The Best Female Authors I’ve Read So Far This Year

best female authors

Even though it’s not quite halfway through 2017, it’s close enough that I’ve started looking back on what I’ve read so far this year and figuring out what I want to work on in the second half of the year. One thing I wasn’t happy with in 2016 was the ratio of male to female authors I read (male authors won out by a small margin). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gravitated more towards male authors, though I’m not exactly sure why. This year, I wanted to make sure I read more female authors, because they obviously write some great books and are often under appreciated. And, as of my writing this, I have read a total of thirteen male authors and twenty-six female authors. Which is kind of amazing!

Since I’ve read so many amazing books by female authors, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites from this year. I have read at least one book from each of the authors below in the past five months. Of the nine authors below, five of them are authors I read for the first time this year, and two of them released stunning debuts in 2017. I am so happy to have discovered (or rediscovered) these authors, and am excited to share them with you!

Carrie Fisher. I have always had a fondness for Carrie Fisher. Sadly, I waited until after her death to pick up one of her books. Until I did, I had no idea how brilliant she truly was. I completely fell in love with her, and with her writing. Her book, The Princess Diarist, was one of the first books I read this year, but I still find myself thinking about it. It definitely inspired me as a person and as a writer, and I cannot wait to read another one of her books.

Alison Weir. I read a few of Weir’s books back when I was fresh out of high school, but hadn’t picked one up since then. Recently, Random House was kind enough to send me the first two books in her Six Tudor Queens series, and I loved them so much! I’ve been meaning to read more of Weir’s books for a while, and I’m so glad I finally did. I look forward to continuing this series, and plan on reading one of Weir’s nonfiction books about the Tudors soon.

M. L. Rio. I loved Rio’s debut novel, If We Were Villains, so much, I preordered the UK edition (even though I already own the US hardcover). It’s a brilliant contemporary take on Shakespeare, and I had so much fun reading it. There is something really special about Rio’s writing, and I’m excited to see what she does next.

Erin Morgenstern. This year, I finally got around to rereading The Night Circus, and I loved it just as much as I did the first time around. There is something completely magical about Morgenstern’s writing, and I just adore it. Reading The Night Circus is an experience that is just as much about the writing as it is the story.

V. E. Schwab. It’s no secret I love Victoria Schwab. I’ve read a decent number of her books (so far, I’ve read her most recent five novels), and I’ve loved every one of them. A few months ago, during her tour for A Conjuring of Light, I met her and got to hear her speak, and it made me love her even more than I already did. I think she’s a fantastic writer, and a truly nice person. I love how her stories really speak to the monstrous side of human nature, and are never simply black and white. I am eagerly anticipating the conclusion to her Monsters of Verity duology – Our Dark Duet – which will be out in a few weeks.

Elizabeth Kostova. Elizabeth Kostova is another author whose books I read more than ten years ago and rediscovered this year. Kostova puts an incredible amount of research into her novels, and it shows. But it also means it takes her a while to write them. This year, her third novel, The Shadow Land, was released and it definitely did not disappoint! I’m always blown away by how she crafts stories that span such a vast period of time, but are still, ultimately, character-driven novels. The skill that goes into her books is incredible.

Celeste Ng. I was a bit late to the party on Celeste Ng’s book, Everything You Never Told Me, but I finally read it at the beginning of this year. And it was every bit as great as I’ve heard it is! It’s a short novel with a huge impact – I honestly think it affected me almost as much as Hanya Yanagihara’s 800+ page A Little Life. I will definitely be reading more of Ng’s writing in the future. (I’m looking forward to her newest novel, Little Fires Everywhere, which will be released this fall.)

Vic James. It’s been a while since I’ve read a dystopian novel that felt unique, but Vic James pulled it off in her debut novel, Gilded Cage. She took a story that had the potential to be not so great (I’ve disliked several similar books) and made it into something amazing. And I can only credit her writing, because, for me, that’s a big reason why this book stands apart from the others.

Virginia Woolf. Just a week or so ago, I finally finished my first Virginia Woolf book. And it was incredible. A Room of One’s Own instantly made my list of favorite feminist literature, and I am so glad that I finally read it. Her writing truly is beautiful. Next up: To the Lighthouse

That’s it so far this year! I’m hoping to read some more amazing authors in the second half of 2017, and will try to do an updated post closer to the end of the year.

