100 books like The Manningtree Witches

By A. K. Blakemore,

Here are 100 books that The Manningtree Witches fans have personally recommended if you like The Manningtree Witches. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Wife

Virginia Pye Author Of The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann

From my list on a woman writer finding her own voice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love novels that show female characters finding their way in life, and especially women who use writing to help themselves to grow and evolve. Finding my own voice through writing has been my way of staking my claim in the world. It hasn’t always been easy for us to tell our stories, but when we do, we’re made stronger and more complete. The protagonist of my novel The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann fights hard to tell her own story. I know something about being held back by male-dominated expectations and Victoria’s situation could easily take place today. But when women writers finally find their voices, the works they create are of great value. 

Virginia's book list on a woman writer finding her own voice

Virginia Pye Why did Virginia love this book?

This novel, by Meg Wolitzer, offers such a twist at the end, I’m not sure how to write about it as an example of a woman writer finding her voice without giving too much away.
The Wife is the story of a Noble Prize-winning author, Joe Castelman, and his wife, Joan, who have kept a terrible secret for all the years of their marriage. Because you know the topic of my selections here, you can surmise that Joan is also a writer, though she hides that fact. Her character tells the story, and we only slowly see the facets of their strange and deceptive marriage. It becomes clear that Joan is a very good writer indeed, and she’s tired of keeping her secret.

This clever tale will make you think about what it means to invent a life both on and off the page. And that there’s no stopping a…

By Meg Wolitzer,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE WIFE is the story of the long and stormy marriage between a world-famous novelist, Joe Castleman, and his wife Joan and the secret they've kept for decades. The novel opens just as Joe is about to receive a prestigious international award, The Helsinki Prize, to honour his career as one of America's preeminent novelists of the Mailer-Bellow-Updike school. But this isn't a book for writers; it's a book for readers, for people who are interested in questions such as: Is there a 'male' voice and a 'female' voice? Do men and women see the world differently, and how? THE…


Book cover of She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

Leigh Gilmore Author Of The #MeToo Effect: What Happens When We Believe Women

From my list on to understand sexual violence, healing, and justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I marvel at the resilience, tenacity, and optimism with which survivors and their advocates confront sexual violence. As a scholar of life writing, I find the “me too” movement to offer a fascinating case study of how survivors broke through default narratives of women’s unreliability and “he said/she said” to be heard by a massive global audience. By telling their own stories as “we said,” they tapped into a new collective credibility. Each of my recommended books helps us to understand “me too” as a powerful episode in a long struggle for survivor justice.

Leigh's book list on to understand sexual violence, healing, and justice

Leigh Gilmore Why did Leigh love this book?

She Said takes readers behind the headlines of how Kantor and Twohey teamed up to break the Harvey Weinstein story. And what a story it is.

Despite being credibly accused of sexual abuse multiple times, Weinstein always managed to evade accountability. With the help of enablers at Miramax (and beyond), Weinstein preyed on women who worked for him or sought work from him for decades.

Until Kantor and Twohey persuaded several victims to go on the record at the same times and their New York Times front page article started a reckoning. This is a meticulous record of investigative reporting that contains many surprises even for those who believe they know the #MeToo story well.

By Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked She Said as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING CAREY MULLIGAN AND ZOE KAZAN* 'Explosive' Margaret Atwood 'Seismic' Observer 'Brilliant' Nigella Lawson 'Gripping' Jon Ronson A FINANCIAL TIMES, NEW STATESMAN, DAILY TELEGRAPH, METRO AND ELLE BOOK OF THE YEAR On 5 October 2017, the New York Times published an article by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey that helped change the world. Hollywood was talking as never before. Kantor and Twohey outmanoeuvred Harvey Weinstein, his team of defenders and private investigators, convincing some of the most famous women in the world - and some unknown ones - to go on the record.…


Book cover of The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home

Winnie M. Li Author Of Complicit

From my list on stories to fuel your feminist fire.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author and activist, I use fiction as a way of exploring social issues which mean a lot to me. As a woman of color, that means writing protagonists who encounter sexism, racism, class, and geographic inequality—but who combat those injustices in inventive and heroic ways. For me, the story is always about being human: trying to understand why a character acts a certain way in a certain situation. After all, aren’t we all trying to pursue our own desires against a backdrop of societal expectations? A good storywhether fiction or non-fictionbrings these conflicts to emotional, vivid life, and roots them in a reality we can all relate to. 

