Disclaimer: I already had these books in my collection and I reached out to Virago for extra copies for this Christmas campaign
When I started planning this year’s Christmas giveaways, I knew I wanted to feature a bundle of books, but which ones? I’ve long been a champion of books by and about women and reached out to Virago to see if they’d be interested in featuring some of the books which I feel should be required reading. They were more than happy to help!
I’ve been working my way through Maya Angelou’s memoir series, and the first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is a seminal text, and for good reason. The first of six books charts her childhood, growing up in Arkansas in the 1930s, including being raped by her uncle at the age of eight. Angelou was a resilient and inspiring woman, and I plan to read more of her poetry when I’ve finished her autobiographies.
I’ve been a fan of Nora Ephron for as long as I can remember – I was raised on ‘chick flicks’. As a result, I’m more familiar with her films (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Julie and Julia) than her off-screen writing. I sought to rectify that and recently read her much-loved, semi-autobiographical novel, Heartburn, in which a cookbook writer, married for the second time and seven months pregnant with her second child, discovers her husband is having an affair. Heart-breaking? Yes. Hilarious? Yes. Ephron was undoubtedly one of the greatest writers of the late 20th century and I plan to devour her non-fiction titles too.
We can’t talk about iconic female texts without mentioning Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, the Cornwall-set gothic novel. In 2017, it was voted the UK’s favourite book of the past 225 years in a poll by WH Smith, beating the likes of To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, and 1984. I read this in one sitting on a train journey earlier in the year; part Wuthering Heights, part Jane Eyre and part Northanger Abbey, this modern classic reeks of stormy seas, young love and dark secrets. There’s a reason why it has never been out of print.
Want to win a copy of all three books?
Terms and conditions: One winner (selected at random) will receive a copy of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Heartburn, and Rebecca (editions may vary from those pictured). This giveaway will close at midnight on Thursday 5 December and the winner will be contacted directly. If they don’t respond within three days, a new winner will be selected. UK entries only.
To be in with a chance of winning, just complete one or more of the Gleam entries below: