Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Yesterday was International Women’s Day so I thought I’d dedicate this week’s Friday Book Round-Up to the fearless women whose books inspired me to be a better person and whose words motivated me to write my own stories. These aren’t in any particular order but they are my top ten favorite female authors of all time.
Bio: Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.
How she inspired me: Dame Agatha has been a writing mentor and female superhero since I was ten years old. She wrote in a time period where women weren’t writing mysteries, much less anything else. She took the world by storm with her calculating mind and ability to craft a story filled with intriguing characters. She inspired to never take no for an answer and to do what you want, no matter what the ‘establishment’ says.
Favorite book: Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories: A Miss Marple Collection (Miss Marple Mysteries). In this volume (which mine is a hardcover), we get all the Miss Marple short stories. I love Miss Marple and in these mysteries, she’s brilliant in solving the crime long before the police do.
Bio: Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including The Liar, The Collector, Whiskey Beach, The Witness, and many more. She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.
How she inspired me: She’s the queen of contemporary romance and has a zillion books in print. She was looking for a challenge and decided to write suspense. She excelled at that as well. I read an interview a few years ago about how hard she works writing novels. “It doesn’t come easy.” That statement alone inspired me to keep writing at a time when I was ready to give up.
Favorite book: Tears of the Moon (The Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy (Irish Trilogy)). It’s an incredible story of music, falling in love and giving in to the magic. Swoon-worthy for sure.
Bio: Journalist, writer, and poet. Born Dorothy Rothschild on August 22, 1893, in West End, New Jersey. Dorothy Parker was a legendary literary figure, known for her biting wit. She worked on such magazines as Vogue and Vanity Fair during the late 1910s. Parker went on to work as a book reviewer for The New Yorker in the 1920s. A selection of her reviews for this magazine was published in 1970 as Constant Reader, the title of her column. She remained a contributor to The New Yorker for many years; the magazine also published a number of her short stories. One of her most popular stories, “Big Blonde,” won the O. Henry Award in 1929.
In addition to her writing, Dorothy Parker was a noted member of the New York literary scene in 1920s. She formed a group called the Algonquin Round Table with writer Robert Benchley and playwright Robert Sherwood. This artistic crowd also included such members as The New Yorker founder Harold Ross, comedian Harpo Marx, and playwright Edna Ferber among others. The group took its name from its hangout—the Algonquin Hotel, but also also known as the Vicious Circle for the number of cutting remarks made by its members and their habit of engaging in sharp-tongued banter.
How she inspired me: Dorothy Parker was a writer and poet in the roaring 1920’s. I loved her poems and they inspired me to delve deep into the darkness of my soul. It’s only when you speak of the darkness that it releases its hold on you.
Favorite book: The Coast of Illyria: A Play in Three Acts.
J. K. Rowling
Bio: J.K. Rowling is the author of the record-breaking, multi-award-winning Harry Potter novels. Loved by fans around the world, the series has sold more than 450 million copies, been translated into 80 languages and made into eight blockbuster films.
She has written three companion volumes in aid of charity: Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (in aid of Comic Relief and Lumos), and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (in aid of Lumos).
In 2012, J.K. Rowling’s digital company and digital publisher Pottermore was launched, a place where fans can enjoy the latest news from across the wizarding world, features and original writing by J.K. Rowling.
Her first novel for adult readers, The Casual Vacancy, was published in September 2012 and adapted for TV by the BBC in 2015. Her crime novels, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, were published in 2013 (The Cuckoo’s Calling), 2014 (The Silkworm) and 2015 (Career of Evil), and have been adapted for TV as a major BBC detective drama, Strike, produced by Brontë Film and Television.
J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement speech was published in 2015 as an illustrated book, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, and sold in aid of Lumos and university-wide financial aid at Harvard.
In 2016, J.K. Rowling collaborated with writer Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany on the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, which is now running at The Palace Theatre in London’s West End and opens on Broadway in early 2018.
Also in 2016, J.K. Rowling made her screenwriting debut with the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. A prequel to the Harry Potter series, this new adventure of Magizoologist Newt Scamander marked the start of a five-film series to be written by the author. The second film in the series will be released in November 2018.
The script books of both the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two and the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them were published in 2016.
As well as receiving an OBE for services to children’s literature, J.K. Rowling has received many awards and honours, including France’s Légion d’Honneur and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.
How she inspired me: The story of how she wrote the Harry Potter series inspires me to never give up. Rowling was struggling to make ends meet when she penned the first HP book. Hundreds of publishers rejected her before she was given a chance. Today, she’s one of the wealthiest women in the world and admired by everyone.
