500 Great Books by Women

Read books are marked as (✓). Reviews, when available, are linked below. I have crossed off a few books which do not interest me from the list.


  1. ART
  2. Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo
  3. The Writer on Her Work, Volume II: New Essays in New Territory
  4. The Ultraviolet Sky
  5. The Story of Avis
  6. Silences
  7. The Road Through Miyama
  8. Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe
  9. One Writer’s Beginnings
  10. Margaret Bourke-White: A Biography
  11. Elizabeth Bishop: The Collected Prose 1937-1970 
  12. Daybook: The Journal of an Artist
  13. Dancing on the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places
  14. Cry to Heaven
  15. Cosima
  16. Claiming Breath
  17. Black Women Writers at Work
  18. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, by Gertrude Stein ✓
  19. Artemisia
    • CHOICES
  20. Lolly Willowes; or The Loving Huntsman
  21. The Awakening
  22. The Garden Party and Other Stories, by Katherine Mansfield ✓
  23. The Waiting Years
  24. Passing
  25. Two Women in One
  26. Three Guineas
  27. Three: An Unfinished Woman, Pentimento and Scoundrel Time
  28. Testament of Youth
  29. So Long a Letter
  30. My Brilliant Career
  31. Miss Sophie’s Diary
  32. The Magnificent Spinster
  33. Hotel du Lac
  34. From the Lanai and Other Hawaii Stories
  35. Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume One: 1884-1933
  36. The Dollmaker
  37. The District Governor’s Daughters
  38. The Convert
  39. Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart
  40. Aquamarine
  41. After Leaving Mr. McKenzie
    • CONFLICTING CULTURES
  42. Cleaned Out
  43. Yoruba Girl Dancing
  44. Veils
  45. Seventh Heaven
  46. The Scent of the Gods
  47. Sans Souci and Other Stories
  48. The Power of Horses and Other Stories
  49. Nisei Daughter
  50. Moccasin Maker
  51. Lost in Translation
  52. Letters of a Javanese Princess
  53. The Land of Look Behind: Prose and Poetry
  54. Juletane
  55. Jasmine
  56. Halfbreed
  57. The Getting of Wisdom
  58. The Gates of Ivory
  59. The Flame Trees of Thika
  60. Crick Crack, Monkey
  61. Coonardoo
  62. Coming of Age in Mississippi
  63. Coming Home and Other Stories
  64. Clay Walls
  65. The Clay That Breathes: A Novella and Stories
  66. Castle Rackrent
  67. Blue Taxis: Stories About Africa
  68. American Indian Stories
  69. The Abandoned Baobab
    • ETHICS
  70. The Bell
  71. To Kill a Mockingbird
  72. Walls: Resisting the Third Reich, One Woman’s Story
  73. A Voice from the South
  74. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  75. Strange Fruit
  76. The Story of an African Farm
  77. A Small Place
  78. Silent Spring
  79. Requiem
  80. The Potter’s Field
  81. Possessing the Secret of Joy
  82. Mary Barton: A Tale From Manchester Life
  83. The Lottery and Other Stories, by Shirley Jackson ✓
  84. Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories
  85. Hope Leslie; or Early Times in Massachusetts
  86. Grey Is the Color of Hope
  87. Evelina; or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance Into the World
  88. Deals with the Devil and Other Reasons to Riot
  89. Bonjour Tristesse, by Françoise Sagan ✓
    • FAMILIES
  90. Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson (1980) ✓
  91. Maud Martha
  92. A Thousand Acres
  93. Six of One
  94. Singing Softly/Cantando Bajito
  95. Road Song
  96. Rituals of Survival: A Woman’s Portfolio
  97. The Revolution of Little Girls
  98. The Rector’s Daughter
  99. Queen Lear
  100. Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia
  101. Paradise of the Blind
  102. Owls Do Cry, by Janet Frame ✓
  103. The Loom and Other Stories
  104. Little Women
  105. Little Altars Everywhere
  106. The Last of the Menu Girls
  107. Jubilee
  108. Fortunate Lives
  109. Family Pictures
  110. Dreaming in Cuban
  111. Crossings
  112. Cold Comfort Farm
  113. Clear Light of Day
  114. Cantora
  115. Bone
  116. Bastard Out of Carolina
    • FRIENDSHIP & INTERACTIONS
  117. Later the Same Day
  118. Middlemarch
  119. A Weave of Women
  120. Twilight and Other Stories
  121. Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories
  122. A River Sutra
  123. Rich Like Us
  124. Rain of Scorpions and Other Stories
  125. The Mixquiahuala Letters
  126. The Lover of Horses
  127. Hitchhiking: Twelve German Tales
  128. Heartwork
  129. The Group
  130. The Country of Pointed Firs
  131. Cordelia and Other Stories
  132. Copper Crown
  133. Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales
  134. Circe’s Mountain
  135. Cat’s Eye
    • GROWING OLD
  136. Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
