Halfway Through The Baileys Women’s Prize Longlist, So Let’s Give Some Away…

Hoorah! I have just (within the last twenty minutes or so as I type this) got over half way through the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist, as I popped down my tenth read My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, which I am reading for the Bearded Bailey’s Book Club. Whilst I have a break to celebrate, then play catch up on reviews and start book ten, I thought it would be a nice idea to give some of the twenty books away…


This isn’t because I don’t want them or don’t like them, not at all. Thanks to the kindness of the lovely team at the Bailey’s Prize (who sent me the whole longlist last week) aswell as the kindness of some publishers who before, and since, the list was announced have sent me additional copies I have some extra. I thought that one of you might like them. Here is the selection…


I also have a slightly battered copy of Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies, so if you want that I can pop that in too. So what do you have to do to win this lovely selection of books? Simple, just tell me (in the comments below) what your favourite book is by a female writer and why. The competition is open worldwide, as I am still in the birthday spirit, you have until Monday April the 11th when the shortlist is announced. Good luck!

UPDATE – We have a winner chosen by random.org. Congratulations Cathling, you have been emailed for your details!


Filed under Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction, Baileys Bearded Book Club, Give Away, Random Savidgeness

85 responses to “Halfway Through The Baileys Women’s Prize Longlist, So Let’s Give Some Away…

  1. Brittany Johnson

    Thank you for this amazing giveaway! I am so excited to hear your thoughts on all the baileys books. My favorite book written by a female author has to be The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It was my first ‘adult’ book that I read when I was a kid. It showed me how interesting and beautiful writing could be.

  2. My fave book by a female author is ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ by Lionel Shrivel which won the Orange (now Baileys) Prize. It was a compelling, visceral, shocking, nature v nurture, read which left me looking at my own children and counting my blessings. We look down on people whose children ‘go astray’ but really, how many of us would have coped better with Kevin?

  3. Oooh what an excellent idea! I realised recently how many of my favourite books are written by women. But actually if I needed to pick one I think I might revert back to childhood and pick Michelle Magician’s novels, specifically ‘A Little Love Song’. It introduced me to girls a bit like me, realistic expectations of love, first love, jealousy, war and lots more books!

  4. Alison

    Thanks for this giveaway, Simon – I would love these! My favourite book by a female author is Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner. I think we are often looking for ourselves in books; someone we can really identify with. Lolly was someone who showed me that it was ok to be a bit different, a bit curmudgeonly at times, but love the world in her own way. I think I’ve heard you say would like to try some STW – I think you would love this!

  5. Ack! too many! But I think I’d have to say the omnibus edition of the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love the way the perspective grows along with Laura, the landscape descriptions and how she brings you into another world.

  6. Karen B

    I would love to have some of these books! I have a lot of favorite female authors, but I’d have to go with my favorite since I was around 12 years old. The first “adult” book I read was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I loved it then and I still love it today. She had so much humor and insight in that novel. I went on to read all her other books and I loved most of them. The fact that I didn’t understand all the references to class and custom spurred on my huge interest in everything British and I so enjoy learning about the history.

    By the way, I really do love Rebecca as well. One of my childhood favorites. I’m a little nervous to re-read it in case I feel differently though. The fact that you love this book is probably why I kept listening to your podcast. You mentioned it in the first one I listened to and I was hooked!

    Have fun reading the rest!

  7. dirtmother

    The book immediately comes mind is Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. I’d never heard of it when it was sent to me by an internet friend and was like nothing I’d read before (but had sorely needed to)

  8. Patricia

    What a brilliant gift it would be!! My favorite book of all time, male and female, just has to be Pride and Prejudice. Traditional and conservative it may be, but I first read it in school, over 40 years ago. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it and the number of copies I’ve had. This book introduced me to how women lived in the nineteenth century, and still live now in many parts of the world,, something that was totally new to me then. Jane Austen is so far from being a romantic read

  9. This is so much fun! I think (one of) my favorite books by a female author would be St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell. It’s pure magic, has these remarkable stories and characters that stay with you, and Karen is just an incredibly skilled writer.

