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Here are 10 top books by female authors you need to read

PUBLISHED: 19:10 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 19:10 15 February 2018

The Silent Reading Party at Ipswich Waterstones

The Silent Reading Party at Ipswich Waterstones


As this year marks the centenary of the Suffragette movement securing the vote for women, we enlisted the help of our friends at Ipswich Waterstones to select some of the finest books by female authors. Here’s what they came up with.

Dear Life by Alive MunroDear Life by Alive Munro

Dear Life - Alice Munro

A brilliant writer for short stories, this Nobel Prize winning author creates great poignancy in her work – she really does capture the essence of everyday life.

Check out Dear Life and The View from Castle Rock.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha ChristieThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie

Christie is a master of writing with a succinct style, she has a subtle sophistication where she abides to the writing laws of showing, not telling, thus creating marvellous plots and gripping crime.

A favourite is her first in the Poirot series The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian HearnAcross the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn

Across The Nightingale Floor - Leanne Hearn

Across the Nightingale Floor is the first book of the epic Tales of the Otori series.

Set in a mythical, feudal, Japanese land, a world both beautiful and cruel, the intense love story of two young people takes place against a background of warring clans, secret alliances, high honour and lightning swordplay.

Persuasion by Jane AustenPersuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion - Jane Austen

A timeless author, Austen will always be on our bookshelf.

Quite simply, many things in life can be answered with the simple prompt; what would Jane do?

Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo BuchananHarmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Harmless Like You - Rowan Hisayo Buchanon

It was amazing to have Rowan join us last year at one of our book club meetings.

There are no words to express how poignant this book is and for a debut novel, how impressively she deals with themes of identity, art, adolescent friendships, love, loneliness and reconciliation.

Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieDear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Dear Ijeawele - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Absolutely one of our favourite authors, this lady has greatly inspired people via her novels, TED talks, non-fiction manifestos and much more.

Although her first novel is The Purple Hibiscus, it is worth starting with Half a Yellow Sun or Americanah and then move onto Dear Ijeawele.

The Minituarist by Jessie BurtonThe Minituarist by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

Well known for her fantastic book The Miniaturist ( BBC adaptation) she has also written an equally compelling and immersive story, The Muse, which is split between two different eras.

One to definitely explore if you haven’t already.

We have always lived in the Castle by Shirley JacksonWe have always lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson

This is an underrated author that everyone should know.

A writer of both short stories and novels, she is an incredibly atmospheric writer, with authors such as Stephen King being a big fan. Titles that are favourites are The Sundial and We’ve Always Lived in the Castle.

Practical Magic by Alice HoffmanPractical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman

Most well known for her book Practical Magic, this author has a talent for grasping the domestic dynamics of relationships without being too contrived or predictable.

Particularly she really creates the sense of siblings, how we can both love and hate them at the same time.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le GuinThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin

The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula Le Guin

Few writers in any genre can claim to have had the range and influence of Ursula Le Guin.

Championed for her works of science fiction and fantasy, Le Guin’s work encompasses short stories, novels, poetry, essays, books for children and works of translation. Her 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness, is regarded as a profound exploration of imagination and our understanding of society and identity.

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