  137. Moon Tiger
  138. The Pavilion of Women
  139. The Twilight Years
  140. Tirra Lirra by the River
  141. The Summer of the Great-Grandmother
  142. The Stone Angel
  143. Sister Age
  144. On the Golden Porch
  145. Memory Board
  146. Look Me in the Eye: Old Women, Aging and Ageism
  147. Limbo: A Memoir About Life in a Nursing Home by a Survivor
  148. Islanders
  149. Frangipani House
  150. The Dangerous Age
    • GROWING UP
  151. Lives of Girls and Women, by Alice Munro ✓
  152. The Lover
  153. There Never Was a Once Upon a Time
  154. Tahuri
  155. Sweet Summer: Growing Up With and Without My Dad
  156. Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood
  157. The Road from Coorain
  158. Rich in Love
  159. Paradise
  160. My Friend Annie
  161. The Member of the Wedding, by Carson McCullers ✓
  162. Mama Blanca’s Memoirs
  163. The Lamplighter
  164. Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, by Sigrid Undset ✓
  165. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  166. Gorilla, My Love
  167. The Floating World
  168. Floating in My Mother’s Palm
  169. Fifth Chinese Daughter
  170. Ellen Foster
  171. Early Spring
  172. Daddy Was a Number Runner
  173. Cold Sassy Tree
  174. Circle of Friends
  175. Childhood
  176. The Changelings
  177. Allegra Maud Goldman
    • HERITAGE
  178. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color
  179. Nervous Conditions
  180. Obasan
  181. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts
  182. Tracks
  183. Talking Indian: Reflections on Survival and Writing
  184. Spring Moon
  185. The Seventh Garment
  186. The Roots of Ticasuk: An Eskimo Woman’s Family Story
  187. Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family
  188. Praisesong for the Widow
  189. Once Upon an Eskimo Time
  190. My Place
  191. Moses, Man of the Mountain
  192. Loving in the War Years
  193. The Keepers of the House
  194. How the García Girls Lost Their Accents
  195. Ganado Red: A Novella and Stories
  196. The Fountain Overflows
  197. Efuru
  198. The Dust Roads of Monferrato
  199. Dear Departed
  200. Confessions of Lady Nijō
  201. Burger’s Daughter
  202. Bread Givers
  203. The Book of Ruth
  204. The Book of the City of Ladies
  205. Alicia: My Story
    • IDENTITY
  206. Jane Eyre
  207. The Shawl, by Cynthia Ozyck ✓
  208. The Worry Girl
  209. The Well of Loneliness
  210. Weeds
  211. Talking to High Monks in the Snow
  212. The Street
  213. Solitude
  214. Rebellion: Essays 1980-1991
  215. The Pegnitz Junction
  216. The Odd Woman
  217. Nampally Road
  218. Margins
  219. Lover’s Choice
  220. Jerusalem Plays Hide and Seek
  221. The Jailing of Cecelia Capture
  222. HERmione
  223. Fiela’s Child
  224. The False Years
  225. Emma
  226. Dora, Doralina
  227. Disappearing Moon Cafe
  228. Corregidora
  229. Breakthrough
  230. Black Ice
    • IMAGINED WORLDS
  231. The Mists of Avalon
  232. The Löwensköld Ring
  233. The Iguana
  234. The House of the Spirits
  235. Kindred
  236. Woman on the Edge of Time
  237. The Wall, by Marlen Haushofer ✓
  238. Through the Arc of the Rain Forest
  239. The Ship of Fools
  240. Saints and Strangers
  241. The Painted Alphabet
  242. Out of Time
  243. New Islands and Other Stories
  244. Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist
  245. The Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales from Around the World
  246. I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem
  247. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley (1818) ✓
  248. Family Album
  249. Eve’s Tattoo
  250. A Bag of Stories
  251. The Amber Gods and Other Stories
    • MOTHERS & MOTHERING
  252. The Fifth Child
  253. Wild Swans, by Jung Chang ✓
  254. The Bridge of Beyond
  255. The Woman Who Was Not All There
  256. Why Not Me? The Story of Gladys Milton, Midwife
  257. Virginia
  258. Riding in Cars with Boys
  259. Pride of Family
  260. Praxis
  261. The Other Mother
  262. Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution
  263. A Mom’s Life
  264. Mary O’Grady
  265. The Kitchen God’s Wife
  266. In My Mother’s House
  267. I Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots
  268. Fierce Attachments
  269. Child of Her People
  270. Child of Fortune
  271. The Big Mama Stories
  272. The Bean Trees
  273. Anywhere But Here
    • OBSERVATIONS
  274. Distant View of a Minaret
  275. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
  276. The Time of the Doves
  277. The World and the Bo Tree
  278. Women of Sand and Myrrh
  279. Various Miracles
  280. The Portable Dorothy Parker
  281. The Nocturnal Naturalist
  282. Murder on the Orient Express
