The Reading List For The Manly Feminists ;)

This reading list, as demanded by Rakesh (the lecture follows soon…) and Freespirit, has mostly best sellers, popular and light reading. (Though some might make you cry).

Please do add more to this list, any books related to women that inspired or moved you…?

1. Alice Walker’s – The Colour Purple – Can a story that begins with incest, forced marriages  and domestic violence end in a way that you close it with a smile and a wish to reach the sky? My kids read this one after their tenth board exams, during the holidays. It was upsetting in the beginning and I had to hint at happy ending to make sure it was read at all.

2. A Thousand Splendid Suns  Khaled Houssini A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to the post-Taliban rebuilding. It shows so simply what happens when religion takes over common sense. The contrast in life styles of  two neighbours, and how much (Or how little?) human happiness depends on individual freedom. We hear of such stories all the time from our maids but we pay no attention, when you read it like this, it sinks in. ...the teenage Mariam — the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man, who is ashamed of her existence — is quickly married off to a much older shoemaker named Rasheed, a piggy brute of a man who says it embarrasses him “to see a man who’s lost control of his wife.”

3. Panchali’s Mahabharata (A Palace Of Illusions) Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – It’s good to see how a woman with Panchali’s intelligence must have coped with being forced to live her life with decisions made by maybe those who feared her power…. We also read more about Karan, and Draupadi’s crush on Karan, always my favorite amongst the Pandvas. No literary work, but interesting. I prefer this version.

4. The God of Small things – Arundhati Roy A brilliant book.

In one scene, this little son of a divorced mother living with her rich parents, is told by the old household help that they are a burden on his grandparents, and he, used to such compliments, says, “Et tu Kanta bai!”

Race, colour, gender, caste, class, marriages & divorces,  love, child-abuse, sexual harassment, some gentle laughter, two lovely kids all make it an amazing read.

It’s so typical of what we see (again without seeing) all around us –Marriages where there is no companionship but the couple lives together, daily battering and no option but to bear it, and an Indian mother’s emotional dependence on, and obsession with sons. Men’s needs. And women’s needs… read if you have not already read this one!

5. Princess by Jean P. Sassoon –( Princess: a True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia)  Imagine a bright, intelligent woman trapped in a life where she must follow rules made by those, often not half as smart – just because they are men, including a spoilt brother and an uninterested, selfish, autocratic father. And if this woman believes in justice, what does she go through??? Read to find out.

This book is about an anonymous Saudi Arabian woman. Total control over the lives of half the population, by the other half of the population, in the name of protecting them from the harm that can come from their provoking the other half of the population … Very informative.

6. Daughters of Arabia is a second book by the same author, in this one she talks about her daughters, and what the terribly restrictive life does to them, even though they are rich. Also about her relationship with her all powerful husband, and her mother in law who can never be wrong in her husband’s eyes; about her household help, from Philippines, and sexual abuse, with no hope of justice.

7. Not without my daughter- Betty Mehmoody – Made into a movie too, but the book is better. When we are born into a sexist society, we accept (or at least get used to) discrimination.

This American woman marries a man from Iran and they go for a short holiday to Iran. They stay with his  unwelcoming joint family, and she must cover her face and hair. And then her husband tells her he has no intention of ever going back to the USA, or letting her go back. The laws in Iran apply to her, because she is his wife, any decisions related to their daughter also can only be taken by this man. The American Embassy is ready to help her get out of the country– but she must leave her daughter behind. She doesn’t of course…

Why I like this book is because sometimes even today we hear women talk of too much equality and they equate equality with manliness… I think they must read these books to see why we need to be strong.

8. Sister Of My Heart – Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee Is about India of today.  Sex selection, mystery, suspense, arranged marriages, girly secrets, an oppressive joint family, the requirement for a married woman to be a mother, and only of sons.

What I loved is the subtle ways she has shown of how two different kinds of mothers choose two different kinds of futures for their daughters. This book is also about possibilities. What I didn’t like .. well read, it!!

9. Chocolat by Joannne Harris I just finished reading this one, it’s absolutely amazing in it’s simplicity, and it’s defiance of unnecessary expectations and stereotypes. Although the beautiful village and all those chocolates are set in France, this story could be happening in India. I loved this one, it’s been made into a movie, but the book is what I recommend.

