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Sunday, March 8, 2015

This One's for the Ladies

So, a few months ago I stumbled on a 50 Coolest Books of All Time list. The list comes from Shortlist which I admit, is something I've never heard of, so their expertise is maybe a little questionable. But, of the list of 50 books, there are only four books by women. And two of those books are by Ayn Rand (blech). Am I really supposed to believe that of the 50 coolest books of all time, 92% were written by men? Hmmmm. I may not be very good at math, (you know, because I'm a woman) but that seems a little off. I will say, that Shortlist also has a list of the 50 Coolest Authors of All Time. This one isn't quite as bad, they were able to list ten women. But that still means 80% of the list is men. I guess it was a nice try.

Flavorwire is another source of these top 50 lists, and they have several women centered lists:
And that's nice, but I wonder when did books by or about women become a genre. Chick lit, women's fiction, 50 Shades of Grey...it all makes me a little hysterical. Especially considering that readers are more likely to be women, and women read more than men. So, I made my own list. It's a mashup of cool authors, and cool books. Enjoy. It's longer than 50, and it's not at all comprehensive. Think of it more as proof that it is possible to name more than four cool books by women. Happy International Women's Day!
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Octavia Butler
  • Kate Chopin
  • Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler
  • Bluets by Maggie Nelson
  • I Love Dick by Chris Kraus
  • Iris Murdoch
  • Virgina Woolf
  • Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
  • Kyung-sook Shin
  • Catherine Mansfeild
  • Virginia Lee Burton
  • Cunt by Inga Muscio
  • A.M. Holmes
  • Angela Davis
  • Rebecca Solnit
  • Joan Didion
  • Lydia Davis
  • Amor and Psycho by Carolyn Cooke
  • Lorrie Moore
  • Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston 
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Beverly Cleary
  • Alison Bechdel
  • Susan Sontag
  • J.K. Rowling
  • The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton
  • Sylvia Plath
  • The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
  • Tove Jansson
  • Annie Dillard
  • bell hooks
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  • Ursula Leguin
  • An Unquiet Mind by Kaye Redfield Jamison
  • A.L. Kennedy
  • The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • Mama Day by Gloria Naylor
  • How Should a Person Be by Shelia Heti
  • Unmastered by Katherine Angel
  • Shirley Jackson
  • Daphne Dumaurie
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
  • Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
  • Just Kids by Patti Smith
  • Dorothy Parker
  • The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  • Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer
  • Audre Lorde
  • I Rigoberto Menchu by Rigoberto Menchu
  • Roxane Gay
  • Xialu Guo
  • Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
  • Willa Cather
  • Patricia Highsmith
  • Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson
  • Speedboat by Renata Adler
  • Donna Tartt
  • Alice Walker
  • Mary Renault
I really could go on and on and on.

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