  10. Stephanie

    It’s so hard to pick a favorite! I’m going to go with The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, but I feel that I should also mention some others that I considered. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffery and Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. I hope you had a great birthday and thank you for making this an international giveaway!

    Ps. I was in some great bookstores in Ann Arbor this week and thought of your USA trip. 😀

  11. Woo – tough question! To save procrastinating for days, I’m plumping for one straight away.
    The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. It was one of the first books I read as an adult (after a few years of an exclusive diet of fantasy interspersed with Thomas Hardy) that really felt like it could have been written just for me.
    I could have equally said Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson which I read around the same time for precisely the same reason. Or The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton for switching me on to great storytelling in the first place.
    Good luck everyone!

  12. This really is an impossible question. As I scan down my list of reviewed books on my blog the ones I pause by and say to myself ‘maybe this one’ are pretty much all past winners of the orange prize or now women’s fiction prize. If I don’t go for ‘That was then and this is now’ by S. E. Hinton, which is my favourite book from my teenage years, I have to say ‘The Idea of Perfection’ by Kate Grenville which won the prize in 2001. (am so wanting ‘Long way to a small angry planet’, I started it but had to return it to the library because it was in a queue!)

  13. Sarah

    Ooo, fab give away! As to the business of my favourite book by a female author, I choose ‘Pointed Roofs’. I recently discovered Dorothy Richardson’s ‘Pilgrimage’ and am about to begin book four of the thirteen in the series of her fictional memoirs. I’d only read a few pages before I realised I was reading the words of a genius. Move over Proust and Knausgaard, Dorothy Richardson is in the house! 🙂

  14. Karen N

    As others have indicated, I have many novels that vie for the title of champion of my heart. Since I must select one, I will name the title that popped in my head first upon hearing your question. Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” takes the prize. The language, charcters, and situations featured in the text move me deeply. I often say that this work “speaks to my soul.”

    Your blog and podcasts enhance my reading life. Thank you for them and for thinking of your fans when you have extra books.


  15. Favorite book by a female author? That distinction would belong to ‘The Girls Who Went Away’ by Ann Fessler. It’s nonfiction (which, hopefully, doesn’t disqualify me from this lovely giveaway), but it is the most emotionally raw book I have ever read. Moved me to tears. Forced me to reevaluate my point of view on life. Remains one of the few books I’ve (repeatedly) reread over the last eight years.

  16. Deen Mutch

    It is not a great literary classic, but I will always love The thorn birds by Colleen McCullough. I live the Australian setting, the characters, the deceit. It has everything.

  17. Jen C

    I cannot wait to hear what you have to say about the Bailey’s 20! A satisfyingly unpredictable list this year, I thought.
    My pick for favourite book is “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” by Winifred Watson. It is the book that I reread the most, the one that introduced me to the glorious Persephone Books and the one I lend/buy for everyone. It is the single most joy-filled book I have ever read. A book that celebrates, illuminates & inspires the lives ‘ordinary’ people and reminds us in its own quiet way that actually there is no such thing – we are all extraordinary in our own way. I just love it.

  18. This feels a bit like a punishment so I’ll go back to the first “favorite ” I remember -. Katherine by Anya Seton, – read in the 1950s (do your sums). The story of the British King’s son John of Gaunt and his love for Katherine Swynford, set in a broad sweep of British history. This started an interest which lead right through to the more recent author Geraldine Brooks who continues to widen our historical interests to other countries, But Anya Seton and Katherine remains No1 on my Desert Island list.

  19. Rhonda

    Great giveaway.Little Women from my first reading.It was a grownup book for me loved every word.Strarted my addiction to reading,

  20. Liz Janet

    I need to check out this prize, it sounds pretty good.
    My favourite book by a female author (well, one of them) is The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin. It is a staple of science fiction, and also the first book that introduced me to gender (ambisexual in this book case) that was not seen in a negative light but as a way to teach about feminism as well.

