Our non-exhaustive list of 40 books written by local, female authors. Happy reading!
By Courtney Runn
Austin is home to countless award-winning, nationally acclaimed female authors. What better way to support local than to buy their books from local independent bookstores? The following 40 books span genres from mystery novels to YA to memoirs and everything in between but they all have one thing in common: Each book is available for purchase at Book People or Book Woman and each book’s author currently lives in Austin. The next time you place a book order, consider supporting our hometown authors and let us know what books you’d add to our list. Happy reading!
Uncertain Summer by Jessica Lee Anderson
This middle-grade adventure novel follows a group of kids in their quest to find Bigfoot in the swamps of East Texas.
Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz explores the life and career of “the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery,” Thomas Dent Mütter.
Available at Book People
Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
Inspired by the #MeToo reckoning that swept the country, Chandler Baker explores the modern working woman in this page-turning murder mystery.
Destruction by Sharon Bayliss
The first in a series of four, Destruction introduces readers to a family of dark wizards trying to live a normal life in Houston who instead are plunged into a world of secrets and evil.
It’s News to Me by Olga Campos Benz
Acclaimed journalist Olga Campos Benz’ fiction debut follows Marissa Cavelo as she navigates her new job as a reporter and anchor at KATX-TV in her quest to break “Austin’s scandal of the decade.”
A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross
Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross explore U.S. history through the lens of the black women who changed it.
Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone by Juli Berwald
With a background in ocean science and a driving curiosity about the effects of “overfishing, coastal development, and climate change” on the jellyfish population, Juli Berwald set out to learn everything she could about this sea creature “large ignored by science.”
Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird
Sarah Bird’s latest is a survival story, following the life of “a former slave and the only woman to ever serve with the legendary Buffalo Solders.”
Laugh with the Moon by Shana Burg
This middle-grade novel explores grief through the story of Claire Silver, a 13-year-old coping with the loss of her mother while attempting to fit in at a new school.
Creative Writing Journal: Clever Prompts for Clever Children by Carolyn and Lynn Cohagan
Carolyn Cohagan, an author and founder of the writing organization Girls with Pens, teamed up with her mother to create a writing journal sure to spark any child’s imagination.
The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook
To avenge her mother’s death, heroine Samantha tracks down the panther that left her an orphan across the hill country of Texas in Elizabeth’s Crook’s latest novel.
American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of the American CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson
Following her acclaimed debut of Death in the Air, Kate Winkler Dawson returns with an equally tantalizing tale exploring the birth of the CSI.
United Tastes of Texas: Authentic Recipes from All Corners of the Lone Star State by Jessica Depuy
From tortilla soup to chicken fried steak, cook your way across Texas with fourth-generation Texan Jeccia Depuy.
The Spectators by Jennifer duBois
In The Spectators, Jennifer duBois explores “the heyday of gay liberation in the seventies and the grip of the AIDS crisis in the eighties, alongside a backstage view of nineties television in an age of moral panic.”
The Cry of the Go-Away Bird by Andrea Eames
Andrea Eames captures life in Zimbabwe in the ’90s through the eyes of Elise, a young white girl suddenly forced to reckon with her own privilege.
Hole in the Middle by Kendra Fortmeyer
Kendra Fortmeyer’s debut novel follows the life of 17-year-old Morgan Stone, who is a little different from her peers in one big way: She has a hole the size of a fist in her stomach which leads her on a search for a “cure and her destiny.”
Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You by Jen Hatmaker
In Jen Hatmaker’s latest, she guides readers through five categories: who I am, what I need, what I want, what I believe and how I connect.
Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou by Bethany Hegedus and Tonya Engel
Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose and Going Scared by Jessica Honegger
In her writing debut, Jessica Honegger shares the story of adopting her son Jack and how it sparked a global movement and her company Noonday Collection.
