Sunday, November 30, 2014

Female Writers who have changed Me


Image courtesy: Google

Being a voracious reader, I thought it wouldn't be fair till I dedicated an entire post to the list of Authors who have influenced my life ways more than one. These are writers I look up to. There are books written by them that I worship. Since I have a lot of favorite Authors belonging to both the sexes, today's post shall be on those female writers who have been a guiding light in the various stages of my life, starting right from childhood. Maybe later, I shall do a post on the male writers. 

So, here goes:

# Enid Blyton - Simply because my childhood would have been incomplete without her books. Malory Towers, St. Claires, the Famous Five, Secret seven, Five find-outers... I devoured her book by the dozen from my school library. 

# Judy Blume - For her book 'Are you there God? It's me, Margaret' alone that taught me like a million things during adolescence. If you have read the book, then you know what I'm talking about. I don't think I've read a better book when I was in school that explained the 'growing up' thing better than this one did. 

# J.K. Rowling - Do I need say more? I have literally grown up with Harry Potter. I read the series as and when a new installment came out. Which means Harry and friends were my companions through out my teenage years. I read it at the exact right time I was meant to and my teen self is thankful for that (It helped get me through some tough years).

# Cecilia Ahern - Though she is most popular for 'P.S. I love you' (which had me bawling my eyes out like a baby), there are a lot of great books by this author. Reading her is like reading a fairy tale. She weaves magic into some of her stories that makes you believe in them once more. Another personal favorite of mine is 'Love, Rosie' which is a story about two friends and how sometimes destiny plays a big role in your life. 

# Jane Green - Here is another writer who writes chick-lit that are feel good and fun to read. She writes about characters that you can connect with and like all books of this genre, you end up eating ice cream and reading it simultaneously. After reading 'Bookends', I'm determined to start a cosy book shop cum cafe somewhere down the lane. 

# Jackie Collins - It may not be great works of literary fiction, but the way she writes and the head strong heroines in her books will have you burning the midnight oil. Throw in Hollywood, sex, secrets and betrayals, you know that it would be hard to resist turning the pages. An instant bestseller, if there ever was one. The Santangelo series are simply addictive. 

# Sophie Kinsella - This is where I go to when I need a good laugh or some light reading. Her shopaholic series are addictive and Becky Bloomwood is a riot. For those of you who are not familiar with her work, she writes chick-lit that is doused with a great deal of humor that will have you chuckling in your seats. This is the book that you want to take for your honeymoon (I did!). 

# Nora Roberts - For the die hard romantic in me, provided I'm feeling all lovey-dovey. The number of books that she has written alone has me wondering about how her mind works. 

# Jhumpa Lahiri - Words fail me to describe this author's works. She makes even the most deary situations into beautiful stories. A true inspiration, if there ever was one. Lahiri may not have written books by the dozen, but the few ones that she has written are worth their weight in gold. Be it short stories or novels, the ease at which she writes about loneliness, marriage, death are simply enviable. I highly recommend 'Interpreter of Maladies' and 'Unaccustomed Earth', both collection of short stories if you haven't already read it, that is. She is someone who keeps inspiring me to push the boundaries and be a better writer. 

# Anita Nair - When it comes to writing about the various genres, none does it more successfully than Nair. From contemporary fiction to thrillers to historical fiction, she has written it all. Her book 'Ladies Coupe' alone, is like a bible to me. Each time I read it, I learn something new. 'The Better Man' is a brilliant debut and I want to re-read it again, simply because it is totally worth it. 

# Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni - The myriad of human emotions are so complex. Yet each one intriguing. And she explores and dwells into it with such an intensity that leaves you shaken at times. 'Sister of my heart', 'Palace of illusions' are some of my favorites by this author. For those of you who are not familiar with 'Palace of illusions', Divakaruni tells Draupadi's story from her point of view of the Mahabarata. 

# Jaishree Misra- She writes with an ease and characters that are so familiar that it's almost like reading what goes on next door. With strong characters and story lines that are believable, I chanced upon her books some years back and have been a fan ever since. And when I realized I got signed copies after ordering few of her books online, I was over the moon. My personal favorites are 'Ancient Promises' and 'Afterwards'. 

# Kamala Das - I had written a whole post about her during UBC. But this list would have been incomplete had I not included her name. I have picked up couple of her books in Malayalam that I plan on reading by next year. What can I say? I'm smitten. For someone who avoided reading her mother tongue like the plague (nothing to be proud of, I know), now that's saying something. And why I don't like to read Malayalam? Long story! But I'm determined to give it a try for Kamala Das. That's how much I love her! And her poetry? Simply amazing. 

# Elizabeth Gilbert - I have read only one book by her (many years back) - 'Eat Pray Love'. Though I liked reading it then, if I were to read it now, I would probably love it. I have been following her Facebook page for quite some time now and each day the positive messages that she shares are inspiring. Do follow her for your daily dose of inspiration. 

