Jezebel's Books All Women Should Read

The books that all women should read as compiled by Jezebel.com and their readers. Vote for your favorites.
http://jezebel.com/5053732/75-books-e...
1

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2

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4.28 avg rating — 4,533,855 ratings
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3

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4.13 avg rating — 1,634,932 ratings
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4

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4.11 avg rating — 1,473,529 ratings
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5

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4.15 avg rating — 2,764,388 ratings
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6

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4.01 avg rating — 596,039 ratings
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7

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4.09 avg rating — 1,692,628 ratings
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8

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3.86 avg rating — 1,351,408 ratings
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9

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4.30 avg rating — 1,079,310 ratings
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10

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4.25 avg rating — 160,098 ratings
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11

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4.22 avg rating — 524,931 ratings
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12

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4.18 avg rating — 522,476 ratings
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13

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4.27 avg rating — 390,355 ratings
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14

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4.26 avg rating — 733,879 ratings
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15

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4.38 avg rating — 1,159,880 ratings
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16

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4.07 avg rating — 962,423 ratings
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17

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4.24 avg rating — 413,085 ratings
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18

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4.14 avg rating — 527,858 ratings
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19

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4.16 avg rating — 119,603 ratings
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20

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3.94 avg rating — 267,321 ratings
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21

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4.23 avg rating — 459,008 ratings
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22

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3.87 avg rating — 327,825 ratings
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23

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4.01 avg rating — 656,988 ratings
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24

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3.81 avg rating — 1,172,492 ratings
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25

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4.12 avg rating — 1,724,951 ratings
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26

by
3.68 avg rating — 256,152 ratings
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27

by
4.12 avg rating — 31,010 ratings
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28

by
4.11 avg rating — 193,215 ratings
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29

by
4.24 avg rating — 191,553 ratings
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30

by
3.89 avg rating — 19,185 ratings
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31

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3.78 avg rating — 134,648 ratings
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32

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3.86 avg rating — 22,907 ratings
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33

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4.46 avg rating — 2,178,386 ratings
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34

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4.14 avg rating — 2,622,917 ratings
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35

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3.99 avg rating — 224,046 ratings
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35

by
3.88 avg rating — 29,182 ratings
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37

by
4.34 avg rating — 11,259 ratings
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38

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 85,216 ratings
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39

by
3.59 avg rating — 67,787 ratings
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40

by
3.93 avg rating — 599,791 ratings
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41

by
4.06 avg rating — 64,087 ratings
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42

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3.95 avg rating — 85,256 ratings
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43

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4.05 avg rating — 667,473 ratings
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44

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3.98 avg rating — 1,581,415 ratings
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45

by
3.82 avg rating — 229,879 ratings
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46

by
4.07 avg rating — 660,974 ratings
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47

by
4.26 avg rating — 833,692 ratings
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48

by
4.43 avg rating — 8,302 ratings
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49

by
4.08 avg rating — 121,571 ratings
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50

by
3.86 avg rating — 285,803 ratings
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51

by
3.74 avg rating — 106,742 ratings
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52

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3.83 avg rating — 299,933 ratings
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53

by
4.07 avg rating — 340,987 ratings
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54

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,056,888 ratings
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55

by
3.79 avg rating — 225,352 ratings
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56

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3.79 avg rating — 118,857 ratings
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57

by
3.90 avg rating — 21,982 ratings
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58

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3.97 avg rating — 132,801 ratings
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59

by
3.87 avg rating — 73,488 ratings
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60

by
3.62 avg rating — 18,820 ratings
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61

by
4.11 avg rating — 542,881 ratings
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61

by
3.86 avg rating — 61,809 ratings
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63

by
4.18 avg rating — 81,949 ratings
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64

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3.78 avg rating — 883,715 ratings
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65

by
3.98 avg rating — 93,129 ratings
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66

by
4.22 avg rating — 63,931 ratings
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67

by
3.76 avg rating — 19,523 ratings
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68

by
4.07 avg rating — 133,193 ratings
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69

by
3.73 avg rating — 60,449 ratings
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70

by
3.73 avg rating — 24,991 ratings
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71