  21. My favourite at the moment, hands down, is Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies. She writes with such passion and humour and total viciousness – it’s been a long time since I’ve read a narrative flipped on its head quite so skilfully!

  22. What a great giveaway. My favourite would have to be Daniel Deronda by George Eliot as I think it has the best opening scene of any I have read.

  23. Geraldine

    A top fav of mine is the wonderful Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox a New Zealand writer. It tells the story of a relationship between an angel and young French vintner. Just the most marvellous read.

  24. mf4strings

    ‘Middlemarch’ by George Elliott for its depth and respect of character, intelligent dialog and brilliant writing that draws you into its unique world.

  25. Impossible to really choose just one, but at the moment my favourite female writer is Lionel Shriver and her book “We Need to Talk about Kevin”. This will all probably change in the next few days as I start reading Kate Atkinson’s “A God in Ruins”. I have a really bad habit of changing my mind all the time.

  26. Melissa

    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is my favorite. I first read it when I was in middle school, and I felt so connected to Jane’s struggles. I have reread it many times since, and I still find a deep connection. I hope you enjoy Lucy Barton, Simon. I enjoyed it so much that I read Olive Kitteridge as well.

  27. Oh Simon, how am I to choose only one?! I’m going to have to pick J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, the whole series really. These books have brought so much joy to our whole family, but especially to my now 27 year daughter and myself. We anxiously awaited the release of each book in the series, staying up all night to read each installment. Rowling’s imagination continues to excite us as we reread them now in anticipation of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”.

  28. sharkell

    Hmmm. I can’t just pick one. I would have to go with Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, The Harp in the South trilogy by Ruth Park and Elemental by Amanda Curtin which I read earlier this year. I hope we are allowed to cheat. 😁

  29. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, because not only did I enjoy reading it, but also I would be comfortable recommending it to anyone, whatever their personal reading preferences.

  30. Sophie J

    I would have to say Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood or We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson. I love Alias Grace because it’s Atwood’s ‘retelling’ of two murders and I find it a fascinatingly dark read but my favourite would have to be Jackson’s. Not only could I literally not put it down but it’s so dark and completely amazing. I adore this book and cannot believe I did not come across it sooner. It’s not only my favourite book by a female it’s my favourite by any author!

  31. yogafrog

    Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn. I first read it in high school and revisited it this year in response to Simon, Thomas, Ann and Michael talking about their favorite books. It is a love story, a history lesson about the Civil Rights movement in the US in the 1960’s, a must-read for people who are appalled by the way humans treat humans, and a witness to the grace with which victims respond to horrific circumstances, fueled only by their belief in a higher power. It got me blogging (and crying).

  32. Alison P

    Predictable, but true nonetheless ,mine would have to be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I first read it as a teenager and am now approaching 50 but still reread it on a regular basis. As a teenager and in my 20’s it was the romance and the dashing Mr Darcy that had me hooked. In later years it has been the feisty Elizabeth Bennett and the humour of the book that I love.

  33. I’m going to go for the book that turned me back on to reading. I had read a lot as a child but once teenage years kicked in it wasn’t deemed cool to be seen reading a book so apart from trashy horror novels and the odd racy read passed around the classroom, reading fell by the wayside. So thanks a million to good old Harper Lee and “To Kill A Mockingbird” as there has been no looking back since then!

  34. Gosh, only one? I usually recommend We need to talk about Kevin to all for the simple reason that the ending took my breath away, but then there is To Kill a Mockingbird, both serious and funny at the same time, anything by Agatha Christie, nuff said, or my fav ya book Fire & Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones which is the only book I read again and again as I always forget the middle part but its a great story.

  35. What a lovely thing to do! My favourite novel ever is by a female writer, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I read it at a time when I was extremely lonely, and it provided me with comfort and companionship and the ability to believe in the light at the end of the tunnel–which is a pretty tall order for any book! Also the writing is beautiful, but mostly it was the companionship thing.