10. The da Vinci Code- Dan Brown – I know there were protests, but I saw the movie – it’s nowhere close to the book. An amazing book.

What does the Bible teach about goddess worship and women as preachers and church leaders? Is God masculine or feminine? …Did Jesus and Mary Magdalene marry and have children? Was Mary the head of the church?

11. The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood‘  The women are called Ofman, so ofsanjaydutt, is Manyata Dutt, ofsanjaygandhi is Menaka Gandhi, only they do not have their own names…

In the world of the near future, who will control women’s bodies? Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…. ” —The Publisher.

12. Chronicle of a death foretold -Gabriel Garcia Marquez is an account of the killing of Nasar, who was stabbed to death by twin brothers Pedro and Pablo for a perceived offense against the honor of their family. Their sister Angela had been married to a wealthy young man, then returned to her family during the night when he discovered that she was not a virgin. (All of this is revealed in the first chapter, so no spoilers here.) It’s a brilliant account, an eye opener, a Nobel Prize (1982) winning work of fiction by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

13. Cider House Rules When Homer Wells, an orphan in an orphanage, reaches a somewhat mature age and it becomes apparent that he will not be adopted another time, Dr. Larch, who’s grown fond of Homer despite his best efforts to remain unattached, decides that Homer will be of use as long as he’s around. Homer becomes Larch’s assistant, and after being educated by Gray’s Anatomy and Larch himself, becomes something of a quasi-obstetrician. Homer’s unease regarding abortions — he believes that fetus’ have souls — forces a wedge between the two men, who have acquired something of a father/son relationship.

The book is much better than the movie.

Edited to add

Sraboney adds

Amy Tan’s ‘Joy Luck Club’

Pearl S Buck‘s Good Earth, reminding me of (I am mixed up, read these long ago, please do point out if there are errors!)

Peony About an abandoned/orphaned girl bought by a caring family, as a play mate for their son of the same age. Peony also learns to write poetry and falls in love with the boy she grew up playing with, but she is just a slave and he is to marry a first-daughter from some rich Chinese family.

And another one of a dainty Japanese girl wooed by and married to an American Officer during the World War, goes with him to America, has a child, disapproved of by his mother (I remember her saying, ‘the way they breed , we will have a slanting eyed grand child every year‘), abandoned in a strange land …

Allytude adds

The Second Sex, for non-fiction readers, available online at  –

Pavilion Of Women, by Pearl S Buck About this woman who finds a concubine for her husband, and no it is not a saas-bahu sort of story. She looks for someone who would be easy to control, not intelligent, and not too good looking. There is a Christian priest who visits this Chinese business family, and how he influences their lives. One scene that moved me was when she forces a husband to help his aging wife during labour…

Pixie adds, ‘Girls Of Riyadh‘ – (I haven’t read, would love a review Pixie!)

Smita adds, Waiting room by Anupa Mehta

Sandhya adds, Twentieth Wife, by Indu Sundaresan

Jinu adds,

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Devil adds,

Manjula padmanabhan’s Escape

Free Spirit adds,

Sylvia Plath and Maya Angelou

The Awakening by Kate Chopin,

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel,

Mayada by Jean Sasson

Mosaic by Soheir Khasshoggi.

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho


81 thoughts on “The Reading List For The Manly Feminists ;)

  1. very good list of books i will try to read more from this list .it is good that you posted small review type info also.

    Sm they are great for general awareness also, and they are not boring, so you they are easy and fun to read. Do read them!


  2. WoW! I guess you’ve gotten through a lot of books. I’ve only read the colour purple. Which I liked and would recommend. I’ll have to add the rest of them to my reading list for the summer. I’m crazy about books. Especially about sensitive issues and strong women. It kind of encourages me to keep going and not give up. And as I have chosen to going into a career that is male dominated (90% men), the books will be inspiring (that women can do it). 😀

    You will love each one of them. Start with Chocolat, it’s sweet and very norm-breaking 😉 .. about a woman in similar situation … a tough and very , very nice woman… I have just finished and still going awww


  3. And I thought I love reading feministic books! I have hardly read any from this list!

    I have read 1000 splendid suns.. and da vinci.. ah yes and book is waaay better than the movie!

    Have read margaret atwood but not this one. Have read gabriel marqez but not this one! have read chitra banerjee but not this one! umm and not read any others..

