5 female authors you must read

As it's International Women's Day today, I figured it was the perfect time to write a list of 5 female authors who I think everybody should read. There will be some notable exceptions in this list- Plath and Woolf to name a couple, but I've chosen authors whose writing I've enjoyed previously. 
Best female authors

Malala may have had help to write her one and only book but it's so powerful that she deserves to be included in this list. I Am Malala is the story of her upbringing and the activism that led to her being shot by the Taliban. Her continued work for the rights of women everywhere, in particular their right to education, has led to her becoming the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize. She is an absolutely incredible woman and somebody everyone should learn about.

Review of I Am Malala here // Buy I Am Malala here


For the longest time, I convinced myself that I hated Caitlin Moran. I'm still not the biggest fan, admittedly, and I do take issue to some of the views she's voiced, but I still feel she's a hugely influential female voice and one we should listen to. How to Be a Woman is the only book of hers I've read but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It approaches feminist topics in a fun, humorous and approachable way and I loved it! I really must read more of her work.

Review of How to Be a Woman here // Buy How To Be a Woman here


I first experienced Margaret Atwood when I was accepted at my local sixth form. My Grandma, keen as ever for me to succeed, asked the college for the English Literature syllabus and bought all the books from it for me to read over the summer. Unfortunately, they gave her the wrong syllabus so it wasn't much use A-level-wise but I did get to read The Handmaid's Tale. All of Atwood's work is so innovative and is often characterised by complex, driven female protagonists. I've read a few of her novels and, although I chose The Blind Assassin for my photo here (ahem... because it had the prettiest cover), The Handmaid's Tale will always hold a special place in my heart.

Buy The Handmaid's Tale here


I still remember catching a glimpse of Tipping the Velvet on TV- in my grandparents' living room, no less- when I was about 13 and practically being able to feel the curtain of my naivety being whisked away. I was desperate to read the novel, and did so a couple of years later. I love how Waters is completely unafraid to approach topics that were shocking even in the 90s (Not lesbians!!!) and write around them in a way that's void of shock tactics or gratuity. Tipping the Velvet was my favourite, but unfortunately I don't have my own copy, so I've used Fingersmith for the photo.

Buy Tipping The Velvet here


I've got to bung a classic in there, right? Frankenstein was the first classic I read properly, for my own pleasure, and I absolutely loved it. Shelley's writing is so poetic and her themes are deep and complex with layers of meaning. If you want an author who will really make you think, Shelley is the one!

Full review of Frankenstein here // Buy Frankenstein here

As I said, I know there will be people screaming "How could you miss out...?" but these are all authors I absolutely love. If you do need to vent your anger at me for missing out your favourite, please do let me know in the comments! 

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  1. I Am Malala is the only one of these I've read but I loved it, such an inspiring read! I'll definitely be checking out some of your other recommendations :)

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

  2. I remember reading Tipping the Velvet around age 14 - it was the first book that helped me realise that my feelings for girls weren't abnormal. <3
    I need to read Malala's book, she's so amazing!



  3. I read Fingersmith last year and absolutely loved it! And yes to Margaret Atwood too :)

    Liz x
    Distract Me Now Please

  4. I feel the same about Caitlin Moran - I don't really like her very much, but I want to give How To Be A Woman a go as I've heard such good reviews! I've not actually read any of these five books - so thank you for bring them to my attention! I'm definitely going to add I Am Malala to my book bucket list.

    Maggie xx

  5. I've been meaning to read that Caitlyn Moran book for months!! I need to get on that xxx

  6. Great post Becky - I'm reading 'How To Build A Girl' by Moran at the moment and I love it - real belly laughs with this one! I must read 'I Am Malala', have heard brilliant things about it and she sounds like the most inspiring woman. Happy International Woman's Day lovely, what a fabulous way to celebrate it xx

  7. I remember reading Tipping the Velvet when I was at University and I loved her style of writing! I'm yet to read Malala's book, I've heard wonderful things.

    Abby | Eärendil

  8. I've been thinking of getting Malala's book.
    Haven't read any of these ladies' books.
    Stella from a Looks & Travels

  9. I adored The Handmaid's Tale but I'm yet to read any more of Atwood's novels. I really should try and do that!
    Sarah Waters has been on my to-read list for a while too :) xx

    Bethan Likes

  10. Some great recommendations! I need some new books to read!!

  11. Love love love Margaret Atwood's books!

    hellomissjordan.com xx

  12. I love Margaret Atwood. I read The Handmaid's Tale in sixth form, and loved it so much I bought my own copy when I left and have it on my Classics shelf at home to take out and re-read from time to time. I definitely would have included Plath, I think she's fantastic! Glad you included Malala, too, as she is an inspiration to us all. x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

  13. I love Caitlin Moran! She's one of the few writers who can actually make me laugh out loud. I really need to read Frankenstein - it's been on my TBR list for ages!

    Jemima x


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