their work, share them with men, women, nonbinary folks, and make them staples in their lives. So at some point they just become authors to them too.
I hope you enjoy this post. I’ve included both the author and the first book I’ve read from them.
I’ll have what I was originally planning up next week (about book covers! and my second joy of discussing design).
A Wrinkle in Time
I found this book in a collection of my mom’s college books. She had to read it for one of her classes that involved children’s education. I stole it, read it, and fell in love. It was a perfect book for a girl like me because my imagination knew no bounds. I continued on and read the second and third. I haven’t gotten around to the last few books of the series. I feel like I should add them to my list to read in the next few years (there are so many books out there…I will never read them all and that hurts my soul).
Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Boxcar Children
This book might not even be good or the series. If I read it now I don’t even know if I would love it as much as I did when I was seven, but I still remember that cracked cup. This series is so feel good. It ends so happily. Definitely not realistic but when you’re a kid, realism isn’t what you’re looking for. You’re looking for kids getting exactly what they want and leaving a book happy. I loved this series. They solved mysteries and there was always that boxcar.
Mary Pope Osborne
Magic Tree House Series
If you said you never read these books, I’m going to call your bluff. This was the book to get at the Scholastic book fair. I would beeline for it every year and get the latest book. It was such a crazy adventure every time and I loved it so much. This might explain my love of the Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego game, but I digress.
Diana Wynne Jones
Howl’s Moving Castle
I 100% know this is a children’s book, but I’m placing it here because this is when I read it. After watching the film, my mind couldn’t stop thinking about the world and I had to read it. I was delighted that it was written by a woman and also the characters had so much more depth in the book. I loved all of them. And the world became even more fascinating. I would definitely recommend it.
Gail Carson Levine
The Two Princesses of Bamarre
This is the only time I’m putting the second book I’ve read because it’s my favorite. Also I just learned there’s going to be a prequel and I’m so excited. This is the only book I have read more than once (on my own accord). I have, in fact, read this book five times. I recommend it to any teen I know and I might have to read it again when the prequel finally comes out. Honestly if I ever got a signed copy of it I would probably die and then ask to be buried with the book. It inspired my love of fantasy and made me want to write fantasy.
A Great and Terrible Beauty
My friend had me read this book and this series so that someone else could be heartbroken with her. True friendship. But it was a fantastic series that definitely broke me by the end of it. The characters were wonderful and I didn’t even hate the first person present like I thought I would. She wrote such a compelling story I put aside my gripes with the format and fell in love with the story. I went on to read a few more of her books and her humor is great. If you don’t want to be heartbroken, I would avoid this book, but I would definitely read Beauty Queens. It’s hilarous.
I loved the movie growing up so I was so excited to pick this book up in college. There are a few differences in the book than the movie, but each are fantastic in their own way (I think I’ve said fantastic a lot at this point but I mean it!). If you like witchy books I would recommend picking this book up around Halloween and snuggle in for a great read. You should also read the sequel? prequel? The Rules of Magic which follow the aunts. It’s almost a better book to me. The story is so compelling and I felt so much for the aunts and their curse.
The Birth of Venus
This book accidentally awoken a love for the renaissance I didn’t know I had. It’s also one of the first books that I have read that focused a lot on a woman’s sexuality. She explores different women’s lives through the art of the time, how religion affects them, and the unabashed exploration of their sexuality. These women have sex and have the audacity to enjoy it. It was something I still hadn’t experienced myself so I was fascinated. Plus her writing is absolutely beautiful.
Daughter of the Forest
Be proud of me for not immediately screaming about this author as soon as I started writing this blog post. Juliet Marillier was an author I actually picked up in middle school (I definitely should not have read her in middle school). She writes Celtic fantasy and I have loved nearly every book she’s put out (there’s only one I wasn’t a fan of in high school but I might feel differently now). I have read multiple series from her and even read her young adult books (she published those way after I got into her books). So she now has something for nearly every age. I shout her praise whenever I can and recommend her to any fantasy book lover. Her stuff is a bit darker and tends to tackle scarier issues sometimes, but her writing is so rich and beautiful.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
This book was a sweet romance and I wanted to include it because it is a nice vacation from my usual thousand favorite fantasy novels. The story includes a plus size woman with a disability that doesn’t make her any less than her romantic interest. The story is cute, sexy, and doesn’t make you stew in the angst too long. I would recommend it as a nice quick respite from the normal day to day (especially right now).
Spin the Dawn
This book brought me the same joys The Two Princesses of Bamarre gave me and I might end up reading this one multiple times. It was a classic fantasy heroes journey. The story was beautiful and the characters had fantastic depth. I wanted to know where it was going. I wanted to follow her on this journey. I will probably read this book multiple times and I’m excited to read the sequel. Plus the covers are to die for. I originally got the book from the library but I am leaning towards getting them both just to add them to my collection.
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
My sister and I listened to the audiobook on our way back home for Christmas (we also finished on the way out) and boy did this book break us. We sat in silence in the car afterward for a good portion of the rest of the ride. The writing was rich. It was suspenseful. We felt for the character and we understood her fears and panic. We were also so mad when it ended because it had ended. My sister sent her a tweet saying how dare you. We were just so emotionally invested. And I believe there’s going to be a sequel and I’m going to be as emotionally invested then too.
One thing I’ve noticed through out the years is that not only do I read a lot of women authors, but I’ve been branching out more and more into POC authors. I hope that next year I’ll have a new list of favorite women’s authors and they’ll include people of different view points.
I hope you had a great International Women’s Day. I celebrated by eating a mac and cheese burger which, by the way, is the best way to celebrate anything. And I celebrate being a woman every day.
Let me know in the comments below your favorite women authors and if you’ll be picking up any of the above books.