Winnie's book list on stories to fuel your feminist fire

Winnie M. Li Why did Winnie love this book?

Unrecognised female labor is also the subject of this captivating non-fiction book by Hochschild, a sociologist drawing upon decades of research with fifty heterosexual couples in the Bay area. Hochschild is well-known for identifying ‘the second shift’ of childcare and domestic chores that working women often perform at home, on top of their professional commitment. This results in a rampant inequality of leisure time, and compounded with unequal pay in the workplace, exacerbates gender injustice in contemporary American society. But Hochschild also provides powerful examples of couples who counter-act this norm, while showing how individual attitudes towards gender and domestic responsibilities are influenced by class, ethnicity, and upbringing. Fascinating and illuminating. 

By Arlie Russell Hochschild, Anne Machung,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Second Shift as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An updated edition of a standard in its field that remains relevant more than thirty years after its original publication.

Over thirty years ago, sociologist and University of California, Berkeley professor Arlie Hochschild set off a tidal wave of conversation and controversy with her bestselling book, The Second Shift. Hochschild's examination of life in dual-career housholds finds that, factoring in paid work, child care, and housework, working mothers put in one month of labor more than their spouses do every year. Updated for a workforce that is now half female, this edition cites a range of updated studies and statistics,…


Book cover of The Shore

Winnie M. Li Author Of Complicit

From my list on stories to fuel your feminist fire.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author and activist, I use fiction as a way of exploring social issues which mean a lot to me. As a woman of color, that means writing protagonists who encounter sexism, racism, class, and geographic inequality—but who combat those injustices in inventive and heroic ways. For me, the story is always about being human: trying to understand why a character acts a certain way in a certain situation. After all, aren’t we all trying to pursue our own desires against a backdrop of societal expectations? A good storywhether fiction or non-fictionbrings these conflicts to emotional, vivid life, and roots them in a reality we can all relate to. 

Winnie's book list on stories to fuel your feminist fire

Winnie M. Li Why did Winnie love this book?

I loved this atmospheric debut, often described as a collection of interlinked short stories. Set on an isolated group of islands off the coast of Virginia, the stories span more than two centuries of the same family’s history: from the 19th century and far ahead into a post-apocalyptic, post-pandemic future. There are intimations that a supernatural ‘second sight’ runs in the family and the book’s Southern Gothic vibe is nothing short of intriguing. But for all the hints of magic realism, the focus on female characters contending with obstacles of class and gender at different points in history is rooted in an understandable reality. Beautifully written descriptions of the natural environment, poignant characters, and local color all demonstrate Taylor’s imagination to be visionary and impressive. 

By Sara Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shore as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An ambitious, Baileys prize-nominated debut set in an unforgettable place, introducing a powerful new voice in fiction

The Shore: a group of small islands in the Chesapeake Bay, just off the coast of Virginia. The Shore is clumps of evergreens, wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, unwanted pregnancies, murder, and dark magic in the marshes. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place that generations of families both wealthy and destitute have inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian's bold choice to escape an abusive home only to find herself with a…


Book cover of Women Talk Back to Shakespeare: Contemporary Adaptations and Appropriations

Carole Levin Author Of The Reign and Life of Queen Elizabeth I: Politics, Culture, and Society

From my list on to enjoy Shakespeare in the twenty-first century.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated with Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare since I was a child and read a kid biography of the queen and saw a Shakespearean comedy. The two topics are completely intertwined—Elizabeth saw Shakespeare’s plays at court and the strong women in Shakespeare’s plays reflect the queen. Elizabeth and Shakespeare have been both my passion and my profession. I have loved teaching and writing about them. One of my favorite things to do is to go see Shakespeare plays and to see portraits of the queen at museums. This passion has so enriched my life. The queen and the playwright have been very good to me. 

