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About women who read, for women who read.
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Every GAL we interview shares at least three recommendations. Browse their favorites and maybe find a new favorite of your own.

 


 

"Especially in these uncertain and rather dark times, I find myself more drawn to the message of this book and the idea that we all need to take our actions to heart, as they affect ourselves, the world, and the environment."

- Carissa Gallo


“Very smart and very funny and like nothing else i’ve read in a long time."

- Hayley Magnus


"A vast and sweeping accomplishment."

-Roxanne Fequiere


"Emotionally gripping as well as culturally vivid."

- Kia Warren on Breath, Eyes, Memory


"Because we can shine in the shadows." - Leigh Plessner on Tiny Beautiful Things


"For anyone who has ever been a teenage girl. (Or wondered what it was like to be one.)"

-Verena Von Pfetten on Cat's Eye


"Because it is a very adventurous book." - Wesley Pfleeger on Land of Stories


Recommended by Audrey Gelman as necessary reading for every Wing Woman.


Recommended by Audrey Gelman as necessary reading for every Wing Woman.


"The Color Purple because I think once you read that book it lives inside you forever. And that's a story and a group of characters I think we should all carry around inside us." - Kelsey Miller on The Color Purple


"super weird and different and I’m enjoying it, so would recommend." - Emma Loughridge on The Vegetarian


"To understand institutionalized racism as it still exists in our country and the impact it has on people of color. I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to educate themselves on this topic as it is a reality for so many people in America. It is also a beautifully written text. Coates is a wordsmith, and it reads like a work of poetry." - Jeannette Lee on Between The World And Me


"A great (short) read that presents relatable themes about acceptance, isolation, nature, etc." - Jeannette Lee on Frankenstein


"Guilty pleasure." - Colu Henry on Gone Girl

"I only really read this book because my roommate from Chicago nannied for the author but holy! It’s a page turner and one of those summer reads you’ll blow through (if you haven’t already read it)." - Jeannette Lee on Gone Girl


"If you do anything creative, or even if you don’t, you should read this book. The act of reading it almost felt like an artistic hailstorm itself, confronting private inner chambers of your own brain, internal dialogues you almost kept secret from yourself."

- Joana Avillez on The Next Next Level


"It's an incredible book that reads like a movie in your head. It centers around a strong female character that chases trends, Internet mysteries, and the truth behind her father’s disappearance on September 11th. It’s such a fun read." - Andi Teran on Pattern Recognition


"I haven’t read this yet, but only because I’m preparing myself for the epic life change that comes along with reading it." - Kayten Schmidt on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

" You’ve probably heard of this one, but I am obsessed with the philosophy of filling your home and life only with things that bring you a thrill of pleasure." -Haley Boyd on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

"Also, I’m in the middle of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo right now and I think it might just change my life. Ok, I’ve gotta go meticulously fold all my shirts now…" -Kirsten Lepore


"I believe we are drawn to the next right book for us. The right book is the one we hold the key for. The wrong book is a stone wall. The right book is a door.

Here are some doors I’m grateful have opened for me."

- Mandy Kahn, on Words Without Music


Delights and Shadows is an open door recommended by Mandy Kahn.


Another door that might open for you, as recommended by Mandy Kahn.


"It portrays the depth of an individual."- Wilhelmina Wosinska on The Women in His Life


 "I can’t promise this is the only time I recommend it to you." - Julia Pott on His Dark Materials


Écris is recommended by Zackary Drucker.


“Words are effective not because of what they carry in them, but for their latent potential to unlock the accumulated experience of the reader.”

"You might recognize Peter Mendelsund’s Kafka cover redesigns over at Knopf.  Pianist turned designer, I admire his work and diversity.  A graphic designer myself, I have always been attracted to the broad and multidisciplinary field it is.  What made me choose What We See When We Read above other books on design is that it is in the spirit of what design strives to be: communicative and accessible.  This is not a book just for designers, but for anyone who reads."

- @missmalena; also recommended by Holly Hiday


"We’re all on our phones, texting, Instagraming, and we’ve all read the countless trend pieces about what this is doing to our families, sex lives, brains etc. But this book resonated with me because it’s not a finger-wagging take on “kids these days” but more of a story. The book delves into a narrative-style story of a promising teenage athlete who was in a texting-while-driving car accident that killed two rocket scientists."