  36. Could winning that luscious pile be the thing that finally pushes me into reading A Little Life? 🙂

    Choosing one favourite book by a female writer is so so hard. I agree with pretty much every comment before me: there are so many bloody brilliant books recommended so far. But my favourite of all time is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, a book that fits me perfectly. I’ve re-read it more times than I can remember, in whole and in parts, and can recite the first page from memory.

  37. Some of my favourite books by women are Jane Eyre, Possession (A.S. Byatt), The Blind Assassin, On Beauty (Zadie Smith), The Hand that First Held Mine and American Wife (Curtis Sittenfeld). For all of them I’d say it’s a combination of gripping plot, excellent characterisation, and an inimitable writing style. In nonfiction I’d pick The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a fascinating work that links history and popular science and evinces a lot of compassion for the main subject.

  38. Russell Gray

    Willing to send across the pond! Awesome! Since you and Thomas have been dictating my reading list lately, I will take anything you are willing to send over.

    My favorite female author is hands down Toni Morrison. I have read everything she has published, and each has changed my reading life in some way. However, it all started out with The Bluest Eye – the sad tale of a little black girl that wishes she had blue eyes so people would consider her pretty. Heartbreaking and perfect. And, to be honest, and easy place to start with Ms. Morrison.

    This year I have read a number of novels by women – but I have to say that The Driver Seat by Sparks and As We Are Now by Sarton have really stood out and made it into my recommend to anyone list.

    Thanks Simon for the giveaway


  39. This is a really hard question… and probably changes week by week, I’ve just finished The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis which was wonderful. But I think I’d pick Why be Happy When You Can be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson, or if it has to be a novel, then Oranges are Not the Only Fruit. She’s one of my favourite writers of all time and her prose is wonderful.

    Happy birthday!!

  40. Annetta

    I would have to go for a childhood one too. I’ve loved Elinor Brent-Dyer’s Chalet School books for many years and they influenced my life by giving me a love of travel and foreign languages. And then Pride and Prejudice of course. What an impossible question!

  41. Lorraine Mc Guinness

    Oh, God. How do you pick one? If I have to choose I would pick My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier. Rachel is such a complex character. You only see her through Philip’s biased viewpoint. She’s either a saint or a sinner. He doesn’t treat her like a human being with thoughts or motivations of her own.

    I just love her writing style.

  42. My favourite book by a woman writer is Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. I love that it is based on real-life events and all the research that Atwood did. But, what I like the most is the complex character study she does of Grace: there were moments in the book when I did not know if I was being lied to!

  43. Jill Adams

    So excited at this giveaway. An embarrassment of riches indeed, Simon. I’m a total Ali Smith addict and it’s hard to pick just one as they’re all so…her. You know. It’s like asking me to choose a favourite child. Hmmm. I think I’m picking “The Accidental” because I remember a freezing December afternoon with a wood burning stove, a brand new copy of this and looking up to see the snow had fallen and I hadn’t even noticed, I was so engrossed in the book. It’s a thing wholly its own. Hard to describe yet completely formed. I loved it. Every time I go back to it, I notice something different, and find something new to admire Ali Smith for. Thanks for organising the giveaway; it’s a great chance to find out new books by female writers too. Good luck everyone! 📚✨

  44. Andrew Cole

    An almost impossible question, I know that once I have committed I will think of something else instantly.
    In recent years however the book I loved was a slim volume called “The life of Rebecca Jones” by Angharad Price. Based on her families history and a little known bbc Wales documentary it fictionalises the story of a Welsh family farm set in the early twentieth century. Of five children three boys are born blind yet go on to achieve extraordinary academic lives whilst Rebecca devotes herself to the farm and her older brothers management the property. As with so much great British fiction it is the story of the land and a beautiful countryside in which Wales is a character in itself. The achievements of a modest family are stunningly portrayed. It was a random pick from the library shelves as I was instantly drawn by the beauty of a Gwen John painting on the cover.
    I will now be trawling this thread for more new books to read alongside the interesting long list this year in my favourite literary prize.

