March is Women's History Month. Every March at I'm Lost in Books I spin that into the Women's Lit Event celebrating female authors and their work. I have some lovely authors and bloggers who will be sharing with us. Today please welcome book blogger, Helen, of My Novel Opinion.When Becca first asked if I would be interested in guest posting for her Women's Lit Month, I knew that I wanted to highlight some of my favorite British female authors. For those who don't know me, or just don't know, I am originally from the U.K.. I grew up reading Enid Blyton (my mum's Famous Five books), E. Nesbit (The Railway Children was a favorite), Beatrix Potter (who didn't love Peter Rabbit as a kid?) and Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden is my all-time favorite children's book). All of these authors were much loved by generations before me, and will continue to be for generations to follow. And all were female.
Obviously, my adoration of female authors started at a young age. With the exception of a phase I went through in my early teens where I primarily read Stephen King, on the back of a Goosebumps and Point Horror addiction, about 80% of my reading has been of books written by women. By my late teens I was reading almost exclusively chick-lit. The late 90's-early 00's seems to have been the start of the chick-lit era with many books appearing on bestseller lists, so it appears I was the right age at the right time. Some of my go-to authors were Jenny Colgan, Lisa Jewell, Belinda Jones, Adele Parks, all of whom released debut novels at a similar time. I read each and every one of their books available in the U.K. before I moved away in 2007.
I've recently "rediscovered" Lisa Jewell this past year when Before I Met You was published in the U.S.. I then read The House We Grew Up In, and I'm about to start The Third Wife. Lisa has swiftly reclaimed her place on my "auto-buy" list! In fact, I was so impatient for the latter two titles that I bought the U.K. editions and had my mum bring them over when she visited! Two British women who have never left my "auto-buy" list are more well-known in the U.S.. First there is Sophie Kinsella, most well-known for the Shopaholic series but my favorite stand-alone is Remember Me?, and Cecelia Ahern who is actually Irish so I hope she doesn't mind being bundled in with the British authors!
As with Lisa Jewell, I have been ordering Cecelia's novels from the U.K. and having family bring them over to me in the States. I've yet to read her most recent book, The Year I Met You, but it promises to be a good one. It's hard to chose just one favorite Ahern novel, but I have a soft spot for A Place Called Here (published as There's No Place Like Here in the U.S.). I'm hoping to reread Where Rainbow's End (or Love, Rosie) before the movie later this year.
I don't know what it is about these particular authors that I enjoy, perhaps it is the different subjects they tackle from mental health (hoarding in The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell and suicide in How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern) to unconventional families (The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell) and unconventional romance (Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella and Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern). Even traveling the world with Belinda Jones (I Love Capri and Cafe Tropicana). Whatever it is, as long as my favorite women authors continue to write, I will continue to read them.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found some books to add to your TBR!