I am still reading Becoming, which I posted about a few days ago. But while I’m wrapping that up and gathering my thoughts on it, I wanted to share some books I read last year I thought you might enjoy! I have always tried to prioritize reading books written by women, even before taking on this year’s project, and there are so many wonderful titles out there that I can’t help but highlight a few extras.
A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney
This book focuses on friendships between women and how they can be wonderful, fulfilling, and complicated all at once. It was fascinating to read about some of my favorite authors and their writing processes and support systems, and I’m thinking a lot about that as I integrate writing back into my life with this blog. I love the fact that Mirdorikawa and Sweeney are writing friends. The introduction by Margaret Atwood is also great!
The Amputee’s Guide to Sex by Jillian Weise
I have never been a huge poetry fan. It usually feels over my head. But this slim volume packed an emotional punch that I really appreciated. I have mild cerebral palsy, and it is difficult to find books with characters and voices that I can relate to when it comes to navigating dating and sex when you have physical differences. Weise is bold and brave in her honesty about finding and maintaining physical relationships with partners. It is a level of honesty I crave when I read.
The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland
What I initially thought would be a fun, laid-back read quickly turned into a smartly-woven tale covering mental health, domestic abuse, love, and family. Lovejoy Cardew is smart but guarded, and I loved following her as she overcame her past to create a happy future for herself. Plus, the story takes place mostly in a bookstore, which was fantastic. Because, come on, who doesn’t love a bookstore?
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
I don’t read a lot of mysteries, but I was excited to read this one when I heard that the protagonist was a female attorney in 1920’s Bombay. Massey’s writing is intelligent and gripping, and Perveen Mistry is a strong woman who is not afraid to use her brain. I am so excited for the second book in the series to come out in May.
The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
This is a great pick if you have a long weekend coming up when you know you just want to curl up with a good, long book. I loved the two timelines between contemporary and 1660’s London, and I learned so much about a Jewish community there that I never knew existed. Ester and Helen are both fighting for respect for their academic achievements, and Kadish weaves their stories together beautifully.
What are some titles by female authors that you’ve read? Are there any that I should add to my TBR? I am really enjoying reading only women so far this year and seeing the diverse stories we have. I would love more suggestions!