Falling in love with a book based on the writing alone doesn't happen as often as I'd hope. But when it does happen, it's like a teenage passion-filled love affair that can't be stopped. When I find a book full of gorgeous writing, complex ideas and intriguing plot points, I practically throw it at everyone I know so they can experience the beauty of the novel, too. This list is my way of throwing books (gently, of course) at readers around the world who are also inspired by marvelous writing.
In honor of the incredible female writers that have graced us with life-changing books over the years, I've gathered some books written by inspiring women. I promise that these books — some by beloved authors like Jennifer Egan and Alice Hoffman and some by less widely-known authors like M.C. Carr and Bridget Asher — might just become your new favorites.
It's always great when you can diversify your bookshelves and add a few new names along with works by old favorites. Whether you're into literary fiction, historical fiction, magical realism, or even YA, I've got something for everyone. Check out these 9 stunning books written by some kick-ass women:
1. The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
This story takes the idea of "if the walls could talk" to an entirely new level. When Annie McDee, a 31-year-old newly heartbroken chef purchases a painting with her last bit of savings, it turns out to be her best investment ever. When the painting starts to talk to her, it reveals its past owners: Louie XV, Voltaire, and Catherine the Great, among others. Suddenly finding herself in an odd position with crazed art dealers, Annie begins to put her life together and slowly realizes that love conquers all.
2. Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
In this beautiful short story collection, Danticat captures the stories of nine different people and ideas living within the Haitian world. Each tale reads like poetry, and each reveals a story that'll stay with you long after you've finished the collection.
3. After the Parade by Lori Ostlund
Aaron Englund has a big heart and an insecure past. After a 20-year relationship with his older partner, Walter, Aaron decides to make peace with his haunting past and leave the life he'd settled for when he had no where else to turn. This is a story about getting up and moving on from trauma, but also about embracing the past for what it gave you in return. It's a beautifully written novel, and one that's as complex as it is intriguing.
4. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
You've probably heard of the quirky, gorgeously written novel that Egan is known for, but until you read it, you won't know for certain how mind-blowing it truly is. It's the story of Bennie, a former punk-rocker forced to grow up, and his assistant, Sasha, who has her own demons to face. This is one novel I could reread over and over again.
5. Birdie by M.C. Carr
As the only dark-skinned member within her white Southern family, Berdie Clements struggles to fit in. Months before her graduation, her parents marriage falls apart, and she's put in a temporary living situation with an uncle she didn't even know existed. Her plan is to get through the next few months without making a sound and leave as soon as she can — but things don't always go according to plan. This new book on the shelf is one to look out for, and one you'll definitely adore.
6. The Girls by Lori Lansens
Conjoined twins Ruby and Rose live separate lives, yet have never done anything on their own. When Rose decides to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer, she puts pen to paper and begins her autobiography — which she soon learns is also Ruby's life story. As the two write their chapters, the tale begins to unfold. They soon find out they're the oldest conjoined twins at the head to survive — but the question of how much longer they'll survive is up in the air. It's a beautiful, heartbreaking tale that you will quickly be absorbed in.
7. All of Us and Everything by Bridget Asher
This is the story of three sisters, one mother, and an absent father excused for being an international spy — or so that's the story the sisters believed was true. Grown up and handling their own complicated and messy lives, the sisters reunite with their family after a hurricane. While assessing the damage, the sisters unearth some secrets. When their eccentric mother reveals the truth behind their family, it changes all of them forever. You'll be laughing and swooning over this amazing story after the first chapter.
8. The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
This historical fiction novel weaves in touches of magical realism as it takes you back in time to New York City during the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Between an impossible museum on Coney Island and the poverty-filled neighborhoods of NYC, two characters from different worlds fall in love, but their relationship is anything but simple. Hoffman's extraordinary writing shines through in this novel, and it's one I urge you to pick up ASAP.
9. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
A beautiful young girl named Roza is kidnapped, and her friend Finn knows what happened. He can't seem to remember the face of the kidnapper, and no one in the town of Bone Gap believes that Roza was kidnapped at all. After all, it's not too strange for someone to run away from the small town. This heartbreaking novel will make you feel as though you're drowning in beautiful language, unable to look away from anything that's happening. If you're looking for an marvelous YA novel written by an incredible writer, this is the book for you.