Reading recommendations

Our Guiding Vibe blogger, Charlotte Mellor, shares some of her favourite reads, by female authors.

It’s the Easter bank holiday weekend, meaning I may have some time to read! Sadly, I don’t get enough time to relax with a good book, but it’s something I really enjoy doing. As I consider some of my favourite reads, I thought I’d share some of my favourite books by women with Guiding Vibe readers.

  1. Inferior by Angela Saini

I’d call this a ‘must read’ book. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Angela Saini at an International Women’s Day event a few years ago and she’s one of the most eloquent and lovely people I’ve met. This book highlights the gender disparities that have shaped social history; illustrating how gender bias in science can have profound impacts on society. It’s an eye-opening read and one I’d encourage everyone to have on their reading list.

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

An absolute classic. Can anyone truly resist the romance and charm of it? I’ll admit I was sceptical at first - the book has a big reputation. But it delivered in spades; as soon as I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. There’s a warmth and humour to it that just makes it a sublime read. If you’ve never read it, I recommend that you do, because you will fall in love with the characters and their story. Jane Austen truly is one of the greatest authors ever to have lived.

  1. Cheer Up Love by Susan Calman

It’s part autobiography and part honest discussion about depression and how mental health can impact your life. I have a huge amount of admiration for Susan Calman; I love most of the things she does. This book is both heart-warming and brutally honest, and arguably one of the best discussions of depression that I’ve seen in popular culture. I’d recommend this if you want to both laugh and learn, and feel better about yourself.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Another classic, and an important one at that. This story has such an important message that I think everyone should read and understand. I didn’t study it in school, so maybe that makes me lucky (sometimes I think the sheer awkwardness of reading a book as a class when you’re a teenager can put you off it, especially when you then have to write essays about it). But, either way, I’d recommend that everyone reads this at least once in their life.                                                           

  1. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Maybe not an obvious choice, but I refuse to hear anyone who says they don’t want to read about a mouse going for a walk in the deep, dark wood. Sometimes, it’s hard to get children to read, but the Gruffalo has a magical quality about it that makes it perfect reading material no matter what age you are. Julia Donaldson is a hero of children’s literature - so many of her stories are incredible - but for me, The Gruffalo has that extra little bit of magic about it.

So there are some of my favourite books by women. I hope you’ve either picked up some ideas for your own reading list, or are reminded of some of your own favourites.