September Writing Challenge Post 19: Five Books by Female Authors

Warren Ellis, who is one of my favorite (male) authors, wrote a blog post about a woman on Tinder who refused contacts from men who could not name five books by female authors which they had read. (You can surely guess the results if you’re… well, awake.) Since I haven’t patted myself on the back for being a New Age sensitive guy in a couple days, I thought I’d give it a go.

I won’t use Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, because Ellis used it in his list, and I don’t want to appear to be cheating. Sticking with works of fiction that I enjoyed:

  1. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin: LeGuin is an astute writer of stories about the future that are not about the future.
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: I could say the same of Atwood that I just said of LeGuin. Possibly more so.
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelly: This reformulation of the tale of Prometheus is widely credited as the first science fiction novel, and is still among the best.
  4. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel: Someday I’ll make it through the whole thing in the original Spanish. I still recommend the translation.
  5. The Temeraire novels by Naomi Novik: The Napoleonic Wars, but with dragons. Yeah, it’s brain candy, but it’s well-written, engaging brain candy.

Bonus non-fiction pick: Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell, which I recommend to anyone – especially non-CS majors – interviewing for a software gig.