With Women’s History Month upon us, there’s never been a better time to celebrate women and their achievements — though, let’s be honest, there’s never a bad time.
If you’re planning to pick up a book this month, make it one from a female author. And just in case you’re having trouble narrowing down the options (they’re endless, truly), we’ve called for reinforcements.
In partnership with e-book and audiobook subscription service Scribd, journalist, author, and Emily Books co-founder Emily Gould has provided us with a selection of her favorite female-focused reads. Read on for her go-to picks for the month (and one that we urge you to read this April!).
Problems by Jade Sharma
Sharma’s debut novel follows Maya, an occasional heroin user whose life takes an unexpected route after her husband leaves her and her affair with a professor comes to an end. “Nothing is too personal for the protagonist to share,” Gould says. “Sharma asks us, ‘So is it better to be interesting but damaged, or mediocre but stable?’”
Mean by Myriam Gurba
“Mean focuses on author and activist Myriam Gurba's violent rape at the hands of a murderer and serial rapist,” Gould explains. “Her ability to discuss sexual violence with humor is unparalleled. Simultaneously harrowing and hilarious, Gurba's prose is irresistible.”
Things to Make and Break by May-Lan Tan
“Tan’s visceral short stories are fascinating vignettes in which protagonists try making sense of the world around them,” Gould says. “Rooted in familiar themes like self-discovery and desperation, Tan’s unique tales of outsiders are impossible to put down.”
The Gift by Barbara Browning
Browning's third novel, set in N.Y.C. amid the Occupy Wall Street movement, focuses on a woman who intends to "jump-start a creative gift economy" by sending strangers ukulele covers of songs. Gould describes the novel as "blending the boundaries of autofiction and postmodernism," adding, "Browning asks the reader to analyze transactional intimacies with our fellow humans. How much does each moment mean? Perhaps we’re all just collaborators in the end."
Perfect Tunes by Emily Gould (April 14)
Gould's latest immerses readers in the life of aspiring singer-songwriter Laura, who begins the novel as a young, bright-eyed N.Y.C. transplant hungry for stardom, but soon evolves into a mother with worries and responsibilities she never envisioned. It's as much a meditation on what it means to grow up as it is an ode to motherhood and love in its purest form.
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