Ask yourself, how many really good books have you read in the last year? We don’t mean kinda-liked-it good, but brilliant-can’t-stop-thinking-about-it good. Exactly! And with so-called 'chick-lit' sales down 10% in the last year, it seems female authors are no longer being taken seriously.
We reckon that’s unfair – because so many brilliant novels are written by women. In our new campaign, we want you to seek a world outside books with pink covers...
So in the first part of our #readitandtweet guide to fab books written by women, Company staffers, and some other familiar faces, share the novels they've loved.
Even better, all of these books are available on the iBookstore too! Take a look at our March recommendations here, tweet @company magazine your own recommendations using #readitandtweet and join our mission to let the world know about the amazing world of female fiction – it’s chick lit, but not as you know it!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Enter a vanished and unjust world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver... There's Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son's tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared. Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they'd be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell...
To save 20% on your copy of The Help by Kathryn Stockett and / or The Siege by Helen Dunmore go to www.penguin.co.uk and enter the promo code Company at the checkout.
Sister by Rosamund Lupton
Nothing can break the bond between sisters ... When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister's life - and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face. The police, Beatrice's fiance and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.
The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly
In the sweltering summer of 1997, strait-laced, straight-A student Karen met Biba - a bohemian and impossibly glamorous aspiring actress. She was quickly drawn into Biba's world, and for a while life was one long summer of love. But every summer must end. By the end of theirs, two people were dead - and now Karen's past has come back to haunt her . . .
To order your copy of The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly at the special price of £5.99 (rrp £7.99) inc postage and packing please send a cheque payable to Sparkle Direct and send to Hodder Headline Offers, PO Box 60, Helston, TR13 0TP, order online at www.sparkledirect.com or call 0843 0600037 and quote order ref ‘COMPANY’.
The Mistress's Revenge by Tamar Cohen
Fatal Attraction updated for the era of Facebook: a sharp, funny, dark debut novel set in contemporary London, written as a journal addressed by a former mistress to the married lover who dumped her. For five years, Sally and Clive have been lost in a passionate affair. Now he has dumped her, to devote himself to his wife and family, and Sally is left in freefall. It starts with a casual stroll past his house, and popping into the brasserie where his son works. Then Sally starts following Clive's wife and daughter on Facebook. But that's alright isn't it? I mean they are perfectly normal things to do. Aren't they?
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
A tender, quietly comic, heartstopping and very British coming of (old) age novel from a powerful new voice in fiction. When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else's life.
To save 20% on your copy of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce and / or The Mistress’s Revenge by Tamar Cohen please visit rbooks.co.uk/company
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
A new way of looking at feminism from one of our funniest writers. It's a good time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain... Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should we use Botox? Do men secretly hate us? And why does everyone ask you when you're going to have a baby? Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin answers the questions that every modern woman is asking.
When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman
When God was a Rabbit is an incredibly exciting debut from an extraordinary new voice in fiction. This is a book about a brother and a sister. It's a book about childhood and growing up, friendships and families, triumph and tragedy and everything in between. More than anything, it's a book about love in all it's forms.
Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
There is a fire and they are in There. They are in there . . . Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and runs. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her. Afterwards, Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her family from the person who's still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love.