Wild Violet by Ariel C. Horn
Set against the backdrop of Western Texas four years after the Civil War, Wild Violet takes readers on a tale of adventure and love as protagonist Violet Corntassel travels across Texas on a mission to meet her fiancé.
97 Speaks: Lessons from the Decades by Babette Hughes
In her latest, Babette Hughes reflects on her past 97 years of life, offering readers candid personal stories and tokens of wisdom from a life full of “love, loss and resiliency.”
If Only You Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free by Jamie Ivey
In this raw, unfiltered look at her life, Jamie Ivey reflects on the deepest secrets of her past and how she turned shame into freedom.
Fly, Fly Again by Katie Jaffe and Jennifer Lawson
In this new children’s book, Katie Jaffe and Jennifer Lawson describe the mechanics of flight in kid-friendly terms paired with Tammie Lyon’s illustrations for a STEM-forward book that celebrates “problem solving, teamwork and determination.”
Nine Days by Minerva Koenig
Nine Days, a Julia Kalas mystery, follows the twists of “a damned good criminal” and her new life under the witness protection program in Azula, Texas.
Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble
Unprocessed follows the journey of 26-year-old Megan Kimble’s journey to discovering “where food came from, how it was made and what it did to her body” and her year of eating unprocessed food.
Think Big by Kat Kronenberg
In the latest in her Live Big series, Kat Kronenberg returns to her beloved characters to answer the question: Who do I want to be?
The Roxy Letters by Mary Pauline Lowry
Longtime Austinites will find themselves in Roxy’s fierce loyalty to old Austin and her protests of her ever-changing city in this cheeky novel by Mary Pauline Lowry.
All the Houses by Karen Olsson
“At its heart, a father-daughter story,” All the Houses follows Helen Atherton’s return home to take care of her aging father and reckon with her childhood.
Durations: A Memoir and Personal Essays by Carolyn Osborn
Award-winning author Carolyn Osborn reflects on her childhood and career in this collection of personal essays.
The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
This Reese Whitherspoon Book Club pick follows a daring plot to publish contraband book Doctor Zhivago during the Cold War, capturing “a watershed moment in the history of literature.”
The Pathless Sky by Chaitali Sen
The Pathless Sky follows two friends-turned-lovers whose relationship plays out against the backdrop “a nation’s political turmoil, its secret history and growing social unrest.”
If Darkness Takes Us by Brenda Marie Smith
Bea Crenshaw is left alone with her four grandchildren after her suburban life in Austin is destroyed by a solar pulse, leading the five of them on an adventure of survival and resiliency.
Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
In Hearts Unbroken, Louise Wolfe navigates the difficulties of “dating while Native” while also facing discrimination in her mostly white town and finishing her senior year of high school.
Migratory Animals by Mary Helen Specht
After Flannery leaves her dream research project in West Africa to care for her sister in Austin, she must reckon with her past and future dreams.
Time Flight by Susan Syers Stark
Perfect for children who have a penchant for daydreaming, Time Flight follows the flying adventure of third-grader Anthony.
Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester
In her award-winning novel Everyone Knows You Go Home, Natalia Sylvester approaches the complexities of family relationships and immigration through the story of Isabel and Martin, a married couple living in a Texas border town grappling with the past and future of their family.
iExperience: The Future of Museums by Madison Troutz
Madison Troutz’ exploration of the modern museum experience and its necessary reinvention is timely as the arts pivot to virtual experiences.
How to Be a Texan: The Manuel by Andrea Valdez
Whether you’re a proud Texan or a newcomer, Andrea Valdez plays the helpful, all-knowing guide to all-things Texas in her debut book.
The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward
Amanda Eyre Ward’s latest buzzy novel takes readers on a cruise through the Mediterranean with the Perkins family as they unpack a lifetime of secrets, hurts and hopes.
Let’s Go on Safari by Kate Gilman Williams and Michelle Campbell
10-year-old Kate Gilman Williams teamed up with South African safari guide Michelle Campbell to teach kids about wildlife conservation.
Available at Book People