10 Books Every Woman Should Read
My real passion when it comes to literature is young adult/children's books. You can read my top list for these books here. But I try to branch out into adult literature genres as well. Here are some of my favorites, particularly ones that I thought would appeal to other women. Enjoy!
1) the Mommy Track mysteries by Ayelet Waldman
I came across this set of books in the library one day while browsing the mystery section. I was hooked after the first one. It's rare to find a female protagonist in a mystery series who is very family oriented. It's very refreshing. I love all of the main characters. Waldman has wonderful plots, too. The only downside to this series is that there are only 6 books in it, but every one of them is good.
2) Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski mysteries
Being from Chicago originally and being a fan of mysteries, this series came highly recommended to me. Some books are better than others, but overall, it's a very strong set. If you are also from Chicago or have ever spent any time there, you will appreciate that aspect of these books. You can but do not have to read this series in order. It is very easy to pick up books in the middle or at the end.
3) Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series
I read the first book in this series when I was about 22 (6 years ago or so) and finally finished the last book just a few months ago. I agree with the majority of the reviews on Amazon that state that the first two books in this series are much stronger than the last three. Jessica is an amazing character in high school, and I honestly didn't care much about her halfway through college. However, some of the other main characters in this series are strong, and I hung in there with it to see what happened to them more than anything. But as stated above, it took me a while to get through the last few books. This still doesn't take away from the fact that the first two books are very well done and should be read by women of any age.
4) High Fidelity and Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby is one of my all-time favorite authors. I recommend all of his books, but I put this two on this list because I think that women will enjoy them more than any of his other books. High Fidelity has been one of my favorite movies for 10 years now. I almost never say this, but I actually liked the movie better than the book. Reading the book second will make you appreciate all of the additional scenes you don't have in the movie and appreciate what is better about the movie. Juliet, Naked is his newest novel and also excellent. Hornby writes about the day to day interactions and events that take place in relationships better than anyone. You should also check out Lonely Avenue, his musical collaboration with Ben Folds (who I also love).
5) Mr. Commitment and DInner for Two by Mike Gayle
If you like Nick Hornby, then you will like Mike Gayle. His books are a little hard to track down in the US, but the ones that I have read so far have all been excellent. Mr. Commitment and Dinner for Two are both wonderful young relationship stories.
6) Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffin
All of Emily Giffin's books are excellent, but these first two are still my favorites. It's definitely worth reading both of them close together so you can fully appreciate the whole story. I love Emily Giffin's characters and her writing style. For those of you who already love these books, there is a movie of Something Borrowed with John Krasinski as Ethan.
7) Election by Tom Perrotta
I've read a handful of Tom Perrotta's books. This is the only one that I honestly enjoyed. He uses the similar themes and character traits in many of his books, which gets tiresome pretty quickly. Election is really different. It's a short read with a plot that just keeps moving. I cannot believe that I haven't seen the movie of it. But I haven't so I can't vouch for it.
8) Miss Misery by Andy Greenwald
I first learned about this book through Livejournal. Some of the characters in the book use Livejournal, which was still a bigger deal 6 years ago when the book came out, so the staff there plugged the book for a while. On a whim, I bought it with a book store gift card. I usually need to sympathize with or appreciate some aspect of the protagonist to enjoy a fictional book, which I really didn't. But the Ashleigh character, music references, fast moving plot, and general fun randomness of this book kept me reading.
9) The Wind Blows Backward by Mary Downing Hahn
This is a young adult book. I first read it in high school, but it's a book that I keep re-reading every few years and still enjoying. It's one that I think women of all ages will appreciate. Both of the main characters are wonderfully written, and the dialogue is frighteningly realistic.
10) Walk of Fame by Sharon Krum
This is the most random selection on this list. I follow all of the other authors on this and have read multiple books by them. This is just a stand alone good book by an author who has unfortunately written only one other book, The Thing about Jane Spring, which was equally entertaining.