Female Author Booklist
We’re excited to share this female author booklist with you! There are some amazing classics in here. While I haven’t read all the books on this list, I have read a few. The ones I haven’t read are highly recommended from multiple sources, which tells me they deserve to be named. We tried to pick a variety of books, ranging from older classics to more contemporary reads, and from a variety of genres. Hopefully there’s something for everyone here!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This book is the ultimate classic that every woman (and man!) should read. We need more books with strong, female protagonists. This is definitely a frontrunner in that category. Jane Austen is such a legend, we couldn’t leave her off this booklist.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Speaking of strong, female protagonists, Jo March is a role model for every young girl (and woman!). I grew up reading this, so maybe I’m biased, but I had to add it to our female author booklist. This is a beautiful book if you want to read a civil war era book about the struggles women faced written by a women. Louisa May Alcott’s perspective just can’t be paralleled by the male authors of her time.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
This isn’t the first time this book has made it onto our blog. We LOVE Michelle Obama, and we LOVE her book. In fact, when we read her book for our book club, it inspired our entire becoming series. You can read the interviews in our becoming series here.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Another one of my all time favorite books, Jane Eyre is a moving story about a fiercely independent orphan and her journey to find freedom. I love the strength of women this book shows. And did I mention Charlotte Brontë? I mean, all three of the Brontë sisters are essentials to the category of strong, independent women. The fact that three female authors all came from one family at the time they did, historically, is a feat to be reckoned with.
My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsberg
We couldn’t make this female author booklist without including RBG. I mean what. an. icon. I think she speaks for herself. The legacy she left behind is remarkable and we would all do well to take a leaf out of her book. Or at least read it.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Looking for greek mythology with a strong, female heroine? This is the picture of female empowerment. A 2018 New York Times bestseller, this book has proven itself. And dipping your toes into greek mythology is always a pleasure.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Joan Didion died in 2021, and what an iconic writer she was. This is a beautiful memoir that I haven’t read yet but is 100% on my list! It delves into the year following her husband’s death and how she had to deal with her daughter’s health issues in addition to her own. Just reading the summary feels powerful, so imagine getting to read every word from the source itself.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Another book I haven’t read yet but that definitely piqued my interest! This one delves into the sexual abuse facing fertile women in near-future New England.
The XX Brain by Lisa Mosconi
This is the perfect book to help you understand your brain and body as you age. It contains groundbreaking research on women’s health and how our hormones affect brain and body well-being as we age. More importantly, what we can do about it.
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
Nigerian writer Adiche explores women in relationships in a series of powerful short stories. It doesn’t take very many pages to write something impactful when you write like Adiche.
Housekeeping by Marilyn Robinson
This is a must read (really, any of hers can’t go wrong). They’re definitely on my list! Arguably America’s greatest living literary author, Robinson has won nearly every major literary prize, including the Pulitzer. Her novels explore the human condition, faith, and the origins of our modern discontents.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Schaffer
New York Times bestselling historical novel about a group of people on the Isle of Guernsey under German occupation and how books connected them and gave them hope during a time of darkness. And that movie?! I mean, come on.
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
This is a classic sci-fi novel set on a planet where every person is gender-neutral and the implications of how that plays out in society.
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates
We had to include Melinda Gates on our booklist. This book is an eye-opening memoir that explores, among other things, the horrors and hardships experienced by women worldwide, and the ripple effects when efforts to eliminate poverty focus on lifting women.
A Midwife’s Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Ever seen Call the Midwife? I’m the first to admit I’ve watched every episode. Well A Midwife’s Tale is also a diary, this time of a female medical practitioner and ancestor of Clara Barton. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is thoughtful and intentional in her research and explorations of the diary. The information she exposes throw open a window into the life of an 18th century woman and the society she lived and worked in.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
National Book Award Finalist, the story centers on a Korean woman in Japan. It’s also soon to be made a film!
Looking for more books to read? Here’s a list of books and media by black creatives. Here’s a list of a few more book recommendations we made a few years ago, too! Interested in what we’ve read for book club? Here are the posts.