In an attempt to write my first entry for this Book Blog, I immediately started panicking about what to write about. What books do I like? Who is my favourite author? Have I held on to my love of young adult fiction up to an embarrassing age, especially for an English Literature student? What even are words!? Naturally, I turned to my, in no way embarrassing, store of female idols to hear what they have to say about their favourite ‘windows to the soul’ in book form. As well as being avid readers, many of these ladies are also talented authors (or are able to pay very eloquent ghost writers) and have added their own offerings to this list of women’s favourite books. Enjoy!
It seems only appropriate to start with a woman who has focused firmly on the importance of reading within education as part of her #LetGirlsLearn campaign, and Michelle Obama has revealed her favourite book to be Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon”. Morrison was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, and is held up as a novelist who has powerfully depicted the experiences and cultural issues black women face in contemporary society. FLOTUS claims the coming-of-age novel “grabbed me and pulled me in”, making it an amazing starting point for this list, in the way it inspires readers in its portrayal of truly human characters. “Song of Solomon” also resonates with issues still very much relevant in today’s society, matching Michelle Obama’s determination to achieve equal educational opportunities for women across the world. Plus, here’s a super cute photo of Mrs O’s favourite writer and her bae. Who said dreams don’t come true?
- Read this if… you enjoy books about human relationships written in poetic words of wisdom. A personal favourite quote from Morrison is “you are your best thing”.
Another favourite lady of mine is Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder i.e.: the death of my social life on a Thursday evening. In a vague but intended link with Miss Obama, as the creator of a show about the President having an affair, she has revealed her favourite book to be “Little Women”. Rhimes claims Little Women, by American novelist Louisa May Alcott, is the ultimate cure for any break up, illustrating that “no matter who the guy is or how great he is, no one loves you like your sisters.” Similarly, I appreciate the feminist sentiment and the wonderful film adaptation with Winona Ryder and teenage Kirsten Dunst, and so fully support this recommendation.
- Read this if…You’re more of a fan of short stories as the book is broken into sections and so doesn’t feel like a chore – It’s packed full of sentimental and uplifting moments.
Shonda Rhimes herself has a book coming out in November titled “Year of Yes” based on the power of taking chances when we feel least comfortable. A great Christmas present for ‘that’ friend who believes firmly in the power of self-help books – I think yes!
From a celebrity who seems to have her whole life in order, and looks amazing while she does it, comes the recommendation of “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed. Unsurprisingly, Emma Watson’s favourite book is filled with ‘agony aunt’ advice and funny anecdotes about the difficulties girls face growing up. Cheryl Strayed is also the author of “Wild”, recently made into a film with Reese Witherspoon. Both books share similar themes of raw, life experiences and if Emma Watson loves it, I’m sure it can only help my stressed out student self!
- Read this if… you are a fan of the questions pages in your favourite magazine, think of this as a witty collection of the best entries!
Finally, the original star of The Hills, Lauren Conrad’s favourite book is “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book has made a revival in the last couple of years due to Baz Lurman’s film version of the acclaimed novel, but the novel is definitely a treasured tale in its own right. Conrad appreciates the 1920s New York, and with the descriptions of the city we now love as being built up from the ground and the flapper style. The novel has something to offer for any reader even if it can appear a bit too ‘literary’ at first. Conrad herself has a series of books which depict the glamourous lifestyle of Los Angeles- perhaps she took the inspiration from her favourite book! Starting with “LA Candy”, the trilogy depicts a reality star growing up in Hollywood written and gives the chance for fans of The Hills to try and spot any autobiographical moments and secrets of the show!
- Read this if…you are a fan of the girly rom-com. No shame here.