International Women’s Day: My Favorite Books by Female Authors

March 8, 2017 books, recs 14

Happy Women’s Day! In celebration of the many women shaping literature as we know and love it, I thought I’d celebrate some of my favorite female authors with this list today. Obviously, it’s hard to narrow it down, because so many of my favorite authors are women, but I can recommend all of these books from the bottom of my heart. I will be focusing on books that I’m not currently seeing everywhere, which is why you won’t find series like Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab or The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer on this list, but know that I love those just as much. Hope you find something you like!

The Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor



Nnedi Okorafor is one of the most imaginative authors I’ve read. I originally found this, because it was recommended by John Green in a video. I think he pitched it as something like “girl who travels through space to attend university” (paraphrased), which sounded pretty awesome to me. Now I think his description is underselling the work, but I also find it hard to come up with a good one myself, because you really just have to read this one for yourself. As far as I can tell, it’s a trilogy of novellas (according to goodreads, the last one is set to be released this September), so it’s not a great time commitment, but there’s enough worldbuilding for longer books. I feel like this book is more relevant to my Cross-Cultural Communications degree than most of the academic texts I read (don’t tell my lecturers). I’ve seen a few authors mention these novellas, but I haven’t seen them on many book blogs, so get reading, people!

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga



I’m pretty sure I’ve recommended this one before, but with good reason. I randomly found it in a hostel book exchange and picked it without knowing anything about the contents, because the title spoke to me (which is probably not a good thing). Nervous Conditions is set in the 1960s and tells the coming of age story of Tambu. What I liked most about this book is that it focuses not only on Tambu, but on the women in her community and how her relationships with them shape her growing up.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore


This is another one I’ve recommended before, but it never hurts to do it again. Bitterblue is a young woman, who inherits a kingdom from her tyrant father and has to figure out how to rule it in the interest of her people. I mean come on, that’s pretty amazing, right? It’s a coming of age story in an epic setting, but it’s also about the collective trauma of a people, and a ruler, who is really not equipped to deal with it. Bitterblue needs to find the tools and resources to grow into her role, so she can become a good queen, which is definitely a continuing process. I also love how it handles Bitterblue’s first romance, and the fact that it doesn’t take up the majority of the book. This is technically the third in a series (and the first two books are absolutely worth reading), but I think it could probably be read as a standalone as well.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters



This book will forever get props for suprising me even though I knew there was a twist coming up. It’s the perfect example of an unreliable narrator, and I can heartily recommend it. It’s dark and clever, and I don’t really want to say much more about it, so I don’t spoil it. You should definitely find out for yourself though, so if the blurb sounds at all intriguing, and if you like morally ambiguous characters and conmen (and women) do give it a try!

How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller



This came recommended by the lovely Cait, and I’m happy I read it. My favorite thing about this book is how it makes crime seem extremely cool in the beginning only to deconstruct that idea piece by horrible piece. It’s charmingly ruthless, and there are a few surprises I really liked. I personally thought some parts were a little far-fetched, and I liked the second half less than the first, but it’s incredibly entertaining all throughout, so do give it a read.

What are your favorite books by female authors? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!

14 Responses to “International Women’s Day: My Favorite Books by Female Authors”

  1. Bianca

    Happy International Women’s Day!

    I haven’t read any books from your list but I have a Sarah Waters book waiting on my shelf so I might pick it up soon.

    One of my favourite female authors is and will forever be Joanne K. Rowling (what a surprise!). She just is a genius. I also really love Alexandra Bracken who wrote the The Darkest Minds series.
    However, someone who I absolutely loved when I was younger and who I still think is brilliant is German author Cornelia Funke. Her books are imaginative, unconvential and heartwarming. I especially love the Inkheart series, The Thief Lord and one of my childhood favourites “Die wilden Hühner” (the C.H.I.X. series in English).

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      Oh, which one? Tell me how you liked it once you’ve read it! I have another one by her lying around, but I haven’t read it yet.

      Yes, J.K. Rowling is of course definitely one of my favorites as well. I loved the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke! I’m not sure that I’ve read any of her other books, but that one definitely has a special place in my heart. <3 And I remember reading Die wilden Hühner too. :D
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  2. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Oooh this is a GREAT list! I love that you did this, such a great idea! Binti sounds really good, I am going to have to check that out, sounds like a “me” type of book, and also, the cover is freaking gorgeous. I also want to try the Graceling books at one point. Obviously, my favorite book of ever is by a woman (Suzanne Collins haha) but two of my other Elite Favorites are by women too! Only ONE is by a dude! They are, in case you are wondering, Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley, and Haven (the last of the Apocalypsis series) by Elle Casey. AND most of my regular favorites shelf is by women too! YAY WOMEN.
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    • Vlora

      Vlora

      Thanks, Shannon, I’m glad you think so!! I love the cover for Binti too; it’s great, and it makes even more sense once you’ve read the book. The Graceling books are worth it, but Bitterblue is definitely my favorite. Ha, really, I couldn’t have guessed what your favorite book is. Something about games? Ah I’m sad to say I completely hated Rites of Passage, but I haven’t tried Haven (or heard of it), so I’ll keep a look out for that one! Yes, it really wasn’t hard to create this list – a lot of my favorites are by women too! :)
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  3. Cait @ Paper Fury

    YAS YOU LIKED HOW TO LEAD A LIFE OF CRIME!!! MY WORK HERE IS DONE!! Although honestly I’ve forgotten SO much about it I desperately need to re-read.😂 And I’m off to check out Binti because that sounds like the kind of book I need in my life ASAP. (Also cover love!!) I love Kirsten Cashore too. <3 And I also adore Sally Green and Maggie Stiefvater…and VE Schwab. I can't help but mention her.😂

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      I loved it! I read it like two years ago, I should probably reread it at some point. So many books so little time. I hope you enjoy Binti!! I love the cover too, and it makes even more sense once you’ve read it. :) I haven’t read anything by Sally Green yet, but I keep hearing good things! Ha, yes, V.E. Schwab is always worth mentioning.
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  4. Dina

    I have Kirsten Cashore’s trilogy. So hopefully when I get to it, we can fangirl together. Your description of Bitterblue is intriguing. I am excited to check out those books now. I heard of Binti, but I wish it were a whole book. I am not a fan of novellas. I am hoping the author will get a chance to write a full novel based on this world she created. That’d be fantastic.
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