Carole's book list on to enjoy Shakespeare in the twenty-first century

Carole Levin Why did Carole love this book?

Jo Carney’s book is a wonderful way of appreciating both Shakespeare and contemporary literature that responds to the themes he developed all those centuries ago. This study explores more recent adaptations published in the last decade whereby women—either authors or their characters—talk back to Shakespeare in a variety of new ways. Carney puts modern works such as Prospero’s Daughter, Desdemona, Hag-Seed, The Gap of Time, The Porpoise, Station Eleven, and Hamnet into dialogue with the plays Othello, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Pericles, and King Lear. This beautifully written and very accessible book allows us to think about contemporary issues of sexual assault, gender expectations, and differences in new and very exciting ways as well as allowing readers to develop a new appreciation of Shakespeare.  

By Jo Eldridge Carney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women Talk Back to Shakespeare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This study explores more recent adaptations published in the last decade whereby women-either authors or their characters-talk back to Shakespeare in a variety of new ways.

"Talking back to Shakespeare", a term common in intertextual discourse, is not a new phenomenon, particularly in literature. For centuries, women writers-novelists, playwrights, and poets-have responded to Shakespeare with inventive and often transgressive retellings of his work. Thus far, feminist scholarship has examined creative responses to Shakespeare by women writers through the late twentieth century. This book brings together the "then" of Shakespeare with the "now" of contemporary literature by examining how many of…


Book cover of A Room Of One's Own

Ben Hutchinson Author Of On Purpose: Ten Lessons on the Meaning of Life

From my list on essays to help us think for ourselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an essayist, literary critic, and professor of literature, books are what John Milton calls my ‘pretious life-blood.’ As a writer, teacher, and editor, I spend my days trying to make meaning out of reading. This is the idea behind my most recent book, On Purpose: it’s easy to make vague claims about the edifying powers of ‘great writing,’ but what does this actually mean? How can literature help us live? My five recommendations all help us reflect on the power of books to help us think for ourselves, as I hope do my own books, including The Midlife Mind (2020) and Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction (2018).

Ben's book list on essays to help us think for ourselves

Ben Hutchinson Why did Ben love this book?

I love this book not just because of its enduring importance - Woolf remains a towering feminist figure - but because of its vivid, imaginative writing.

Based on lectures given to female students at Cambridge, Woolf’s essay argues powerfully for the intellectual independence of women. Such independence, she reasons, must first be materially possible, hence the female writer’s need for that famous "room of one’s own."

To exemplify this, Woolf imagines a certain Judith Shakespeare, the playwright’s equally talented sister: would she not be incapable of achieving the same success as her brother owing to the patriarchal structures of society? In our post-Me Too world a century later, the question remains vital.

By Virginia Woolf,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Room Of One's Own as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.


Book cover of Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World

Jad Adams Author Of Women and the Vote: A World History

From my list on how women rock the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have specialised in writing about radicals and non-conformists who seem to me to be the most interesting people in the world. I like books about people doing challenging things and making a difference. I love travelling to obscure archives in other countries and finding the riches of personal papers in dusty old rooms curated by eccentric archivists who greet me like an old friend.

Jad's book list on how women rock the world

Jad Adams Why did Jad love this book?

The Sri Lankan feminist Kumari Jayawardena produced this groundbreaking history in 1986 and it has never been out of print. It told me so many things I didn’t know, for example how Chairman Mao’s early radicalism was centred on women’s issues: a social system which so subjected women must be brought down; Marxism was a later add-on (but don’t tell the Chinese Communist Party, they don’t like to acknowledge this fact).

By Kumari Jayawardena,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For twenty-five years, Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World has been an essential primer on the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century history of women's movements in Asia and the Middle East. In this engaging and well-researched survey, Kumari Jayawardena presents feminism as it originated in the Third World, erupting from the specific struggles of women fighting against colonial power, for education or the vote, for safety, and against poverty and inequality. Journalist and human rights activist Rafia Zakaria's foreword to this new edition is an impassioned letter in two parts: the first to Western feminists; the second to feminists…


Book cover of How to Raise a Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men

Michael Kaufman Author Of The Time Has Come: Why Men Must Join the Gender Equality Revolution

From my list on the lives of men in the era of feminism.

