14 Best Books About Women Update 05/2022

Books About Women

Women may not yet be in charge of the world, but they make some of the most interesting people. Who are some of the most interesting all-time heroines, whether they are real or fictional? Some of the best books every woman should read are chosen by O’s Books Editor Leigh Haber and Assistant Editor Michelle Hart. They are a mix of classic and modern works that satisfy the bibliophile’s desire for total immersion.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

She was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with her 1920 book about an upper class young couple who are about to get married, but the arrival of her worldly, seductive cousin puts a damper on things. Winona Ryder played the fiancée in the movie directed by Martin Scorsese. Michelle Pfeiffer played the woman who might break up their home, and Daniel Day-Lewis played the man they both love.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

It’s hard to imagine how many women, young or old, were inspired to become feminists by Kate Chopin’s book. Edna Pontellier’s ballad talks about the claustrophobia that caged birds feel because of society’s rules. It also talks about the limits of what is acceptable.

The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro

Munro’s entire bibliography should be read. When it comes to writing about the inner lives of girls and women, she’s the best there is. In this novel-in-stories, we follow Rose as she goes from girl to woman, with all of her flaws and all. In each story/chapter, she talks about a different time in her life, from when she was a young girl at school to when she got married and had sex. It’s interesting to go back to rural Canada in the 1970s and see how similar it looks to the landscape we have now.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

This book, which came out in 1970, is one of the best of all time. It was written by one of the best writers of our time and all time. It’s the story of Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl who longs for blue eyes because she thinks they will make her beautiful. It’s set in Lorain, Ohio, where Morrison lived.

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

It was a favorite of Oprah’s Book Club in 1998, and this beautiful book about a Haitian girl’s reunion with her mother in New York City and her return to Haiti is full of poetic details about Danticat’s home country, Haiti, that show how much she loves and hates it. “We have dirt under our fingernails,” and we’re so strong that we can “carry the sky on our heads.” Her main character, Sophie, comes from this kind of family.

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel

The woman who is the most famous minimalist uses words that are so simple that you might get paper cuts when you turn the pages. Even though she used a lot of words, her stories were full of laughs and heartbreak. Many writers make you see things in a new way, but Hempel makes you see everything in a new way.

Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore, on the other hand, has written a short book that shows how a sisterly love between two girls can be both a pleasure and a pain. In less than two hundred pages, she shows how a formative friendship can still have an effect on people even after the relationship has ended.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Austen’s third book, which came out in 1814, is one of the Pride and Prejudice author’s most somber. When Fanny Price is 10, she is sent to live with wealthy relatives to help her poor and overworked parents. This story, however, is a slow burn. Fanny is a beautiful girl, but we wonder when everyone else will see her the way we do. When they do, will she choose the dashing but naive Henry, or the more serious Edmund, who is distracted by Mary’s flirtations? Women, this one’s for you.

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers

As a 12-year-old girl, Frankie is full of emotion and still living in childhood, but she also feels the pull of adolescence. If you can’t quite remember what it was like to be that age, read or revisit this radiant, resonant book. To Kill a Mockingbird’s Scout is wise beyond her years, sometimes too young for her own good, and one of the most fascinating characters ever written by an American author. All the way back in 1946.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor

O’Connor is one of the best short story writers in the United States, and one of the country’s most prestigious short story awards is named after her. Her Southern Gothic stories are filled with dark humor and deep compassion that help her characters’ emotional and physical landscapes seem brighter than they are. In these 10 unforgettable stories, faith and cynicism mix together, beauty and cruelty mix with tradition, good people and bad people, and good country people and bad people.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Bechdel’s graphic memoir, which depicts, among other things, her coming out as gay, her father’s barely-closed homosexuality, and the workings of the family-run funeral home, won a Tony Award. It was part of the group that made comics into a high art.

Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara

Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara

Toni Cade Bambara died in 1995 at the age of 56, which was way too young for her. “The job of the writer is to make revolution irresistible.” This is what an activist, filmmaker, and fiction writer who worked with Toni Morrison said. Sample any book in her body of work to get a taste of her unique style: fiction that reads like jazz improvisation. It’s a great start to this wonderful collection of fifteen short stories that show us a picture of Black life in the United States through Bambara’s dazzling lens.

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton

We are still trying to figure out how Harriet Tubman did what she did. She escaped slavery and went on to help about 70 other people do the same thing. If you think of Tubman as the “Moses” of the Underground Railroad, she was like a real-life “hero.” In Clinton’s 2004 account, Tubman comes to life on the page. She shows us what courage is, whether she’s fleeing to freedom, working as a “conductor” for the Underground Railroad, or spying for the Union. Later in her life, she fought for women’s rights.

Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner

British author and historian Brookner died in 2016, preventing many fans from getting to read new stories about women who have grown up and are adjusting their high expectations for new books. Despite what it might sound like, on the page, it’s not boring at all. It turns out that still water runs deep. As part of this 1984 Booker Prize-winning novel, Edith is in a long-term relationship with a married man. She wants to break it off with him and settle for a man she doesn’t love. Is she going to give in? We won’t tell you what she’ll do, but you’ll love being with her on the way.

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