    *feels too lil read*

    LOl Winnie the poohi you have read many! I have only read this one by Atwood, and only this one by Marquez… and most books are so much better than the movies!


  4. I have only read “Da vince code” from this list…. 😛 I slept as soon as i reached 10 pages in “god of small things”………… 😛

    Thanks!! for list

    OG God Of Small Things is my all time favorite ….do pick it up again, it’s simply amazing. I have read it twice, and occasionally read some bits, all the time…It isn’t just a feminist book, it’s a peice of literary art. It’s part of syllabus in International English courses… not that I care for that,most Indian schools will reject it because of some ‘scenes’, but I made sure my kids read it.


    • ok… lemme give it another try!!!!!!

      I would like to read a review if you manage to read it …Please may I also recommend Chocolat, you will love it. It’s just the sort of book you will love, it has lots of sappadam description, and talks about faith and religion, local politics and raised eye brows at a particular woman’s lifestyle… all the while entertaining us with suspense and curiosity…
      Here’s a dialogue I loved,
      A: Don’t you believe in Sin?!!!
      B: No, I believe in Happiness 🙂


  5. Fantastic List…

    Have read a few, will pick up the rest! 🙂

    you could add – Girls of Riyaddh also to the list – another amazing book about the women in Saudi Arabia.

    I will add Pearl S Buck and this one…ok.


  6. 1-4 are very good…7 & 13 – I’ve only seen the movies…

    Manju Kapoor has written a couple of interesting books…’Difficult Daughters’ is decent…Amy Tan’s ‘Joy Luck Club’ and Pearl Buck’s ‘The Good Earth’ are very good…

    Sraboney Difficult Daughters I didn’t like because I couldn’t understand why she had to marry a married man… who seemed extremely irresponsible… a fiction but no strong characters… helpless women, giving to a charming man….
    I like everything I have read by Pearl S Book, there’s one called Peony also,let me check my shelves for the names, it’s been ages and the books are absolutely the best…


  7. wow! terrific list, have only read the da vinci code… seen the movie chocolat…am gonna pick up the rest one by one 🙂

    Read these Imp’s Mom, you’ll love them 🙂


  8. That is a good list….have read 3 of it…

    Both the Chitra Banerjee books are my all time favorites. Not without my Daughter was also a good read…

    A book which touched me was “Waiting Room” by Anupa Mehta…have written about it here

    Will look out for books from ur list.. 🙂

    Updating my list the book you have suggested, I would like to know what you thought of the woman in Chocolat 🙂


  9. geeeeeeee…. thank god… the first 9 comments atleast make me feel something good…

    while i went through the list… i thought i m a dumbo who has read none of the books… I have only read Da-vinci code…

    geee… i only read tom swayers, hardyboys, bournes, fantastic fives, phantoms, mandrakes… gee… i m so childish….


    • Same here IHM. I only read the da vinci code.
      will read the books mentioned in the list

      You will love them!! May I suggest you start with A Thousand Splendid Suns, then Chocolat, and The Colour Purple….please 🙂 I would love to read what you think of all of these favorites!!


  10. Never read any of them.. only da vinci code.. I have read 350 pages.. but dono how I kept that book down 😦

    I loved that book, just because it is popular and sold well sometimes we think it’s not worth serious reading but I think it is! You will probably love A Thousand Splendid Suns more… do take a look!


  11. have read only Da Vinci Code and God of Small Things and have seen the feature film of Cider House Rules.
    This confession is not taken well mostly, but God of Small Things, in spite of the story, wonderful style of revealing the end in the middle and progressing towards it, and all the fleshing of characters, did not touch me within 😦 prob had bigger expectations after all the hype!!! the extreme detailing that broke in the middle of narration got me impatient, and somehow, i could not connect emotionally….

    i’d like to add one more to ur list – Chocolat by Joanne Harris. (have seen the film too, it’s only 10% of the book n did not dare to touch the complexities and conflicts addressed in this book) Must to read! 🙂

    thanks for the list, i have some shopping to do! 😀


  12. OMG!!!!!!! i just scrolled back n saw Chocolat is on ur list already *looks around deperately for a cupboard to hide in*

    lol 🙂 But I am delighted to find another person who liked the book as much as I did, isn’t it an amazing book??? Tell me!!

    look before u leap, read carefully before u comment….in my defense…it blended with all the blue font of earlier para….sheesh…..that’s hardly an excuse..i shud stop embarrasing myself further!! 😀 😀

    lol Crafty Shines maybe I should put it in a way that it shows clearly … I don’t want it to be missed! My daughter got me this book to read from her school library and made sure I got up from the comp and read it 🙂


  13. and applications are rising for adoption on smitha’s blog… !!! gee your checking things too slowly… !!

    getting old perhaps ??