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3.45 avg rating — 18,731 ratings
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71

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3.89 avg rating — 667,061 ratings
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73

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3.91 avg rating — 41,878 ratings
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74

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4.12 avg rating — 38,968 ratings
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75

by
3.89 avg rating — 9,818 ratings
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76

by
4.08 avg rating — 11,494 ratings
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77

by
4.28 avg rating — 267,128 ratings
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78

by
4.09 avg rating — 320,685 ratings
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79

by
4.08 avg rating — 132,832 ratings
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80

by
3.68 avg rating — 29,895 ratings
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81

by
3.78 avg rating — 125,218 ratings
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81

by
4.03 avg rating — 111,903 ratings
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83

by
4.19 avg rating — 37,609 ratings
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84

by
4.04 avg rating — 80,345 ratings
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85

by
3.83 avg rating — 294,252 ratings
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86

by
3.41 avg rating — 709,808 ratings
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87

by
3.92 avg rating — 11,233 ratings
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87

by
3.86 avg rating — 35,345 ratings
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89

by
3.99 avg rating — 234,893 ratings
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90

by
3.80 avg rating — 61,828 ratings
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90

by
3.88 avg rating — 317,097 ratings
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92

by
3.97 avg rating — 322,410 ratings
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93

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 77,360 ratings
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94

by
3.98 avg rating — 39,218 ratings
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95

by
3.79 avg rating — 244,407 ratings
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96

by
3.96 avg rating — 90,129 ratings
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97

by
4.14 avg rating — 56,005 ratings
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98

by
3.87 avg rating — 17,661 ratings
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99

by
4.38 avg rating — 122,347 ratings
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100

by
3.80 avg rating — 120,422 ratings
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flag this list (?)
671 books · 1,499 voters · list created September 24th, 2008 by Sarah (votes) .
687 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Sarah 1249 books
310 friends
Jennie 177 books
0 friends
Carolyn 89 books
61 friends
Brian 39 books
40 friends
Camilla 158 books
18 friends
Alec 458 books
8 friends
Greyweather 2660 books
72 friends
Patricia 216 books
4 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-34 of 34 (34 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I'm very annoyed- I spent 30 minutes up loading all the books from the Jezebel.com list and then they disappeared!

http://jezebel.com/5053732/75-books-e...


message 2: by Tihleigh (new)

Tihleigh I don't know what's up, but not all of these books are on the list that I'm looking at on Jezebel.


message 3: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Yaste Many of these are wonderful books, but I can't get on board with the implication that women would get more out of them than men. ("A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" for example.) I think "Red Tent" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns", as well as "Snow Flower" have different meanings for women, since men don't have to worry about foot binding, menstrual huts, or being forced to wear burquas. However the majority of the books on this list, in my opinion, aren't any more relevant to women than men.


message 4: by Carolyn (last edited Apr 10, 2009 10:40AM) (new)

Carolyn I agree with you Kathryn! Or is it just that every 'well-rounded' woman should have read all these books? Which is the premise behind the list?

I also think that some books have been added erroneously - Laurel Hamilton's book Guilty Pleasures? c'mon!

I also don't think so many Jane Austen books need to be included - I like her books, but really?

The list is up to 84 books now, so probably needs some maintenance.


message 5: by Brad (new)

Brad I've read a number of these books, and I have to say that most of them gave me a rich and important experience. My daughter is named Bronte Woolf if that is any indication of how I feel about literature by women.


message 6: by Dianna (new)

Dianna Where is The Thorn Birds?


message 7: by Alana (new)

Alana What about Not Without My Daughter?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Kathryn wrote: "Many of these are wonderful books, but I can't get on board with the implication that women would get more out of them than men. ("A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" for example.) I think "Red Tent" and "A ..."

I agree!




message 9: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Flynn I think that Ophelia Speaks should be on this list somewhere! But I love, love, love this compilation.


message 10: by Megan (new)

Megan The Book EAT PRAY LOVE should be on this list! Every women should read this book!!


message 11: by Marita (new)

Marita There is absolutely no way that Twilight and its sequels should be on this list.

