Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Recommendations Sought: Women Authors

I still need to do a proper New Year post but in the meantime, I have a favour to ask: recommendations for women authors.

One of my (as yet to be finalised) aims for this year is not just to keep up my reading, but to increase the number of books by female writes I read.

To put this in perspective, and because I'm sad enough to have kept track, last year I completed 44 books. Of these, 28 were by men, 15 by women and 1 was an anthology; in percentage terms this breaks down as 64%, 34% and 2%. When it comes to different authors, I read books by 19 male authors and just 6 different female authors - a 73% to 23% split. (The difference is down to the fact that I'm reading (listening to) a number of book series, including the Miss Marple and Ripley books.)

So, this year, a supplementary aim to that of reading 40 books is to achieve gender balance overall, and to improve that secondary split as well.

There are a number of good candidates already on my list - but I've always operated on the basis that a book list can never be too long...

P.S. If you want to see more of my book reading habits, you'll find my goodreads page here.

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Jennie Rigg said...

Val McDermid! I've been BURNING through hers recently. She's got several series and I like the Karen Pirie ones (starting with A Distant Echo) best.

For scifi & fantasy: Octavia Butler, Ursula Le Guin, NK Jemesin, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, Carrie Patel

Also, I know horror is a love or hate thing, but Nuzo Onoh is astoundingly good.

(also I need to check my feeds, because I got to this from The GOlden Dozen and I thought I'd subscribed to you)

Jennie Rigg said...

Feeds fixed xx

Andrew Brown said...

Excellent, thank you!

Yes, I've noticed you burning through McDermid's work recently. I used to worry hers would be too gory* for me but she gave me a recommendation (via Twitter) of one that was less so (A Place of Execution)... She's a fellow Fifer, too.

I shall look at your other suggestions.

*This is a bit of an odd fear, as there are plenty of things in Iain (M) Banks' work that are pretty gory and I cope with them.

Jennie Rigg said...

Yeah, I held off hers for a long time because lots of people had told me they were gory, and some of them are, but... it's never done in a way that bothers me. There is never any doubt whatsoever that you are meant to be horrified. There's no sensationalism or titillation or feeling that you're meant to want to emulate this. I've read less gory things by other authors that have bothered me a lot more.

Louise Ankers said...

Current fave - Anita Brookner. A Friend From England - absolutely fantastic and devastating!
Hotel Du Lac : haunting and extremely well written - think this one the Booker Prize.

My absolute favourite author ever is Daphne Du Maurier: Rebecca, Mary Anne, The Scapegoat

If you like Spy Novels - Stella Rimington : Any of the Liz Carlyle series - start with At Risk

Jennie Rigg said...

Ooo yes to Daphne Du Maurier. Jamaica Inn also excellent.

If you like her then Susan Hill, and actually some of Edith Nesbitt's stories not-for-kids

Andrew Brown said...

A brief update - although I will probably turn this into another post in due course.

I've had lots of suggestions both here and on Facebook. I've mad a good start - my Ian Rankin book was followed up by Jeanette Winterson's Oranges are not the only fruit.

This month's Audible purchase was already scheduled to be a Miss Marple - I'm hoping that a "Buy 3, get £10 credit" deal is imminent but regardless I'm lining up "I know why the Caged Bird sings" by Maya Angelou, "The Power" by Naomi Alderman and "A Place of Execution" by Val McDermid.

I'll be coming back to more of these suggestions in due course.