Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “500 Great Books By Women: A Reader's Guide” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
500 Great Books By Wom...
Erica Bauermeister
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

500 Great Books By Women: A Reader's Guide

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  126 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Here is an articulate guide to more than 500 books written by women, a unique resource that allows readers the joy of discovering new authors as well as revisiting familiar favorites. Organized by such themes as Art, Choices, Families, Growing Old, Growing Up, Places and Homes, Power, and Work, this reference book presents classic and contemporary works, from Lady Nijo's t ...more
Hardcover, 425 pages
Published December 1st 1994 by Viking Books (first published January 1st 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 500 Great Books By Women, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about 500 Great Books By Women

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 941)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
If you've been friends with me for long enough, you know I like lists. A lot. Especially weird ones that I can send my army of you, my lovely bookish fellows, to amp up however you are able. So when I saw this book, I first thought list!, but backed off from the prospect due to the 100 vote limit and my unyielding need for control. Then came the pondering.

There's a singular shame to be felt when considering books written by women. Should a list, award, class or sale, shelf or school, not be sole
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Like the title says: 500 books written by women, organized into categories like Art, Mothers and Mothering, Conflicting Cultures, and Work (21 categories in total). The types of books recommended are delightfully varied: novels, short stories, essays, memoir, spanning time and location. An effort is made to include minority authors as well as lesser known works by great authors although many standards are included. The reviews are trenchant and meaty, summarizing the plot and the reason for incl ...more
Sarah Fox
OK, I'll admit it--I'm sexist. I've decided that I prefer books , for the most part, written by women. When I discovered this book I was in heaven. This gem has reviews of books written over some 300 years sorted by theme. Through this book I discovered a flock of writers unfamiliar to me and branched out into genres I wouldn't normally pick up. The only problem with this book is that it isn't replenishing each year. If the editors of this book could e-mail suggestions to me of the newest lit, p ...more
Sep 06, 2010 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mary Murray
This anthology brings to light many good female writers that have been forgotten. It also makes my list of books to read grow longer.

"No matter how successful, beloved, influential her work was, when a woman author dies, nine times out of ten she gets dropped from the lists, the courses, the anthologies, while the men get kept...If she had the nerve to have children, her chances of getting dropped are higher still...So if you want your writing to be taken seriously, don't marry and have kids, an
Mar 08, 2011 Gloria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Bauermeister is a college professor at the Univ of Washington/Seattle and is currently busy publishing novels. She is clearly an author who values women's contributions. In the mid 1990s however, she put together this collection of great books by women. It is well done. The only downside is that it is outdated already. Some of the books are by foreign female authors which means they are not widely available, and some of the books are quite old and thus not widely available. Would love to see som ...more
A bit underwhelming really - here I was hoping for the definitive women's world litt, which granted may be a bit lofty for fairly slim paperback, but still... There is a lot of world litt to be found here written by women, but also just a lot of (more or less) American "ladies books" from the 80s. The years 1271-1979 take up two and a half page of the index by year, 1980-1993 makes up more than half - over three pages.
The selection also seems semi-random: Not wanting to define the "Great books"
Sep 02, 2012 Alexa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-canon
Eh. Oddly organized, by thematic units, making it somewhat annoying to use as a reference. Heavily tilted towards the “meaningful” works, with some few popular works, rather than the literary. The authors also seemed to delight in sometimes choosing particular authors’ most obscure works.
*2015 year of reading women

- Reeds in the Wind by Grazia Deledda 5*
- Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

*2016 year of reading women

- The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

*2017 year of reading women
- Cosima by Grazia Deledda ( have only Italian version, need to polish my language skills first )
Shanna Williams
Feb 06, 2015 Shanna Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This gave me such great recommendations of authors I never heard of but fell in love with!!!
Apr 18, 2008 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've found a lot of good books here. And books that I normally wouldn't have picked up.
Aug 08, 2011 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
so helpful in my search for inspiring works... would love if it were updated.
Well-organized and excellent resource for Readers' Advisory.
Jun 08, 2013 Johnna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this every now and again
A Annotated bib! Overwhelming!
Beth Shields-Szostak
also Jesse Larsen and Holly Smith
Aug 01, 2008 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
FABULOUS anthology!
Nelke marked it as to-read
May 03, 2016
Jmegan marked it as to-read
May 02, 2016
Kerry marked it as to-read
May 01, 2016
Neti marked it as to-read
May 01, 2016
Lauren Fryman
Lauren Fryman marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2016
Melinda marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2016
Christine Zibas
Christine Zibas marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2016
Sara Steger
Sara Steger marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2016
Mckinley marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2016
Rose Kalinowski
Rose Kalinowski marked it as to-read
Apr 22, 2016
Bridget marked it as to-read
Apr 22, 2016
Lydia Feliciano
Lydia Feliciano marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
Marie marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 31 32 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Book Smart: Your Essential Reading List for Becoming a Literary Genius in 365 Days
  • Classics for Pleasure
  • 1001 Books for Every Mood
  • Between the Covers: The Book Babes' Guide to a Woman's Reading Pleasures
  • Book Crush: For Kids and Teens-Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Interest
  • Biblioholism: The Literary Addiction
  • Who the Hell Is Pansy O'Hara?: The Fascinating Stories Behind 50 of the World's Best-Loved Books
  • For the Love of Books: 115 Celebrated Writers on the Books They Love Most
  • 501 Great Writers: A Comprehensive Guide to the Giants of Literature
  • Read, Remember, Recommend (A Reading Journal for Book Lovers)
  • Read This Next: 500 of the Best Books You'll Ever Read
  • The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read
  • 501 Must-Read Books
  • The New Lifetime Reading Plan: The Classic Guide to World Literature, Revised and Expanded
  • Lost Classics: Writers on Books Loved and Lost, Overlooked, Under-read, Unavailable, Stolen, Extinct, or Otherwise Out of Commission
  • A Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books
  • Great Books for Every Book Lover: 2002 Great Reading Suggestions for the Discriminating Bibliophile
  • Patience & Fortitude: Wherein a Colorful Cast of Determined Book Collectors, Dealers, and Librarians Go About the Quixotic Task of Preserving a Legacy
Erica Bauermeister is the bestselling author of the novel The School of Essential Ingredients and the upcoming novel Joy For Beginners (June 9, 2011). The School of Essential Ingredients is currently being published in 22 countries and Joy For Beginners was recently selected to be performed as part of the New Short Fiction Series in Los Angeles (June 12, 2011). Erica Bauermeister received a B.A. f ...more
More about Erica Bauermeister...

Share This Book