Best books about ladies

So I sort of forgot about my December posting meme until, um, March? My bad! But anyway, aerrin asked me to recommend five of my favorite books about ladies that I've read in the last few years, so here's a list! In totally random order, because there's no way I could pick just one favorite.

Far North by Marcel Theroux - The only book on this list actually written by a dude, and it's actually one of my favorite books in the entire world. This is a very nuanced addition to the post-apocalyptic genre. Born into a group of religious fundamentalists that move to Siberia to escape the ravages of global warming, the narrator believes she might be the only person left in the entire world. It turns out that she's not. The prose is stark and spare, and the narrator's voice is unique and original. The whole thing is absolutely haunting.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng - This story of a mixed race family in the 1970s kicks off when the oldest daughter is found dead in a nearby lake. The story is a mystery, but it's less a whodunit than an exploration of each character's psychological mysteries. Each member of the family is terribly flawed and terribly sympathetic, and it's up to the reader to decide who they blame for the daughter's death.

Give Me the World by Leila B. Hadley - In the 1950s, Leila Hadley got divorced, took off traveling with her four-year-old son in tow, and wound up sailing around Asia with a whole bunch of sexy Navy veterans. And then she wrote a book about it. Highly recommended for vacation reading and travel inspiration.

Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah Gbowee - Liberia's brutal civil war raged for eight years, until a bunch of bad ass ladies got fed up with it and launched a peace movement. Instead of doing housework and taking care of their husbands, they put on white dresses and held sit-ins, all day, every day until their leaders agreed to sit down and talk things out. Definite trigger warnings for graphic and sexual violence, but a really powerful and inspirational read.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Chick lit with a twist. The narrator of the story is a Nigerian woman who moved to the United States for college and finds surprise success with a blog about American race relations. Like Sex in the City, it weaves through several of the protagonist's romantic misadventures, leaving readers yearning for her to reunite with the perfect boyfriend who got away. But this is no superficial romantic novel. The narrator is a real woman, exploring how mental illness, poverty, and race shape her life.