I have many favorite authors – new favorites, old favorites, favorites to re-read, favorites to hoard even though I’ve hardly read any of their books. I was inspired by my buddy Jacob over at RedStarReviews to do a post on my favorite lady authors thanks to his September podcast cleverly titled, Who Writes the Words? Girls!
As usual, this is by no means a comprehensive list and there’s no real pecking order here. I just want to call out some of the ladies whose work I love to read.
I know I just said there’s no pecking order, but let me get the two obvious picks out of the way first. Neither of these should come as a surprise if you’ve been around for a few months.
+ Tanith Lee – She writes sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, short stories and so many blends of genres in between. I’ve done several posts on her work, notably here and here and I also have several reviews in my archive.
+ Jane Austen – I can at least say I’ve read all of Austen’s work and once again, I have several posts on why I love Austen, like the ones here and here. I also dubbed February Austen Month and devote the majority of the month to re-reading her work and reading and watching other works inspired by her.
Ok, now I can talk about some of the other authoresses that you haven’t heard me gush over all the freaking time.
+ Mira Grant / Seanan McGuire – Her sci-fi is published as Grant, her fantasy as McGuire and all of it (ok, all that I’ve read) is awesome. She has quite a backlog of fantasy for me to read through and I’m very excited about it. I’ve primarily read her as Grant and I love how creepy her work is! I’m sure most of you have heard of the Wayward Children series which she writes as McGuire – I highly recommend for anyone who loves portal fantasy! She’s also a great source for LGBT+ characters.
+ Naoko Takeuchi – Ok, so you might have heard me gush about her recently, as the Eternal Sailor Moon editions have started coming out and of course I must buy and reread them. Sailor Moon has been a love of mine for a long time and I don’t ever expect that to change. What’s not to love about stories centering around a magical girl gang actually written by a woman?
+ Philippa Gregory – my queen of historical fiction. Her characters are rich and her focus on females throughout history (especially in the eras surrounding Henry VIII) gives a fresh perspective on a seemingly male-dominated time. She writes non-fiction too, which I’ll admit I haven’t read, which lends credibility to her fiction, as I trust it’s well researched.
+ Lisa Jensen – I’ve only read 2 of her 3 books, but she’s my new go-to for retelling recommendations. I especially love her Pan retelling, Alias Hook, because it’s dark and sexy as hell. I can’t wait for more from her!
+ Trudi Canavan – I read her Magician Trilogy back in high school and have reread it a time or two since. I can’t wait to reread it again! Meanwhile, Sweetbeeps loved that series and actually moved on to more of her work, which he recommends.
+ Becky Chambers – Hi, hello, Becky is the queen of feel-good sci-fi. Her Wayfarers series is everything I want in sci-fi and then some. Her characters are amazing and her world-building is so vast and rich! I’ve already read the first two books twice and can’t wait to dive into the series a third time in the coming year.
+ Nancy Springer – I fell in love with Springer’s Enola Holmes series. It’s middle-grade, told from the perspective of Sherlock’s younger sister. It’s smart, witty and endearing and I’ve got the first book from her Rowan Hood series on my shelves too! I definitely recommend her for younger and older lovers of middle-grade.
+ Sarah Gailey – I never thought I’d go wild about novellas where hippo ranching in the early 20th century was a thing, until I met Gailey’s work. Her work tends to be dark and a little violent and her characters are colorful. She’s another great source for some LGBT+ rep. She also offers a twice monthly paid (it’s $2 US) newsletter which I highly recommend.
+ Marion Zimmer Bradley – I read Mists of Avalon in high school and fell in love. Granted, I’ve never read any of her other work, but after tackling like 1,000+ pages, I feel qualified to recommend her. Her personal life aside, she wrote an epic fantasy novel about King Arthur with richly developed female (and male) characters.
+ Michelle Moran – My second source for historical fiction. I own all Michelle’s work with only one book unread. Three of her novels are set in ancient Egypt, which isn’t something I come across. She’s also got an excellent novel about Madame Tussaud and her latest is about Mata Hari. I really appreciate her range and once again love her focus on female characters.
+ Robin Stevens – Another middle-grade rec, her Wells and Wong mysteries are a charming mix of a female version of Sherlock and Holmes mixed with a dash of Agatha Christie. Who knew murder could be charming? But after reading some Christie, Stevens very much has that same light-hearted tone thanks to her lead characters, but she also tackles some of the tough topics young ladies deal with as they grow up.
+ Marie Brennan – Her Lady Trent series is definitely one of my top series of all time (and I haven’t even read the last book because I’m not ready for it to end!) Victorian-era exploration in a world where dragons exist, voiced by a saucy, independent lady? Hells yes. I’ve also read a few of her other fantasy novellas and am working on getting my little hands on the rest of her work.
+ Melanie Benjamin – Another historical fiction recommendation with a more contemporary flare, if you consider books about Lewis Carroll and Truman Capote contemporary (which I do, compared to my other recommendation). I’m caught up on all but the latest of her novels and I highly recommend Mrs. Tomb Thumb or Alice I Have Been if you’re looking for unique reads in historical fiction.
There are so many more ladies I could list, but I’ll leave you with these for now. Have you read any of these authors? Do you have any recommendations for me? (Note: I haven’t read anything by Robin Hobb and I know I need to!)