- Vanessa Bailey on A Deadly Wandering


"Read The Art of Fielding."

- Katie Klencheski


" He’s got such a goofy, fun drawing style, but his stories are very personal, emotional, and center on romantic relationships." - Kirsten Lepore on Clumsy


"I think of this like the foundation book of young women in New York, young creative chicks embarking on their lives together – glamour and dismay and everything. Timeless and vulnerable and inspiring."

- Christina Gregory Jones on The Best of Everything


"One of the most romantic books I’ve read in a long time. Ceiling. Read it and you’ll feel as warm about that word as I do now." - Elizabeth Milch on Americanah


"It speaks to creativity and productivity in a prescriptive, inspiring, and bizzare way, respectively."

-Alyse Ronayne on The Creative Habit


"A short and so sweet novella that will take you away for a bit." -Lauren Pisano on The Pleasure of My Company


Disgrace is recommended by Catherine Quin.

"Because of her confidence, humility, tact and humor and for any woman that needs a reminder that she’s a badass and she can do this." - Mckenzie Raley on Bossypants

Mckenzie's partner, Stef, feels similarly about Bossypants, stating "Because if you haven’t read it yet…wtf?"


"Extremely specific but universally applicable. And it is perfect." - Molly Young on Loving Sabotage


"Extremely specific but universally applicable. And it is perfect." - Molly Young on Time And Again


"Because these will melt your brain (and break your heart and it is fearless)." - Saehee Cho on Humanimal


"Because it will break your heart (and it is fearless and will melt your brain)." - Saehee Cho on Creature


"Because it is fearless (and will break your heart and melt your brain)." - Saehee Cho on Impossible Princess


"In my perception, this book is far too often overlooked."

- Carissa Gallo


"It’s shocking how this essay, written in 1928, can still be so relevant today. It should be mandatory reading. Especially for GAL readers."

- Hayley Magnus


"The author has an interesting way of speaking about youth. It’s not a bubbly, dynamic picture of youth, it’s a more fascinating wistful version of youth."

- Roxanne Fequiere


"If you want to suss out what’s going on in your life and how you want to focus your energy and want to wake up your body – it's is the perfect book for that."

- Kira Warren on The Creative Habit


"Because life is delicious." - Leigh Plessner on The Gastronomical Me


View & Purchase

View & Purchase

"Because first and foremost, reading should be fun."

- Verena Von Pfetten on The Phantom Tollbooth


"They have to survive the dangers of the island and hunt for their food, and build their own homes and the girl makes lots of new friend along the way."

- Wesley Pfleeger on Island of the Blue Dolphins


Recommended by Audrey Gelman as necessary reading for every Wing Woman.


Recommended by Audrey Gelman as necessary reading for every Wing Woman.


"A Little Life because everyone already read it last year and I'm just getting around to it and I really, really need someone with whom to talk about it. Help me out, please." - Kelsey Miller on A Little Life


 

"a huge favorite of mine. A lot of people read it in school I think but I didn’t pick it up until last year, and it blew me away." - Emma Loughridge on The Handmaid's Tale


"For the hopeless romantic this book is IT." - Jeannette Lee on The Time Traveler's Wife


"A brilliant story by a good friend." - Colu Henry on Love All


"It's delicate and primal."

- Joana Avillez on The Summer Book


"It’s a weird and wonderful love story between a lazy actress and a mysterious scientist that takes place in a mansion full of clouds." - Andi Teran on Vapor


"Her illustrations and text excite and inspire."

- Kelsey Hunt on The Principles of Uncertainty


"A good look on how we interact with social media and others." - Kelsey Hunt on So You've Been Publicly Shamed


Mandy Kahn recommends All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers. 


As recommended by Mandy Kahn - could Fire to Fire be an open door for you?


"Because the main character is a woman who is able to stand for what she believes despite that she may be punished for doing so." - Wilhelmina Wosinska on The Third Twin


"There is no one more maudlin than Charlie Brown and no one more profound than Linus." - Julia Pott on The Unsinkable Charlie Brown


The Cornell West Reader is recommended by Zackary Drucker.