    I know Hitchwriter, these days I am really busy :(, I even wrote a post about it, i manage to read but just am not able to comment, and sometimes even miss reading fresh updates….:(


  14. Nice list IHM. I hardly read fiction these days but did read Davinci code and watched chocolat and liked both of them. I have read a couple of different versions of the Mahabharata (not the one you mentioned) and feel the injustice towards panchali. Although I am not sure if the crush on karna part can be found in other versions 😉

    Read the book, she also has Sanjay’s third eye and watches the whole Mahabharata first hand … also read why she deserves it. The book is interestingly written… it’s good for GK too, for a nastik like you 😉

    Like Ordinary guy I also couldn’t get past more than 50 pages of GoST. I tried picking it up again. I really tried but just couldn’t. I have read Arundhati Roy’s book of essays “Infinite Justice” cover to cover and really liked it so nothing against Roy but just couldn’t read that book. The book has been lying on my shelf ever since. Just didn’t have the motivation to pick it up again. Maybe I am too lazy 🙂

    I am surprised.. if you like to read and still don’t find it interesting enough…. Have you read Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie? I found it annoyingly boring to read at first but in the end loved it, it’s about our dear Varun Gandhi’s dad and grand mom, but you don’t realize it at first.. (i.e. I didn’t) …


    • I love reading Mahabharat; even diluted versions 🙂

      The beauty of Mahabharat can be understood if people really know the ‘whys’ of each episode. If one just looks at it as an ordinary book then Panchali deserves the pity for forcefully living with 5 men.

      But why did she? The reasoning is the interesting part.

      In her previous life, Panchali had asked Lord Shiva to grant her a husband with 5 qualities and those were honesty, bravery etc. Lord Shiva had to fulfill her desire as she was a devotee of the lord, so he says that a normal man can’t possess all the qualities she desires but she was resolute. So Shiva says that she will be granted the wish in her next birth. That is why she had to marry 5 men who possessed 5 of the qualities she desired.

      We used to have a book club and had kept some time to discuss various chapters of Mahabharat. I love it because for even the smallest occurrence, there is a story behind it.

      I find Mahabharata fascinating too, all those interlinked stories inside stories… in this version Panchali is disappointed to find that Arjuna didn’t love her as much when he ralsied he would have to share her with his four brothers, and she is bitter, but not for long, because her heart belongs to the noblest of Kunti’s sons, but I will no tell you more. Like the Da Vinci Code, she gives you logical reasons for her conclusions. This one is Mahabharata, for the first time, from a woman’s point of view.


    • IHM, Thanks for the recommendation. I will try to find that book,although again, I am more into reading non-fiction than fiction.

      Btw, when I mentioned that you may not find that story in different versions of the mahabharata, it is because the two versions of mahabharata I read (and they were pretty comprehensive, both written by famous sanskrit/hindu scholars) did not have that story or I don’t remember reading it there. I read about that story later on a website. So I am not sure whether that story of draupadi’s crush on karna was a later addition or whether the mahabharatas I read had deliberately omitted that part.

      I have plans of reading the unabridged version of the mahabharata (in english) by KM Ganguli sometime, but haven’t got around to doing it.

      Nitwit Nastik, this is a modern version Chitra B D has created, a woman’s point of view, it isn’t a literary work, but interesting as a feminist read. 🙂 I really doubt if you will find it anywhere in our earlier vesions… since you have read quite a bit on these, I wonder if you have heard of Urmila’s scholarly pursuits, learning and questioning of Sita’s exiling… (English)??