  45. JanetD

    Today my favourite is Helen Dunmore. I have recently finished reading The Lie and it has stayed with me and haunted my thoughts. Tomorrow it will be someone else. But it will then be another book which stays with me long after the last page is read because that is what a great book is all about for me.
    Happy Easter!

  46. This is an amazing giveaway! I just finished A God in Ruins, which was fantastic. That makes two of this year’s list I’ve read. One book by a woman that had a huge influence on me was The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Also nearly everything by Margaret Atwood. One of my long-time favorites that most people haven’t read is Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy, about World War II.

  47. LauraC

    What a lovely group of books! I have not read any of them. My favorite book is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I by up all the used copies i find and give them away.

  48. Anna Sewell, Black Beauty. She taught me how to love and appreciate the work animals do.

  49. Egeria

    Thank you for this giveaway. I love so many books by female authors, it’s difficult to choose. At this time, it would be Fidelity by Susan Glaspell.

  50. Gotta love a book giveaway! Thank you!! My favorite all time favorite novel by a female author is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It will always have a special place in my heart as it came to me at a time when I was “recovering” from Christian fundamentalism. It was one of those books that fell into my lap at the best possible moment. Novels really can save your life. Long live Margaret Atwood!

  51. Amy

    That is such an impossible question! So many of my favourite books are by female authors.
    I guess Rebecca is probably up there as I just adored it when I first read it when was I was about 15, completely captivating and I love it every time I’ve reread it since. I’ll also give Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman a highly commended because it was the first book I read that really made me think about the world around me and politics and social justice which sort of set me on the path to want to study the degree I did too.
    Congrats on getting half way through the longlist so fast too!

  52. Fran

    This is really difficult but a book which has stayed with me since I first read it at 13? 14? ….Well let’s say over 30 years ago, and several times since, is A Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy.
    Thank you for your podcasts. Since their discovery my weekly commute of an hour and half each way has become far more enjoyable!

  53. Pretty much everything by Beryl Bainbridge, Regeneration by Pat Barker, Oranges are not the only fruit by Jeanette Winterson. How to pick one? Probably Jeanette who freed a generation from Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, bless her.

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  55. BALovric

    In an effort to avoid all the usual suspects, I will go with THERE ONCE LIVED A WOMAN WHO TRIED TO KILL HER NEIGHBOUR’S BABY by Russian author and playwright, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya.

    Each of these modern, Russian fairy tales is short but haunting. They are a unique view into the mundane and magical and a culture that has always fascinated. Surreal, gothic weirdness in all its glory.

    Highly recommend.

  56. SO MUCH FOR THAT by Lionel Shriver – She takes on a daring subject – quality of life during cancer treatment – extension of life via quantity and quality. Few writers have the same acerbic honesty and ability to intellectually dissect and expose half-truth.
    It really got under my skin, yet, it had great humour and many side plots and characters that off-played the main theme in literary fashion. Great fiction that everyone probably can relate to.

  57. Louise Dickens

    It’s hard for me to pinpoint a specific book, but my favourite book series written by a female author has to be The Famous Five by Enid Blyton. They were the first books I ever remember reading as a child (all 21 were passed down to me from my own Mum), and over the years I have re-read them again and again.

    A tomboy myself, I aspired to be like George who (like me) hated being ‘dressed up’ in dresses and bows, and much preferred playing football with the boys.

    The Famous Five will always stick with me, as will Enid Blyton.

  58. Steven Williamson

    I’d like to mention ‘The Bone People’ by Keri Hulme.
    I’m glad to see ‘A Little Lie’ in your list, because I’m currently enjoyed her previous book ‘ The people in the trees’.

  59. littlehux

    Doing the same as you, my friend. However flu meant I’m only on book 6 so I have a bit of catching up to do. Enjoying seeing what you thought!