First of all, these books do not count as quality fiction so they should not be on ANY list of books that people should read. They would be better placed on a list of books that people absolutely should not read unless they are actively trying to lower their IQs.

Second of all, these "novels" (I hardly think they're worthy of the distinction) cannot be considered pro-women. The main character's M.O. is to moon around helplessly over two dudes who both have pejorative, possessive attitudes towards her, which she finds completely unproblematic. She never thinks anything interesting, she never does anything interesting, she never stands up for herself: she might as well be a potato.

The message of these books is basically that, if you're a young woman, it's fine for you to be a directionless lump without a sense of self because, if you're lucky, a moody, controlling guy (who reads like the text book abusive boyfriend) might come along and define your otherwise meaningless life for you.

I really hate that these books are so popular amongst teenage girls and I cannot believe that they made it onto a list that is associated with jezebel.com.


message 12: by Deena (new)

Deena Hypothesis Yes, agreeing with the Meyer commentary. Why is she even on here?

(And why is there so much Anais Nin?)


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) The original list contains 75 books -- this one is now up to 269. Sarah, you created the list ... would you want it to be pruned back to the list actually published at jezebel.com?


message 14: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Mo wrote: "There is absolutely no way that Twilight and its sequels should be on this list.

First of all, these books do not count as quality fiction so they should not be on ANY list of books ..."

Yeah, a list of the Twilight books was NOT what I am looking for in a list tagged "feminist." Sheesh.


message 15: by Derya (last edited Dec 20, 2010 04:57AM) (new)

Derya I've added Jude the Obscure, since it's a product of "The New Woman Movement".

Should we delete those books, which do not belong the list? (Such as; Twilight, Harry Potter, etc.)


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Personally I'd be all for pruning the list, but since Sarah is the one who created it, I think this should be her call first and foremost ...


message 17: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Why are the Twilight books on here? They are the opposite of what this list should be. Unless they're meant to be critiqued?


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Jane Eyre on this list? :/


message 19: by Chantay (new)

Chantay Twilight books?! Seriously?


message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hi Everyone, I was in the process of moving continents and jobs so missed a lot of the discussion about the list... I"m of two minds... I love the original list and would like to have it in its entirety but some of the books that have been added (NOT the Twilight series) really don't make it. Although I'm a librarian, I'm not quite that good at lists. Is there a way to move the "additions" to a "books that ought to be on the Jezebel.com list" ???


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Alright -- I've cleared off the Twilight books, but have refrained from touching anything else so far. (Though I AM wondering about Danielle Steele as well ...)

And for everybody's reference, here is the rundown of the original "Jezebel.com" list:

* The Lottery (and Other Stories), Shirley Jackson
* To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
* The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
* White Teeth, Zadie Smith
* The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende
* Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
* Excellent Women, Barbara Pym
* The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
* Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
* The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
* Beloved, Toni Morrison
* Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
* Like Life, Lorrie Moore
* Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
* Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
* The Delta of Venus, Anais Nin
* A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
* A Good Man Is Hard To Find (and Other Stories), Flannery O'Connor
* The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx
* You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down, Alice Walker
* Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
* To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
* Fear of Flying, Erica Jong
* Earthly Paradise, Colette
* Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
* Property, Valerie Martin
* Middlemarch, George Eliot
* Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid
* The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
* Runaway, Alice Munro
* The Heart is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
* The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
* Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
* You Must Remember This, Joyce Carol Oates
* Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
* Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
* The Liars' Club, Mary Karr
* I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
* A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith
* And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
* Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
* The Secret History, Donna Tartt
* The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley
* The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker
* The Group, Mary McCarthy
* Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
* The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
* The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
* Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
* Against Interpretation, Susan Sontag
* In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez
* The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
* Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
* Three Junes, Julia Glass
* A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
* Sophie's Choice, William Styron
* Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
* Love in a Cold Climate, Nancy Mitford
* Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
* The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin
* The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
* The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
* The Face of War, Martha Gellhorn
* My Antonia, Willa Cather
* Love In The Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
* The Harsh Voice, Rebecca West
* Spending, Mary Gordon
* The Lover, Marguerite Duras
* The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
* Tell Me a Riddle, Tillie Olsen
* Nightwood, Djuna Barnes
* Three Lives, Gertrude Stein
* Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
* I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
* Possession, A.S. Byatt


message 22: by dean (new)

dean Would have been nice if this was strictly Jezebel's list. But, I like some* of the other recommendations...


message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Audrey wrote: "Would have been nice if this was strictly Jezebel's list. But, I like some* of the other recommendations..."

