Friday, September 26, 2008

The top 75 books by women, as decided by Jezebel.

I'm all about this list. I'm a top 10 maniac. I used to buy every year-end review and top 10 of the year magazines on the newstands (until I got a job and realized I couldn't afford it). One of my mini-goals in life is to find and agree with a definitive book and/or movie list and make my way through it. So here is yet another "best of" list but this one is about books written by women (mostly) and decided by the editors and readers of Jezebel. It's an awesome list. I have a few books on my reading list right now but once I'm done, I'm tackling this list. Suggestions on where to start? (My thoughts in italics.)

  • The Lottery (and Other Stories), Shirley Jackson read it in high school
  • To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf own it but have refused to read it for some reason
  • The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton one of my favorite books evah!
  • White Teeth, Zadie Smith
  • The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
  • Excellent Women, Barbara Pym
  • The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath seriously? I'm not into slitting my wrists right now...
  • Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
  • The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri saw the movie
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison read it, got totally caught up in it, and felt really, really weird for awhile afterwards
  • Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert amazing
  • Like Life, Lorrie Moore
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen are you kidding? my favorite book of all time.
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë read it. eh.
  • The Delta of Venus, Anais Nin I'm scared of Anais Nin. Should I be?
  • A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
  • A Good Man Is Hard To Find (and Other Stories), Flannery O'Connor read it in high school but can't remember it
  • The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx
  • You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down, Alice Walker
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • Fear of Flying, Erica Jong
  • Earthly Paradise, Colette
  • Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
  • Property, Valerie Martin
  • Middlemarch, George Eliot own it but am scared of the tiny print.
  • Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid
  • The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
  • Runaway, Alice Munro B gave me this one. I've read about half of the stories. They're really good.
  • The Heart is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
  • The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë like movie versions better.
  • You Must Remember This, Joyce Carol Oates
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott *sob* Beth!
  • Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
  • The Liars' Club, Mary Karr
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou amazing book of poetry. practically the only one I own.
  • A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith read this in junior high or elementary school thinking it was a young adult book. it's not and i think i've blocked it out.
  • And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
  • Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  • The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley
  • The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker this reminds me of Gilmore Girls.
  • The Group, Mary McCarthy
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  • The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
  • The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank does the play count?
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley I once got in a disagreement over the meaning of the word sublime because of this book. I was right.
  • Against Interpretation, Susan Sontag
  • In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez
  • The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck high school again. horribly depressing.
  • Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
  • Three Junes, Julia Glass
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Sophie's Choice, William Styron
  • Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
  • Love in a Cold Climate, Nancy Mitford it's on my amazon wishlist. does that count?
  • Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell read it multiple times. love it.
  • The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin
  • The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera it's on my list - thanks B! - and sitting on my end table by the couch
  • The Face of War, Martha Gellhorn
  • My Antonia, Willa Cather
  • Love In The Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez love marquez even though i haven't read this one.
  • The Harsh Voice, Rebecca West
  • Spending, Mary Gordon
  • The Lover, Marguerite Duras
  • The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
  • Tell Me a Riddle, Tillie Olsen
  • Nightwood, Djuna Barnes
  • Three Lives, Gertrude Stein
  • Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons seen the movie and Kate Beckinsdale has some effed up teeth in it. *shudder*
  • I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith yep. I read it. I don't think it belongs on this list.
  • Possession, A.S. Byatt I feel like I've read this but I can't put my finger on what it's about....


Brandi said...

Hang on...there are a number of books on this list that are not written by women, and that don't necessarily have a woman as the main character. I don't understand.

RanaElizabeth said...

I recommend the Zora Neal Hurston. Amazing stuff. Also, totally not on this list but Octavia Butler writes some amazing feminist science fiction.

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