Who’s the best female author you’ve read so far this year?

51 thoughts on “The Best Female Authors I’ve Read So Far This Year

  1. V.E. Schwab and M.L. Rio are totally tied for first place for me. I can’t remember the last time I loved a book as much as I’ve loved Schwab’s Shades of Magic and Rio’s If We Were Villains. (I just saw the cover for the UK edition of IWWV and I think I really need the US and UK editions haha.)

  2. I read my first Schwab book this year and her writing absolutely blew me away. A Darker Shade of Magic was amazing. She had been my favorite female author this year. However, Samantha Shannon with the release of The Song Rising was a close second.

    1. I really need to read that series! I own the Bone Season and the Mime Order, I just need to actually get to them. I keep hearing such great things!

      1. The first couple chapters of The Bone Season are a little tough to get through (fair warning) but after that they are absolutely amazing. I had been in a reading slump for, legitimately, years and The Bone Season resolved it.

  3. Great post! Is it terrible that I haven’t read anything by these authors before? I still need to pick up the Night circus. Definitely will this summer I think! 2 Authors which I tried for the first time this year are Victoria Aveyard and Stephanie Garber and I adored their books. Can’t wait to try out more new authors this summer!

  4. I’m excited to read The Night Circus. It’s on my TBR list, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

    I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and am very impressed by your blog. I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

    1. Thanks! I was actually thinking about doing a post about tips for blogging beginners, but my biggest ones are: schedule posts ahead of time (and figure out a posting schedule that works for you, it doesn’t matter what days or how many times a week – it will make your life so much easier), and always try to comment back to people. I was terrible at that in the beginning, and now that I make an effort, I think more of my readers return and engage with my blog, which is so fun.

      I will definitely check out your blog! Feel free to email me ( if you want any more tips or feedback. I’d love to help out a new blogger 🙂

  5. I think I personally gravitate much more toward female authors. It’s not intentional, it just kind of happens. I’m looking at my TBR, and 24 out of 41 books are by women 😃
    I’ve had a very slow reading year so far, but I’m currently almost done with Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo, and she’s incredible!

  6. I’ve really enjoyed Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy and hope to read Vicious soon as well. I really enjoyed Kostova’s books as well but haven’t picked up her most recent release. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

  7. My favorite female writer this year is Sally Cabot Gunning. I LOVE her novel Monticello, as well as her prior novel The Widow’s War. (Both historical fiction.) 🙂

  8. I typically read more by women than men. I’ve been impressed this year by Lisa Ko, Margaret Atwood, Rose Tremain, Paulette Jiles, and Emma Donoghue. I also agree about Kostova, Fisher, Schwab and Ng.

    1. I need to read more Atwood and Donoghue! I am actually planning on rereading The Handmaid’s Tale soon. But I haven’t read any of the other authors you listed – what books would you recommend?

      1. I loved Paulette Jiles’ News of the World ! Lisa Ko just came out with The Leavers, about a woman who comes to the U.S. from China and has a son here, but then disappears and no one knows if she’s been deported.

    1. Schwab is such an artist! She just has a way with words, reminds me a lot of Neil Gaiman. I don’t read too much contemporary YA, but I love Becky Albertalli! Simon vs. was such a cute book. I haven’t read her new one yet, but I’m planning on it!

  9. Jhumpa Lahiri and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie always top my list! Lahiri recently moved to Italy, and both her recent books are based there (non-fiction). I read Adichie’s Dear Ijeawele earlier this year, and I want to read The Thing Around Your Neck.

  10. I was going through my email and realized I never read this post!! It’s wonderful! I love Virginia Woolf, too.
    Amy Tan is my favorite female author I’ve read so far this year. I’d read bits and pieces of The Joy Luck Club but finally got to read the entire thing- I loved it!
    Also I love your blog 😊

          1. So funny.. I meant to say Elizabeth Strout. I read her new novel Anything is Possible. Sometimes I think of her as Olive Kitteridge since that was the first book of hers that I’ve read.

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