"The Blue Monday Book is selection of quotes compiled and arranged by Jennie Day Haines.  This copy is from 1905. It is divided into Mondays of each month with quotes to cheer you up. "...every Monday may be a Blue Monday- when the soul is so enveloped in the 'blues,' that life can only be viewed 'through a glass darkly.'  A specific remedy for each of these blue-letter days is hereinafter presented." - @minanicole; also recommended by Holly Hiday.


"This book is for adults but written in the style of a children’s picture book. It’s the story of a woman looking for her cat after her mother dies, and it deals with grief and loss the most beautiful and touching way. It’s probably going to get moved to my 'Sanity Shelf.'"

- Vanessa Bailey on Have You Seen Marie


"If you are one of the ten people like me who hasn’t seen the HBO series, read this first. Perrotta is genius at writing about small towns and the intersections and interactions of the people who live there. Something about his work feels familiar to me, maybe because I grew up in a suburb of Boston where most of his work takes place. Unlike his previous books (ElectionThe Abstinence Teacher, Little Children - read these too!) which center around fictional, but plausible events, this one goes sci-fi (or religious fiction – is that a genre? – depending on your reading). All his books use the convention of multiple narrators and the layered storytelling just super rad. Get into it."

- Katie Klencheski on The Leftovers


"It’s just the craziest narrative I’ve ever read. It’s the most original thing!" - Kirsten Lepore on The First Bad Man 


" a) it’s a beautifully written classic tale of terror and b) Nora Ephron loved it.  The provenance of recommendation is important." - Christina Gregory Jones on The Woman In White


"Super informative book about female physiology. The author, Natalie Angier, draws from scientific and medical sources but also from mythology, history, art, and literature. Incredible read for new moms or anyone wanting to understand the inner workings of a woman’s body." - Haley Boyd on Woman: An Intimate Geography


"An old woman on her deathbed looks back at her life and it’s stranger, meaner, sexier and more political than you would imagine." - Elizabeth Milch on Moon Tiger


"It speaks to creativity and productivity in a prescriptive, inspiring, and bizzare way, respectively."

-Alyse Ronayne on Tender Buttons


"Good company when you’re falling into a maddening kind of love." - Lauren Pisano on On Love And Other Difficulties


"For the times when you are cooped up in your tiny Brooklyn apartment this book will make you feel rain, smell dirt and hear the rustling of trees." - Mckenzie Raley on Prodigal Summer


"It’s a beautiful piece on the female experience, and from a brilliant literary feminist." - Stef Halmos on A Room of One's Own


"Extremely specific but universally applicable. And it is perfect." - Molly Young on A Sense of Direction


"Because these will melt your brain (and break your heart and it is fearless)." - Saehee Cho on Autobiography of Red


"Because it will break your heart (and it is fearless and will melt your brain)." - Saehee Cho on Reconsolidation


"Because it will break your heart (and it is fearless and will melt your brain)." - Saehee Cho on Don't Let Me Be Lonely


"Because it is fearless (and will break your heart and melt your brain)." - Saehee Cho on The Chronology of Water


"I’ve had to re-buy this book more than once because of how often I loan it to friends."

- Carissa Gallo

"The characters are just too good! It’s like a much weirder Nancy Meyer story set in 70s Manhattan.”

- Hayley Magnus


"Because I love a good self-help realize-who-you-are type of book, you should read Quiet by Susan Cain. As an introvert, our time to shine is overdue and she’s doing the work to make sure we get it."

- Roxanne Fequiere


"There’s that saying “overnight success” and that book really debunks the whole myth behind it."

- Kia Warren on Outliers


"Because our hearts will break, and spring will come again."- Leigh Plessner on Charlotte's Web


"Jacqueline Susann was a real broad, in the best sense of the word. Also: the topic remains eerily prescient."

- Verena Von Pfetten on Valley of the Dolls


"It is a very good book and it will probably always be a good book."

- Wesley Pfleeger on the Harry Potter series


Recommended by Audrey Gelman as necessary reading for every Wing Woman.


