Precious Bane by Mary Webb

‘Yeah, Tractor I love you, get orf my land.’ These are the words that flash through my mind when I think of  ‘Country Novels’. I’m a True Born Londoner, I don’t understand generous back gardens let alone rolling hills, and I only bought Precious Bane because it cost 50p from a charity shop (#bookhustler), and…

The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector

The Hour of the Star was Clarice Lispector’s last novel, published in 1977 shortly after her death from ovarian cancer at the age of 57. Yes, I thought I’d start cheerfully, and it’s not going to get better. It is under 100 pages but every page counts, to the extent that by the end of…

The Real Neat Blog Award

Thank you so much to NapoleonSplit for nominating me for the Real Neat Blog Award! It is the first such award I have been nominated for since I started blogging and I went all Gwyneth Paltrow circa the 1999 Oscars when I got it. Two caveats: Please forgive me if I have somehow got this…

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

Continuing my pick of books in celebration of International Women’s Day this week, a book that I can honestly say changed my life, and which I would encourage every woman to read. Time to get a bit serious y’all. Even before reading this book, I used to joke that if women used the time spent…

The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

Now for some poetry as part of this week’s International Women’s Day theme. I feel a bit like Elton John with this week’s blog – I’m still standing! YEAH YEAH YEAH! I was introduced to the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy, the first female Poet Laureate (only took 341 years…), when a university friend produced…

No Surrender by Constance Maud

Next up in this week’s set of book recommendations to celebrate International Women’s Day (yes I’m still going!) –  some gripping fiction. No Surrender, published by the wonderful Persephone Books, is an absolute page-turner written at the height of the women’s suffrage movement in 1911. Emily Wilding Davison said that this novel ‘breathes the very spirit of our…

Top Girls by Caryl Churchill

Time for a bit of drama as part of this week’s International Women’s Day theme, with a 1982 play that sounds like it’s named after a strip club. Top Girls tackles women’s totally unreasonable request to combine a fulfilling career with a family life. Although it was written over 30 years ago, the main themes…

The Obstacle Race by Germaine Greer

Next up in my week-long recommendation of books in celebration of International Women’s Day – the wonderful field of Art. Let me start off by saying that I appreciate Germaine Greer has demonstrated some contentious views – that a daughter kissing her father goodnight contributes to the sexualization of girls, that transgender women are not real…

The Women’s History of the World by Rosalind Miles

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, each day this week I will be posting about a book, selected from a variety of fields, that I would recommend to anyone interested in women’s place in the world. First up, I’m beginning with history and this absolute gem of a book that I think serves…