Books on my TBR: classics by women

Hello, friends! Time to talk about some more books on my TBR! This is a series where I talk about a specific subset of books on my TBR. I’ve done a few posts of really long lists of books on my TBR, so for these posts I’m going to try to keep the list fairly small, provide the synopsis from Goodreads, and talk about where I found it and why I want to read it.

Today, I’m talking about some classics by women! I don’t really read a ton of classics, but there are a bunch I want to read. So this week we’re talking about female authors, next week, we’ll be talking about male authors.


Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her, so that Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.

I’ve had this on my TBR for a while. I’m always trying to read more latine authors and translated books, and this is such a classic, so I feel like I should read it ASAP. It also sounds like something I would love (interesting family dynamics, forbidden love).


Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person — no mean feat for a black woman in the ’30s. Janie’s quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots.

This is just a book that everyone has read and loves. It’s a story that takes place over a person’s whole life, so I’m sure it’s not a surprise that I want to read it.


We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead…

I honestly added this to my TBR originally because I love the title, which is just so fun. I would love to live in a castle. But I guess I’ll have to read this book instead.


Beloved by Toni Morrison

Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad, yet she is still held captive by memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Meanwhile Sethe’s house has long been troubled by the angry, destructive ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

Sethe works at beating back the past, but it makes itself heard and felt incessantly in her memory and in the lives of those around her. When a mysterious teenage girl arrives, calling herself Beloved, Sethe’s terrible secret explodes into the present.

Another classic that everyone loves. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, and it sounds so interesting. I should definitely try to read it soon.


To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women.

I’m 99% sure I bought this book at a thrift sale a couple of summers ago, and it sounds really interesting. Honestly, it sounds like something I’ll struggle with reading, but will be happy to have read, you know?


I Know why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Idk if this really counts as a classic as it’s Angelou’s memoir, but I think it fits the bill. I’ve heard so many good things about this book, and my sister got a copy for Christmas, so I really need to read it asap.

So there are some classics by women I want to read! Have you read any of these? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know!

Also if you have any requests for things you’d like to see on my TBR, let me know!

Ally xx


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21 thoughts on “Books on my TBR: classics by women

  1. A lot of these are on my TBR too! I need to reread Their Eyes Were Watching God and I’m currently participating in a year long read through of Toni Morrison’s works. I haven’t picked up anything by Virginia Woolf but super curious about which one to read first!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like Water for Chocolate and I Know why the Caged Bird Sings are both books I have read, though in both cases it was long enough ago that I can’t tell you what I thought of them at the time. I hope you enjoy the books when you get to them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are some AMAZING books! Virginia Woolf, in particular is one of my favorite authors!
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle also has a movie adaptation, if I’m not wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

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