Reading More Books by Women

One year ago, I asked my friends to recommend novels written by women. This was prompted when I realized I had read one book by a woman in 2014. I don’t have a simple answer for why I was reading so few novels by women. Maybe that’s a topic for another post.

So I spent 2015 trying to read more books by women. I listened to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn with my wife. I don’t think listening to audiobooks is cheating, but you can call the reading police if you think so.

I use a nifty website called Goodreads to track what I’m reading and find new books. Most of what I read is genre fiction: fantasy and science fiction. I read 25 books during 2015, and six of them written by women. I’m glad I’ve made progress, but I’m not satisfied.

I wanted to highlight two of the books I really enjoyed:

This year, I’m excited to try Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie and The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. Do you have any recommendations for me? You can follow me on Goodreads if you want to see what I’m reading.

Thanks for reading.

Leave a comment


  1. Mary Roach! She’s fantastic. If you want more non-fiction that’s science oriented, Rachel Sussman’s “The Oldest Living Things in The World” is beautiful.

    For s/f, obviously OBVIOUSLY read Ursula K. LeGuin. She might be one of the best living classic S/F writers in the country. I recommend starting with either The Dispossessed (if you like hard s/f or political s/f), or The Lathe of Heaven. Another great classic S/F writer is Octavia Butler. My favorite of hers is the Lilith’s Brood series, which is about an alien race of “gene traders” who deal in genetics and salvage a self-destructive human race for their own ends.

    For recent fantasy, I recommend Lauren Beuke’s ‘Zoo City,’ Kelly Link’s surreal short story collection ‘Magic for Beginners’ (which has one of my all time favorite short stories in it), Nalo Hopkinson’s ‘Sister Mine,’ which mixes Caribbean folklore and myth with Canadian punk rock, and Erin Morgenstern’s ‘The Night Circus,’ which is straight up old-school enchanting.

    • I didn’t know LeGuin wrote sci-fi. I read her Earthsea cycle in high school.

      I’ve seen Zoo City, The Night Circus, and Magic for Beginners in my search so I will definitely try those!

  2. That’s pretty cool that you’ve been actively seeking novels written by women! I read a lot of biographies, so my library is a pretty even mix, though probably tips in favour of women (except my favourite author happens to be Matthew Reilly)

    • Thanks! Yeah, I almost read just male authors in 2014. Since then I’ve been trying to even it out.


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