Ask yourself, how many really good books have you read in the last year? We dont mean kinda-liked-it good, but brilliant-cant-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 thats unfair because so many brilliant novels are written by women. In our #readitandtweet campaign, we want you to seek a world outside books with pink covers...
So in 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! Tweet @companymagazine your own recommendations using #readitandtweet and join our mission to let the world know about the amazing world of female fiction its chick lit, but not as you know it!
The Song of Achiles by Madeline Miller
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.
Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver
Discontented with her life of poverty on a failing farm in the Eastern United States, Dellarobia, a young mother, impulsively seeks out an affair. Instead, on the Appalachian mountains above her home, she discovers something much more profoundly life-changing - a beautiful and terrible marvel of nature. As the world around her is suddenly transformed by a seeming miracle, can the old certainties they have lived by for centuries remain unchallenged? Flight Behaviour is a captivating, topical and deeply human story touching on class, poverty and climate change. It is Barbara Kingsolver's most accessible novel yet, and explores the truths we live by, and the complexities that lie behind them.
The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson
Every love story has a dangerous twist. Tamia Challey is horrified when her husband, Scott, is accused of something terrible - but when she discovers who his accuser is, everything goes into freefall. Backed into a corner and unsure what to think, Tamia is forced to choose who she instinctively believes. But this choice has dire consequences for all concerned, especially when matters take a tragic turn. Then a stranger arrives in town to sprinkle rose petals in the sea in memory of her lost loved one. This stranger carries with her shocking truths that will change the lives of everyone she meets, and will once again force Tamia to make some devastating choices...
The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly
It is the sweltering summer of 1997, and Karen is a strait-laced, straight-A university student. When she meets the impossibly glamorous Biba, a bohemian orphan who lives in a crumbling old mansion in Highgate with her enigmatic brother Rex, she is soon drawn into their world -- but something terrible is about to happen, and someone's going to end up dead. Already drawing comparisons to Barbara Vine, Tana French and Sophie Hannah, Erin Kelly is an extraordinarily talented new author.
Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
Charlotte O'Keefe's beautiful, much-longed-for, adored daughter Willow is born with osteogenesis imperfecta - a very severe form of brittle bone disease. If she slips on a crisp packet she could break both her legs, and spend six months in a half body cast. After years of caring for Willow, her family faces financial disaster. Then Charlotte is offered a lifeline. She could sue her obstetrician for wrongful birth - for not having diagnosed Willow's condition early enough in the pregnancy to be able to abort the child. The payout could secure Willow's future. But to get it would mean Charlotte suing her best friend. And standing up in court to declare that she would have prefered that Willow had never been born...
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
"Dear God: I am fourteen years old. I have always been a good girl. Maybe you can give me a sign letting me know what is happening to me." So begins Alice Walker's poignant novel set in the deep American south between the wars. Celie has been raped by the man she calls her father; her two children have been taken away from her; she has been parted from her sister and forced into an ugly marriage. Then she meets Shug Avery, singer and magic maker, and Celie discovers not the pain of female rivalry but the love and support of women. THE AUTHOR Alice Walker won the Pulitzer prize and the American Book Award for THE COLOR PURPLE. She is the author of many bestselling novels, essays and collections of poetry.
Company of Liars by Karen Maitland
The year is 1348 and the first plague victim has reached English shores. Panic erupts around the country and a small band of travellers comes together to outrun the deadly disease, unaware that something far more deadly is -in fact - travelling with them.
The ill-assorted company - a scarred trader in holy relics, a conjurer, two musicians, a healer and a deformed storyteller - are all concealing secrets and lies. And at their heart is the strange, cold child - Narigorm - who reads the runes.
But as law and order breaks down across the country and the battle for survival becomes ever more fierce, Narigorm mercilessly compels each of her fellow travellers to reveal the truth ... and each in turn is driven to a cruel and unnatural death.