Well guys, believe it or not but it’s that festive time of year again. As students, it’s pretty safe to say our Christmas lists have most likely tripled in size in comparison to the days when we actually had money to spend on gadgets and gizmos. This year however, why not ask Saint Nicholas for a good old novel in your stocking? Getting lost in a book can lead to hours of amusement, and as it turns out, us women aren’t half bad at putting together a decent story. So here’s the top five books by female authors to pop on your Christmas list…
1. A Tale for the Time Being – By Ruth Ozeki
Ozeki is renowned for her humorous and deeply engaging tales, with A Tale for the Time Being nominated for The Man Booker Prize 2013. Readers are introduced to Nao, a sixteen year old girl who concludes that the only one way of ending her bullying and loneliness is suicide. However, Nao’s final intention is to record the life of her great-grandmother, a renowned Buddhist who is over a century old, in a diary- her protracted suicide note. When novelist Ruth discovers debris from the 2011 Tsunami on her remote island, Nao’s past is unfolded; but how does her story end?
2. The Handmaid’s Tale – By Margaret Atwood
With this book being a personal favorite, I may be slightly biased in saying; The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the best dystopian novels ever written. Offred, the protagonist, is a handmaid in the Totalitarian Republic of Gilead, which has replaced the United States of America in the effort to improve critically low reproduction rates. Therefore, Offred’s sole purpose as a handmaid is to reproduce and create a new population, all against her own will. Atwood’s tale is gripping, as Offred’s rebellion against the Republic leaves her in grave danger, and the reader is left to question her fate. Most definitely up there in the top five for the chrimbo list!
3. Frankenstein – By Mary Shelley
Well, there had to be a classic in here somewhere. Shelley’s eerie novel about a troubled scientist’s pursuit to bring the dead back to life is seriously engrossing. Following the death of his adored mother, Victor Frankenstein creates a new form of mankind as an attempt to console himself and, heal his loneliness. Unbeknown to him, his ‘monster’ curses Victor for his creation, as he is the only one of his kind and longs for a companion to love… and suddenly Victor’s loved ones are in grave danger. This is truly a great read, especially when you consider the fact it was written by an 18 year old girl who, at the time, wasn’t even allowed to publish it under her own name.
4. Sex and the City – By Candace Bushnell
If you read my previous article you will know that I have a great appreciation for Sex and the City, so of course Candace Bushnell was going to make it on to the list. Sex and the City is a collection of essays based on Bushnell and her friends’ lives, as they try and survive in the hustle and bustle of New York – all the while searching for ‘Mr. Big’. I’m talking cosmopolitans, shoes, fancy restaurants, gay best friends, and Alexander McQueen. You are guaranteed laughter, tears, and of course jealousy over the hunky men the girls all encounter. What more would could you possibly want for Christmas?!
5. The House We Grew Up In – Lisa Jewell
The fifth contender for your Christmas list is The House We Grew Up In. The Bird family appear to lead a picture-perfect life in the scenic Cotswolds Village, almost sickly perfect in fact. Parents Lorelei and Colin dote on their four children, ensuring they see to their every need. However, an unexpected tragedy over Easter weekend begins to tear the family apart. As the time passes, the children grow older and ‘spread their wings’, and suddenly it seems the Bird family are no longer a family at all. That is, until they are called back to the house they grew up in, and are forced to face what happened that fateful Easter weekend. Be warned, this is potentially a major tearjerker, but if you enjoy becoming absorbed in a book that you simply cannot put down, The House We Grew Up In is definitely for you.