      Btw, I do like to read but I can’t hold my concentration/patience for long, especially if it is fiction (although I admit that for non-fiction I have more patience). In this day and age of information overload, if I don’t find a book interesting in the first 50 pages or find it rambling I typically move on (although I did read the fountainhead or interpreter of maladies so I guess the word ‘interesting’ is subjective). Maybe I need to change my threshold to 100 pages 😉 This is the same for movies. If I don’t find a movie interesting in the first 30 mins, I would just drop it. If it cannot capture my attention in the 1st 30 mins, it may turn out to be good later but it’s not worth my time.

      Again no offense to people who do take the time to read the entire book or watch the entire movie. It’s just how I try to maximize my knowledge in the given amount of time I get.

      Makes a lot of sense Nitwit Nastik 🙂
      And I say hats off to anyone who can read past 50 pages of non fiction, for me that would be difficult!! 😀


  15. Huh, have read only ‘Da vinci’ from this list. Read some other books, though. ‘My daughter..’ sounds interesting.

    Nice list and nice gist of the stories.

    Chocolat is also about a mother and her daughter (amongst other things) I would say read that too...


  16. have read all of them IHM and 1 and 7 and Amy tan’s joy luck club are my fav:)will think of adding some more
    have to really rack my brains…

    Gosh you are quick, you managed to read Atwood so fast!!! 🙂 I am yet to see the movies you and Kislay have recommended!!!:(

    And could you identify the Pearl S Buck books from the summaries … I read them so long ago I just can’t remember the names 😦 …..but what’s the point of recommending a book without a name!!


    • I loved the House of Earth IHM the trilogy was amazing…
      I picked up the Atwood’s book soleley on your recommendation and loved the book..its worth it!

      You are fast!! I have just not got around finding the movies you mentioned…though I really am keen to watch both!

      thanks IHM 🙂
      The thing is even I am confused about Pearl’s books…regarding the titles coz most of them were situated in Japan or China or about these places…so except for a few like Peony the others confuse me..cant remember exactly…just remember reading the stories

      Now that i have got the idea in my head, I am going to get the information and write reviews whenever..(ASAP) 😀


    • Thank you, will keep in mind.

      Pearl S.Buck’s ‘Good Earth’ was very very good. Story telling is a bit slow, but it should be like that for this type of stories. Remember reading her ‘Pavillion of Women‘ and enjoying it. I still remember the story of Good earth, but not the next one.

      Twentieth Wife, by Indu Sundaresan was interesting.

      I have read Pavillion of Women, but remember nothing of it!! 😦 And Good Earth is very good… now I must get Twentieth Wife. I am amazed and delighted all the names I have not read Sandhya 🙂


  17. I have not read a single book from the above list 😦 But I saw Not without my daughter and cried buckets! Just ordered The color purple from my local library….just cos you hinted about a happy ending 🙂

    Homecooked almost all these books have positive endings, Chocolat, Cider House Rules …except one .. but …no spoilers here!


  18. I am more of a non-fiction reader but have read almost all from the list. I would recommend 1, 2, 7, 10 for sure.

    Read ‘Peaony’ eons ago and was really moved.

    One more I just remembered is ‘The Secret Life of Bees’.

    I haven’t read this one Solilo, but will definitely look up…


  19. 🙂

    quite a list there! have read some. both the Banerjee books and loved them! Karna is my favouritest charachter too!

    and i even LOVED the movie chocolat! i can watch it just any number of times!

    you might like a book called Wicked Women by far Weldon! quite an ecelectic mix of short stories there! very interesting!


    Thank You Abha – I have;t yet seen the Chocolat, I guess I should 🙂


  20. Good list, some i know, many of them i have read, few names are very much new, but altogether it was informatory, i got knw which al buks i am left to read.

    I think u can add Manjula padmanabhan’s “Escape”, its abt a lone girl born in an all mans world…

    I have been given some new names to read too, thank You Devil 🙂


  21. I have read a couple of them and the rest seem very interesting. Will check out The color purple and the chocolat for happy endings. And princess soon after that. Thanks for the list.
    Anne frank’s Diary is also a very good & insightful read

    Thank You Sunita 🙂
    Please do read both, I find them all amazing… Change some names and language and Chocolat could be happening in India!! Same goes for The Colour Purple – we can relate to them… 🙂


  22. Hey! U know a proper girl book, a light, fun and meaningful read was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.. it’ll give guys a good insight on what keeps us going and what stops us from moving further and how we deal with stuff et al!

