Not Enough Women

Amelia always watches in fascination as I read, and then gets angry when she can’t turn the thick cardboard pages of her own books.  This got me thinking that much of the literature I read is by male authors, and in the future, I will be wanting to introduce Amelia to a good blend of both men and women.

Winter reading with Amelia, she made sure I was pronouncing all the words correctly.

As most of my readers are of the female variety, this is where your expertise would be greatly appreciated.  I would love some recommendations for good authors, especially beyond the women who wrote the classics.  I have a bit of list of books gathered already but would love to add to it and have a richer reading list.

I am already a huge fan of Virginia Woolf, Irène Némirovsky as well as the recently read Marguerite Yournecar, and Daphne Du Maurier, and plan to read some more Barbara Kingsolver, Dava Sobel, Eowyn Ivey, and Enid Blyton.

Admittedly that’s setting the bar high, and aiming for the future, I’m interested in authors for all ages so I can give them a read first and hopefully my enthusiasm for books I enjoy will encourage Amelia to dive into the world of books.

On my TBR pile are the likes of Diana Wynne Jones, Elizabeth Taylor , Hannah Arendt, Joan Didion, Han Kang, and Elena Ferrante, as well as some authors who will hopefully be obscure enough for me to introduce them to you, and reward your input here.

I don’t normally suggest sharing this around and getting other people involved but the more the merrier, I’m eager to find more books, and to cement Amelia in reading riches.  My enjoyment is purely coincidental in all this, honest.

15 Replies to “Not Enough Women”

  1. Ooh that’s a big question Ste! Studies do show that men tend to predominantly read male authors, while women tend to read both sexes. I don’t really know where to start! Jeanette Winterson is one of my favourite female authors, I enjoy Joanne Harris’ rich language and Alice Hoffman’s magical realism. Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou, Angela Carter, Joyce Carol Oates…I could go on and on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I tried Atwood and Carter but didn’t finish either book. The others you mention are all names familiar to me but as usual, I feel underread again.

      Maybe one of the reasons for the guys reading male authors is because the books tackled at school aren’t the most accessable to inspire the boys. I am looking forward to exploring the authors you listed. The book pile is still ever growing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Where to start! Iris Murdoch would be an interesting one, as I feel she’s really good at getting under the skin of her male characters (although I’d need to find a male Murdoch reader to confirm this!) Assuming you’re after writers at the more literary end of the spectrum, I’d say off the top of my head Donna Tartt, Rose Tremain and Marilynne Robinson; but so many to choose from!!

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    1. I always love the more literary end of the spectrum but I also go with the flow. I had Tartt’s debut once but never got around to it. Maybe I will be that male Murdoch reader that confirms in the future. Thanks for the suggestions, I always crave previosuly unexperienced authors.

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  3. I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned it before (my memory gets older every year, whilst my happiness quotient for the most part remains blithely young; it may be a real question of senility), but if you’re reading Joan Didion, how about “The White Album”? The main topic seems to be (again, memory may be leading me astray) her migraine headaches, and though this sounds like a drag, the book is fascinating. As well, though it is a classic, I feel it’s an under-praised one, Katherine Anne Porter’s “Ship of Fools.” Serious stuff, and full of wonderful sentences. Hi to Crissy and Amelia, your folks, and Bella.

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    1. I have some Didion knocking about but not The White Album. I will check out Ship of Fools, I am sure there are a number of books with that name which will make it more interesting when remembering which ones I want to read. I am getting a healthy does of women at the moment, all that remains is ride out Amelia’s teething and I can pick up reading again.

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  4. Yes to Diana Wynne Jones, who she can start in her early teens. Don’t forget Ursula K LeGuin either. Anne Tyler for her quiet stories about families. Atwood, Woolf, Elizabeth Taylor. George Eliot.

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    1. I did forget about LeGuin she has been added, as have the others I haven’t previously looked into. I forgot to mention Susan Hill, I tend to read lots of her work too.

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  5. I would say that Irène Némirovsky but she’s already mentioned here. Hoping that you could check out some Filipino female authors, Rosa Henson and Lualhati Bautista.

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    1. Yes, this, absolutely! I need to read more Filipino books, we have a few more back home but I want to spread my wings even more.

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  6. Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro. Jacqueline Woodson (writes for kids and adults). Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing). If you’re looking for lighter, fun and well-written, there’s Liane Moriarty. She pokes her finger at “types.” Another fun read is Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple. Going a little darker, Candace Fleming’s Family Romanov is technically YA nonfiction, but It’s great reading for adults, too. And one whom I haven’t read yet, but have plans to because her books are so highly acclaimed and meticulously researched: Ruta Sepetys’s historical fiction.

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    1. Lots of authors I’ve never come across here which is great, I love to find more books to dive into. I have a good list going now, plenty to look into, now I just have to feel like reading again!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Goodness, you have set us a difficult challenge! My first suggestion is that you check out the Women’s Prize for Fiction (used to be the Orange Prize). I know that prizes are not always an indicator of readability, but I have found this one to be really helpful in highlighting new-to-me women authors from a wide range of backgrounds. On Twitter, have a look at @womenread and @Read_WIT for starters – oodles of excellent suggestions here. And then how about some of the indie presses which promote women authors – Persephone is an obvious one; Linen Press and Handheld Press have very interesting titles; and Peirene have brilliant translated titles. Good luck, and I look forward to reading Amelia’s book blog in due course!

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    1. I’ve dabbled with the Virago books, I ended up giving a lot of the ones I accumulated when I moved but the distinctive green cover is usually easy to spot in Ph, when we get back. I appreciate all the suggestions, as I am really ignorant of all the links and publishing houses. Exploring is like unwrapping a christmas gift. Amelia will be encouraged to read and write, when not learning how to be an astronaut, pilot, archaeologist, and ninja.

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