In which I try (and fail) to narrow down a list of great female authors

March is Women’s History Month and just like last month for Black History Month, I thought I’d share some of my favorite female authors. Next week, I’ll share books written by women that are on my TBR for this month. I’m certainly not alone in recommending titles written by women this month; the lists are all over the internet, including these from Off The Shelf, The Daily Beast, and Read it Forward. In 2017, 62% of the books I read were written by women, and 2018 is off to a great start as well, with 20 out of 31 books that I’ve read having female authors. Women are doing some amazing writing, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the works of all the women listed here.

Many of the books listed below have been reviewed on my blog; I’ve linked to those posts if you want more details about those books.


Naomi Alderman

What I’ve Read by her:  The Power

Other works: She’s written three other novels, which you can check out on her website

The Power, which reads a lot like The Handmaid’s Tale. I mean that not in the sense of events or plot lines being the same, but rather the ideas expressed behind the book and the thought process that the author seems to want the reader to go through. I took a look at the other books Alderman has written and I don’t know that their topics interest me, but I really enjoyed The Power and I will definitely keep an eye out for her future work.


Ausma Zehanat Khan

What I’ve Read by her:  The Unquiet Dead, The Language of Secrets, Among the Ruins 

Other works: A Dangerous Crossing, The Blood Print

I love Khan’s mystery series featuring Canadian detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty. The fourth book, A Dangerous Crossing, just came out recently and I’m saving it for a weekend when I can read it straight through.







Jacqueline Woodson

What I’ve Read by her: Brown Girl Dreaming

Other works: Woodson writes poetry, picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction. You can find a list of her books HERE.

I LOVED Brown Girl Dreaming and am planning on devouring as many of her books as possible!


Elizabeth Strout

What I’ve Read by her:  My Name is Lucy Barton, Anything is Possible

Other works: Olive Kitteridge, Amy and Isabelle, The Burgess Boys, Abide with Me

It seems like readers either love Strout’s writing or hate it; I fall into the former category. I was lucky enough to get to speak to the author on an episode of the Just the Right Book podcast, with Roxanne Coady.


Ariel Lawhon

What I’ve Read by her: The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress 

Other works: Flight of Dreams, I was Anastasia (coming out this month)

I really enjoyed this cross between historical fiction and true crime, and loved the author’s writing style. I’m looking forward to reading her next book, coming out this month, and I’ll probably go back to Flight of Dreams  as well.






N.K. Jemison

What I’ve Read by her: The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate

Other works: Jemison is the author of three sci-fi/fantasy series, which you can see on her website.

If you’re looking for amazing writing, look no further than N.K. Jemsion. Her talent at world building is extraordinary, her characters complex and somehow relate-able, even as the events taking place are completely fantastical.


Joshilyn Jackson

What I’ve Read by her: The Almost Sisters

Other works:  Many other works, most notably Gods in Alabama

According to the author, the type of books she writes are ” Weirdo Fiction with a Shot of Southern Gothic Influence for Smart People Who Can Catch the Nuances but Who Like Narrative Drive, and Who Have a Sense of Humor but Who Are Willing to Go Down to Dark Places”. Couldn’t have said it better myself.


Yaa Gyasi

What I’ve Read by her: Homegoing 

Homegoing is Gyasi’s debut novel, and I can’t wait for her to write more. If you like epic family sagas with multiple narrators, this is for you.








Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie

What I’ve Read by her: Americanah

Other works: Multiple books, check out her website here

If you’re trying to read more books by women of color, Adichie needs to be on your list. She has the ability to get right inside of human relationships and show what each person is thinking and feeling, and how their actions sometimes betray that.


Sherry Thomas

What I’ve Read by her: A Study in Scarlet Women, A Conspiracy in Belgravia

Other works: In addition to the Lady Sherlock series, she has written a fantasy trilogy and a romance novel.

I found the Lady Sherlock novels to be so much fun, the perfect summer read. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.


Celeste Ng

What I’ve Read by her: Little Fires Everywhere, Everything I Never Told You

I enjoyed both of these books, which start by telling the reader what happens at the end of the story. Then the author works backwards to explain how the characters got to that place. Ng has a really unique writing style and the reader is able to see a bit of themselves in each of her characters.



Angie Thomas

What I’ve Read by her: The Hate You Give 

Other works: On the Come Up (expected publication June 5th)

Thomas’ first novel The Hate You Give,  is a young adult gem that examines the lives behind the Black Lives Matter movement. I have always felt that it’s important to see things from different perspectives and try to put myself in another person’s shoes, and Thomas gives a glimpse into what it’s like to live a life very different from mine. This should be required reading.






Well that should keep you busy for a while! There are so many other fantastic female authors; I really had a hard time narrowing down my list. Let me know if there are any stand out women writers that you would recommend.

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