Ten brilliant authors reveal their all-time classic reads

This is one of the 268 lists we use to generate our main The Greatest Books list.

  • Cassandra Speaks by Elizabeth Lesser

    This book delves into the narratives that have shaped society's understanding of women and power, exploring how history's predominantly male voices have influenced our culture and consciousness. The author argues that the stories we have inherited about leadership, value, and strength are incomplete, and she proposes a reevaluation of traditional myths and tales through a more inclusive lens. By examining and reimagining these foundational stories, the book suggests that we can unlock a more equitable and empathetic world, where both women's experiences and feminine qualities are valued alongside the masculine, creating a more balanced and holistic approach to leadership and human interaction.

  • The Goodbye Look by Ross Macdonald

    In this classic detective novel, a private investigator is drawn into a complex web of deceit, theft, and murder when he is hired to recover a stolen antique gold coin. As he delves into the lives of a wealthy family with a troubled son, the detective uncovers deep-seated family secrets and conflicting motives among the various players. Set against the backdrop of Southern California, the novel explores themes of identity, betrayal, and the façade of respectability, all while the detective uses his sharp wit and keen observational skills to unravel the truth behind the goodbye look—a final, parting expression that reveals more than words could say.

  • Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

    The novel unfolds the intricate life of Joan, a professional ballet dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star defect to the West in the 1970s, an act that reverberates through her life. As Joan transitions away from her career and into motherhood in suburban California, her son Harry uncovers her past secrets while pursuing his own ballet career. The narrative weaves through the competitive world of professional ballet, exploring themes of sacrifice, obsession, the legacies we inherit, and the decisions that shape our destinies, all while capturing the demanding and ephemeral art of dance.

  • Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Set in the French Riviera in the 1920s, the novel traces the tragic tale of a young psychiatrist, his beautiful wife, and the drama that unfolds amongst their circle of wealthy expatriate friends. The psychiatrist's wife suffers from mental illness, which leads to his own downfall as he struggles to keep his marriage intact and maintain his professional reputation. The narrative explores themes of wealth, love, desire, and the destructive power of obsession, painting a haunting portrait of the dark side of the glamorous Jazz Age.

  • The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell

    Set in India during the period of the British Empire, "The Siege of Krishnapur" is a historical novel that explores the events of the 1857 Sepoy Rebellion. The narrative focuses on the British residents of the fictional town of Krishnapur as they endure a prolonged siege by Indian soldiers. The story delves into the psychological, social, and physical challenges faced by the besieged, and the gradual disintegration of their Victorian-era beliefs and lifestyle. The novel is a commentary on the British Empire, colonialism, and the clash of cultures.

  • No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

    This novel is a gripping tale of a cat-and-mouse chase set in the harsh landscape of 1980 Texas. After stumbling upon a drug deal gone wrong and a suitcase full of money, a Vietnam War veteran finds himself pursued by a relentless hitman. As the veteran attempts to keep himself and his wife safe, a local sheriff struggles to keep up with the increasing violence and brutality of the modern world. The narrative explores themes of fate, conscience, and circumstance, painting a bleak and riveting picture of the human condition.

  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

    A captivating tale of mystery and suspense, "The Woman in White" follows the story of a young art teacher, Walter Hartright, who encounters a mysterious woman dressed in white on a moonlit road. The woman is revealed to be a mental asylum escapee, and as Hartright delves into her story, he uncovers a web of deceit, madness, and dangerous secrets involving a wealthy, titled family. The narrative explores themes of identity, insanity, and the abuse of power, with a complex plot filled with twists and turns.

  • Towards The End Of The Morning by Michael Frayn

    The book is a satirical glimpse into the fading world of a British newspaper in the 1960s, focusing on the misadventures of the staff working on the obscure pages dedicated to crosswords and nature notes. As they navigate the mundane and often absurd aspects of their jobs, they confront the looming changes of the industry, personal ambitions, and the comical yet poignant realities of their everyday lives. The narrative is a humorous yet bittersweet reflection on the decline of traditional journalism and the eccentricities of office life amidst the shifting tides of modernity.

  • Grown Ups by Marian Keyes

    The novel delves into the complexities of family dynamics, personal growth, and the challenges of adulthood through the lens of the Casey family, whose seemingly perfect lives begin to unravel during a family gathering. When one member of the family suffers a concussion and starts revealing all of their secrets, the facades carefully constructed by each family member start to crumble. The story explores themes of love, betrayal, and the facades people maintain, as the characters confront their personal demons and strive to find a sense of authenticity and happiness in their lives. Through humor and empathy, the narrative examines what it truly means to be a grown-up in a modern world filled with expectations and pressures.

  • Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi

    This novel delves into the complex and fraught relationship between a mother and daughter against the backdrop of contemporary India. The daughter, now an adult, grapples with her mother's advancing dementia and the bitter memories of a childhood marked by neglect and unconventional parenting. As the mother's memory deteriorates, the daughter is forced to confront the painful legacy of their past and the ambiguity of her filial obligations. The narrative weaves through themes of memory, betrayal, and the inextricable bond of family, painting a portrait of two women bound by love and resentment in equal measure.

About this list

Women & Home, 10 Books

Woman & Home got 10 authors to pick their favorite book of all time. Their description says:

Your favorite writers, including Bernardine Evaristo and Richard Osman, share their all-time classic reads and why they love them

the writers include: Isabel Allende, Linwood Barclay, Erin Kelly, Lucinda Riley, Deborah Moggach, Paula Hawkins, Celia Imrie, Sebastian Faulks, Richard Osman, Bernardine Evaristo

Added about 2 months ago.

How Good is this List?

This list has a weight of 80%. To learn more about what this means please visit the Rankings page.

Here is a list of what is decreasing the importance of this list:

  • Voters: 6-10 people voted
  • Voters: are mostly from a single country/location

If you think this is incorrect please e-mail us at contact@thegreatestbooks.org.