Best Feminist Books

This is a list of books any feminist, new feminist, or a soon-to-be feminist should read. Let me know what books you feel should be added to this list!
1

by
4.01 avg rating — 489,599 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
3.97 avg rating — 401,847 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,162,141 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
4.07 avg rating — 59,872 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
4.07 avg rating — 18,434 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
4.16 avg rating — 374,670 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
4.24 avg rating — 1,896,415 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 59,224 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
3.85 avg rating — 17,053 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
3.83 avg rating — 14,561 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
3.61 avg rating — 119,811 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
4.16 avg rating — 241,535 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
3.89 avg rating — 12,549 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
3.74 avg rating — 221,241 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
3.66 avg rating — 67,807 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
3.99 avg rating — 333,207 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
4.36 avg rating — 4,264,884 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
3.85 avg rating — 177,625 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19

by
3.85 avg rating — 6,255 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
4.16 avg rating — 6,503 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
4.45 avg rating — 1,379,448 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
4.15 avg rating — 419,770 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
4.27 avg rating — 813,539 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
3.88 avg rating — 8,051 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
3.92 avg rating — 568 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
4.11 avg rating — 150,863 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
3.98 avg rating — 455,091 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
3.88 avg rating — 10,035 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,670,760 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
3.75 avg rating — 84,390 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
4.16 avg rating — 3,593 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
4.05 avg rating — 60,488 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
3.85 avg rating — 34,095 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
4.09 avg rating — 6,841 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
4.32 avg rating — 756,150 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36

by
3.96 avg rating — 6,633 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
4.32 avg rating — 4,268 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
3.92 avg rating — 886,134 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
3.58 avg rating — 69,593 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
3.59 avg rating — 153,041 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
41

by
4.24 avg rating — 190,356 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
41

by
4.45 avg rating — 7,100 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
4.27 avg rating — 82,056 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
3.72 avg rating — 4,172 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
4.21 avg rating — 568,978 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
3.72 avg rating — 66,715 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47

by
4.33 avg rating — 6,263 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
3.68 avg rating — 7,761 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
49

by
4.06 avg rating — 1,302,680 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
3.89 avg rating — 497,528 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
51

by
4.32 avg rating — 5,467 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
4.33 avg rating — 34,096 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
53

by
4.34 avg rating — 4,808 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
4.15 avg rating — 19,729 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
3.44 avg rating — 7,962 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
3.36 avg rating — 505,987 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
4.42 avg rating — 5,394 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
4.24 avg rating — 22,206 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
3.90 avg rating — 5,326 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
3.55 avg rating — 38,996 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
61

by
3.69 avg rating — 17,872 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
4.24 avg rating — 32,950 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
4.05 avg rating — 5,410 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
64

by
4.18 avg rating — 3,872 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
3.56 avg rating — 93,329 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.97 avg rating — 2,684 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
3.85 avg rating — 2,480 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
68

by
3.83 avg rating — 23,593 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
69

by
3.92 avg rating — 94,094 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
70

by
3.85 avg rating — 22,836 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
4.18 avg rating — 2,451 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.94 avg rating — 62,323 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
73

by
4.01 avg rating — 411,762 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
4.15 avg rating — 35,762 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
3.74 avg rating — 164,675 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
4.45 avg rating — 22,090 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
77

by
4.17 avg rating — 8,661 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
78

by
3.91 avg rating — 113,438 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
4.21 avg rating — 5,772 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80

by
3.43 avg rating — 13,358 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
81

by
3.88 avg rating — 1,632 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
82

by
3.93 avg rating — 269,076 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
4.33 avg rating — 61,769 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
84

by
3.98 avg rating — 1,441 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
3.81 avg rating — 28,485 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
3.98 avg rating — 111,602 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.68 avg rating — 2,584 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
88

by
3.52 avg rating — 2,350 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
89

by
4.23 avg rating — 6,169 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
90

by
4.07 avg rating — 1,441 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
4.27 avg rating — 412,929 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
92

by
4.05 avg rating — 348 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
93

by
4.09 avg rating — 122,961 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
94