    I am delighted with the treasure of information i have received with this post, I am getting this one too…

    How have u been? I donno if i asked u this already bt am considering moving to wordpress.. any feedback?

    Come to wordpress, it’s a great idea, I am really glad I did, the best way to learn about it is to use it 🙂 In my post on comparison of blogger & WP – you will see it is extemely easy to move your posts and comments here … announce you are leaving before you import, and be ready to be welcomed into the neighbourhood 🙂


  23. I am so bad at this 😦 Me only read “The Da Vinci Code”. me is embarrassed now!

    Misery has company na. Dhiren, where art thou?! 😉

    LOL Masood, after reading all the unread recommendations – may I join the company of miserable Dhiren and Masood please 😀


  24. Have read 7 .. and so many more to go 🙂

    Some which I liked..

    Ancient Promises – Jaishree Misra
    A princess remembers – Maharani Gayatri Devi

    I haven’t read these either! Isn’t this sharing a treat?? I am excited at the thought of all the new reading material!!


  25. Ahem! Well my question did the world a whole lot of good… dinnit? Ok Maám, I’ll add these to my reading list, btw, I just bought A Thousand Splendid Sons last week 🙂

    Actually, the moment I saw the post title on my blog list, I knew I’d asked for it 😀

    But if your daughter hasn’t seen any discrimination, isn’t it a sign that times are changing?


  26. Lovely List IHM!
    I have read everything except ‘The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood’ and Not without my daughter- Betty Mehmoody. Have to pick them up soon … Especially loved Chocolat – and especially did not like The God of Small Things – wanted to read it again – as I read it a long time back, the year that it came out… I have started liking some books that I did not really enjoy when I was younger.. So this is on my re-read list 🙂

    What made you dislike The GoST??The idea, or the style of writing… or the ending? I loved Chocolat Smitha… it’s an endearing, warm, cheerful book… I loved her relationship with her daughter !!


    • Ditto, I wasn’t a fan of God of Small Things either – It was the way the book ended,. It was more than just the taboo of incest, It was the way it seemed to imply that sex is the culmination of intimacy. Left a very bad taste in the mouth.


  27. That’s seems a good collection of books to read.

    I only read Da Vinci book and yeah the book is way better than the movie. The Angels & Demons is also good which is a prequel to this.


  28. Thank you for putting up the list! I’ve read most of the books, though I have yet to read Margaret Atwood and Alice Walker. I loved A Thousand Splendid Suns, and that continues to make me cry whenever I pick it up. I’d also like to recommend Sylvia Plath and Maya Angelou, their work is classic, and The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel, Mayada by Jean Sasson, and Mosaic by Soheir Khasshoggi. Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho is quite interesting as well even though the matter is quite controversial.

    I must get those books by tomorrow. I’m dying to read them. 🙂

    Wow!! This is a list!!! Freespirit, you won’t be the only one getting new books to read tomorrow!! Thank YOU!! 🙂 I really look forward to reading all these…
    I wonder if you could recognize the names of the Pearl S Buck books from the bits of stories I have mentioned, I had loved these books when read them but have forgotten and would love to read hem again… maybe I will find a shelf full of Pearl S Buck in Landmark..


    • absolutely loved Freespirit’s list !

      We have such a treasure of writings on feminism, do you know it was Freespirit who suggested this list, when I wrote of my daughter thinking there’s no discrimination just because she hasn’t seen it… have you read Girls’ These Days’???


  29. impressive list.. and i have 80% of the list… well i think u missed Escape by Manjula Padmanaban , Shame and Daughters of Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera..

    Yup Pixie is rite… Girls of Riyadh does qualify… it has 4 girls in Pakistan finding their own life in a male dominated country.. one of d lead characters successfully enters d media world as a journalist and one character makes good of her floundering marital life… 🙂 Worthy read..

    and how are u IHM.. logged in after a 1.5 months to realise that u shifted.. all d best..

    It’s good to see you after such a long time Rat!!! 🙂 Thanks for these names, I am adding these to the list too!!! And I am really excited with all this new reading material, we should all do a tag on our favorite books and characters!!! What say??


  30. Impressive list IHM. I have read 4,7,10 and 12. So not bad.Will try to read others when I get time. There are many Malayalam feminist fiction books which I can recommend if you learn Malayalam.