Why am I passionate about this?

My work over the past four decades has been to promote women’s rights, end violence against women, promote social justice, and positively transform the lives of men. I’ve worked extensively with the United Nations; presidents, prime ministers, and governments; companies and unions; NGOs and educators in fifty countries. I continue to be inspired by the many incredible people I get to meet. In addition to my talks to communities, companies, and universities, my activism, and my books on this subject, I also write fiction, most recently my mystery The Last Exit.  

Michael's book list on the lives of men in the era of feminism

Michael Kaufman Why did Michael love this book?

We all need more than buzz phrases and simplistic solutions. Parents, teachers, and coaches need a clear analysis of the harms we currently do boys. Michael Reichert draws both on his experience as a therapist and a teacher to give us tools to raise more self-aware, caring, and compassionate men.

By Michael C. Reichert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Raise a Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At a time when many boys are in crisis, a much-needed roadmap for helping boys grow into strong and compassionate men

Over the past two decades there has been an explosion of new studies that have expanded our knowledge of how boys think and feel. In How to Raise a Boy, psychologist Michael Reichert draws on his decades of research to challenge age-old conventions about how boys become men.

Reichert explains how the paradigms about boys needing to be stoic and "man like" can actually cause them to shut down, leading to anger, isolation, and disrespectful or even destructive behaviors.…


Book cover of Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism

Lenart Škof Author Of Antigone's Sisters

From my list on Antigone and feminist ethics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always searched for personalities – mythological, literary, or real – affirming the highest ethical claims for justice. Sophocles’s Antigone is, without doubt, the preeminent example of this ethical demand, based on ancient unwritten laws and related demands for human dignity. As a woman, Antigone also presents the forgotten and suppressed orders of femininity, which were present in all archaic religions and mythologies, but later repressed and fully replaced with exclusively male Gods. I’m therefore interested in books that guide us in this search for the power of ethics and femininity and hope this list will give you an idea of the rich ethical potentials that we possess.  

Lenart's book list on Antigone and feminist ethics

Lenart Škof Why did Lenart love this book?

This excellent collection of essays brings some of the key readings of Sophocles’ Antigone in an ethical and feminist key. It includes, among others, interpretations by Tina Chanter, Luce Irigaray, and Bracha L. Ettinger. In the fascinating lineup of chapters, the book guides us through political, psychoanalytical, and sexual genealogies and classical interpretations of this Greek myth, thus providing the authoritative scholarship on a female figure of Antigone.  

By S.E. Wilmer (editor), Audrone Zukauskaite (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Antigone has become a major figure in current cultural discourse thanks to the late twentieth-century interpretations by such controversial theorists as Lacan, Derrida, Irigaray, Zizek, and Judith Butler. This collection of articles by distinguished scholars from a variety of intellectual disciplines (including philosophy, psychoanalysis, feminism, theatre, and the classics) provides a postmodern perspective on the ethical and political issues raised by this ancient
text and recent theatrical productions. The contributors provide an array of perspectives on a female figure who questions the role of the patriarchal state.


Book cover of M. D.

Allan Hunter Author Of That Guy in Our Women's Studies Class

From my list on memoirs from interns, activists, feminists and others.

Why am I passionate about this?

Allan D. Hunter came out as genderqueer in 1980, more than 20 years before “genderqueer” was trending. He decided that women's studies in academia was the proper place to discuss these ideas about gender, so he headed to New York to major in women's studies as one of the first male students to do so. 

Allan's book list on memoirs from interns, activists, feminists and others

Allan Hunter Why did Allan love this book?

This book is a typical first-person account of a student in a program (medical, in this case) who encounters some discrepancies between the idealistically-drawn portrait of how a medical school is supposed to operate and the actual realities in which jealousies, territoriality, and the ongoing scramble to acquire and defend power within the institution play a major role. The main character is naïve to such considerations until they are made apparent to him. 

By Neil Ravin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked M. D. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a novel about doctors: what they do to each other and to their patients. And what their patients do to them. The heroes are young doctors, fresh out of medical school and taking the blame for disease and random disaster.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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