Tuesday, September 23, 2008

75 Books Every Woman Must Read

Jezebel just posted the 75 books every woman must read. Here's their list (with the ones I've read in orange, plus some comments):

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 (Didion is an amazing writer. Before her, I never read non-fiction. Her prose is beautiful)
Excellent Women, Barbara Pym
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys (Read this in college, shortly after reading Jane Eyre. Our whole class was in love with Rochester, and did not want to hear Bertha's slander of him. All the same, this is a truly lovely book)
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
Beloved, Toni Morrison (I actually think I've read this, but I'm not sure).
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
Like Life, Lorrie Moore
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (Probably one of my all-time favorites. I have read it many times, and it still brings me to tears. Also one of the few successful film adaptions - the BBC/Colin Firth version, obviously)
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 (Awesome. If you haven't read this, read it before any other on this list. Except Pride and Prejudice)
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 (I was a philosophy major in college. I read most of this, but not, technically, all of it. I was so pissed to find Borders had categorized this as Wellness>Women's Studies, and not with the other philosophy books. They still categorize it this way and, while I sort of get it, I also hate it)
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 (I love mysteries of any sort)
Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley
The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker (I wish I was as witty as Parker. She is my literary hero)
The Group, Mary McCarthy (McCarthy is under-appreciated)

Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (Surprisingly, this book has one of the most accurate descriptions of the feelings of loss after a loved one dies that I have ever read)
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 (I read this in sixth grade, and can still remember finishing it, under the covers, around 3am, because I couldn't put it down. I had heard that line "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." my whole life, and never would have thought it could possibly be as devastating as it was to actually read it)
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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