Books for women: iconic reads we should all experience at least once in our lifetime

Celebrate the females around the world by reading these books for women by women

woman reading books for women
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When it comes to picking what to add to your reading list, there is always a whole list of new releases to delve into. But we think there are certain books for women that have to be read at least once in life.

From classics that showed women in a different light to how they had ever been seen before and literary pieces of fiction that portray a resilient heroine, to important physical and mental explorations of the female and non-fiction arguments that paved the way for us to take on stronger roles in society, there are so many important books for women and by women that need to be read.

And of course, that term covers countless pieces of literature that span the ages, but we've picked out just a few of the most important books for women to download on your eReader or Kindle and get you started.

We've listed these in reverse chronological order to provide extra guidance, so that if you prefer to delve into something newer like the best books of 2021 or even the best books of 2020, they're easier for you to find.

And we’ve also made sure to lay out the genre of each read here, so that you can tell your chick-lit summer reads from your historical books and more serious non-fiction accounts.

We’d also recommend sharing these books for women with the important ladies in your life or even adding your favorites to your line-up of best book club books, as we’re sure most of these will really get the discussion flowing!

Books for women every female should read at least once

Fiction books for women

1. Insatiable, Daisy Buchanan

2. A Woman Is No Man, Etaf Rum

3. Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo

4. Circe, Madeleine Miller

5. The Power, Naomi Alderman

6. Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly

7. Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee

8. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

9. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding

10. The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende

11. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

12. Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier

13. The Yellow Wallpaper

14. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

Non-fiction books for women

1. Perimenopause Power, Maisie Hill

2. Untamed, Glennon Doyle

3. Period Power, Maisie Hill

4. Vagina: A Re-education, Lynn Enright

5. Three Women, Lisa Taddeo

6. Everything I Know About Love, Dolly Alderton

7. Becoming, Michelle Obama

8. Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes

9. Wild, Cheryl Strayed

10. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.

Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.

Twitter: @aleeshabadkar

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