Read Women in December
November 30, 2015 § Leave a comment
Some of you may have seen the hashtag #readwomen around the internet, specifically on instagram, twitter and tumblr. The aim of this has been to promote reading female authors in an industry that is often dominated by male authors. In light of this, I would like to share some of my favourite female authored books. I hope that endeavouring to read more female authors in the month of December will only lead to more wonderful discoveries.
1. How Many Miles to Babylon? by Jennifer Johnston
I discovered this book because it was designated on my leaving cert course. It was possibly one of the best thing about the course. The book follows Alec, a well-off Irish youth, and his friendship with Jerry; a working-class Irish stable-boy during World War I. Written beautifully, the book manages to balance issues of war and Alec and Jerry’s class divisions to tell a poignant story. I have seen invested in many Jennifer Johnston books and, though this remains my favourite by far, Johnston is a wonderful writer.
2. The Hybrid Chronicles by Kat Zhang
I was wary of this trilogy at the beginning but it proved to be an excellent read that I was intrigued by throughout all three books. Zhang tells the story of a world where everyone is born with two souls. However, as time passes one soul fades away while the other dominates. In this world, Zhang’s main characters, Eva and Addie are two souls in the same body: a hybrid. The story follows Eva and Addie’s journey in this world that refuses to accept or understand them. Zhang’s writing only improves with each book and the characters became ones that I could both relate to and really cared for. If you’re going to read a YA dystopian series, this would be the one I would recommend!
3. The Blood Chamber and Other Short Stories by Angela Carter
This book was on the reading list for my Reading Gender and Sexuality class in the 3rd year of my undergraduate and man, was I glad it was! Angela Carter’s feminist re-tellings of classic European fairytales is something that everybody should read. Not only are each of the stories interesting and challenging, but Carter’s writing is sensual and beautiful throughout.
4. Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
If you know me in real life, you probably know about my love for Edwidge Danticat. Well, this book was the one that started it all. In this collection of short stories, Danticat manages to poignantly tell the stories of many Haitian people and their struggles. Danticat’s writing is breathtaking and beautiful. It’s one of those books that I honestly couldn’t put down until I had read it all the way through and it holds a treasured spot in my bookshelf.
5. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
I will end this list with a book that I only finished quite recently and enjoyed immensely. Rebecca follows the story of a young girl who marries Max de Winter; a man she considered far beyond her means, only to arrive at his estate, Manderley, and feel haunted by his late wife, Rebecca. There were many things that I loved about this book but what I probably loved most about it was the main character herself. Her youth, her naivety, her feeling of being out of place and intense desire to please those at Manderley; everything about it was written quite brilliantly. I felt her to be both relatable and enjoyable to read about. The plot, too, was interesting throughout and du Maurier’s writing was fantastic throughout. This book has been considered a classic for a long time, and after having read it, I can certainly see why!