Great Books by Women

in no particular order:

Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton– truly revealing and inspiring
The Education of Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton– lesbian bookstore owner; funny and poignant
Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton– a down-on-their-luck couple pretends to be married and travels throughout Europe staying with wealthy friends; romantic
Old New York by Edith Wharton– both insightful and fun, you won’t be able to put it down!
A Backward Glance: an Autobiography by Edith Wharton– such a fabulous writer with an amazing life and circle of friends
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton– the travails of class and society
Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton—fascinating story involving sex, drugs and jazz in the roaring twenties
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton– dark and thoughtful portrait of a woman who’s stuck between her place and the expectations of society and her own desires
The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman– important topic (anti-semitism) approached with Lipman’s typically witty, charming style
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath—the darkest depths of one’s emotional state
Song of the Lark by Willa Cather– memorable character, an independent woman who pursues her career in singing despite most women’s pursuit of marriage at the time
My Antonia by Willa Cather– awe-inspiring characterizations and scene setting
Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel– we’ve all known sadness, few know true depression, yet most know someone or someone who knows someone on Prozac or another anti-depressant
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf– powerful and still true!
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte– edgy book about the Victorian Era
The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty– an essential classic
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison– brave, heart wrenching
The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men and The New York Times by Nan Robertson– the early days of reporting and the challenges women face, some which still exist today
Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker– a really difficult and not often discussed subject, female circumcision, told with a tapestry of gentle, sad and poetic words
Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen– domestic violence told with heart and solid writing
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver– four very different sisters in Africa
Nine Parts of Desire: the Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks—riveting stories about misunderstood lifestyles and passions

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