"When Things Fall Apart because everyone goes through phases in their life when it seems as though the bottom has fallen out and you will never hit the ground again. This book isn't about feeling better. It's just about feeling and being there in it." - Kelsey Miller on When Things Fall Apart


"someone very dear to me recommended I read [this}. It’s an interesting take on passion, human relationships and faith." - Emma Loughridge on The End of the Affair


"For the existential individual. Ishiguro really presents challenging themes connected to morality, the impact of technology/science and just the human experience in general."- Jeannette Lee on Never Let Me Go


"Provocative, steamy, historic." - Colu Henry on Euphoria



"An epic pseudo orphan tale told in modern day New York City, it has one of the best opening chapters of any book I’ve ever read. I still get chills when I think about it. I don’t want to give too much away, but don’t be daunted by its density—it pays off in the end. Donna Tartt is a masterful storyteller." - Andi Teran on The Goldfinch

" Because we can all benefit from a little magic."

- Kelsey Hunt on the Harry Potter series


"I’m fascinated by the whole pickup artist thing. I’m not kidding. I think it also ties it with The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, which I also recommend." - Kayten Schmidt on The Game: Penetrating The Secret Society of Pickup Artists


Stag's Leap is recommended by Mandy Kahn.


The Ticking is recommended by Mandy Kahn.


"It clarifies religious episodes I learned at school but did not fully understand." - Wilhelmina Wosinska on Don't Know Much About The Bible


"A wonderfully written novel with a lot of real life observations about the problem with romance." - Julia Pott on Still Life With Woodpecker


" It’s a history of America from a black feminist perspective (and should be required reading)." -Zackary Drucker on When and Where I Enter


"If you haven't yet heard of Wave Poetry from Seattle, consider this as your introduction. Madness, Rack, and Honey is a series of written lectures by poet/genius Mary Ruefle.

Read it, read it, read it. You will find a life's worth of wisdom in these essays." - @invrses; also recommended by Holly Hiday.


"It tackles the issue of race and poverty in such an interesting and unexpected way." - Vanessa Bailey on Delicious Fodds


"I reference this book a lot when I think about how pervasive technology is in our lives, and am questioning the implications, good and bad. What's interesting is that now that the book is a couple years old, some of the technology that was hypothetical when Eggers wrote it has become real, and looking at his predictions of how these technologies might change human experience next to our current reality is interesting. Besides the fact that some aspects of the female experience (it’s written from the point of view of a female narrator) felt a little inauthentic to me, I thought it was a really enjoyable and thought-provoking read." - Katie Klencheski on The Circle


"Read The Interestings." - Katie Klencheski


"Because holy shit when you want to fall down the rabbit hole, this is the book to do it with." - Christina Gregory Jones on The Secret History

The Secret History is also recommended by Catherine Quin.


"The story of how the Oxford English dictionary was first compiled." - Haley Boyd on The Meaning of Everything


" Your brain gets to work in new ways and you get to hang out with Ursula Todd. I love Atkinson’s thrillers too, and there’s something about her as a mystery writer that gives her such a different take on killing characters (or not)." - Elizabeth Milch on Life After Life


"It speaks to creativity and productivity in a prescriptive, inspiring, and bizarre way, respectively."

-Alyse Ronayne on How Should a Person Be?


"Such an interesting story of how our past and our tastes define us and what we do- no matter how far removed we (think we) are from it." -Lauren Pisano on Blood, Bones & Butter


Tender Is The Night, recommended by Catherine Quin.


"His way of simplifying human practices is so thought-provoking and relaxing. His book on aesthetics is equally moving." - Mckenzie Raley on Wabi-Sabi


" He does a phenomenal job building and executing climax, and this book exemplifies that. It’s such a simple story told through two very complex, nuanced, conflicted characters; absolutely heartbreaking." -Stef Halmos on On Chesil Beach


"Because these will melt your brain (and break your heart and it is fearless)." - Saehee Cho on Citizen


"Because these will melt your brain (and break your heart and it is fearless)." - Saehee Cho on 2500 Things About Me Too


"Because it will break your heart (and it is fearless and will melt your brain)." - Saehee Cho on The Sad Passions


"Because it is fearless (and will break your heart and melt your brain)." - Saehee Cho on Blood and Guts in High School


"Because these are fearless (and will break your heart and melt your brain)." - Saehee Cho on Beauty and Sadness