250 Books by Women (Redux)


It was over a year and a half ago that Joyland Magazine’s readers got together on Facebook and Twitter to create a list, “250 Books by Women That All Men Should Read,” but we’re still receiving dozens of search queries a day for it. Since we’re doing most of our news items now via this Tumblr we’ve reposted the list below for easy finding and reference. 

To recap, over a slow Memorial Day weekend Esquire had reposted a slide show of 75 books all men should read. As we said at the time, the books are great and the headline phrasing didn’t much bug us. (After all, Esquire is a men’s magazine and has always been marketed as such.) The problem was that the list was all male writers, save for lone lady Flannery O’Connor, which implied that men do not read women. We knew that not to be true, so we casually asked our readers to suggest a more balanced list. The responses that poured in are below. Again we encourage everyone to continue talking about books by women, books by men, books by anyone, and to make your own lists.  Most of the titles below are available through local independent bookstores and Indiebound is an excellent service that will help you find them.

Emily Schultz, co-publisher of Joyland

250 Books by Women That All Men Should Read

Mark Medley: White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Also: The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

Allison Devers: Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link. Also: We Have Always Lived in the Castle, To the Lighthouse, Wide Sargasso Sea, Middlemarch, Veronica, Haunting of Hill House, pick a Jane Austen any Jane Austen, Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein.

Ruth Seely: Possession by A.S. Byatt

Arjun Basu: The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler. For showing every man how not to deal with grief. Because if you can’t overcome it, you end up with Geena Davis in the movie version.

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I love this list. Read on!