The other evening while entertaining the man who lived with my husband before I did, I was asked what I’d been reading lately and if I could suggest a good book. I lead the inquirer to the bookshelf which holds my To Be Reviewed stack. After noting various titles and genres Jared (the former roommate in question) commented that I don’t read many books by women. I asserted that this wasn’t true, but the evidence was damning. There were only two of the SEVERAL books yet to be reviewed that were by women… and one of them I hated. The next day I quickly put together a list for Jared and emailed it along. I leave this email with you as well.
List of Books authored by women (not necessarily FOR women) that do not involve Vampires… and why I enjoyed them
I Heard the Owl Call My Name
In my misguided youth I took an Ethnic Literature class, assuming I would be studying African, Asian, or Middle Eastern Lit. Little did I know that each semester the ‘ethnicity’ rotated and I happened to hit on Canada. Yes, Canadian Lit… this was a gem, among lesser stones.
The Glass Castle
A memoir, or auto biography. Generally after reading memoirs or autobiographies I get angry because I decide that the author is a narcissist who hasn’t done much to merit writing a book about themselves. This book; however, was pretty eye opening.
A coming of age take that actually seems believable. Set in Colonial India.
I Capture the Castle
Another coming of age tale, not set in India. I seem to recall first person perspective from a teenage girl’s point of view. Not sure you’ll love it, but I enjoy her writing style.
Cold Comfort Farm
I made Alan read this with me (yeah, aloud) when we were dating and we are married today. A testament to Alan’s forbearance. Hilarious mockery of Pastoral England featuring the famous line “I saw something nasty in the woodshed…”. Brilliant.
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
A book about books, what could be better? Actually they are essays, and if you enjoy reading, you will most likely enjoy these.
Lillian Faderman, Ghia Xiong
I Begin My Life All Over: The Hmong and the American Immigrant Experience
I don’t know if I can really count this as written by a woman, but it was compiled by a woman. I do enjoy compelling stories and many of these show the interesting disconnect that immigrants suffer when they come to the US as refugees.
Life and Death in Shanghai
One of the most interesting books about the Cultural Revolution and its unintended consequences. Autobiography style.
Shadows on the Rock
Yes, she wrote more than Death Comes for the Archbishop. Another Canadian Lit gem.
North and South
Industrial Revolution hits England? Yes, please! I could hit John Jakes for stealing this title and making it recognizable as a cheesy civil war dramedy.
The Little Stranger
Very creepy well written book that leaves you wondering what really happened. I am not familiar with her other work as she generally writes lesbian/gay literature and I’m not really into that scene, but this book was quite good.
Allison Hoover Bartlett
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession
Another book about books… I approve.
Middlemarch or Daniel Deronda
If I could only take one book with me to read and not have any other. It would be one of these two. I’ve always said Middlemarch is my favorite, but I like Daniel Deronda as well.