What I’m Reading Lately: Women Writers

Lately, I’ve been making an effort to primarily read books written by women, ideally women of color. This isn’t to say that there aren’t so many amazing books I want to read written by men (I saw Amor Towles just last week and he was absolutely fantastic, inspiring me to write more often).

Really though, it’s not hard at all to find books, old and new, by women and women of color that are gut-wrenching, entertaining, magical, hysterical, heartbreaking, and fun. And when you’re spending $27 on a new hardcover book, you’ll feel better knowing your purchase is lifting up the voice of someone who had to work a little bit harder to be heard.

I highly recommend taking a white male author break (I still love you, most white men! Some of you stink! JK JK, but not), especially if you are a man, so to help you along, here are some books written by women I’ve been loving lately.

What I’ve Loved:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Everyone is reading and recommending this, as they should, and Reese and Kerry are making it into a miniseries! I went into it with basically zero idea what it was about and I think that’s the best way to read it. It made me want to snuggle both my baby and my mom.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

It’s charming, troubling, and heartbreaking and a remarkably quick read. This is entirely not an important part of the book, but if teens are actually saying things like, “Why are you acting all Harry in the Order of the Phoenix-like?” then we’re all going to be okay.

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman

Hi, duh, I finished this the day after it arrived. It spills some secrets on The Bachelor franchise, confirms a lot of rumors, and puts the show in context of television history. It grapples with why feminists like the show and though I obviously do, it did make me question the way I watch it.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I love everything Chimamanda writes (if you haven’t read Americanah, DO). I was shocked at how little I knew about the Nigerian civil war in the 1960s (okay, I knew nothing) and was surprised at how well she explained the history and context of it without getting bogged down in details. It will probably cause you some nightmares though.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Who knew I could be so interested in falconry? Okay, it’s actually about hawk raising. Does that have a special name? Should I know this after reading this half memoir/half historical hawk book that feels like a novel? Anyways, I liked it.

What I’ve Loved- Audiobooks: 

I listen to a ton of audiobooks while I run, nurse, cook/clean/etc., and I generally think one of their best uses is listening to memoirs or books of essays read by the author. Two of my favorite of these:

You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson

This book is straight hysterical. I’m sure it’s amazing on its own, but the audio version is filled with Phoebe’s adlibs and she’s an outstanding performer. These essays on race, gender, and pop culture are enlightening and fun and I couldn’t stop laughing to myself in public.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

Okay, my confession is that I don’t actually love Ann’s novels. I’ve only tried two, but in this world of endless books, that feels like enough. However, I LOVE her essays. This collection is amazing and has inspired multiple visits to her Nashville bookstore, Parnassus Books (where I did see her and her dog, thank you very much) (feature picture is from their kids section).

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

Honestly, you have to read everything written by Liane. I’m listening to Three Wishes now and was addicted within four minutes. Her books are so fun to listen to, the only downside of listening being when you have a couple hours left, you’ll just sit down and listen because you can’t possibly wait until your next run to hear the end. They’re read in an Australian accent which clearly makes them better.

Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

This was an Audible daily deal and I loved it! It’s a little bit more for a brand new runner, but I loved hearing someone else complain about and champion the unique experience of running as a woman who’s not a natural athlete.

What I’m Reading Next:

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

I’m reading this now and enjoying it a lot. I have a feeling it’s going to stress me out and make me cry which is really all I ask of my fiction.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

As someone living in the south, raising a mixed race little boy, I’m excited and nervous to read this book. I can already tell it’s magnificent just from the blurb on Goodreads.

Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth-Century Europe by Sarah Gristwood

I’ve started this nonfiction dive into sixteenth-century monarchs and it’s so fascinating. I’m not a huge non-fiction historical person and everyone’s name was Margaret so it’s taking me a bit, but I think it’s going to be worth it.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Kristin’s The Nightingale had me WEEPING so I’m so excited to read her latest book which takes place in Alaska.


That’s all for now. If you’re interested, I am vigilant about updating my Goodreads account—follow along!

Coming up next in the book department: parenting books. Yes, yikes.

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