  60. Anne

    Love this give away! It’s so rediculously hard to choose (I just read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and was blown away) – but for this i’m going to pick an old favorite – The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. For whatever reason that story has stuck with me. It reminds me of the arrogance and ignorance of colonialism. Kingsolver is a favorite writer of mine and i love how complex her characters can be. Though, as i go through my goodreads list – i’m remembering how much i LOVED State of Wonder by Ann Patchett…. oh! and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls….ok …no – i’m sticking with my choice. Poisonwood Bible it is!! Happy reading Simon!

  61. The Golden Age by Joan London. Just lovely. I bought a copy on holiday in Australia last year and am glad I did – still no UK publication date by the looks of things. I am desperate to read her earlier novels now.

  62. Wonderful giveaway! ❤

    My favourite book, how to narrow it down to one? I'd say at the moment it's Iza's Ballad by Magda Szabo.

    But I also love The Secret Histories by Donna Tartt or Slouching Towards Bethlemhem by Joan Didion, or Harry Potter by JK Rowling, or Beloved by Toni Morrison…. you get the picture.

  63. Sarah

    Hello – Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. She writes so cleverly about alienation, loss, racism and the slow disintegration of a mind that you can forget it’s a parallel novel to Jane Eyre.

  64. Kate Atkinson – A God in Ruins. I don’t have a favourite book, but this is one I have just read; her depth of character, layers of metaphor and scope of generational experience is phenomenal. And she makes me laugh, which is a gift. Thanks for a wonderful giveaway opportunity!

  65. Lee Goody

    Fabulous competition… and very generous of you to extend it out to us Antipodean types who have to scrimp and save to afford the extortionate prices of books here in Oz.
    Fave female book…A secret history by Donna Tartt. I read it in the summer holiday before going to Uni when I was almost beside myself excitement about going off to live in another town away from my parents and to begin my university days. I remember lying in the garden reading and daydreaming about the adventures that were to come. Fortunately none of the fates of Richard and his chums beset me but it was definitely the perfect book to be reading at that time. It’s my Rebecca!

  66. Katherine Sikes

    Favorite book – not just by a female author, but favorite overall – is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It’s like a love letter to people who love stories. It’s slightly gothic in tone, and has twins and a mystery and an author and a bookstore. What’s not to love? My book club loved it so much as picked it as a repeat read, and everyone I’ve recommended it to has loved it.

  67. Jonathan Guntrip

    My favourite book, regardless of gender, is The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath. I read it at exactly the right time for it to become so, as my tastes evolved, without the depth of experience and further reading to cloud any judgement of the utter perfection it felt like – I guess the first great book to truly impact upon you will invariably remain your favourite. What gripped me at the time, and all of the times since, was the beautiful, easy use of language in describing the alienation, the desolation. The cold detachment, the lack of hysteria. The way every sentence somehow felt hollow, and at the same time immeasurably vital and rich in meaning. No word, no page is wasted. It’s concise, it’s beautiful, it’s perfect. And it did everything I craved, when I craved it the most.

  68. Joanna

    I have SO many ‘favourite’ women authors but I am going to nominate ‘Fall On Your Knees’ by Ann-Marie MacDonald, simply because I distinctly remember a ‘wow’ moment when I read it many many years ago! It tells of four very different sisters, it is funny, sad, unpredictable and tells of human flaws and frailty, along with the unquenchable human spirit. I enjoy your blog and envy you reading all these contending books guilt-free!!!

  69. Vardit

    Kate Atkinson. She always seems to have a lot of fun writing her stories and surprise us, although handling really serious and heartbreaking situations. Life After Life is my favorite.

  70. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier is my favourite. It was a captivating novel with a breathtakingly romantic story line! To top it off it had pirates on it! 🙂

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  72. Jocelyn H

    How can I choose only one favourite book by a female author?! It’s very hard to narrow down. I will choose Irma Voth by Miriam Toews. Toews is an incredibly writer. She writes about hard subjects but employs a great deal of humour to do so. Her books elicit laughter and tears. All of her books are fantastic. The most recent is All My Puny Sorrows. I’m also going to put in a good word for The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. This is a beautiful book and it’s one that I recommend the most.