It's not possible to keep the list locked but its nice that its an organic growing thing. I'll check it out and see if new "Twilight" books have been added....


message 24: by Ðɑηηɑ (new)

Ðɑηηɑ I love this list!


message 25: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Pearson I think we should keep the Twilight books on the list. Although it is arguable that they have any value by means of good literature, I think it's important to be aware of the issues that are brought up in these books (i.e. abusive relationships, abstinence, etc.). This, to me, promotes discourse on cultural values in popular media.


message 26: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Alexandre Ariel wrote: "I think we should keep the Twilight books on the list. Although it is arguable that they have any value by means of good literature, I think it's important to be aware of the issues that are broug..."

I agree. It is part of our generation's culture, and it paved the way for a lot of abusive relationship in YA literature. We need to discuss about Twilight and its sorts.


message 27: by cypt (new)

cypt Why has Harry Potter made the list?


message 28: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 3 books removed.


message 29: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 30, 2015 09:08AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) wrote: "And for everybody's reference, here is the rundown of the original "Jezebel.com" list: ..."

The original Jezebel list only has 75 books on it ("75 Books Every Woman Should Read"). Themis-Athena already published the full list, but still there are 608 (!) books on this list at the moment. Some people really must have trouble understanding the description given...


@Sarah
I'm willing to make a start cleaning up, if you like, because now your list has just become 'one of many', which is a pity, in my opinion.


message 30: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 30, 2015 09:06AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) wrote: "Personally I'd be all for pruning the list, but since Sarah is the one who created it, I think this should be her call first and foremost ..."

I agree, both with the pruning and with Sarah having the final say in this :-)


message 31: by Michele (new)

Michele Sarah, it is easy to keep the list locked down. Librarians just delete books that aren't on the Jezebel list. And you can also add that to the description.


message 32: by Devorah (new)


message 33: by Mai (last edited Feb 14, 2020 03:11PM) (new)

Mai Has Memoirs of a Geisha but not The Awakening. Seriously??


message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah The original list got added to by other people on here and is no longer the original 75. Memoirs of a Geisha was not on the original list, but neither was the Awakening. Why not just add it?

https://jezebel.com/75-books-every-wo...

The Lottery (and Other Stories), Shirley Jackson
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
White Teeth, Zadie Smith
The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende
Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
Excellent Women, Barbara Pym
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
Beloved, Toni Morrison
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
Like Life, Lorrie Moore
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
The Delta of Venus, Anais Nin
A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
A Good Man Is Hard To Find (and Other Stories), Flannery O'Connor
The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx
You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down, Alice Walker
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Fear of Flying, Erica Jong
Earthly Paradise, Colette
Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
Property, Valerie Martin
Middlemarch, George Eliot
Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid
The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
Runaway, Alice Munro
The Heart is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
You Must Remember This, Joyce Carol Oates
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
The Liars' Club, Mary Karr
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith
And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley
The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker
The Group, Mary McCarthy
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
Against Interpretation, Susan Sontag
In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez
The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
Three Junes, Julia Glass
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
Sophie's Choice, William Styron
Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
Love in a Cold Climate, Nancy Mitford
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin
The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
The Face of War, Martha Gellhorn
My Antonia, Willa Cather
Love In The Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Harsh Voice, Rebecca West
Spending, Mary Gordon
The Lover, Marguerite Duras
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
Tell Me a Riddle, Tillie Olsen
Nightwood, Djuna Barnes
Three Lives, Gertrude Stein
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
Possession, A.S. Byatt


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