85 novels by women that you should 100% read

Kelsey McKinney
Nov 18, 2015 · 3 min read

Read more books by women.

Here are 85 titles I really enjoyed with no other qualifications than 1) I think they are good 2) you might like them, 3) they are written by women, and 4) no author is recommended more than once.

They are in alphabetical order by author. Here we go:

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

3. Brick Lane by Monica Ali

4. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

5. How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents by Julia Alvarez

6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

8. Persuasion by Jane Austen

9. Funhome by Allison Bechdel

10. Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

11. Oronooko by Aphra Behn

12. The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen

13. the works of Anne Bradstreet

14. Ruby by Cynthia Bond

15. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

16. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

17. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

18. Kindred by Octavia E Butler

19. My Antonia by Willa Cather

20. The Awakening by Kate Chopin

21. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

22. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisero

23. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

24. The Collected Work of Emily Dickinson

25. Play it As it Lays by Joan Didion

26. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

27. Middlemarch by George Elliot

28. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

29. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

30. the entire Neopolitan series by Elena Ferrante

31. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

32. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

33. The conservationist by Nadine Gordimer

34. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

35. The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez

36. Barbara the Slut by Lauren Holmes

37. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

38. The Haunting of the Hill by Shirley Jackson

39. The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

40. Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid

41. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

42. The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

43. Passing by Nella Larson

44. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

45. Small Island by Andrea Levy

46. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

47. Left Hand Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin

48. A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Elena McBride

49. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

50. The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken

51. The Night Guest by Fiona McFarland

52. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

53. All the Living by C.E. Morgan

54. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

55. The Middleman by Bharati Mukherjee

56. Dear Life by Alice Munro

57. The Collected Short Stories of Flannery O’Connor

58. The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

59. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

60. There Once was a Woman Who Tried to Kill her Neighbors Baby by Ludmilla Petrushvskaya

61. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

63. The Mysteries of Udolpho by Anne Radcliff

63. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

64. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

65. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

66. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

67. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

68. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

69. Frankenstein by Mary Alice Shelley

70. The Tale of Genji by Muraski Shikibu

71. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

72. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

73. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

74. A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

75. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

76. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

77. A Secret History by Donna Tartt

78. Love Me Back by Merritt Trace

79. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

80. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

81. The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty

82. The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West

83. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

84. The Interestings by Meg Woltzer

85. To the Lighthouse by Virgina Woolf

This is not a comprehensive list. If a title you love is not here, I probably just haven’t read it so PLEASE send it to me.

Written by

Kelsey McKinney is a freelance writer who lives in Washington, D.C. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, GQ, Vanity Fair, and many others.

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