17 Books From Across Genres To Read for International Women's Day
With International Women's Day coming up on March 8 — not to mention Women's History Month all March long — we are turning to new and refreshing reads. This list features some of the best new books by incredible women authors who are reshaping their genres and breaking new barriers in the literary world. From epic YA fantasy adventures, to feminist coming-of-age tales, suspenseful murder mysteries and gripping romances, these are the best books to remind you why we love books by women.
Ingrid Yang is a 29-year-old Taiwanese American PhD student who's disillusioned with academia and ready to finish her dissertation and never look back. But when she finds an interesting note in the archives during her research, it takes her on a journey she never anticipated. Further research leads her to a life-changing discovery that makes her question everything she knows, including her fiancé Stephen. What ensues is an eye-opening coming-of-consciousness debut by Elaine Hsieh Chou that's been named one of the most anticipated books of 2022 by Buzzfeed, Goodreads, Good Housekeeping and other publications. (Available 3/22; currently available for pre-order.)
Black Cake is a thrilling and delicious novel about family ties and history. The story follows estranged grown siblings, Byron and Benny, who come together after the death of their mother, Eleanor. Things take an unexpected turn when they discover the inheritance left for them is a traditional Caribbean black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In the recording, Eleanor tells a story about a young woman who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. As the story unfolds, a secret comes to light that will change everything they’ve ever known about their family.
In a novel that was named Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by TIME, Bustle, Popsugar, and more, Olga Dies Dreaming follows the story of Olga and her brother, Pedro “Prieto” Acevedo, as they navigate their lives as successful professionals in New York. Olga is a wedding planner for some of Manhattan's richest brokers, while Prieto is a congressman for their Latinx district in Brooklyn. Despite being outwardly successful, Olga can't help but reflect on her own struggles finding love, and as Olga and Prieto's mother, who left them to be raised by their grandmother, comes back into their lives, the ensuing story is a meditation on the American dream, politics, and family dynamics.
If you think you know Sylvia Plath, think again. In a stunning biography that was rated one of the Best Books of 2021 by the New York Times, Plath's life is given renewed context and understanding. In addition to recounting Plath's most defining life moments, from her time at Cambridge University to her vow never to become a conventional woman, Heather Clark provides nuance and complexity to Plath's life and its major players, including her husband Ted Hughes and his lover Assia Wevill. What results is a personal and enlightening portrait of the poet whose work so many of us has known and loved over the years.
We love a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick, and The Christie Affair is among the best. Inspired by the real-life 11-day disappearance of Agatha Christie, we meet Miss Nan O’Dea. Nan has made her way into the private world of author Agatha Christie and her husband Archie. As the three grow closer, Nan soon becomes Archie’s mistress and is desperate to marry him. But things aren’t as they seem as Nan’s plan has been in the works for much longer than the day she first met the Christies. This murder mystery thriller will is full of strange twists and turns, and Agatha Christie delight.
In Foreverland: The Divine Tedium of Marriage, Heather Havrilesky meditates on the nature of marriage and the joys, frustrations, contradictions, and challenges that come with it. At the center of the book is an examination of the unique ways we at once suffer and rejoice in the realities of long-term partnership. While recounting suburban realities, proposals, temptations, frustrations, and tedium over the course of her 15-year-marriage, Havrilesky ultimately describes the complex nature of partnership and the sacrifice that's required to sustain it.
Just days before Tam and Tony Kwan receive their letter of acceptance for the child they’re adopting in China, Tony and his estranged cousin Mia are killed in an accident. Reeling in grief and shock, Tam discovers she’s now the legal guardian to Mia’s five-year-old daughter, Angela. With a child now in her care and still dealing with the loss of Tony, her life is turned upside down even further as a secret from her past is brought to light. Will she decide to proceed with the adoption on her own? Will her secret tear the family she has left apart? This powerful novel by Lyn Liao Butler tackles guilt, family, redemption and the true meaning of love.
Jules Roth is an up-and-coming journalist, and has just secured a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago. But when she's sent on a difficult mission to uncover Ernst Engel's Woman on Fire, a painting stolen by the Nazi's during WWII, she's tasked with an ultra-secret mission. The story that results showcases the horrors of war and highlights Jules's resourcefulness and strength, in a tale of secrets, greed, love, and sacrifice.
New York Times bestselling author Traci Chee returns with an epic Japanese-influenced fantasy novel that will unleash the power within! This dark feminist folklore tale takes us to the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side. Miuko is the daughter of an innkeeper, living a relatively safe and uneventful life. But when a curse lends her demonic powers that turn deadly, she’s faced with the choice between harnessing this great new strength, or to return to the monotonous human life she’s known all along. With a brilliant cast of characters she meets along her way (magpie spirits, demon hunters, and feral gods), A Thousand Steps Into Night is a fierce and compelling YA triumph.
