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>100 Books By Women

>[Practically everyone else has done this list, so I thought I’d give it a go. I bolded the books I’ve read, and added comments. I’m so glad Ayn Rand isn’t on this list! How did I get so lucky?]

1. Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind
2. Anne Rice, Interview With the Vampire
3. Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
4. Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
5. Virginia Woolf, The Waves
6. Virginia Woolf, Orlando [re: the other 3 Virginia Woolf reads — it was a Bloomsbury class, OK? I’m not that intellectual or high-strung or anything]
7. Djuna Barnes, Nightwood [I really want to read this book]
8. Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth [Wharton had me at Ethan Frome, but this is the book that convinced me that she was a master]
9. Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence [I want to read it. Saw the movie]
10. Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome
11. Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness [Definitely want to read]
12. Nadine Gordimer, Burger’s Daughter
13. Harriette Simpson Arnow, The Dollmaker [I was surprised to see this book on the list; it seems to be an often-overlooked classic. If you find it, grab it and read it. You won’t be sorry]
14. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
15. Willa Cather, My Ántonia [I may have read this, but it would’ve been before 1993, when I began keeping track, so I don’t remember]
16. Erica Jong, Fear of Flying
17. Erica Jong, Fanny [I had kind of an Erica Jong thing going on in my mid-to-late teens]
18. Joy Kogawa, Obasan
19. Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook
20. Doris Lessing, The Fifth Child
21. Doris Lessing, The Grass Is Singing [I want to read this]
22. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
23. Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time
24. Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres
25. Lore Segal, Her First American [I’ve never heard of this book or author. Off to Amazon to investigate]
26. Alice Walker, The Color Purple
27. Alice Walker, The Third Life of Grange Copeland [Want to read]
28. Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon
29. Muriel Spark, Memento Mori
30. Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie [I’ve never read any Muriel Spark. Guilt feelings abound]
31. Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina
32. Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea [I like her other novels like Good Morning, Midnight better]
33. Susan Fromberg Shaeffer, Anya
34. Cynthia Ozick, Trust
35. Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club
36. Amy Tan, The Kitchen God’s Wife
37. Ann Beattie, Chilly Scenes of Winter
38. Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God [I don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to this!]
39. Joan Didion, A Book of Common Prayer [I may have read this, but don’t remember. Want to read]
40. Joan Didion, Play It as It Lays
41. Mary McCarthy, The Group
42. Mary McCarthy, The Company She Keeps [Want to read]
43. Grace Paley, The Little Disturbances of Man
44. Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
45. Carson McCullers, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter [And the movie’s damn good, too. What a career Sondra Locke could’ve had!]
46. Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart [Want to read]
47. Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood [See Muriel Spark comment]
48. Mona Simpson, Anywhere But Here
49. Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
50. Toni Morrison, Beloved
51. Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm [Definitely want to read!]
52. Sylvia Townsend Warner, Mr. Fortune’s Maggot
53. Katherine Anne Porter, Ship of Fools [I’ve read everything else by her except this…WTH?]
54. Laura Riding, Progress of Stories [Not familiar with this author]
55. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
56. Penelope Fitzgerald, The Blue Flower [Want to read]
57. Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits
58. A.S. Byatt, Possession
59. Pat Barker, The Ghost Road
60. Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle
61. Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
62. Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus
63. Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
64. Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
65. Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle [I’m so happy to see this book on the list! I champion it at every available opportunity!]
66. Barbara Pym, Excellent Women [I was on a Barbara Pym kick in the late 80s, but that was before I was keeping lists of what I read, so I don’t remember if I read it or not. Want to read]
67. Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
68. Anne Tyler, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant [YES YES YES!!! Tyler’s opinion is that this is her best book, and I staunchly agree, although I love just about everything she’s written]
69. Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist [Wonderful book]
70. Nancy Willard, Things Invisible to See
71. Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry
72. Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Disturbances in the Field [I checked it out from the library once, but couldn’t get it read before the due date & never got back to it. Want to read]
73. Rosellen Brown, Civil Wars
74. Harriet Doerr, Stones for Ibarra
75. Jean Stafford, The Mountain Lion [Her collected short stories are her best work, but this short novel showcases her talents perfectly, unlike her bloated and reader-unfriendly but bestselling first novel, Boston Adventure]
76. Stevie Smith. Novel on Yellow Paper [I’ve heard about this book for years, but have never actually seen a copy in all my years of searching. A definite want-to-read]
77. E. Annie Proulx, The Shipping News
78. Rebecca Goldstein, The Mind-Body Problem [REALLY surprised to see this book. Good stuff]
79. P.D. James, The Children of Men
80. Ursula Hegi, Stones From the River
81. Fay Weldon, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil
82. Katherine Mansfield, Collected Stories
83. Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills [Want to read]
84. Louise Erdrich, The Beet Queen [I may have read this. I forgot]
85. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness [My poor first husband, Manfred, Sr. He tried in vain to get me to read this novel, one of his favorites. I kept resisting because it was SF. I regret that now, and resolve to read the novel if I run across a copy]
86. Edna O’Brien, The Country Girls Trilogy
87. Margaret Drabble, Realms of Gold
88. Margaret Drabble, The Waterfall [I really didn’t like this novel. I’d rather have the time back that I spent reading it]
89. Dawn Powell, The Locusts Have No King [I read Angels On Toast and really liked that, so I’d read this novel without hesitation]
90. Marilyn French, The Women’s Room [I read this when I was 16 and was horrified. I wonder what I’d think of it now, 30 years down the road]
91. Eudora Welty, The Optimist’s Daughter
92. Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries
93. Jamaica Kincaid, Annie John
94. Tillie Olsen, Tell Me a Riddle
95. Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
96. Iris Murdoch, A Severed Head [See comment about Muriel Spark]
97. Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day
98. Alice Hoffman, The Drowning Season [I read Blue Diary and Here On Earth, but I’m not sure Alice Hoffman is my cup of tea]
99. Sue Townsend, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole [Really funny]
100. Penelope Mortimer, The Pumpkin Eater [Want to read]

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One response »

  1. >I’ll take this opportunity to recommend number 33, Anya. I read it a few years ago and it has really stayed with me.

    Reply

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