Brilliant books by brilliant writers

And all these writers are women.

I spotted this list of 30 books by women in my Facebook newsfeed — the always-glorious Lidia Yuknavitch shared it — and I loved the first line of the intro:

“Let’s be real: You should be reading books, and books by women, every month of the year.”


But yes, it’s Women’s History Month here in the states, and while Emily Temple, author of this listicle, claims, “That women have contributed just as much to our literary culture as men doesn’t even need to be said,” I think, sadly, it does. We need to say it again and again, not just this month but every month.

So read a bunch of books by women. And the ones you don’t finish? Well, there’s always next month, and the month after that, and the rest of the year.

Need a hint of where to start? There are a bunch of great books on Temple’s list: Dear Life, the latest collection from Alice Munro; Toni Morrison’s stunning Beloved; Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, a book my wife is reading soon and I’m eager to read next; the seminal The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir; the super-excellent The Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore; Margaret Atwood’s obligatory The Handmaid’s Tale; and of course Dora: a Headcase, by Lidia Yuknavitch herself.

And so many more.

But hey, I wanted to add some books to the list, too, because we can never have too many. So here are a few beautiful books I’ve read the past couple of years that have crawled inside and lived with me ever since:

And here are some books I’ve recently bought/been given and plan to read soon:

And there’re plenty more books, too! If you missed my post yesterday about The Great 2015 Indie Press Preview, you can check it out now or just click straight over to that massive list of the forthcoming titles this year and add all the women to your list. Well, add all the books, really.

And, okay, I’m a guy, but my publisher would probably love it if I reminded you that my novel Hagridden focuses on the lives of two women. So, for Columbus Press’s sake, go ahead and grab that, too.

Happy reading, gang!

Published by Samuel Snoek-Brown

I write fiction and teach college writing and literature. I'm the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, the novel Hagridden, and the flash fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin.

4 thoughts on “Brilliant books by brilliant writers

  1. Reblogged this on writingontherim and commented:
    In case you are looking for something new to read. I would add any book by Leslie Marmon Silko. My all time favorite book, “Storyteller”, written by her contains a story I must have read 50 times, “Yellow Woman”.

  2. It’s an artistic playing field which has been level for some time, or so it seems to me. I would add ‘The Women’s Room’ by Marilyn French, and anything by Isabel Allende. I’m surprised none of the Brontës, nor Jane Austen, nor George Eliot made the cut, but then 19c literature isn’t fashionable. [If any of these writers are there, I missed them – not awake yet]. I would work hard to deserve a place on a list like that.

    1. Oh, the classics are very much a part of my repertoire (my wife and I are leading a book talk about Austen’s Sanditon tomorrow, in fact). Another day, another list — none of these lists is ever exhaustive or definitive. 🙂

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