Favorite book: It’s hard to pick my favorite Harry Potter book but if I had to, I guess it’d be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Bio: Maya Angelou has been waitress, singer, actress, dancer, activist, filmmaker, writer and mother. As well as her autobiography she has written several volumes of poetry, including 'On the Pulse of the Morning' for the inauguration of President Clinton. She now has a life-time appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
How she inspired me: Maya had a hard life but with every struggle, she grew stronger to face the next challenge. She taught me to be a phenomenal woman and to stand tall.
Favorite book: Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women. Every woman and girl in the world needs to read this.
Bio: Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of eight novels, including, most recently, Zorro, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. She has also written a collection of stories; three memoirs, including My Invented Country and Paula; and a trilogy of children's novels. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages and have become bestsellers across four continents. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Isabel Allende lives in California.
How she inspired me: Isabel Allende taught me important lessons in painting masterpieces with words. Her ability to capture a reader’s imagination is second to none.
Favorite book: The Stories of Eva Luna. A beautiful collection of short stories and one I thoroughly enjoy. Her ability to weave a story is brilliant and intoxicating.
Bio: Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, NJ, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places, doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Superfudge; Blubber; Just As Long As We're Together; and Forever. She has also written the best-selling novels Wifey; Smart Women; and, Summer Sisters. More than 75 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into twenty-six languages.
She receives thousands of letters each month from readers of all ages who share their feelings and
concerns with her.
How she inspired me: I grew up reading Judy Blume and she was one of the first children’s authors that didn’t talk down to her audience. She connected with kids and wrote about what kids deal with. I still read some of her books and they’re just as motivating as when I read them as a kid.
Favorite book: Do I have to pick? So many to choose from… okay, okay, I guess I’d pick Are You There, It’s Me Margaret. It touched me deeply and after reading it for the first time, I realized I wasn’t the only one with these thoughts and feelings.
Bio: My name is Jacquie Biggar and I’m a total klutz.
I am a wife, mother of one, grandmother, and a total sucker for my dog and cat.
I’m also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest The Voice fan ever, and can be found every Monday night in my armchair plastered to the television laughing at Blake and Adam’s shenanigans.
I enjoy going to my grandson’s hockey and lacrosse games, hanging at the beach with DH (darling hubby), taking pictures, and reading romance novels.
I have a slight Tim Hortons obsession. I love gardening. I love everything pink… just got a rose Iphone 8 squee!, and did I mention I love my husband?
JACQUIE BIGGAR is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love.
How she inspired me: I must admit, I’m in awe of her. After retiring with her husband to the beautiful west coast of Canada, she started writing. A second career and she’s got such a way about her when writing. She’s taught me so much about the craft of writing and I continue to learn from her with every book she publishes.
Favorite book: Maggie's Revenge: Wounded Hearts- Book 6. Usually, I have a hard time choosing my favorite book as I tend to love them all but in this one, she talks about the seriousness of human trafficking. It scared me but also made me think any woman is at risk to be taken and sold off like currency.
Bio: Julia Cameron has been an active artist for more than thirty years. She is the author of more than thirty books, fiction and nonfiction, including her bestselling works on the creative process: The Artist's Way, Walking in This World, Finding Water, and The Writing Diet. A novelist, playwright, songwriter, and poet, she has multiple credits in theater, film, and television.
How she inspired me: I’ve been artistic my whole life but I’ve struggled to merge my creative side with my other parts to be successful in my career and life. She taught me the power is within me to be a successful artist. I just have to apply myself and stop procrastinating. Stop being afraid of rejection. Brilliant!
Favorite book: It's Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond. This book shares the secrets to releasing our inner creative selves and going after our dreams, even at midlife. It’s never too late…
Bio: Diane is a Tennessee transplant, animal rescuer, and nurse. Dog Gone is her debut novel, born from years of hearing animal rescuers say about animal abusers, “If only I could get my hands on that person...” Diane is assisted by her many rescue dogs.
How she inspired me: She started writing and publishing after she hit fifty. She inspires me to keep writing. If she can do it, so can I!
Favorite book: Guardian of the Way. It’s a modern-day young adult fantasy about fulfilling your destiny and overcoming the odds, especially when there are bad guys after you. Such an inspiring book both teens and adults enjoy.
Have a female author who inspired you or who changed your life? Share in the comments below and don’t forget to share using the buttons below. See you next week!
MRS N, Book Addict