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More Books to Read

In honor of the task to read books on a list entitled 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, I want to share two other lists. These lists are from the provost of my college, Diane Calhoun-French. She does a talk about them in which she includes her reasoning for the texts on the list, and I wish you could hear it.

With her permission to share, here are Diane’s Five Books Every Woman Must Read and Stranded-on-a-Desert-Island Books.

Five Books Every Woman Must Read


  • “The Little Mermaid” (Hans Christian Anderson, 1837)
  • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte, 1844)*
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” or Herland (Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1892, 1915)*
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood, 1985)*
  • Possessing the Secret of Joy (Alice Walker, 1992)*


  • Silences (Tillie Olsen, 1965)
  • In a Different Voice (Carol Gilligan, 1982)
  • Idols of Perversity (Bram Dijkstra, 1986)
  • Eve: The History of an Idea (J.A. Phillips, 1987)
  • The Age of Sex Crime (Jane Caputi, 1987)
  • Misogynies (Joan Smith, 1989)
  • The Alphabet vs. the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image (Schlain, 1998)

 Diane’s Stranded-on-a-Desert-Island Books

  • Bleak House (Charles Dickens, 1853)*
  • The French Lieutenant’s Woman (John Fowles, 1969)*
  • Lady Oracle (Margaret Atwood, 1976)
  • Presumed Innocent (Scott Turow, 1987)
  • Well-Schooled in Murder (Elizabeth George, 1990)
  • Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell, 1937)*
  • Exodus (Leon Uris, 1957)
  • Final Payments (Mary Gordon, 1978)
  • The Children of the Earth Series (Jean Auel, 1980-1990)
  • The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett, 1989)
  • “The Turn of the Screw” (Henry James, 1898)*
  • The Sparrow (Maria Doria Russell, 1997)
  • The Collected Poetry of John Keats (~1820-1830)
  • Here on Earth (Alice Hoffman, 1998)
  • A Judgment in Stone (Ruth Rendell, 1983)
  • A Thousand Acres (Jane Smiley, 1992)
  • Snow Falling on Cedars (David Guterson, 1994)
  • The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter (Sharon McCrumb, 1992)
  • The Children of Men (P.D. James, 1993)
  • Great Expectations (Charles Dickens, 1850)*
  • The Color Purple (Alice Walker, 1992)*
  • A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy O’Toole, 1980)
  • The Awakening (Kate Chopin, 1900)*
  • Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte, 1847)*

 * means also on 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list!

 Happy Reading!


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Filed under 1001 Books, Reading for Fun