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,839,189 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95

by
3.76 avg rating — 1,258 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
3.87 avg rating — 2,151 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,017 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98

by
4.09 avg rating — 2,140 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
99

by
3.67 avg rating — 268,185 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
100

by
3.33 avg rating — 3,894 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
1199 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Lissette 114 books
44 friends
jenna 350 books
41 friends
Amy 909 books
5 friends
Wealhtheow 3526 books
616 friends
Natasha 483 books
21 friends
Bryan 2041 books
64 friends
Jessica 390 books
223 friends
Jennifer 1794 books
52 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-44 of 44) (44 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Please add 'Manifesta' and 'The Body Project' both excellent feminist reads.


message 2: by Merry (new)

Merry I would also add "Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids, and Life in a Half-Changed World" by Peggy Orenstein


message 3: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn I am disappointed that bell hooks' name is not represented correctly.


message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill P.S. Great list!!


message 6: by mazal (new)

mazal bohbot berrie Is there an easy way to adopt this list, or keep a file of it handy? I'm starting a feminist library at work. This list is a fantastic start. Kudos


message 7: by Derya (new)

Derya Anyone, who's interested in feminism must read Virginia Woolf. Especially, her groundbreaking essays, such as; A Room of One's Own and "Professions for Women".


message 8: by Dusty (new)

Dusty Gone WIth The Wind? King Lear? Just because a book has a "strong female lead" doesn't make it feminist!


message 9: by Rita (last edited Mar 18, 2011 02:38AM) (new)

Rita Surpriced to see that The War Against Women wasn't on the list until I used the added function...


message 10: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa A Woman of No Importance

I added this one


message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Sex Wars by Marge Piercy & The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued Ann Crittenden


message 12: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Tried voting on the whole list, but 'Too many books, remove one before you add another.' sigh.


message 13: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie How the hell did Atlas Shrugged get up there?


message 14: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Lowe Kathryn wrote: "I am disappointed that bell hooks' name is not represented correctly."

I agree. People spell it wrong all the time.


message 15: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Lowe julian wrote: "this list is too white+western+second wave"

I have to disagree with you. There are a lot of books here representing all women. You should look a bit closer.


message 16: by Richard (new)

Richard It may seem strange that a male would want to add to a feminist book list but the lady for whom I authored the book NOT AGAIN (Amazon Kindle) is, to my mind, the most inspirational person I've ever encountered and I would like to add her to your list, as an inspiration to other ladies.

The background to her story can be found at http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/insp... and the description can be found on Amazon: UK http://tinyurl.com/ct5xqx9
USA http://tinyurl.com/cxv9c9x


message 17: by Lapsus (new)

Lapsus Linguae Much to my astonishment, I didn't find The Tenant of Wildfell Hall so I added it.


message 18: by Fatin (new)

Fatin hmm, I'm a huge fan of Jane Eyre but I'm not sure I'd call it the best "feminist" novel. But then, I haven't read it in a long while and the details aren't very clear to me.

Here's a great poem I read, I have no idea who it's by but it's great.

I fight like a girl who refuses to be a victim.
I fight like a girl who is tired of being IGNORED & HUMORED & BEATEN & RAPED.
I fight like a girl who’s sick of not being taken seriously.
I fight like a girl who’s been pushed too far.
I fight like a girl who OFFERS & DEMANDS RESPECT.
I fight like a girl who has a lifetime of ANGER & STRENGTH & PRIDE pent up in her girly body.
I fight like a girl who doesn’t believe in FEAR & SUBMISSION.
I fight like a girl who knows that THIS BODY & THIS MIND are mine.
I fight like a girl who knows that YOU ONLY HAVE AS MUCH POWER AS I GRANT YOU.
I fight like a girl who will never allow you to take more than I offer.
I fight like a girl who FIGHTS BACK.
So next time you think you can distract yourself from your insecurities by victimizing a girl, THINK AGAIN. She may be ME and I FIGHT LIKE A GIRL.


message 19: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Hall How about some Alice Walker?


message 20: by Fatin (new)

Fatin Cindy wrote: "How about some Alice Walker?"