  31. Just a quick word in 🙂

    Have read quite a few from the list, but not all 😦

    Am getting to be a lazy person, is what i have discovered 🙂 I should pick up a few from the list and start all over again 🙂

    May i add Ayn Rand to this list?

    The Fountainhead, perhaps is among my favourites among her books.

    And a personal fav. author.. Richard Bach 🙂
    He gives one a gift of wings 🙂
    “Illusions”- The Adventures of a Messiah
    “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”
    “Bridge Across Forever”
    “There’s no such place as Far Away”

    And Robert Fulghum, starting with…
    “All I REally needed to know I learned in Kindergarten”
    “It was on fire when i lay on it”
    “True love”.

    And “The Little Prince” by French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.. 🙂

    And Milan Kundera’s “The unbearable lightness of being”

    Marquez’s collection of short stories [i forget the name :(]

    Dr Brian Weiss, “Many Masters, Many Lives”

    Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist
    and, Veronica decides to die [a marvel :)]

    Jeffery Archer .. almost all his books [just began and stopped his latest “Paths of Glory” :)]

    I guess that is a lot I have added, but then I just could not help it 🙂 🙂

    But then again, I guess i am a poor reader, because i found that most of the books on this list are new to me 😦 😦

    Thank you 🙂 for renewing the energy to make me want to pick up a book again 🙂 🙂

    Good to see you back !!! I hope youa re free soon, and we a lotof you in the blogosphere!!! Reading your list is making me want to take a look at my book shelves or run to a book store Usha Pisharody, I have forgotten what I had liked in some of these books, (the ones I have read) some are totally new! But I am totally inspired to read now!!


    • Usha’s list rocks !!
      my fav’s are in there 😀
      Word of the day after asap 😀 ‘FAV’

      Which one’s your fav Indyeah …?? My current fav is Chocolat 🙂


  32. Pingback: The Reading List For The Manly Feminists ;) « The Life and Times … | NonFictionArea.Com

  33. very nice compilation. I have read 9 of the ones mentioned. looking forward to reading the remaining.

    addition to the list

    -Little Women: Louisa May Alcott
    –Veronika Decides to Die: Paulo Coelho
    –The Friday Night Knitting Club: Kate Jacob
    –Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
    –Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination: Helen Fielding
    –Kabul Beauty School: Deborah Rodriguez

    I have read Memoirs of a Geisha … it’s well written and let’s you see her horrors … Veronica decides to die, is again good, but |I fear a lot of people will not find it entertaining!!
    The Little Women – I love and in fact I gave it to my daughter to read when she was very young … she loved it too, yes that’s a good one!!!
    But although I have read the reviews I missed the others!! Thank you ‘A’!!


  34. Pingback: Girls these days…. « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  35. the color purple is an awesome book

    A Thousand Splendid Suns i have cried truck loads in this book,specially in the scene when she delivered the c-sect baby without anesthesia… shudders

    It’s unimaginable, I have goose bumps while typing this…

    there is one more in the princess series read it if u haven’t, its as good

    Mayada something…I think, I plan to do a lot of reading now!

    haven’t read the palace of illusions,not without my daughter (have seen the movie but books are always better) should check it out

    I agree with u on Da Vinci code, read more abt the pagan if that interests u

    Will do!

    lovely list of books here

    Yeah I am keenly looking forward to lots of reading!


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  37. hey love the list… have read a few but want to read more…
    to add to that…
    1. a bridge across forever
    2. pride and prejudice
    3. the geometry of gods..
    4.the prodigal daughter
    5. the long winter
    6. girls of riyadh


  38. So many books to read.. nd I have read only 3 of them..

    Why not Ayn Rands book?

    And then I looked up and saw that Usha had already mentioned it.. dont know why her books remains best for me.. i guess she writes about equally strong men too…

    Happy Kitten Ayn Rand is a favorite of mine 🙂 And like she says only secure people are able to respect strength in other secure people, men or women – I like her strong characters, one of my favorites is John Galt 🙂


    • My first book of Ayn Rand was “Fountainhead” that I read while in College.. nd needless to say, it was easy to fall in love with “Roark”… the rest were read only later…

      I have to re-read this one!! I have forgotten so much!! We have it at home, I guess I will read this first!


  39. i could associate with some on usha’s list. i still have to pick up the strength to pick up ayn rand’s work

    Roots is a great book .

