Not Just Jane: Rediscovering Seven Amazing Women Writers Who Transformed British Literature
Written by Shelley DeWees
Published in 2016 by Harper Perennial
There is this ridiculous idea out there that Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë are the only English women novelists worth reading. Intelligent, sophisticated people actually believe this. And it drives me bonkers.
There is in fact a fuckton of brilliant writing from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that almost no one reads or studies. Mostly because women wrote it. Women who, you know, forged the literary landscape as we know it.
In Not Just Jane, Shelley DeWees does her part to solve this problem by lionizing seven of England’s underappreciated women writers.
You are all shocked that I’ve read this book. I’m certain of it.
A Vision of Fire: Book One of the Earthend Saga
Written by Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin
Published in 2014 by Simon451: an Imprint of Simon & Schuster
Every review of A Vision of Fire I’ve seen immediately compares it to The X-Files. The snarky ones hint that the book is like a novelized, slightly more new-age episode of the show. I was pretty sure that was going to be an exaggeration, and I was absolutely right.
The Jane Austen Cookbook
Written by Maggie Black and Deirdre le Faye
Published in 1995 by McClelland & Stewart
Deirdre le Faye edited the go-to collection of Austen’s letters, so I knew the The Jane Austen Cookbook would be more for the scholar than the casual reader. I wasn’t as familiar with Maggie Black’s work, but I found her expertise on historical cooking complimented le Faye’s knowledge of Austen very well.
Dragonflight (Pern: Dragonriders of Pern, #1)
Written by Anne McCaffrey; First Edition 1979
Published by Del Rey Books
Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey’s first novel of her fantastically successful Dragonriders of Pern series, introduces us to the world of Pern and to Lessa and F’lar, the hero and heroine.
Pern is the planet of a far-off star, plagued by a sister planet whose orbit sometimes passes close enough to launch nefarious Threads (science-y spore-type life forms which attach and burrow themselves to Pern’s ground and devour plant life). It has been so long since the last attack of Threads that most people no longer believe they exist. The planet has settled into those human goals of acquiring wealth and being the best at politics.
Wait, you didn’t think I’d read this novel for any reason other than these two dudes, right? LOL.
The Night Manager
Written by John le Carré; Published 1991
Caveat: Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Do not attempt it in your own home.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecices of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Written by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett; Published 1990
So, first things first: I’m going to need some quality Aziraphale/Crowley fanfiction recommendations. Because these two are clearly meant to be.
I love just about every element of this book. In fact it’s difficult to write a review that isn’t just a list of praise. I love the tone, the metatextuality, and I love love love the occasional bits of medieval language. I hadn’t got to use that section of my brain since grad school. Gaiman and Pratchett blend their talents seamlessly. I only wish they’d been able to write more together.