Twenty 2017 books by incredible authors who happen to be women

In Blog, Resources by Rachel Murray

As many of us head into quieter and possibly more contemplative times, it’s a wonderful opportunity to discover new books and new authors. We’ve gathered together 20 books by incredible authors… who just so happen to be women. We’ve tried to capture various moods and tastes, so you’ll find fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, drama, inspiration, humor, and advice. If you have other books to recommend, or any thoughts on the books here, we’d love to hear it! Tag us on Twitter, reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram, or contact us right here.

NON-FICTION

Business: Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home) by Morra Aarons-Mele.
Praise from the She+ Geeks Out community: “As an introvert, I’ve always felt that my personality is fundamentally at odds with my professional goals. This book is a great guide for dealing with that crippling anxiety and creating manageable goals.”

 


Business: Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech by Heather Cabot &‎ Samantha Parent Walravens
From the publisher: “Meet the women who haven’t asked for permission from Silicon Valley to chase their dreams. They are going for it — building the next generation of tech start-ups, investing in each other’s ventures, crushing male hacker stereotypes and rallying women and girls everywhere to join the digital revolution. Geek Girl Rising isn’t about the famous tech trailblazers you already know, like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer. Instead, veteran journalists Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens introduce readers to the fearless female entrepreneurs and technologists fighting at the grassroots level for an ownership stake in the revolution that’s changing the way we live, work and connect to each other.”


Business: The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier
Published by O’Reilly Media, one of our ambassadors worked on this very book!
From the publisher: “Managing people is difficult wherever you work. But in the tech industry, where management is also a technical discipline, the learning curve can be brutal—especially when there are few tools, texts, and frameworks to help you. In this practical guide, author Camille Fournier (tech lead turned CTO) takes you through each stage in the journey from engineer to technical manager.”


Business: Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change by Ellen Pao
Praise from Roxane Gay: “Necessary and incisive . . . As Ellen Pao detailed her experiences, while also communicating her passion for the work men often impeded her from doing, I was nothing short of infuriated. It was great to see a highly accomplished woman of color speaking out like this, and hopefully this book will encourage more women to come forward, give voice to their experiences in the workplace, and contribute to meaningful change.”


Business: Radical Candor by Kim Scott
Praise from the She+ Geeks Out community: “This book provides great guidance to not just say what you mean and mean what you say, but also shows how you can support your team and those around you with honest and frank feedback.”

 

 


Memoir: Hunger by Roxane Gay
From the publisher: “With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.”


Memoir: Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli
Praise from NPR: “These days, the whole world, including our politics, is being shaped by migration. Few people explore the nuances of this reality more skillfully than Valeria Luiselli, a strikingly gifted 33-year-old Mexican writer who knows the migratory experience first-hand. . . . Luiselli takes us inside the grand dream of migration, offering the valuable reminder that exceedingly few immigrants abandon their past and brave death to come to America for dark or nasty reasons. They come as an expression of hope.”


Personal Growth: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Praise from the She+ Geeks Out community: “While the language of the books itself is not difficult, the content, and the need to sit with and internally reflect on her message, to do the inner work, is a necessary and key struggle.”

 

 


History: Hidden Figures Illustrated Edition: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
From the She+ Geeks Out community: “Provides a fuller picture to the historical events behind the glitz of the silver screen. The book delves [into] the before, during, and after of the movie’s events.”

 

 


Poetry: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
From the publisher: “From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry.  A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.”

 

 

FICTION

Drama: The Leavers: A Novel by Lisa Ko
Praise from Ms. Magazine: “The Leavers describes the devastation caused by forced, abrupt and secret detentions that occur daily under our current Immigration Act. The novel weaves from past to present, from immediate abandonment to chronic loss, showing how the unfathomable disappearance of a mother eats into her son’s effort to “move forward.” . . . The story soars when Ko writes of immigration detention— a civil detention for violation of a civil law­ that is as callous and brutal as the worst sort of criminal incarceration . . . [The Leavers] lets us feel the knife twist of sweeping government authority wielded without conscience or control. [Ko’s] work gives poignant voice to the fact the U.S. can, and must, write a better immigration system.”