I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Color Purple. I think it's great not just as a feminist novel that goes to the very core of feminism, but also as a piece of literature about religion.


message 21: by Annette (new)

Annette Hurst Please add Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin


message 22: by Kate (new)

Kate S I'm with Stephanie, how the hell did Atlas Shrugged end up on here?


message 23: by Tom (new)

Tom Webster No Joan Wallach Scott, no Helene Cixous?


message 24: by Davina (new)

Davina Rhine There is a lot to be added to the list. How can readers do that?


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Fatin wrote: "hmm, I'm a huge fan of Jane Eyre but I'm not sure I'd call it the best "feminist" novel. But then, I haven't read it in a long while and the details aren't very clear to me.

Here's a great poem I ..."


I was wondering why Jane Eyre was on here. What did I miss? She should have smacked Rochester up the side of the head. Read Wide Sargasso Sea.


message 26: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Rodning I know that I'm responding to an old post by a deleted user, but I believe that Jane Eyre is on here because Jane (and the woman who wrote her) was an independent woman caring for herself in every way (including monetarily) in a time when that was extremely uncommon. Also, the author, Charlotte Bronte, was a very loud voice for women in that very early time period in which few women spoke up. Yes, Rochester was a cad, but thankfully he wasn't the whole focus of the novel.


message 27: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Rodning ALSO, I agree with Stephanie -- I do not understand why Atlas Shrugged is on here. If someone can explain that, please do. If not, I'm going to come back in a few days and delete it, if that's okay with everyone...


message 28: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Starling Great list of books!I wanted to recommend a book I think that deserves to be on the list called "The Pedestriennes" by author Harry Hall (http://www.pedestriennes.com/). During the Industrial Revolution the sport of endurance walking was taking off (of course it was hugely dominated by men) until a group of women, calling themselves the Pedestriennes, took over. Endurance walking was a BEYOND difficult sport that required the competition to last for days and weeks. Madame "Ada" Anderson (top walker among men and women) walked 1,008 miles and it took her one week. Her feet were so swollen they had to wrap them in turpentine and raw beef! The book tells the story of many successful women endurance walkers and the controversy and difficulty that followed their career choices. I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a fascinating look into a sport I had no idea existed!


message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Why on earth is Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus on here?!


message 30: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Rodning Sarah wrote: "Why on earth is Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus on here?!"

Yeah, I have no idea. It definitely doesn't belong here.


message 31: by Kaion (new)

Kaion There's a whole lot of questionable books on this list. I mean, what's supposed to be feminist about Atlas Shrugged or Pride and Prejudice, for that matter?


message 32: by Booklovinglady (last edited Nov 24, 2015 07:39PM) (new)

Booklovinglady Kaion wrote: "There's a whole lot of questionable books on this list. I mean, what's supposed to be feminist about Atlas Shrugged or Pride and Prejudice, for that matter?"

I can only answer for Pride and Prejudice, as I haven't read Atlas Shrugged. I haven't voted for it myself, but I can see why people thought Pride and Prejudice to be feminist. Just look at the behaviour of Elizabeth: She definitely showed a feminist streak in those days :-) And although she is rather an empty-headed girl, one can also argue that Lydia shows signs of feminism in her behaviour... (considering the era the book was written in). And after all, the description of the Listopia does say "This is a list of books any feminist, new feminist, or a soon-to-be feminist should read." Seen in this light, I don't think Pride and Prejudice should be missing on this list.


message 33: by Erik (new)

Erik Kaion wrote: "There's a whole lot of questionable books on this list. I mean, what's supposed to be feminist about Atlas Shrugged or Pride and Prejudice, for that matter?"
Seriously. I balked when I saw those on here!


message 34: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I would add The Death Of Feminism by Phyllis Chesler.


message 35: by Veronica (new)

Veronica I voted Breaking Dawn. Bella would kick the asses of all heroines here. If you can include Anna Karenina who is a cheater, or Tita from water to chocolate who is a wimp and lets her man treat her badly, then Bella should be in first place.


message 36: by Linda (new)

Linda Harasim How do we add or suggest books. There are many new books and authors that could be on this list. This list is dated. Or we need a Fresh List of Best Feminist Authors. The criteria ought to be not whether xxx was a feminist or ought to be viewed as one---but is she/he one of the best?! imho.


