1991-2017 Our Books

Our women’s book club, like so many others, meets to affirm our membership in a community of book lovers. With each work we discuss, we deepen our shared experience, learn more about each other and ourselves, and honor the heritage of women’s creativity across eras and cultures.

We’ve read fiction, biography, memoir and history. We’ve read prize winners, bestsellers, underrated and classic books. Now, in commemoration of good reading and collective discussion, we are pleased to share our choices with other book lovers.

*Book Club Member Favorites Indicated

The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry
*Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan
The Burning Girl, Claire Messud
The Kukotsky Enigma, Ludmila Ulitskaya

The theme for Summer 2017 is Historical Novels
The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta
Flaneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London by Lauren Elkin
Commonwealth, Ann Patchett
Swing Time, Zadie Smith
Whistling Past the Graveyard, Susan Crandall

The theme for Summer 2016 is Short Story Collections
The Signature of all Things, Elizabeth Gilbert
Little Red Chairs, Edna O'Brien
Outline, Rachel Cusk
Daughters of the Samurai, Janice Nimura
H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald
A God in Ruins, Kate Atkinson

The theme for Summer 2015 is Biographies about Women and Autobiographies by Women.
The Green Road, Anne Enright
The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah
The Door, Magda Szabo
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life, Hermione Lee
How To Be Both, Ali Smith
The Liar's Wife, Mary Gordon

The Story of a New Name, Elena Ferrante
My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante
*The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland, Matthew Goodman
Still Life with Bread Crumbs, Anna Quindlen
Women Travelers: A Century of Trailblazing Adventures, Alexandra Lapierre

*Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo
Kind of Kin, Rilla Askew
Claire of the Sea Light, Edwidge Danticat
*The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri
*Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
*Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery

*Magpies, Lynne Barrett
How It All Began, Penelope Lively
Malintzin’s Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico, Camilla Townsend
Believing the Lie, Elizabeth George
NW, Zadie Smith
*The Round House, Louise Erdrich
I’m Down: A Memoir, Mishna Wolff
This Child Will be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Great House, Nicole Krauss
The Cookbook Collector, Allegra Goodman
*Cleopatra: A Life, Stacy Schiff
Away, Amy Bloom
Birds of Paradise, Diana Abu-Jaber
State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
Pavilion of Women, Pearl Buck
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, Jung Chang

Half Broke Horses, Jeannette Walls
A Short History of Women, Kate Walbert
Elizabeth Cady Stanton: An American Life, Lori D. Ginzberg
The Help, Kathryn Stockett
What I Loved, Siri Hustvedt
*Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson
*The Children’s Book, A. S. Byatt
*Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel

*A Mercy, Toni Morrison
The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell, Janet Wallach
Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations, Georgina Howell
Goldengrove, Francine Prose
A Gate at the Stairs, Lorrie Moore
*The Madonnas of Leningrad, Debra Dean
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey

*Persepoli, Marjane Satrapi
The Fig Eater, Jody Shields
The Way Forward is With a Broken Heart, Alice Walker
Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft, Lyndall Gordon
The Bastard of Istanbul, Elif Shafak
*The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood, Helene Cooper
*Home, Marilynne Robinson

*The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World, Lucette Lagnado
The Grass is Singing and The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl
The Heart is A Lonely Hunter and The Ballad of the Sad Café, Carson McCullers
Sisters: the Lives of America’s Suffragists, Jean H. Baker
*Champions for Peace: Women Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, Judith Hicks Stiehm
*Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, George Eliot
Gabriela Mistral: Selected Poems, Ed. Ursula K. LeGuin
Nelly Sachs: Collected Poems 11, Nelly Sachs
Monologue of a Dog, Wislawa Szymborska

The Crimson Petal and the White, Michel Faber
*Small Island, Andrea Levy
Begums, Thugs and White Mughals: The Journals of Fanny Parkes, Ed. William Dalrymple
North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell
Memories of Marbacka, Selma Lagerlof
Cosima, Grazia Deledda
Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset
Burger’s Daughter, Nadine Gordimer
Wonderful, Wonderful Times, Elfriede Jelinek
Intuition, Allegra Goodman
March, Geraldine Brooks

The Jane Austen Book Club, Karen Joy Fowler
Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire, Amanda Foreman
*Gilead and Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson
The Death of the Heart and The House in Paris, Elizabeth Bowen
*The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism, Megan Marshall
My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots, John Guy
Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, Catherine Clinton
Pearl: A Novel, Mary Gordon
*The Last Samurai, Helen DeWitt
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, Melanie Rehak

