Five Must-Read Books For August, By Female Writers

by Olivia Bouchard

Summer reading is, in my opinion, a pastime which none can rival. There’s nothing I love more than settling down with a good book to read while I’m outside and the sun is shining down. Finishing a novel that you’ve enjoyed is a great feeling anytime of the year. But in summer, when you do so while on a beach or lounging in your garden, it just adds a level of relaxation that I think is unparalleled. 

With that in mind, I would like to put forward five novels which I believe are best suited for an indulgent read over the rest of the summer…

The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson 

This imaginative retelling of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays, The Winter’s Tale, is nothing short of thrilling. It’s what The New York Times has called ‘A shining delight of a novel’. Without giving too much away, among the book’s many compelling features is an abandoned baby girl, a husband driven mad with jealousy and a message that shows us how lost things are always found by those who deserve to find them.

A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf

This, in my opinion, should be on everyone’s reading bucket list for many reasons. Perhaps the most obvious is due to its groundbreaking nature in the field of feminism. Based on a lecture she gave at Cambridge, Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own combines her wit and ever captivating imagination in an essay which asks a question that had never before been asked. Why is there so little written by women? Her answer might not be what you were expecting.

We Were Liars, E. Lockhart

How far would you go for the sake of keeping up appearances? In this thrilling suspense novel, that question is answered by the sophisticated family that inhabit its pages. But at what cost? If you’re a sucker for some good old fashioned intrigue, then this is the book for you to read. Just watch out for all the lies upon lies upon lies. 

City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert 

The beloved author of Eat Pray Love presents her new sexually liberating novel filled with love, freedom and 1940s charm. Narrated by the older version of herself, it follows the story of a young woman’s search for meaning in New York City. She discovers that being a good person doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a good girl…

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath  

If there’s one thing that Plath understands, it’s how to convey the universal human struggle of finding one’s place in the world. In this semi-autobiographical novel, she explores the various barriers to women’s success in the 1950s. She delves into the depths of what those barriers could do to the female psyche. Her poignant portrayal of mental health is why I believe this should also be on everyone’s reading bucket list.

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