message 37: by Gabriela (new)

Gabriela Please remove Twilight or other codependency glorifying books.


message 38: by Gabriela (new)

Gabriela Lapsus wrote: "Much to my astonishment, I didn't find The Tenant of Wildfell Hall so I added it."
How do I vote for it?


message 39: by Gabriela (last edited Dec 31, 2015 05:23PM) (new)

Gabriela Veronica wrote: "I voted Breaking Dawn. Bella would kick the asses of all heroines here. If you can include Anna Karenina who is a cheater, or Tita from water to chocolate who is a wimp and lets her man treat her b..."
Well let's see...

Anna Karenina (the book) examines the life of a woman and how she is constrained by social conventions. She attempts to escape but is eventually unsuccessful. This would be classified as a social criticism novel. The female character doesn't have to have a happy ending for the book to be feminist. The point is that her only options are dependence on men or poverty and social ostracism.

I would not necessarily classify Like Water for Chocolate as a feminist book, though it does portray the oppression of women by other women because of their gender (a son would not have the same restrictions and duties) in a negative way. The House of Bernarda Alba is, for me a better case study.

But these sort of lists end up being popularity contests where best selling, mass produced books end up with the most votes even if they actually have little to do with the subject.

Also, Twilight presents codependency and nearly abusive controlling behavior between the two main characters as normal and even desirable and romantic. One male friend once asked me why feminism still existed, if women had achieved equality . I replied that although many advances had been made, many aspects of our culture still reflect underlying patriarchal values. I only needed a one word example for him to concede "Twilight".

Being a feminist does not mean you beat people up like a comic book character. It is about self reflection and examining the values and ideas that guide your life or are present in your social environment. If you want to read about women who ARE feminists and can stand up for themselves here's a good book: Women of a Non-State Nation, The Kurds ( they also happen to be real people not fictional characters).

The only reason I got through the first two books of Twilight was because my two best friends (one just out of a codependent relationship) promised to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in return. After the second book, I could not take the silly Cinderella nonsense anymore and stopped. My friend ended up watching the movie and said it helped her determine she did not want to get back together with the guy.

Now I try to balance the examples my high school students get from the media by loaning them out my books like the Bell Jar, A Doll's House etc and show them that it's Okay to be with someone if you want to, but you don't owe anyone any explanations if you want to be single and concentrate on your studies or career and achieve your own goals.


message 40: by Devorah (new)


message 41: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Lockhart 'Delusions of Gender' by Cordelia Fine is a good one. Didn't see it mentioned here.


message 42: by Jana (new)

Jana Add Susan Brownmiller's "Against our will"


message 43: by Veronica (new)

Veronica You would think that a story where the heroine works hard to get what she wants in life, to overpower the wills of the stronger creatures that surround her, that stands her ground against her dad and is willing to do would be consider empowering. But no! Being a strong female doesn't mean to be heartless, doesn't mean to ignore love, doesn't mean to be a man with a vagina, doesn't mean to be willing to abort your child so you won't risk your life. It doesn't mean that you won't ever face depression or dark periods in your life, but that you will fall and then get to your feet again stronger than ever. IN my opinion, being a feminist woman means to take decisions, to fight for what you want in your life even when everyone who surrounds you is trying to deter you to live up to the consequences of them. Like Bella.

Nice to know that Tita who never stood her ground is considered a "feminist" when she never stood her ground. Nice to know that Anna Karennina is considered feminist because the book in which she appears was written by a genious writer. Not that Ana, the character did anything good. In breaking dawn is Bella who saves the day. Anna Karennina is just a wimp who whines a complain.


message 44: by Elissa (last edited Apr 10, 2016 06:34PM) (new)

Elissa to those of you questioning atlas shrugged, how many of you have read the book? The female protagnonist, Dagny Taggart, kicks butt and takes names!She is the head of the largest transportation company in the US that is being kept a float thanks to her intellect. its a long book but a great read. Not to mention it was written by Ayn Rand, a woman, who is a wickedly smart philosopher, author, and playwright.


back to top




Anyone can add books to this list.