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?