    Oh I cried through Roots – it’s a must read for everybody. This is another book I made sure my kids read. And Ayn rand is an absolute fav…. Ayn Rand’s books are a good read for someone who has doubts about the necessity for Gender Equality.


  40. Sorry IHM, I don’t know the names… But I think the list was a great idea, I know what I’ll be doing this summer :)! Though that’s only when exams get over 😦

    I too have my list ready!! We must review whatever we read…:) Right now I am reading Animal’s People by Indra Sinha(it’s about the Bhopal Gas tragedy.


  41. Hi IHM,

    I finished reading the handmaid’s tale last weekend.
    And I don’t have the words to describe how I feel. The book has shaken me up. I came here back to see if you had it here. I will try writing about it when I find the words.

    I felt the same way when I read it Tearsndreams…. PLEASE write about it, I would to hear how you reacted…


  42. Hey IHM,

    Loved your list. Alice Walker’s Color Purple really deserves to be at the top. Did you know there is a movie based on the book starring Oprah and Whoopie Goldberg 🙂

    Also, go through these if you havent till now –

    Devi – by Mrinal Pande. Its about being a strong willed woman and non apologetic about it. Sounds so unIndian. doesnt it (lols)

    Yagnaseni – Pratibha Ray. Another take on Mahabharata as seen by Draupadi. A must read for those traditional Indian MCPs. And everybody else of course.

    The Woman’s room – Marilyn French

    Me – Thank You for these additions!! I haven’t read these but now surely will!


  43. Da vinci code is really worth reading… It almost puts in the differences we see in everyday… The differences which are the best to get consummated… The differences which are beautiful… Deep thinking and pondering on that topic also reveals the unity in thought between the east and west before christianity….

    Idam Pingalam,
    Shiva shakti,
    left brain right brain,
    logic feeling,
    male female

    OK… I think enough showing off for today….


  44. Thanks for the list IHM! You can also add:

    1. A woman of substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford
    2. Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell
    3. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand


  45. Nostalgia – I remember reading “Princess” when I was in school – weekly trips with my mother to a dusty lending library a twenty minute bus ride away from home, hauling back an armful of randomly selected books, and feeling VERY happy about the goodies I had with me 😀 I was a bookworm, and not entirely sure I was old enough to truly appreciate the book, but it hit me hard enough that I unearthed the sequel from hundreds of dusty, unorganized bookshelves. I’ll probably re-read them sometime soon.

    Here’s another reco – Women who run with the wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I’m still making my way through the book, so I cannot give it an unreserved recommendation, but its interesting in the way it asks us to listen to our gut instinct, aka the divine/ancient feminine – I don’t believe in feminism as a new fangled idea for all the “modern” people, and love the thought of feminism being a primal instinct.


      • haha, which other books are you reading now? I’m reading three at once – Women who run with the wolves, Love in the time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer). Somehow I can barely read more than 10 pages of “Women” at a stretch. I need to put it aside and think about what I’m reading afterwards.

        And while not exactly feminist, there’s one book that’s so full of “Ahh” moments I think it’s one short step from being a spiritual text. It’s a true story to boot. I own it (was a gift from a dear friend), and have read sections of it countless times. “Mister God this is Anna” by Fynn. The last time I read it through (I usually skip the end) I thought of you, and Tejaswee. It made me feel warm to think that if heaven did exist (and I doubt it often enough these days), all the precious ones who were lost too early are there together. Please read this book if you haven’t have already.

        Vernon Sproxton says it better than I can ever hope to :).


  46. You must also read this book – Holy blood- Holy grail. This is the book that inspired Dan Brown on JC and MM’s kids etc all. My personal belief from what I have read – seen and believed. The whole Mary Magdalene’s chapter was closed out during the St.Paul’s reign over the Church because he didn’t like women.


  47. Awesome list; I’m glad I’ve read most of them. Some more suggestions (if you don’t mind):
    1. Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Embroideries (both are graphic novels)
    2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
    3. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
    4. The Song of Solomon and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    5. Difficult Daughters by Manju Kapur
    6. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
    7. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (for literature lovers)


  48. The Second sex simone de beauvoir. A major work of feminist philosophy and the most important literature in second wave feminism in the world.! Please do read it whenever you come across it.! Available at all cross word stores across India and on the internet too.!


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