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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How Barbara Kingsolver's Books Warned Us of Climate Change

Her most powerful works remind us that our actions affect the world.

10 Royal Women Who Also Made History as Writers

These 10 accomplished women led countries, wrote poetry, chronicled history, and made their own.

The Books That Helped Mary Glickman Write An Undisturbed Peace

An author's search for an accurate account of the Trail of Tears.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Virginia Woolf

She's even more interesting than you thought.

Vita Sackville-West: Virginia Woolf’s Greatest Love Affair

Meet the woman who inspired Virginia Woolf's most fanciful novel.

How Edith Wharton Became the First Woman to Win a Pulitzer

The award was controversial—but not for the reasons you might think.

Rachel Carson's Books Defined an Environmental Revolution

Five authors carry on the legacy of Carson's five iconic books.

10 Foodie Books Featuring Strong Women

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”―Virginia Woolf

9 Detective Fiction Books Featuring Female Investigators 

From amateur sleuths to small-town sheriffs, these fierce females are on the case. 

9 Essential Ursula K. Le Guin Books

The late author was among the greatest writers of her generation in any genre. 

7 Classic Thrillers Featuring Fierce Women

These thrilling reads left lasting impressions.

12 Brilliant Female Authors You’ve Never Heard Of

These underappreciated writers deserve your attention.

6 Fascinating Facts About Alice Walker

Learn more about the woman behind influential pieces of literature such as The Color Purple.

10 Books for Fans of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend

A mix of novels that will pull you in and hook you until the very end.

Recharge with 10 Books About Inspirational People

These stories will remind yourself that the world changes when one person steps up.

The Forgotten Treasure: 7 Books by Emily Hahn

The little-known author and journalist captured England and China like few others have.

We All Have a Dark Side: 9 Psychological Thriller Books from Joyce Carol Oates

These books of murder and obsession by the National Book Award-winning author will hook you.

10 Dramatic Books Like When We Believed in Mermaids

Flawed families and emotional trips down memory lane.