Those are some of my favorite female authors. Have I left out anyone? I hope not. I have a lot more books on my 'to-read list' and this list shall be expanding and updated later on as I finish with them. So, tell me, who are your favorite female writers? You know, the kind that changed you or the ground-shifted-beneath-your feet kind of writing? I would love to hear them. Do recommend your personal favorites if you feel that I'm missing out on something big in life. 




29 comments:

  1. I haven't read many of the books listed here, Aathira. But I'm gonna give it a try. I have read few of kamaladas's books long long ago, though. When I make the female writers list who inspired me, your name will be there too. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Vinitha! Your comment has made my entire week :) It means so much to me that what little I write has meant something to you!

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  2. I agree with Vinitha, you are heading that way to be amonst the Best Female Writers yourself. Your Humility in learning from your Favourite Writers will ensure your place amongst the Best. God Bless you.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Mr. Parsa! You are too kind. These writers can never be imitated, but to learn from them like you said, is something I strive for.

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  3. Great list here. Definitely going to pick few from your suggestions

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    1. Thanks Afshan! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did :)

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  4. Many of my favorites here Aathira. Cecilia, Jaishree Misra, Enid Blyton, Sophie Kinsella, Chitra Divakaruni, Anita Nair,Rowling, Nra roberts... Talented women all.

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    1. Thanks Preethi :) We do share a lot of common favorites!

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  5. i have read rowling(robert galbraith),anita nair,enid blyton of this lot

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    1. I'm more a fan of her HP series though.

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  6. I have read the whole series of Secret Seven and Famous Five!!!
    Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) is my THE favorite book... have read it so many times!!! And now the movie is also coming out!!!

    I am gonna try a few of them now :)

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    1. Oh yes! What fun the entire series was, right? I loved the mysteries they came across :)

      Want to watch the movie too - Love, Rosie. And hope you like the others too!

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  7. # Harper lee ? # Arundhati Roy ? I know both these dames have written just one book each but what works of art ! On the Malayalam front try reading Basheer ... the most unpretentious writer in the language :)

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    1. To kill a mockingbird has been on my shelf like forever. Ashamed to admit that I'm yet to pick it up. Shall do it soon.

      Arundhati Roy's God of small things is a book that I read way back in school. Somehow, it didn't appeal too much to me then. Shall give Basheer a try once I'm sure that I shall finish the couple of malayalam books I have. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  8. Important authors here, Aathira. Powerful list :)
    I love the women writers of classics like Jane Austen.
    Also, I love Sudha Murthy's works.

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    1. Thanks Anita! Read Jane Austen long back. Shall revisit some of her works again, I think. Yes, Sudha Murthy is a great writer. I love the topics that she writes about.

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  9. I admire you a lot for being such an avid reader, Aathira. I must admit that I haven't read a good book in the recent past. It is shameful and embarassing to say it. Noone is too busy to read, so I am not saying that I am busy. But whenever I read, I make sure I read feel good stuff. I have read most of Sophie Kinsella's work. A Jeffrey Archer book Cat O'Nine Tales is halfway through, few others are on the shelf and thats it. I read all blogs I follow and some good news blogs everyday at office. But your list here is really good, Cecilia Ahern is again a favorite of mine. I cried through her book 'P.S I love You'. Not many writers can make the reader feel with the protagonist.

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    1. Thank you, Anita! I must admit that reading takes a back seat when one is immersed in work and things at home. Though it can be challenging, reading is the most relaxing thing in the world for me. So I try to squeeze in reading whenever I can.

      Since you work most of the time with computers, why don't you try e-books? It can never replace paperbacks and hard bounds, but if you are time constrained, then I think it should work out better. Yes, I absolutely LOVE Ahern. Got all her books :)

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  10. Hey! this is a great list :) I can't imagine my childhood minus Enid Blyton. I almost feel like an alumnus of St. Clare's and Malory Towers. I haven't tasted chick-lit. May be its time to get out of my comfort zone and explore romance and chicklit. Keep reading girl, and inspiring others to read too :)

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    1. Thanks Vidya! Yes, childhoods would've been so boring without Blyton, right? Yeah, when it comes to reading I rarely used to venture out of my comfort zone too. But once you do, you shall be amazed at the number of excellent books out there and it would be a huge disappointment if you don't get to read them :)

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  11. Thanks for sharing this. Very informative and I cant agree with you more!

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  12. One of my favorites is Anne Rice. She writes with such eloquence and elegance. Good list!

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    1. I've also nominated you for the Liebster Award...you can find out more about it on my blogpost at http://pennymcdaniel.com/spreading-the-love-through-liebster/

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    2. I shall try out Anne Rice then :) And thanks so much for the award! I'm hopping on to your blog now.

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  13. Awesome list and the words on Cecelia Ahern, you read my mind. She is my favorite. Bookmarking this post to check for any missed books :)

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    1. Thanks a bunch, K! Do let me know how you liked them :)

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  14. Great list.There are a few books among those which I had read, would try your suggestions too..!!

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  15. thanks for this list! i wrote some of them on my 'to read' list. have you read 'The Signature of All Things' by Elizabeth Gilbert? i really liked it :)

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