Reading is my escape, my relaxation, my nightly ritual. No matter how tired I am at the end of the day, I read something before turning out the light. It might be an article, a chapter in the book I am currently reading, or a few pages in a nonfiction book from the stack on the shelf of my bedside table. Reading takes my mind away from the day’s events and the anticipation of the day to come and allows me to settle for the night.
There are countless highly talented and well-renowned authors, and according to a recent study, just over fifty percent are women. Just as the Ladies of Distinction in this issue are all unique and inspiring and work hard to make a difference in our community each day, these authors inspire, empower and entertain readers. As writer Jeanette Winterson said, “books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.”
Pick up one of Elin Hilderbrand’s many bestsellers and find yourself on the tiny island of Nantucket. Hilderbrand, “the queen of beach reads,” takes her readers through love affairs, summer romances, heartbreaks and family relationships. Her loyal readers look forward to her new book each June. They cannot wait to zoom off to Nantucket for the latest summer romance, with bottles of Veuve Clicquot, fun cocktails, dancing at the Chicken Box and all of the magic that the tiny island offers in the height of the season.
Open one of Mary Kay Andrews’ thirty bestselling novels, and another ‘queen of beach reads’ takes you on adventures in Savannah, St. Petersburg, and other southern idyllic beach towns. Her novels have a trademark wit and often sassy style, and her mysteries and beach reads are fun and fast-paced. So, fall into her books and feel like you are on the perfect summer escape!
Be swept away to remote Alaska, World War II France, Texas during the Dust Bowl, or the Pacific Northwest in one of Kristin Hannah’s highly acclaimed books. Hannah is another one of my favorite authors and is a brilliant writer whose historical fiction bestsellers such as The Great Alone, The Nightingale and The Four Winds are blockbusters and book club picks.
Good luck putting one of Colleen Hoover’s addictive books down! She released her first book, Slammed, in 2012 and has had a following, unlike most others! She writes romance novels, with a few thrillers mixed in, and has published more than twenty novels and novellas. Her books are in high demand, thanks largely to #BookTok, where readers talk up their favorite books. Hoover is affectionately called Coho by her enormous fan base, who refer to themselves as CoHorts! Her books are almost impossible to put down once you begin reading and so hard to let go of after reading the last page!
Women authors have significantly impacted literature, whether through writing memoirs, historical fiction, romance, nonfiction or other genres. From Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Ann Patchett, Dorothea Benton Frank, poets to novelists, they empower us, educate us, inform us, challenge us, and take us on journeys to places past, present and future. They make us think. As summer nears and the days are warmer and longer, I hope you can take a break, open a new book and enjoy a new adventure. Happy reading!