In 2017 we read a lot of books by women. These books ranged from literary fiction and graphic novels, all the way to memoirs and fantasies. While the book industry has always been chalk full of brilliant female writers, unfortunately, they don’t often get the same recognition as male writers. They’re often forgotten during major book awards, and sometimes female perspectives and feminine themes are ridiculed and seen as lesser. In an attempt to counter all of these negative things, we’ve put together some of the best books by women we had the privilege of reading in 2017:
Ms. Marvel was the comic that got me into comics in 2017. It follows young Pakistani-American Kamala Khan as she juggles having superpowers with being a teenager. I especially love it because so much of Kamala’s life rings true for me (minus the superhero part, I guess) and it’s pretty amazing to me superhero story deal with the issues that your typical Muslim-American might face. I also love Kamala, who is spunky and confident and just all around amazing.
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
This is one of the best fantasies I’ve read in a long, long time. It has all of the intrigue, politics, and complexity of Game of Thrones but without any of the misogyny! It also has a complex and intriguing female protagonist who must navigate a new world full of djinns and shady politics.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
This was my absolutely unputdownable book of 2017. I finished it in one sitting, in a matter of hours. It’s a book about fandom, anxiety, and depression – and handles all of these things brilliantly. It follows Eliza, a teen girl who is the anonymous creator of a famous webcomic. When a boy in school turns out to be a fan of her comic, Eliza has to step out of her comfort zone.
Roxane Gay probably needs no introduction, and Bad Feminist is a fantastic read. Filled with personal essays, along with cultural and political criticism it was at times funny, at times dark, and many other things in-between.
Kelly Jensen has collected such a great array of essays about feminism, with such eloquent writers. It’s wonderful to see a feminist book that actually lives up to the name of intersectionality, and includes a range of different issues and diverse voices. You can read a full review of Here We Are here.
This is probably the best memoir I read in 2017. You might recognise Mara Wilson as an actress in some of your favourite childhood movies. She played Matilda in Matilda, and was Natalie in Mrs. Doubtfire. Wilson writes heartwarmingly about various aspects of her life, including but not limited to, her time as a child actress. Perhaps the more touching chapters were about her anxiety, and how she came to terms with it.
With the movie coming out in 2018, I knew I had to read this immediately. And it did not disappoint. I just wished I had read this when I was younger and in serious need of smart, kick-ass female protagonists like Meg.