Eight Amazing Novels By Women To Add To Your List!
Books are an easy and inexpensive way to stay entertained for hours on end! They also open our minds to diverse perspectives and experiences that we might not be able to experience or consider otherwise. These are just a few of the reasons why reading is one of our favorite hobbies!
In honor of International Women’s Day, we have decided to make a list consisting of picks from PBS’ The Great American Read List that were written by women who have changed the literary landscape. Check them out:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media — as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents — the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter… but is he really a killer?
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died namelessly and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein (1818) is Mary Shelley’s Gothic masterpiece about a young and ambitious student, Victor Frankenstein, who creates a colossal and hideous monster by re-animating a corpse. After his initial spark of creative frenzy, Frankenstein is dissatisfied with and disgusted by his creature, and he abandons it as soon as it awakens. Forced to face an unforgiving world on its own, the creature sets out on in search of understanding and revenge. Told in letters by an arctic explorer documenting his encounter with the doctor who is in search of his runaway, Frankenstein is a multi-layered story of what makes us human — and what makes us monstrous.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, the world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
A generation of teenagers has grown up now with Katniss Everdeen as a model of principled rebellion against unjust authority. Suzanne Collins’ trilogy of novels about a dystopian world where citizens are made to fight to the death-to distract from their poverty and lack of freedom-is a modern young adult phenomenon. Read what happens when two people are randomly chosen from each of the 12 districts of Panem to take part in the eponymous ‘Hunger Games’, where only one winner is left alive at the end. Her trilogy of books leaves us with a clear idea of how we, as a society, should look to overcome the ways in which those above us try to divide and conquer, and instead rise in resistance.
The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its image and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice (1813), Jane Austen’s most beloved novel, follows the clever and kind but “obstinate, headstrong” young woman Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters as they navigate the intricacies of English society in the Regency period. Resistant to her mother’s avowal that she must marry “a single man in possession of a good fortune” (lest the family’s meager property be entailed to an unpleasant cousin), Elizabeth meets the wealthy but aloof Mr. Darcy at a country ball, where her sister Jane and his rich friend Bingley form an attachment despite their class differences. With one bachelor enchanted and the other unimpressed, will the Bennet sisters find love without compromising their dignity?
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Published to unprecedented acclaim, The Color Purple established Alice Walker as a major voice in modern fiction. This is the story of two sisters — one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South — who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic novel of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration and an indomitable love of life.