Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Celebrating Women Writers

In honour of International Women's Day I thought it would be nice to share a list of my favourite female authors and which of their works I love the most. I've included authors that longtime readers of this blog will already know I adore and a few others that I don't often get the chance to speak effusively about (which I'm still not doing here, but might do in the future).

Aside from the odd foray into the Russian literary greats and my enduring love of Wilkie, for the majority I read books written by women. That's not through any particularly conscious choice because I do not let gender determine my reading habits, it's just how it's turned out. All of my favourite authors, the one's whose books I will always read, are women (except Wilkie, who is forever the odd one out).

Looking through this list I can see some common features among the novels that these authors write. Many of them have or do focus on war, and most of them are very 'person' based. I'm not really sure how to explain that, but Gardam, Dunmore, Atkinson, Vickers and Barker as examples all very much focus on people and how circumstances and situations have an impact on people. Perhaps that's the thing that grabs me, perhaps it's the intuitive and insightful exploration of real lives that draws me to these particular female writers.

Virginia Woolf
Read: To the Lighthouse

Rebecca West
Read: The Return of the Soldier

Meg Cabot
Read: The Princess Diaries

Jane Gardam
Read: The Queen of the Tambourine

Daphne du Maurier
Read: Rebecca

Dorothy L. Sayers
Read: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club

Helen Dunmore
Read: The Lie

Kate Atkinson
Read: Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Salley Vickers
Read: Mr Golightly's Holiday

Alison Moore
Read: The Lighthouse

George Eliot
Read: Middlemarch

Tracey Chevalier
Read: Falling Angels

Jacqueline Wilson
Read: Bad Girls

Pat Barker
Read: Regeneration

This list is, in my opinion, the creme de la creme of women writers, but I'd love to hear who your favourites are - let me know in the comments and I'll add them to my 'to read' list!


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Things That Made Me Happy This Week #51

1// Unexpected coffee dates my mum ended up in London on a course this week so we grabbed a couple of hours before her train home to drink herbal tea and have a chat. I don't get too see my parents too often so moments like this are wonderful.

2// Ticking things off I've been in the mood for getting things done this week and submitting my application for a PhD studentship was probably the biggest and most satisfying thing I've done in a long time. I'm not expecting to get it, but it made me feel good to go through the process of re-writing my CV and working on the application.

3// Harriet by Elizabeth Jenkins what a book! It felt like I was in turmoil the entire way through this novel and even now I've moved on to my next read, Harriet is lingering.

4// Starting new books I'm sure many of you feel the same but I adore the feeling of starting a new book and being so excited for what its pages might hold. I've started Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell which is so far very good. One of the narrators talks a lot about Samuel Richardson's novel Pamela which I had to force my way through in uni, but I love how Mitchell is using it to link with the story.

5// Spending time in the countryside I've not left London since Christmas so it was about time I got some fresh air with Mike's family in Essex this weekend. I tend to get a little crazy if I don't get a break from London, particularly since starting work in Holborn, and the last month has been full of whole weekends spent in central London. Suffice it to say, I feel much better now.

What made you happy this week?


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

March Goals

Tackle the TBR pile (at this point it's basically my entire bookshelf) and donate books that I have no intention of reading.

Slowly rebuild my strength by swimming and doing yoga - try to incorporate five gentle workouts a week.

Take one evening a week for 'me' time.

Continue to experiment with new recipes and cook from scratch. Limit meat intake and eat fish three times per week.

Write all the posts currently sitting in my drafts folder.

Indulge in a book that I've not got around to reading yet but really want to.

Do you have any goals for this month?

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