After trying valiantly to read an excruciatingly boring Murakami (which has long passages about the protagonist getting laid) and then finally putting it away and removing it from my Kindle because of some overt misogyny, I resolved (again) to stick to women's writing. But then I picked up two books by men, both with women protagonists, which made me realize that men can write too. (/sarcasm, for anti-feminists who just can't take a joke (looks like it wasn't / after all))
Anyway. One of those books is Nick Hornby's Funny Girl, about a comedy actress in England who makes it big in the 1960s. Unlike so many women characters created by men, Sophie Straw is a real person, with motivations and feelings I can relate to. She is too pretty to be taken seriously (by misogynists) but is intelligent, ethical, and most importantly, funny, running rings around her more established co-star and earning the respect of the show's creators. The book sags a little around the halfway point, though it picks up again towards the end -- but it's worth reading for its portrayal of Sophie's early days alone.