Top 5 Wednesday – Women Authors

Welcome back to Top 5 Wednesday.  This is a meme started in November of 2013 and is still going strong! If you’re interested in being a part of it please see the group on Goodreads.

This week’s topic is … actually different. But since it’s International Women’s Day I am changing it up. Favorite Women Authors. The only problem now is, how on earth do you keep it to only five? I did my best. If you can think of any others to recommend I am begging you for recommendations in the comments please!

Margaret Atwood

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Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.

Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid’s Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood’s dystopic novel, Oryx and Crake, was published in 2003. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short stories) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth ­ in the Massey series, appeared in 2008, and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, in the autumn of 2009. Ms. Atwood’s work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian. In 2004 she co-invented the Long Pen TM.

Margaret Atwood currently lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson. (from Goodreads Author Bio)

Margaret Atwood simultaneously inspires the reader and scares the holy crap out of them. She delves into what she calls speculative fiction. It’s not dystopia or sci-fi. It is what the world could be if we continue down the road we are on. Her books are frightening and illuminating. She’s astonishing.

Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb is a fantasy novelist working from Tacoma, Washington. Best known for The Farseer Trilogy, she has been actively writing and published since she was eighteen years old. Born in California, she moved to Fairbanks, Alaska with her family in the early 1960’s. In 1970 at the age of 18, she married Fred Ogden and moved to Kodiak Island where he quickly infected her with his love of all things maritime. Over the course of the next forty years, as they followed the needs of his career. Her writing career began under the name Megan Lindholm. She wrote for local newspapers as well as children’s magazines such as Highlights for Children and Jack and Jill, as well as creating short fiction for children to be used in the SRA programmed reading material. In the 1980’s, she began to write short fantasy. Other works under the Lindholm name include The Reindeer People, Wizard of the Pigeons and Cloven Hooves. In 1995, Assassin’s Apprentice, her first work under the name Robin Hobb, was published by Bantam Books. She has since written The Liveship Traders Trilogy, The Tawny Man Trilogy, The Soldier Son Trilogy and the four volume tale, The Rain Wilds Chronicles. Her current work in progress, tentatively titled The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy, returns to the world of the Farseers and the realm of the Elderlings. Her works have been translated into over twenty languages, winning multiple awards globally. (from
When you need a break from reality, and crave something Fantasy then you couldn’t do better than to read Robin Hobb. She is a quality writer, with an uncommon ability with world-building. She also writes with a LOT of heart. She’s my favorite fantasy writer. If she recommends an author then I’m quick to snap them up.

Lisa See

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Lisa See is a Chinese-American author. Her books include Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005), Dragon Bones, and On Gold Mountain. She was named the 2001 National Woman of the Year, by the Organization of Chinese American Women. She lives in Los Angeles. (from Goodreads Author Bio)

Her Goodreads bio doesn’t do such a prolific author justice. She has 10 books (one just about to release later this month) so far. She writes really lovely books about Chinese and Chinese-American women and their relationships with each other. I simply love her books.

Alice Munro

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Alice Ann Munro, née Laidlaw, is a Canadian short-story writer who is widely considered one of the world’s premier fiction writers. Munro is a three-time winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award for fiction. Her stories focus on human relationships looked at through the lens of daily life. She has thus been referred to as “the Canadian Chekhov.”

She is the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature. (from Goodreads Author Bio)

I always hated short stories, by the time you get settled in you’re already done!  Then I saw a facebook interview she did with Margaret Atwood, a fellow Canadian author. The two of them amused me so much I decided to look up one of Ms. Munro’s books. She writes with a particularly deft skill. There is not a lot of action in her books, but she squeezes your heart and makes you look at yourself and others with compassion and insight. She’s a treasure!

Meg Elison

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Meg Elison is a Bay Area author and essayist. Her debut novel, THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE won the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award and was listed as a Tiptree Committee Recommendation. Her second novel, THE BOOK OF ETTA, will be published in spring 2017 by 47North. Her work has appeared in The Establishment, Liquid Imagination, Compelling Science Fiction, Everyday Feminism, and many other places online and in print. She writes like she’s running out of time and lives in Oakland.

A new favorite! I feel like I’m getting in on the ground level with this one here, and I think if I could buy stock in her I would do it! I feel like she is going to be recognized as a really great author as time goes by. She has a lot to say and does so with fierceness and determination. I can’t wait for the next book.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Charlie N. Holmberg – I really love her books. She writes interesting fantasy and also seems like a really great person.
  • Naomi Novik – She’s a great fantasy writer. I’ve only read two of her books but I’m looking forward to continuing!
  • Amy Tan – She belongs in the Top 5 but I could only pick 5! She’s inimitable. There’s nothing more I can say but that she is wonderful.
  • Alice Walker – Another literary great who belongs in anyones Top 5 list. However, since I’ve only read one of her books (The Color Purple) I felt like I need to read more.


14 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday – Women Authors

  1. Robin Hobb is one of my favorite authors! Her Elderling world is amazing and her characters shine!

  2. I love this T5W, it really should have been this list for yesterday. I’ve really wanted to read Robin Hobb so I just bought ‘Ship of Magic’, can’t wait to start it! But I just need a bit more motivation, currently reading a very slow book, so need to read something fast paced or I’ll end up in a reading slump soon :/ Is that book fast-paced or does it take a bit time before you get into it? x

  3. I love this list! Well done. I have heard of everyone here except Munro. I’m glad that Atwood inspired you to hunt her down. I’ve only read Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, but I am completely in love with (and horrified by!) it! I have Oryx & Crake on hold at the library– I am looking forward to listening to the audiobook. 🙂

    Out of your “bottom 5” authors, which books would you recommend someone start with from their works?

    1. Charlie N Holmberg – Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet
      Naomi Novik – Uprooted
      Amy Tan – The Kitchen God’s Wife (most people would say The Joy Luck Club)
      Alice Walker – The Color Purple for sure!

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