  283. May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India
  284. The Little Virtues
  285. The Little Hotel
  286. Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village
  287. A Good Man Is Hard to Find, by Flannery O’Connor
  288. Flowering Judas
  289. Fifty Russian Winters
  290. Excellent Women
  291. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
  292. A Country Year: Living the Questions
  293. Cora Sandel: Selected Short Stories
  294. Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House
  295. And the Bridge Is Love: Life Stories
  296. After Henry
    • PIONEERS & SEEKERS
  297. Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands
  298. Women in the Resistance
  299. Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey
  300. West with the Night
  301. Two in the Far North
  302. Tracks
  303. Spiritual Narratives
  304. Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America
  305. Purple Springs
  306. A New Home—Who’ll Follow?, or Glimpses of Western Life
  307. My Ántonia, by Willa Cather ✓
  308. Mountain Charley or the Adventures of Mrs. E. J. Guerin, Who Was Thirteen Years in Male Attire
  309. Living My Life
  310. Libby: The Alaskan Diaries and Letters of Libby Beaman, 1879-1880, as Presented by her Granddaughter Betty John
  311. A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains
  312. The Hidden Hand
  313. Heat and Dust
  314. Floreana: A Woman’s Pilgrimage to the Galapagos
  315. Exile in the Promised Land
  316. Enchanted April
  317. The Devil is Loose
  318. Daughter of the Hills: A Woman’s Part in the Coal Miner’s Struggle
  319. The Curve of Time
  320. Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells
  321. The Cavalry Maiden: Journals of a Russian Officer in the Napoleonic Wars
  322. Annapurna: A Woman’s Place
  323. All But the Waltz: A Memoir of Five Generations in the Life of a Montana Family
    • PLACES & HOMES
  324. Womenfolks: Growing Up Down South
  325. Women of the Shadows: The Wives and Mothers of Southern Italy
  326. Winter Wheat
  327. Talking to the Dead
  328. Street Games
  329. Stradbroke Dreamtime
  330. The Solace of Open Spaces
  331. River Time: The Frontier on the Lower Neuse
  332. Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
  333. Out of Africa, by Isak Dinesen/ Karen Blixen ✓
  334. Now in November
  335. My Mother’s House
  336. Mute Phone Calls and Other Stories
  337. Lemon Swamp and Other Places: A Carolina Memoir
  338. The Land of Little Rain
  339. Italian Days
  340. The Irish R.M.
  341. The House on Mango Street
  342. Her
  343. Hannah Senesh: Her Life & Diary
  344. The Good Times are Killing Me
  345. Getting Home Alive
  346. A Belfast Woman
  347. Beka Lamb
  348. Bake-Face and Other Guava Stories
    • POWER
  349. Sister Outsider
  350. Memoirs of a Korean Queen
  351. Sofia Petrovna
  352. The Yellow Wallpaper
  353. The Women Outside: Meanings and Myths of Homelessness
  354. Women, Culture, & Politics
  355. A Vindication of the Rights of Women
  356. The Threshing Floor
  357. A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story
  358. Sultana’s Dream and Selections from The Secluded Ones
  359. Praying for Sheetrock
  360. A Persian Requiem
  361. Oroonoko, The Rover and Other Works
  362. Mean Spirit
  363. Mary, Queen of Scots
  364. The Living is Easy
  365. Killing Color
  366. Kelroy
  367. John Dollar
  368. I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala
  369. How to Suppress Women’s Writing
  370. The House of Ulloa
  371. Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Women’s Sourcebook
  372. God Bless the Child
  373. The Daughter of Time
  374. City of Kings
  375. The Beggars’ Strike, or The Dregs of Society
  376. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women
  377. Awaiting Trespass
  378. And They Didn’t Die
    • TRIALS & ADVERSITY
  379. The Hour of the Star, by Clarice Lispector ✓
  380. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath ✓
  381. A War of Eyes and Other Stories
  382. This Child’s Gonna Live
  383. Second Class Citizen
  384. Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier (1938) ✓
  385. Plaintext: Deciphering a Woman’s Life
  386. Our Nig; or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, in a Two-Story House, North, Showing that Slavery’s Shadows Fall Even There
  387. Or Else, The Lightning God & Other Stories
  388. Nectar in a Sieve
  389. My Father’s House
  390. A Mountainous Journey
  391. Magic Eyes: Scenes from an Andean Girlhood
  392. Love Must Not Be Forgotten
  393. Journey into the Whirlwind
  394. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  395. The House with the Blind Glass Windows