Blacklist, Sara Paretsky
*Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
Easter Island, Jennifer Vanderbes
The Great Fire, Shirley Hazzard
*The Beecher Sisters, Barbara A. White
Brick Lane, Monica Ali
Moments of Being, Virginia Woolf
Borrowed Finery, Paula Fox
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Audre Lorde
Paula, Isabel Allende
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
Desirable Daughters, Bharati Mukherjee

Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam, Robin Wright
Mona in the Promised Land, Gish Jen
Hateship, Friendship,Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, Alice Munro
The Peppered Moth, Margaret Drabble
Rubyfruit Jungle, Rita Mae Brown
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
Breathing Lessons, Anne Tyler
In the Family Way, Lynne Sharon Schwartz

A Woman’s Education, Jill Ker Conway
The Gastronomical Me, M.F.K. Fisher
The Back Room, Carmen Martín Gaite
The Last Life, Claire Messud
The Mortal Storm, Phyllis Bottome
Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
Not So Quiet, Helen Zenna Smith
The Face of War, Martha Gellhorn

Test Pattern, Marjorie Klein
The Map of Love, Ahdaf Soueif
The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Amy Tan
Caucasia, Danzy Senna
Daughter of Fortune, Isabel Allende
*The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, Louise Erdrich
So Long a Letter, Mariama Ba
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St.Vincent Millay, Nancy Milford

*Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Susan Vreeland
The Music Lesson, Katharine Weber
The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
White Teeth, Zadie Smith
Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers: A Critical Reader, Karen Kilcup, Ed.
Niccoló Rising, Dorothy Dunnett

The Secret Names of Women, Lynne Barrett
The Awakening, Kate Chopin
The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Sandra Gulland
Ahab’s Wife: Or, the Star Gazer, Sena Jeter Naslund
Eleanor Roosevelt, Vols. 1 and 2, Blanche Wiesen Cook
The Orchid Thief, Susan Orlean
Daughter of Earth, Agnes Smedley
Iola Leroy, Frances Watkins Harper
Women in Their Beds, Gina Berriault

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, Ruth Reichl
Paradise, Toni Morrison
The Bookshop, Penelope Fitzgerald
*The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
The Murder of Helen Jewett: The Life and Death of a Prostitute in Nineteenth-Century New York, Patricia Cline Cohen
Charming Billy, Alice McDermott
My Home is Far Away, Dawn Powell
New York Mosaic, Isabel Bolton
The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather

Le Divorce, Diane Johnson
*The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
*Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood
Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Voice of the River with John Rothchild
A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
*The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi, Jacqueline Park
Across New Worlds: Nineteenth-Century Women Travellers and Their Writings, Shirley Foster
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Regeneration, Pat Barker
We Were the Mulvaneys, Joyce Carol Oates
Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography, Peter Conn
The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
Brown Girl, Brownstones, Paule Marshall
The Country of the Pointed Firs, Sarah Orne Jewett
Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen
Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Quicksand and Passing, Nella Larsen

Persuasion, Jane Austen
*Open Secrets, Alice Munro
The Matisse Stories, A.S. Byatt
House of Splendid Isolation, Edna O’Brien
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
Choices, Mary Lee Settle
The Fatigue Artist, Lynne Sharon Schwartz
*Stones from the River, Ursula Hegi
Familiar Heat, Mary Hood

Written on the Body, Jeanette Winterson
*In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez
The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
The Face of an Angel, Denise Chavez
When I was Puerto Rican, Esmeralda Santiago
Breath, Eyes, Memory, Edwidge Danticat
The Volcano Lover, Susan Sontag
*The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields
Ségu, Maryse Condé
*A Map of the World, Jane Hamilton

Beloved, Toni Morrison
The Robber Bride, Margaret Atwood
The Holder of the World, Bharati Mukherjee
Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich
Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America, Ellen Chesler
Fair and Tender Ladies, Lee Smith
The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx
Behind a Mask, Louisa May Alcott

A Chorus of Stones: The Private Life of War, Susan Griffin
Women of Sand and Myrrh, Hanan Al-Shaykh
The Living, Annie Dillard
Turtle Moon, Alice Hoffman
Dreaming in Cuban, Cristina Garcia
Sugar Cage, Connie May Fowler
Crossing Blood, Nanci Kincaid
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys

The Kitchen God’s Wife, Amy Tan
July’s People, Nadine Gordimer
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, P. D. James
Burn Marks, Sara Paretsky
*Possession: A Romance, A. S. Byatt
Anywhere But Here, Mona Simpson
*A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley


Judith Hicks Stiehm
Marilyn Hoder-Salmon

Since 1991, over 40 women faculty have been members. We see all of them as part of our continuing conversation.

Please click the following link for recent info on our 2016-17 readings.

Center for Women's and Gender Studies