Best Women Author Recommendations

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, 1818

Historically, women (and people of color) have been sorely underrepresented on many reading lists. To help change that, we're highlighting women authors who more than deserve your attention. 

Discover classic women authors who flew under the radar with male pen names, and re-discover those who broke the mold and dominated their genres (hello, Agatha Christie!) or invented new ones (see: the history of Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein). 

You can also browse books by Black women, by early Irish female writers, or even books by royal women. For more modern and global women’s fiction, we suggest books that pass the Bechdel test, books by Elena Ferrante, and even books by women crime writers. Regardless of what you’re looking for,  all of the recommendations below will add some much-needed feminine perspective to your reading list.

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Every Book by V.C. Andrews, In Order

It’s been said that much of her real life was just as tragic as the lives of the protagonists in her debut novel Flowers in the Attic. 

Remembering Ellen Gilchrist, 1935-2024

The National Book Award Winner was known for her sharp writing.

Angela Thirkell and Her 29 Adventures into Barsetshire

Writing so rich makes us wish we could live in Barsetshire too. 

10 Books Like Lessons in Chemistry

Read about women who challenged the status quo.

All the Lord Peter Wimsey Books In Order

The debonair sleuth charms everyone who comes his way—including generations of mystery readers.

9 Unforgettable Books by Eudora Welty

The Pulitzer Prize winner captured the American South in her own way.

A Death Doula Faces Life in This Charming Novel

The taboo subject of death becomes a reason to celebrate.

11 Books by Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Alison Lurie 

“You can't write well with only the nice parts of your character, and only about nice things. And I don't want even to try anymore. I want to use everything, including hate and envy and lust and fear.” ―Alison Lurie

6 Overlooked Classic Books That Belong on Your TBR List

These works stand the test of time—even if you haven't heard of them all.

Read a Rugby Player's Love Letter to Her Body

In this excerpt from Dear Rebel, Isadora Cerullo celebrates her body's strength.

Read a Powerful Letter from a CEO to Her Mother

In this excerpt from Dear Rebel, a woman recognizes the role her mother played in shaping her life.

What Mary Shelley Wrote Besides Frankenstein

She created much more than the Modern Prometheus.

Watch the Trailer for the Newest Adaptation of The Color Purple

The musical remake sees Fantasia Barrino reprising her Broadway role.

10 Biographies of Influential Hispanic Women

Learn about these Latina women who left a remarkable impact on the world.