When the body of their former science teacher is discovered, an estranged friend group is reunited. Found in the marsh where they attended camp that summer, these friends begin looking for answers but can’t seem to remember anything about that time together. As they try to recall their memories and rebuild their bonds, they suspect the murderer is getting ready to go after their next victim. But can this splintered friend group learn to trust each other before time runs out? This evocative, suspenseful, and gorgeous coming-of-age story is best read in one sitting.
This thrilling murder mystery is full of twists, turns, magician stunt doubles, and secret staircases. Twenty-six-year-old Tempest Raj is a Vegas magician who returns home to California after a disastrous stage accident derails her career, likely caused by her stunt double Cassidy. Tempest’s father owns Secret Staircase Construction, specializing in sliding bookcases, hidden rooms and staircases, intricate locks, and backyard treehouses. One day at one of her father’s construction sites, she discovers Cassidy’s dead body behind a wall that’s supposedly been sealed for over a century. Could Tempest have been the intended victim? Determined to uncover the mystery of Cassidy’s murder, Tempest reconnects with her family and wonders if the Raj family curse is coming for her next.
This Woven Kingdom is a captivating novel that will pull at your heartstrings and leave you breathless. Inspired by Islamic tradition and the Persian epic poem the Shahnameh, this tale follows Alizeh, a long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom who’s been forced to hide in plain sight as a servant. The crown prince Kamran is enchanted by Alizeh and her “strange eyes," but has no idea that she will soon uproot his kingdom, and change the world forever.
In Ramón and Julieta, star-crossed lovers struggle to reconcile romance, a family taco feud, and gentrification. Professional chef Julieta Campos manages her widowed mother’s taco restaurant in San Diego’s historic Chicano neighborhood, facing the threat of being bought out by a gentrifying fast-food empire. During a Día de los Muertos celebration, she’s serenaded with mariachi love songs by a magnetic mystery man named Ramón who sweeps her off her feet. But soon she discovers that Ramón is the heir to the fast-food empire that could devastate her family. As an outraged community protests in defense of Julieta’s family restaurant, Julieta and Ramón’s love intensifies as they struggle to find balance between opposing forces.
Four siblings, Vira, Ronak, Kaleb, and Riya, are forced to settle their differences in order to stop war from breaking out among their neighboring kingdoms. Magic is Ashoka's biggest export and the only thing keeping peace in the lands, but what their enemies don't know is that their source of magic is running out. These siblings must embark on a dangerous quest to find the Ivory Key, a thing of legend that remains their only hope to find a new magic source. With each sibling harboring secrets and their own personal reasons to find the key, they must figure out a way to work together in order to survive.
Bestselling author Kaira Rouda returns with a gripping psychological thriller that will keep you up all night turning the pages. Aesthetician Julie Jones flees her suffocating marriage with her 17-year-old daughter and moves into a house in Oceanside to start a new life. But this new life soon turns into a nightmare. While her powerful husband hatches a plan to get them back, she discovers the home’s previous owners have left something — or someone — behind that will derail everything she hoped for in a matter of days, and turn her world upside down.
From the author of In Five Years comes another poignant and touching time-warp novel that explores the powerful bond between mother and daughter. Thirty-year-old Katy is grieving the death of her mother Carol, who tragically passed away from cancer. As her best friend, confidant and first phone call, Katy feels lost without her. But a trip they planned together to the Amalfi Coast, where Carol met Katy’s father, is coming up, and Katy decides to go on the trip alone in honor of her mom. But as soon as she arrives she can feel her mother’s presence and suddenly meets her mom in the flesh — but it’s not the mom she knew, it’s Carol at 30. In one Italian summer, Katy gets to know her mom as a young woman and discovers new things about her, herself, and the beautiful bond that keeps them together, even in death.
John Wick meets soccer mom realness in the twisty, hilarious and murder-y second installment of The Finlay Donovan Series. Finlay Donovan is just trying to finish her second novel and support her two kids as a single mom. But when she discovers there’s a hit out on her ex-husband, she enters the world of hit-women disguised as soccer moms and gets a bit too involved with the Russian mob. As she works to keep her ex alive, she also finds herself in a love triangle that comes with its own chaotic shenanigans. Finlay is a funny, witty, and aspirational character you can’t help but fall in love with.
What are some of the best books by women authors you've read recently? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know, and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get the scoop on more exciting book releases!
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