Hello lovely people and happy International Women’s Day for the 8th March!
Today sees the longlist for the International Women’s Prize for Fiction released, and we are sure that there will be amazing writers nominated. Of course, there are already some amazing women authors who have released some outstanding books in all categories. Here, we just touch the tip of the iceberg, but we had to start somewhere!
Would love to hear your recommendations for your favourite authors for this category so please do drop us a Tweet, message or email with your suggestions!
Dr Sharon Blackie
Dr Sharon Blackie’s work is rooted in excellent mythology with rich vivid imagery and storytelling. Her work is not limited to books; she also releases a podcast called This Mythic Life. With a PhD in psychology and neuroscience, her books are also grounded in solid academic work; something she is not afraid to include references to her in her work. It is this mix of taking inspiration and wisdom from myths, fairy tales and folk culture with human psychology that makes her work fascinating.
In An Enchanted Life, Dr Blackie provides a set of practical and grounded tools for ‘enchanting our life’ and the places we live and encourages us to consider how we can bring about a closer connection and belonging to the world around us. Her most famous book, If Women Rose Rooted, is now a well-deserved feminism classic. Inspired by a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, this book is unashamedly political as well as spiritual. Part memoir, it is packed with tales drawn from Celtic mythology and folklore and interviews with inspirational women.
Without question, the landmark author of ground-breaking books, Carson was a pioneer of environmental conservation. You would have hoped that her concerns and messages would no longer be relevant, however, the erudite writings in Silent Spring are still as important now as they ever have been.
Carson’s background as a marine biologist and focus on the sea can also be seen in the short collection The Sea Around Us (1952 National Book Award winner), Under the Sea – Wind (celebrating the natural world of sea creatures and birds) and The Edge of the Sea (focusing on plants and invertebrates). Keep an eye out also for Lost Woods, due to be published in April, which brings together previously unpublished work, essays, field journals, speeches, articles and letters to create a biography of Carson’s thought.
Dr Tara Brach
Tara Brach’s work is a great place to start for anyone who loves combining Eastern philosophy and beliefs within a realistic modern-day perspective. Brach is a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation and spiritual awakening, as well as clinical psychologist (she completed her doctorate on using mediation as form of therapy for people with addiction). She has practiced and taught meditation for over 40 years, with an emphasis on mindfulness, and many of her guided mediations can be found online on her website and Youtube.
Her books Radical Acceptance, Radical Compassion, Trusting the Gold and True Refuge all include day-to-day practical guidance, which has been developed over Dr. Brach’s four decades of work with therapy clients and Buddhist students. Her work often includes personal stories, case histories, interpretations on famous Buddhist tales, as well as guided meditations. Her books are always written with warmth and, unlike many ‘self-help books’ are gentle on the reader.
In Homesick: Why I Live in a Shed, Davis writes a first-hand account of the housing crisis in the UK and how she came to live in an abandoned shed on the Penzance peninsula in Cornwall. In a world where everyone has an obsession with being busy, Catrina Davis states that there is ‘something increasingly radical in doing nothing’. She does, of course, do a great deal more than nothing, working hard as a gardener, a builder’s labourer, a waitress all whilst trying to renovate her shed. Although there are setbacks in her journey (who hasn’t had to grapple with planners at some point in their life?!), she never sugar-coats the difficulties, and this results in a humorous memoir told with drama, joy and an indomitable optimistic spirit.
Dr Brene Brown
You cannot argue with Dr Brene Brown’s credentials and experience. She is a research professor and academic with over two decades worth of experience studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. For those who love a good listen, Brown hosts the Unlocking Us Podcast and the Dare to Lead Podcast. Her TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 50 million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix.
A prolific author, she has written five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead.
Her latest book is Atlas of the Heart, which is an encyclopaedia of 87 emotions that define us as a human. Ranging from perfectionism to anxiety, shame to sadness, this really is font of knowledge who really wants to think about what makes us human.
That’s it for now, folks! Hope you feel inspired! All books are of course available to purchase from us on our website or in person 🙂