Only 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.