31 Books for March: Women's History Month

By Lynn Lobash, Associate Director, Readers Services
February 28, 2022

A retelling of Greek myth. A memoir from a former First Lady. Gripping multigenerational family sagas. Thoughtful explorations of personal identity. No matter what you're interested in, something in this list of works from women authors will click. Check out these 31 recent books by and about women now to celebrate Women's History Month—or any time of the year you're looking to discover a new favorite read. 

1. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Celestial and Roy are newly married professionals leaning into a bright future—a future that is threatened when Roy is convicted of a crime he did not commit.

2. Becoming by Michelle Obama

This intimate and uplifting memoir gives a deeper look into the life and history of the former First Lady.

3. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

Wilkerson provides a fascinating look at how caste has been implemented in three different places—the U.S., Nazi Germany, and India—and the effect that had on each country's society.

4. Circe by Madeline Miller

Miller reimagines the story of Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, who is forced to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.

5. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

A trans woman, her de-transitioned ex, and his cisgender lover build an unconventional family together.

6. Educated by Tara Westover

Traces the author's experiences as a child born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho.

7. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she inherits a Great Dane who comes to live in her tiny NYC apartment.

8. Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacobs

Jacobs's graphic novel memoir explores how American identity has shaped her interracial family in the aftermath of the 2016 elections.

9. Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Marian Graves circumnavigates the globe by flying over the North and South Poles. A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film.

10. The Great Offshore Grounds by Vanessa Veselka

Half-sisters Cheyenne and Livy set off to claim their inheritance. Except, instead of money, their father gives them a name that reveals a stunning family secret.

11. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

The story of an extraordinary and eccentric woman, her son, and her husband—who happens to be William Shakespeare.

12. Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado

Women, their bodies, and the violence done to them—both by themselves and others—occupy the center of this collection of horror stories.

13.  Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

Gay reflects on her emotional and psychological struggles to explore women's anxieties about overconsumption, appearance, and health.

14. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab

An 18th-century French woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever but never be remembered.

15. Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Miller was known to the world only as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a viral letter about how she felt when her rapist was sentenced to just six months in county jail.

16. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Shaker Heights, Ohio, is a by-the-books kind of town. Newcomers Mia Warren and her teenage daughter, Pearl, must find out for themselves what is acceptable and what is not.

17. Matrix by Lauren Groff

Cast out of the royal court, 17-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey.

18. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 

In this reimagining of Gothic fiction, a young woman discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion and the family who inhabits it in 1950s Mexico.

19. Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong

A personal and candid exploration of the psychological condition of being Asian American.

20. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

A young woman embarks on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes.

21. The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich 

The story of a Chippewa Council night watchman in mid-19th-century rural North Dakota who fights Congress to enforce Native American treaty rights.

22. Normal Peopleby Sally Rooney

A secret childhood bond between a popular boy and a lonely, intensely private girl is tested as they mature and find their way through the world in their first year at a Dublin college.

23. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Lee melds historical fiction and family saga in a novel following four generations of a Korean family, set in Korea and Japan.

24. The Power by Naomi Alderman

Alderman's sci-fi novel explores an alternate reality that gives women and teenage girls immense physical power that can cause pain and death.

25. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Leonie, a mother who struggles with addiction, travels with her children to the infamous Parchman prison to retrieve their white father in this novel that examines structural racism with a gorgeous dash of magical realism.

26. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Oluo provides a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America.

27. Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

These nine essays examine the fractures at the center of culture today, offering insights into the toxicity of social networking.

28. Trust Exercise: A Novelby Susan Choi

In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble.

29. The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

An Ivy League-educated DACA beneficiary reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans.

30. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Twin sisters ultimately choose to live their adult lives in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

31. Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

This collection of darkly funny essays highlights the ups and downs of aging, marriage, and living with step-children in small-town Michigan.

Have more room on your bookshelf? Check out 365 Books by Women Authors to Celebrate International Women’s Day All Year

Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Summaries adapted via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.