  396. The House of Mirth
  397. The Girls of Slender Means
  398. A Daughter of Han: The Autobiography of a Chinese Working Woman
  399. Daughter of Earth
  400. Christabel
  401. The Censors
  402. Berji Kristin: Tales from the Garbage Hills
  403. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl ✓
    • VIOLENCE
  404. Beloved, by Toni Morrison ✓
  405. The Bone People
  406. Regeneration
  407. Yes Is Better Than No
  408. A Woman’s Civil War
  409. Still Loved by the Sun: A Rape Survivor’s Journal
  410. Scraps of Life: Chilean Arpilleras, Chilean Women, and the Pinochet Dictatorship
  411. The Montreal Massacre
  412. The Loony-Bin Trip
  413. The House Tibet
  414. The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave, Related by Herself
  415. G Is for Gumshoe
  416. Dumba Nengue: Run for Your Life: Peasant Tales of Tragedy in Mozambique
  417. Dogeaters
  418. Cracking India
  419. A Chorus of Stones: The Private Life of War
  420. Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus
  421. Cartucho/My Mother’s Hands
  422. The Butcher’s Wife
  423. Burmese Looking Glass: A Human Rights Adventure and a Jungle Revolution
  424. Beirut Fragments: A War Memoir
  425. Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape
    • WAYS OF KNOWING
  426. Writing a Woman’s Life
  427. The Second Sex
  428. Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism
  429. Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory
  430. Women’s Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice and Mind
  431. Waterlily
  432. Typical American
  433. Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black
  434. The Straight Mind (and Other Essays)
  435. Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo
  436. Real-Farm
  437. Plain and Simple
  438. Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America
  439. A Natural History of the Senses
  440. My Story
  441. Mohawk Trail
  442. Man Made Language
  443. Mama Day
  444. Living by Water: Essays on Life, Land and Spirit
  445. Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives
  446. In Silence
  447. I Heard the Owl Call My Name
  448. How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed
  449. Dreams of an Insomniac: Jewish Feminist Essays, Speeches and Diatribes
  450. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
  451. Ceremony
  452. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment
  453. AIDS and Its Metaphors
    • WIVES, LOVERS & PARTNERS
  454. Nightwood, by Djuna Barnes ✓
  455. Possession
  456. Wuthering Heights
  457. The Works of Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Volume I
  458. Why Is There Salt in the Sea?
  459. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  460. Stones for Ibarra
  461. The Stillborn
  462. A Small Country
  463. The Samaritan Treasure
  464. The Riverhouse Stories: How Pubah S. Queen and Lazy LaRue Save the World
  465. Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson
  466. The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette
  467. Pembroke
  468. Nora: A Biography of Nora Joyce
  469. The Lone Pilgrim and Other Stories
  470. Like Water for Chocolate
  471. Lantern Slides
  472. Indiana
  473. Incantations and Other Stories
  474. The Impenetrable Madame X
  475. Homemade Love
  476. The Heptameron
  477. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
  478. A Farm Under a Lake
  479. Disappearing Acts
  480. The Day I Began My Studies in Philosophy and Other Stories
  481. The Coquette, or, The History of Eliza Wharton
  482. Constance Ring
  483. Changes in Latitude
  484. Changes
    • WORK
  485. Women and Appletrees
  486. Windbreak: A Woman Rancher on the Northern Plains
  487. A Week Like Any Other: Novellas and Stories
  488. Storm in the Village
  489. Ruth Hall and Other Writings
  490. Rosie the Riveter Revisited
  491. One Pair of Hands
  492. More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave
  493. A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary 1785-1812
  494. A Midwife’s Story
  495. Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic’s Life
  496. Lady’s Maid
  497. An Imagined World: A Story of Scientific Discovery
  498. The Home-Maker
  499. Fruit Fields in My Blood: Okie Migrants in the West
  500. Forged Under the Sun/Forjado bajo el sol: The Life of María Elena Lucas
  501. Doc Susie: The True Story of a Country Physician in the Colorado Rockies
  502. Daughter of Persia
  503. Composing a Life
  504. Call Home the Heart
  505. A Bridge Through Time
  506. Bobbin Up
  507. Blackberry Winter: My Earlier Years
  508. Angie, I Says
  509. Alva Myrdal: A Daughter’s Memoir