#BookishBloggersUnite is a weekly hashtag that a group of us bookish friends have decided to participate in to talk about all things books. Posts will go up on Friday (or whichever time works best for your time zone!). There will be a new host each week and a new challenge to participate in.
This week's post is titled International Women's Day and we're celebrating women writers.
The challenge is to choose three women writers who fit into each of the prompts below:
- one who is a favourite, whose writing you love and love to recommend,
- one whose work you've read some of and would like to read more, and
- one whose work you haven't read of but you really want to (darn those giant TBR lists!)
We would love for you to join us, so please let us know about the three women writers you chose to fit the prompts above and link your post at @BookishBron
International Women's Day
Well, I am a little bit late in posting this week, so International Women's Day is well and truly over. I did love seeing all the support given to women, even in the smaller bookish community, with women sharing other women's blogs, and works and it's heartwarming to see other women lift each other up rather than try to tear each other down. We don't need a particular day to do so either, so I would love to see the support continue each and every day.
Ahem, you didn't come here to get my views on International Women's Day (or maybe you did, and if so, aren't you a lucky duck?) so onwards with the book prompt.
Once again I couldn't follow the rules and narrow down my picks to JUST one per prompt though I did restrain myself with the maximum number of authors in any category being three. I know, we are BOTH surprised at even that willpower on my part.
This post does go hand in hand with last week's #BookishBloggersUnite post so you may see double ups on my favourites between the two weeks, but at least you will REALLY know my favourites by now :)
Favourites, whose writing you love and love to recommend:
Melina Marchetta is an Australian author who I have read since I was 14 years old. My first encounter with her work was Looking for Alibrandi, her first novel when I was in Year 8. It was assigned reading in English class in Year 9 and I have reread it and rewatched the movie so many times since then. Melina's writing always touches on serious topics but the main character and the supporting characters, as well as the main character's family, is always really well done, with amazing character development. You don't always get complex supporting characters or even family members in a lot of YA and I really appreciated them being included as well as the identity the character always faces of who they are and where they belong in this crazy world.
The same can be said for her fantasy series, the Lumatere Chronicles. It pulled me into fantasy at a time in my life when I wasn't really reading a lot (during university). I put off her fantasy series for the longest time but found a copy of Finnikin of the Rock at a secondhand bookstore and thought, might as well give it a go, I probably won't like BUT WAS I WRONG! Tough issues are explored with kingdoms being cursed and the main character going a quest with a sprinkle of dark magic included. By the time I got to the end of the third book, my heart was full with all the characters and the journeys they had all been on.
My favourite novel of hers is Saving Francesca and I reread it constantly during Year 11 and Year 12. It got me through high school. It has a very special place for me.
The only book of hers I haven't read yet is Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil which is her first adult novel. I went to a book talk to hear her discuss the books and it was such an amazing conversation about identity and the world being in crisis and adoption and minority groups and I could just listen to her talk all day, to be honest. I will just have to settle for her books.
I recommend them all, even the one I haven't read, that is how much I trust her writing.
I picked up the Historian at a second-hand bookstore and when I finally picked it up, I was hooked. The Historian uses Dracula as a base but from there it pulls you into a thriller like story that moves very slowly and builds the suspense to the point where I felt like I was being watched by a potential vampire while reading this. It is clever, using historical places to uncover clues (similar to those adorkable Robert Langdon adventures) but you have this paranormal mystery at the base. It's like but also unlike anything I have ever read.
Last year The Shadow Land was released and I ummed and ahhed about picking it up because it was full price and full price adult lit fic here in Australia is super expensive. However, when I saw that Elizabeth Kostova herself was coming to talk in Brisbane, I took the plunge and I was so glad I did.
The Shadow Land is a love letter to Elizabeth Kostova's husband's home country, Bulgaria. It was under the Iron Curtain for approximately 30-40 years and the country is still reeling from what it endured. The 'work camps' are still there and the horrific events that happened there formed the heart of the story. Again, this novel was slow moving, but it had a thriller type plot, propelling it forward, but it also dealt with the past as well as including the beauty that exists, sometimes obvious, sometimes hidden in Bulgaria itself. It was really good but it is a novel that makes you earn it and I really like that about it, but it may not be to everyone's taste, so while I would recommend Elizabeth Kostova to others, I do so with a caution, depending on their tastes.
I found The Swan Thieves on sale on Booktopia and purchased it as a birthday present to myself last year. I am yet to read it but I know I need to dedicate my time and emotions to another slow-moving but to what I am sure will be an impactful read.
Authors whose work you've read some of and would like to read more...
Ruby Langford Ginibi
This could be because I just finished her memoir, Don't Take Your Love to Town but I really loved reading her story. Her life as an Aboriginal woman bringing up nine kids and dealing with their four different fathers who all took off on her at different points in time was so hard to read and I can't imagine what it would have been like. Through triumphs and heartache you see this strong woman push through and once her kids were a bit older, she was able to look into her past and her family's roots, where her tribe originated and while this memoir didn't go into a lot of detail regarding that, I believe the other books that she wrote after this one (this one being her first book published), go into the history of the Aboriginal people in more depth. I really want to continue reading her work and uncovering more about where she belongs and to also find out more about the Aboriginal culture.
So I am a bit late jumping onto the Margaret Atwood train but I read the Handmaid's Tale last year as well as Hag-Seed and absolutely loved her writing. Both were 5 stars reads for me. So much so that I went out and bought the beautiful edition of the Handmaid's Tale below and I am on the lookout for a gorgeous edition of Hag-Seed (I originally borrowed the Handmaid's Tale from a friend and borrowed Hag-Seed from the library).
I do have a confession to make, sometimes when I see an authors work fairly cheap at a secondhand book sale, I will begin to collect their work without actually having read anything by them. I have done this with a few authors and one of them being Margaret Atwood so I am so glad that I enjoyed her works and have something to continue on with soon. What works by her would you recommend me starting next? Doesn't have to be the ones I own below.
Authors whose work you haven't read of but you really want to (darn those giant TBR lists!)
I haven't read anything by her yet and I desperately want to. I have Salvage the Bones on hold in the Libby app to read for one of my book challenges and I also own a copy of Sing, Unburied, Sing that I also need to get to this year for yet another challenge. See? I am making sure I read at least two works by her by setting up the challenges :)
Another author who I desperately want to read. Again, she is one of those authors I have started to collect even though I haven't read anything by her YET. I love historical fiction with strong female characters defying society's expectations in really interesting ways but still reading as realistic to that time in history and I just get a feeling I am going to adore her works.
The City of Brass is a pretty popular novel at the moment and I snapped it up, even though it was in hardcover and one of the most expensive books I have ever bought at that particular bookstore. It sounds right up my alley with what I like to read with magic and Djinn and secrets to uncover and court politics in a setting I haven't read too much in before, 18th century Cairo.