When I was younger, maybe an early teenager, I realized that most of my favorite books, which consisted mostly of YA fantasy and bad historical fiction novels, were all books by female authors. I adored books like Ella Enchanted, A Great and Terrible Beauty, and especially Harry Potter. My favorite authors were Jean Plaidy, JK Rowling, Libba Bray, Gail Carson Levine, and Margaret George.
Being a female writer comes packaged with tons of difficulties you’d think of being a woman in a male-dominated field. There are even some people who ignore books by female authors entirely, and won’t pick up anything written by a woman. JK Rowling styled herself that way because her publisher warned her that since she’s a woman, her books may not sell as well if she went by “Joanne Rowling.” How infuriating, and sad.
Nowadays, I still always gravitate toward books by female authors. It’s definitely unconscious, but I constantly find myself relating to their experiences, voice, and perspective more, and some of the bestselling books of the past few years have been books by female authors. Gone Girl, anyone? So without further ado, here are my picks for some of the best bestselling books by female authors, some of which I’ve read and some I haven’t. For your fall book-reading enjoyment!
I’m very much looking forward to reading The Guineveres! It’s about four girls, all inexplicably named Guinevere, who have all been raised by nuns in a convent. Despite their sequestered state, they manage to grow up while leaning on each other for strength, and learn about life and love.
The Glorious Heresies
What a title! The Glorious Heresies is about a town in post-crash Ireland, and the effects of a murder on five characters in the book. This book explores themes of religion, family, and sexual politics in twentieth century Ireland. Can’t wait to start it.
Fates and Furies
Fates and Furies was last year’s hyped-up book, but I have yet to read it. This book chronicles a twenty-year-long marriage in two perspectives, and the myriad interpretations and viewpoints of a relationship as long as that.
The Velvet Hours
I just finished reading The Velvet Hours, and can definitely recommend this one for fall. It’s about a young woman living in pre-Occupationist Paris, who meets and gets to know her grandmother, who lived as a courtesan during Paris’s Belle Epoque. The two women tell their stories in episodes, and their lives come together through strife and adversity.
The Lesser Bohemians
This is the book I’m currently reading, and it’s utterly surprising, engrossing as hell, and very, very challenging. The Lesser Bohemians is entirely written in stream of consciousness from the perspective of an 18-year-old Irish girl who recently moved to London in the mid 90s. She meets and becomes involved with an actor twenty years older than she is, and with a very dark past. Their love affair is told like one long poem, with all the standards of prose almost completely broken down. It’s very smart, utterly unputdownable, and will rock you to your core. Stay tuned for the full review!