12 Fantastic Books and Series by Female Authors

Reading a great book can reduce stress and bring joy. Every novel on this list was written by beautifully talented female authors, who deserve even more recognition than they receive. If you are looking to support a female author while finding great entertainment, I highly recommend any book on this list.

  1. 1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

    Donna Tartt is an incredibly talented author and The Secret History is probably my favorite book of all time. A tight-knit group of classmates at a New England college are all enrolled in the same Greek Classics program with a captivating professor. They dream of a life beyond the mundaneness of their peers. When they push the limits too far, their morality slips as they turn on each other and descend into evil. 

    More about The Secret History here.

  2. 2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

    This novel tells the story of an unknown magazine writer, Monique Grant, and her experience interviewing old Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo. Despite being in the public eye for decades Hugo has managed to keep most of her personal life a secret--and now she’s finally ready to tell her biography.

    The novel starts with Evelyn Hugo going to Los Angeles as a young woman in the 1950s and her rise to stardom begins, that is until her retirement in the 1980s. Along with being one of the biggest actresses of her time, Hugo remained in the media because of her seven husbands. Taylor Jenkins Reid gives a beautiful telling of a life full of vanity, forbidden love, and tragedy. 

    More about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo here.

  3. 3. Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab

    Shades of Magic is an epic fantasy series featuring magic, pirates, and stealing. The three books in the series are “A Darker Shade of Magic”, “A Gathering of Shadows”, and “A Conjuring of Light”. 

    The main character, Kell, is an Antari, a magician with the ability to travel between the four parallel Londons: Gray, Red, White, and Black. He is the adopted prince and ambassador for the castle in Red London. On the side, Kell smuggles items to Gray London, but one day after a sale gone wrong he runs into Delilah Bard. They have to chase after the escaped magic to save all of the worlds and themselves. 

    More about Shades of Magic Series here.

  4. 4. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

    Frances Spends her time between studying and creating art for her favorite podcast, Universe City. Unknown to her, Aled, the shy boy in her class is the creator of the podcast. Aled goes by the name Radio Silence on Universe City. Frances receives a message from Radio Silence asking to collaborate and they become close friends quickly. When Aled’s identity as Radio Silence is revealed, Frances worries about the fate of their friendship and Universe City.

    More about Radio Silence here.

  5. 5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

    Offred is a handmaid in the new Republic of Gilead, formally the United States. She can leave the house of her Commander and wife once a day to walk to food markets with other handmaids. Pictures replace words because women are not allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month during the Ceremony, praying the Commander gets her pregnant due to the extreme decline in births. Handmaids are only valued for their fertility. Offred remembers the past with her husband, Luke, and daughter, Hannah, having a job, and the ability to read. Offred is trapped in her role as a handmaid. 

    I also recommend The Handmaid’s Tale series on Hulu with Elisabeth Moss as Offred. The plot goes past the novel’s ending and is so suspenseful.

    More about The Handmaid’s Tale here.

  6. 6. The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella by Juliet Grames

    The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is told in a similar style to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. A young woman writes about the lives of two elderly estranged sisters.

    Stella Fortuna has had near-death experiences ever since she was a child. From a cooking incident to feeding pigs to almost boarding a sinking ship, normal experiences seemingly take deadly turns. Stella is the center of attraction within her rural Italian village, being both beautiful and distant. She protects her sister Tina from pain while enduring abuse from multiple men throughout her life. When Stella and her family emigrate to the United States in the late 1930s, everyone and everything is hostile. Stella eventually learns the men in her life will never grant her true independence, and her survival is meaningless. 

    More about The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna here.

  7. 7. The Girls by Lori Lansens

    Rose and Ruby are craniopagus conjoined twins (joined at the head) known as “the girls.” They have friends, jobs, fall in love, and enjoy living life. As they near their 30th birthday and become the oldest craniopagus twins, Rose sets out to write her biography and life with Ruby. Stories such as how they first learned to walk, traveling to Romania, and moments of intimacy make The Girls a novel that will be remembered. 

    More about The Girls here.

  8. 8. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

    This is Donna Tartt’s second novel on this list, but she’s talented enough to earn two spots. The Goldfinch is a monster, but its length allows for a beautifully detailed story about love, loss, and obsession. 

    Thirteen-year-old Theo Decker survives an accident that kills his mother. Also deserted by his father, he goes to live with the family of a wealthy friend. As Theo struggles to continue life without his mother he turns to a painting that reminds him of her. As an adult, Theo works at an antique shop while grappling with depression and the art underworld. Theo’s self-narrated emotions create suspense as he continues to spiral out of control. 

    More about The Goldfinch here.

  9. 9. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

    To be honest, We Are Okay made me sob. Nina LaCour’s writes a beautifully haunting narrative that resonates with readers.

    Marin decides to leave everything in her life behind beside her phone, wallet, and a picture of her mother. She flees thousands of miles from the California coast to a college in New York, hoping to escape tragedies from the past. Marin’s best friend, Mabel, does not even understand why she left. Months later, Mabel visits Marin in her empty dorm over winter break. Finally, Marin will be forced to face what she left unsaid in California and reconcile with her past. 

    More about We Are Okay here

  10. 10. All for the Game Series by Nora Sakavic

    A book about sports may not be your first choice, but this series is different. Not only does All for the Game feature an exciting fictional sport that is half lacrosse and half ice-hockey, but it also includes vicious crime lords. The three books in the series are “The Foxhole Court”, “The Raven King”, and “The King’s Men”.

    Neil Josten Has just joined the Palmetto State University Exy team--exy being described as “an evolved sort of lacrosse … with the violence of ice hockey”--and he is also the son of a murderous crime lord called “The Butcher”. He shouldn’t be signing onto a high-profile team, but he has potential on the court. Soon Neil learns he isn’t the only one with secrets on the team, and his lies can only hold up so long. 

    This series has many detailed violent scenes that may not be pleasant for every reader. Here is a link to a full list of trigger warnings. 

    More about All for the Game Series here.

  11. 11. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

    This is Taylor Jenkin Reid’s second novel on this list for her epic story-telling abilities. Daisy Jones & The Six is written as spoken interviews of one of the biggest rock bands of the 1970s. 

    The band Daisy Jones & The Six defines the rock ‘n’ roll era of the seventies, and an entire generation of fans wanted to either be Daisy or be with her. Daisy arrives into the L.A. scene as she is coming of age, where she does drugs, drinks, and sleeps with rock stars. Soon she begins to find her voice in the rock ‘n’ roll scene right as The Six, a rock band, starts being noticed. Daisy and Billy Dunne, leader of The Six, meet one day and decide to collaborate. The band members all tell their version of the story separately, leading up to their famous breakup. 

    More about Daisy Jones & The Six here.

  12. 12. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

    Fried Green Tomatoes is a charming story within a story, first with elderly Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, stuck in the mundaneness of being middle-aged. The tale she tells is of Idgie and Ruth. Their story is of an unusual friendship, as Idgie is a teenager and Ruth is in her 20’s. Yet, they have an inseparable bond and a relationship unlike others around them. Idgie is a risk-taking tomboy, while Ruth ran a cafe back in the 1930s in Whistle Stop, Alabama. Ruth’s Whistle Stop Cafe offers good food and great conversations for the town, until one day, there is a murder. 

    Idgie and Ruth’s rollercoaster of a story helps Evelyn gain more confidence in herself. Mrs. Threadgoode and her depiction of Ruth and Idgie have inspired Evelyn to better her life.  

    More about Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe here.