5 Fire Books by Female Writers

Woman reading a book on a bed

Locked inside? On furlough? Or just trying to avoid the work from home grind? This is an amazing opportunity to pick up some brilliant books by some brilliant women, new and old. Fiction to non-fiction, crime-thriller to romance, there is no excuse not to take some “you” time and curl up with a book… and maybe a gin. 

My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite

What do you do when your sister keeps killing her boyfriend in “self-defence”? Korede just puts on her rubber gloves, gets out the bleach and comes to help her sister Ayoola with the clean-up. Only when Ayoola sets her sights on a handsome doctor that Korede also has a soft spot for do things start to get messy.  

Oyinkan Braithwaite did not hold back on her incredible debut novel that was published almost two years ago. Set in the stunning Lagos, this book gives you that added escapism that everyone needs right now, without having to get on a plane.

The Trauma Cleaner – Sarah Krasnostein

Not all of these books are about cleaning, we promise, but this one is beyond worth it. Meet the most badass businesswoman in the entire southern hemisphere, Sandra Pankhurst, in this revealing and incredible biography by Sarah Krasnostein. 

This is the story of a transgender woman, adopted into an abusive family as a child, falling into a life of sex work and finding her calling in a very strange profession – trauma cleaning. Hoarders, crime scenes – you name it, Sandra has cleaned it. You will definitely laugh and you will also, probably cry. This is without a doubt one of the most powerful biographies of the last decade. 

Mind the Gap: The Truth about Desire and how to Futureproof Your Sex Life – Dr Karen Gurney

Sex. You may not be having it right now, but that’s no excuse not to read about it. Dr Karen Gurney opens the door to female sexuality in a way quite unlike anyone else. It is also ridiculously inclusive of us queer ladies. No matter who you are or who you want to have sex with, this book is brilliant. If you want to have a better understanding of yourself, your partner/s or just sex in general, this book is a must-read!

Conversations with Friends – Sally Rooney

Okay, we know that a lot of people have probably already read this. Sally Rooney’s debut novel was an absolute hit when it was published in 2017, but if you didn’t read it then now is your chance. If you tuned in to the BBC’s Normal People – an adaptation of Rooney’s follow-up bestseller – and you just want more, get this book in your life. 

Conversations with Friends is like the queer, female-driven Normal People that you will not want to put down. You will follow Frances and Bobbi, former lovers who are now are slam-poetry duo. I mean, what more could you want?! They befriend an unusual couple, Melissa and Nick, and from there we see all of their relationships change and strain as they grapple with their feelings and alliances. Better still, Conversations with Friends is in the pipeline to be adapted onto the small screen by the BBC. 

Pages for You and Pages for Her – Sylvia Brownrigg

Pages for You is the oldest entry here – first published in 2001 – but for good reason. Meet Flannery Jansen (yes, that is her name) as she attends her first term at university – or her first semester at college in this case. She soon starts lusting over the graduate student and teaching assistant, Anne Arden, and a wild love affair between the two follows.  

Potential spoiler alert? This first book is then followed by the sequel Pages for Her, which was published a whole 16 years later. It sees Flannery and Anne reunited 20 years down the line when they are both invited to speak at a conference. It is certainly one of the most long-awaited sequels in queer fiction and it is completely worth it. 

Read all of the above and still wanting more? Here are some reads to keep you smiling.

Happy reading!

Team Nonchalant x  

Emma Alice Jane
Emma Alice Jane

Emma is a writer, reviewer and arts marketing professional living and working in London. Travelling as much as she can, she is determined to see the world as well as write about it. She knows too much about Wes Anderson films and sharks.

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