Reading Review – Winter of Women

Cover of Kristin Cashore's FireOnly men made my 2011 summer reading list. When I noticed this, I attempted to compose a list for the Fall of Females. That was more difficult than I’d expected.

I am very selective, and I was still in the mood for novel-length hard science fiction, which doesn’t seem to include many female authors.

On my shelves already are books by Octavia E. Butler, Deborah Chester, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Anne McCaffrey. My personal library also includes J. K. Rowling, Carrie Vaughn, and a handful of fantasy authors that aren’t as well known. A few novels by Diana Wynne Jones and Mercedes Lackey are still sadly on my wish list.

So, whose works did I still need to read?

I looked at CJ Cherryh, Connie Willis,…and Mary Shelley. The problem was that I started in autumn with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Wow, was that painful. No one had warned me about Frankenstein’s loathsome personality and the amount of time that his monster spends admiring perfect people. I learned there’s a reason more contemporary authors have rewritten the story several times.

I didn’t take home another novel by a female author until January, when I decided to forgo Stephenie Meyer‘s The Host for Twilight with the goal of better understanding RITN’s target audience. I then moved on to more books in the fantasy romance and young-adult genres:

Fire and Graceling by Kristin Cashore

The Game (novella) and Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones

Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey

Steel by Carrie Vaughn

Inside Job (novella) by Connie Willis

Twilight surprised me, Fire was a delight (and a stronger work than Graceling), Beauty and the Werewolf was a disappointment, and the rest were about what I’d expected.

What am I still missing out on? I’d love recommendations, especially for science fiction and young-adult romance.


6 thoughts on “Reading Review – Winter of Women”

  1. Women authors of fantasy:

    I’ve been reading some Sharon Shinn novels–good fantasy, good characterization (if some unusual techniques) but romancy.

    have you read the mortal instrument series? Some I really enjoyed others not so much.

    A discovery of witches. i did really like it, but weak opening. just get past the first few pages (10-20) and I was totally hooked.

    I’m curious, was Twilight a good surprise or bad surprise?

    1. Sharon Shinn…somehow, I hadn’t heard of her. I’ve added The Safe-Keeper’s Secret and The Truth-Teller’s Tale to my reading list, for starters.

      I’ve hesitated to read City of Bones, and I’m going to keep hesitating for a while. Too many reviewers complain about aspects that would likely bother me.

      A Discovery of Witches…hmm…added to my reading list.

      Thanks for the recommendations, Jennifer!

      So, Twilight. My short answer grew to about 400 words, which is too long for a comment. I’ll create a new post for Monday to satisfy your curiosity.

      1. re, city of bones: Must be the princess leah moment you’re referring to.
        Almost ruined it for me too, and I think the book would have been much better w/o that element. Honestly, I’m surprised the publishers let that through.

        And I forgot to mention The Hunger Games–loved it!

  2. hey hurray! my comment took. I’ve almost given up leaving comments, one moment they take, the next not. I don’t get it.

    ps. hope you feeliing well, and ultrasound went well.

    When I’m pregnant I read trash. Real mindblowing trash (at least I consider it trash. lol)

    1. Yay! Thanks for trying, Jennifer.

      I’m very well. The ultrasound is scheduled for this Monday, and I’m waiting patiently for when I can meet my doctor for the first time. So far, my husband and I have met only the office’s midwives.

      Ooh, trash. I don’t think I could read much of anything that I considered trash–anything that holds my attention for long enough is picked apart and viewed from different angles–but it’s all relative. Less socially acceptable topics do seem to capture more of my attention when I’m stressed.

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