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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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

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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

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Read a Powerful Letter from a CEO to Her Mother

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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. 

The Most Beautiful Books With Gorgeous Prose 

“Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.” —Daphne du Maurier 

All the Miss Marple Books in Order

"Miss Marple is a white-haired old lady with a gentle appealing manner—Miss Wetherby is a mixture of vinegar and gush. Of the two Miss Marple is the more dangerous.”―Agatha Christie

10 Books for Fans of Shonda Rhimes

"The best stories are often true…The narrative of human life is most beautiful when told truthfully and without boundaries.” —Shonda Rhimes

10 Sweet Romance Authors Like Kristan Higgins

For those who can’t get enough of cozy love stories. 

7 Books by Mary McGarry Morris That You Won’t Forget

"I'm a quiet person, and I live a quiet, pleasant, ordinary, simple life." —Mary McGarry Morris

The Best Book Club Books in Summer 2023

Add these titles to your summer TBR list.