  73. Susanna Kearsley – her time travel/romantic stories converted me a skeptic. But getting us to choose one author is tough. So many good ones out there.

  74. Anna

    What a lovely thing to do! As for my favourite book by a female author, could a harder question be asked to a bibliophile?! For now I would have to go with A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, it was just so fascinating and a really interesting insight into Japanese culture. Cannot recommend it enough!

  75. Fola Laoye

    My favourite book by a female writer is Purple Hibiscus, written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

    Chimamanda wrote this Book at a point when Nigerian women needed someone to speak for them. The story is about a fanatic church goer who also doubles as a wife beater. I particularly loved how the book brought into life how the men we take as mentor or religious leaders usually don’t extend this courtesy to their wife, kids, and family members. The father is a priest in a Catholic church, but ironically, he beats his wife and doesn’t see eye to eye with his father, who is an idol worshipper. His kids fear him more than they love him, which I found saddening.

    I know it’s a work of fiction, but Chimamanda spoke for a lot of silent and unhappy women in Africa. We have a lot of women in abusive marriages, who can’t leave because of their kids, or majorly because they don’t want to be labelled divorcee or failure (seeing as the African society places so much emphasis on marriage, especially for women).

    I love this book because it’s the reason me and other young girls won’t put up a monster husband all the in the marriage. I learnt to move on from any marriage or relationships that’s not giving me joy!

  76. Cathling

    Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying, a wonderful, wonderful book.

  77. My favourite book by a female author is American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld because I get something new from it every time I read it. It’s an epic novel sweeping decades, with a personal look inside the American political process, and I just love it.

  78. Joseph

    Too difficult, I’m going to go with my most recent favourite of the last two years which was ‘The Gracekeepers’ by Kirsty Logan; a book that came out of nowhere and spirited me away in a gorgeous landscape of a drowned world and the two lost young women who find each other in strange circumstances. Aside from a magical and lyrical story there characters felt so very real and each drawn with significant heartfelt details of humanity. I loved the two women and their connection felt completely believable; was also a joy to read a story with a female couple that doesn’t end in tragedy and/or suffering.

  79. Marta

    My favorite book of all time is “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith. I love the character of Francie and how she deals with her daily struggles.

    Another favorite is the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. Every year when the new book comes out I feel like my best friend came for a visit.

  80. I love Beryl Bainbridge – her voice was so unique and her books cover so many different topics. I read her in between other novels to cleanse my reading palate. (Sorry for being prententious!) Plus she’s from my home town of Formby.g

  81. Caroline

    Wow, so many wonderful books by female authors mentioned here! Ali Smith, Kate Atkinson, Marilynne Robinson, Margaret Atwood…. I love all of them and more. It is almost impossible to choose a favourite, but one book I have read several times and loved every time is The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt (nothing to do with the Tom Cruise film of the same name). It’s the story of a single mother who gives her genius son a very unusual education at home, including the use of the film Seven Samurai to give her son male role models, and of the son’s search when a teenager for the man who might be his father. It’s very hard to summarise, and even harder to say why I love it so much. It’s funny and heartbreaking, and I love the relationship between this highly intelligent mother and son. Thanks for the opportunity to enter this contest, Simon – not only would I love to win all those wonderful books above (especially interested in The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet), you’ve made me want to go and read The Last Samurai again!

  82. Today my favorite female author is Vaddey Ratner. Her novel based on her life is In the Shadow of the Banyon,tells the story of Raami’s struggle to survive under the Khmer Rouge. What is remarkable, and honorable, here is the absence of anger, and the capacity — seemingly infinite — for empathy.

  83. Pingback: The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist 2016 | Savidge Reads

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