Drama: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
“With her first two novels, Celeste Ng has established herself as a writer of rare sensitivity and talent. Her debut Everything I Never Told You was picked by the Amazon Editors as the best book of 2014 and went on to be a best seller. Now, Little Fires Everywhere is sure to please her fans and attract many more. The Richardson family lives in the planned community of Shaker Heights, Ohio—a place of wealth, comfort, and stability—and they are a clan that embodies those traits. But when Mia, a single mother, and her fifteen year old daughter, Pearl, rent a house in the area, their very different lives will merge with those of the Richardson family and begin to contort the carefully laid lattice that supports their views. Once again, the plotting and pacing are nearly perfect, the characters believable and real. Ng is a master of family and societal dynamics, shifting perspectives, and the secrets that we try to protect—and readers who loved her debut will recognize the author in this second novel, even as she continues to stretch herself as a writer. We are now eagerly awaiting her next novel.” –Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review


Drama: Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
From the publisher: “When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules–a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home.”

 


Drama: Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
“You don’t need to recall much about Sophocles’ tale of Antigone to be swept up by Kamila Shamsie’s plot-driven and lyrical contemporary retelling. Shamsie, a native of Karachi who has written six previous novels, sets Home Fire among two Pakistani émigré families living in very different communities in London. Isma Pasha, the devout orphaned daughter of a jihadi fighter, has raised her younger sister and brother in the largely Asian neighborhood of Wembly. Eamonn, the son of the British Home Secretary (a secularlized Muslim) has grown up in posh Holland Park. His family has the power to help hers, and their friendship leads inexorably to a dramatic political crisis. The classical antecedents of this story are virtually invisible behind precisely-noticed modern-day details of Twitter trends, tabloid news and text messages. Shifting points of view allow Shamsie to explore the different relationships at stake, from family loyalties to sexual passion, and these intimate connections counterbalance her broader political point. This is a beautifully-written, angry, romantic novel that succeeds in being both timely and timeless.” –Sarah Harrison Smith, Amazon Book Review


Drama: Chemistry: A novel by Weike Wang
Praise from The New York Times Book Review: “A novel about an intelligent woman trying to find her place in the world. It has only the smallest pinches of action but generous measures of humor and emotion. The moody but endearing narrative voice is reminiscent of Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation and Catherine Lacey’s Nobody is Ever Missing. Fans of those novels will find a lot to enjoy here . . . Moments of tenderness are repeatedly juxtaposed with moments of misery . . . The [narrator] tells us there is a phrase for family love in Chinese that in translation means ‘I hurt for you.’ This love, rather than romantic love, feels like the true subject of the book. Chemistry will appeal to anyone asking themselves, How do I create the sort of family I want without rejecting the family I have?”


Speculative Fiction: The Power by Naomi Alderman
From the publisher: “In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there’s a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power–they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, THE POWER is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.”

Praise from Margaret Atwood: “Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you’ll think twice, about everything.”


Fantasy/Young Adult: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
From the publisher: “For fans of Neil Gaiman and Leigh Bardugo comes the New York Times bestseller about a mythic lost city and its dark past from National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor. The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around–and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the form of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.”


Science Fiction: All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
From the publisher: “In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety. But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern. On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid ― a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is. But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.”


Sci-Fi/Fantasy: The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
Praise from the She+ Geeks Out community: “Amazing ending to a fantastic Sci-Fi/Fantasy trilogy centering female perspective and the value of survival even in the face of apocalypse. If you are tired of sci-fi tropes, try this. The main character is a WOC and a mother; there’s LGBTQ+ positive representation also.”


Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
From the publisher: “Affectionately dubbed “the Nigerian Harry Potter,” Akata Witch weaves together a heart-pounding tale of magic, mystery, and finding one’s place in the world. Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?”


Please note that all links go to Amazon.com and are affiliate links, which means, if you go to Amazon from one of these links and buy it, we get a few sheckles. This in no way influenced our selection of books!