The most recommended books about misogyny

Who picked these books? Meet our 90 experts.

90 authors created a book list connected to misogyny, and here are their favorite misogyny books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of misogyny book?

Loading...
Loading...

Book cover of Pet

Ellen Pall Author Of Must Read Well

From Ellen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Writer Reader Bluegrass jammer Best friends with my dog

Ellen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Ellen Pall Why did Ellen love this book?

Pet is so cunningly written, the plot so enticing, the insight into the power a charismatic teacher can wield over young students so strong that I was hooked from the first page.

It’s “beautifully written,” but there’s nothing highfalutin about it. It’s a true psychological thriller, as suspenseful as they come, featuring children manipulated into twisted, dangerous relationships with each other. It’s also “literary,” and I put that in quotes because “literary” is a word that makes my heart sink. To me, it suggests a book that is somehow fancy, chilly, too oblique to draw the reader in. Pet may be “literary,” but it’s also irresistible, with characters we care about and yearn to help. It’s a book that goes by too fast, a book to read twice.

By Catherine Chidgey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Like every other girl in her class, twelve-year-old Justine is drawn to her glamorous, charismatic new teacher, and longs to be her pet. However, when a thief begins to target the school, Justine's sense that something isn't quite right grows ever stronger. With each twist of the plot, this gripping story of deception and the corrosive power of guilt takes a yet darker turn. Young as she is, Justine must decide where her loyalties lie.

Set in New Zealand in 1984 and 2014, and probing themes of racism and misogyny, Pet is an elegant and chilling psychological thriller by the…


Book cover of The Oscar

Stephen Rebello Author Of Dolls! Dolls! Dolls!: Deep Inside Valley of the Dolls, the Most Beloved Bad Book and Movie of All Time

From my list on the down-and-dirtiest showbusiness Romans à clef.

Why am I passionate about this?

A Southern California-based author and screenwriter whose adventures in and around the film business have led to hundreds of feature stories for such magazines as Vibe, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, American Film, Smithsonian, and Movieline. My books include three dedicated to Disney animated classics and a volume on the art of American movie posters. The lovingly satirical book Bad Movies We Love, co-written with Edward Margulies, inspired a Turner Network movie marathon series. My next non-fiction book will be published in 2024.

Stephen's book list on the down-and-dirtiest showbusiness Romans à clef

Stephen Rebello Why did Stephen love this book?

Novelist-screenwriter-director Richard Sale’s scabrous, compulsively readable 1963 novel is packed with malicious characters scrambling up Hollywood’s “glass mountain of success” only to tumble into what Jacqueline Susann would call four years later would call “the Valley of the Dolls.” Pretty much set in Movieland’s seven circles of hell, the novel charts the rise and fall of an ex-gigolo who becomes a major movie star leading man. Grabbing a "Best Actor" Oscar nomination, he becomes hellbent on knee-capping -- or flat-out destroying -- his competitors. An acid-laced smorgasbord of its era, it teems with transactional sex, unapologetic misogyny, homophobia, and groovy Swinging Sixties dialogue – all of it as despicably and wondrously monstrous as its 1966 movie version (scripted by Harlan Ellison!) is unintentionally side-splitting.

By Richard Sale,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By William R. Jorns on August 29, 2013 I've seen the film version of "The Oscar" on TV a few times, and I enjoyed it - especially the way Stephen Boyd "chewed up the scenery" as the ruthlessly ambitious actor, Frankie Fane. So when I came across a copy of Richard Sale's original novel, I jumped at the chance to buy and read it. For a paperback that's almost 50 years old, the copy I got was in amazingly good condition - it even had a mail-order postcard for some product or service still bound into its spine in the…


Book cover of The Bass Rock

Jacqueline West Author Of Last Things

From Jacqueline's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Musician Cemetery explorer Old house aficionado

Jacqueline's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Jacqueline's 3, and 8-year-old's favorite books.

Jacqueline West Why did Jacqueline love this book?

I’m a sucker for a distinctive (preferably gothic) setting, and this book makes incredible use of the northern Scottish coast. The wet chill of the air practically seeps through its pages, mirroring the slow, seeping chill of the plot.

As the story moves through three separate timelines, braiding together the lives of three different women who’ve lived in that remote, rocky spot, misogyny and violence against women rise to the surface again and again, like the dead things that wash ashore.

The piece-by-piece buildup is so subtle, the writing is so beautiful, and the unfolding events are so enraging, I couldn’t put this book down until I reached the end. And it has haunted me ever since.

By Evie Wyld,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A modern gothic triumph. Spectacularly well-observed, profoundly disquieting and utterly riveting. Like all Evie Wyld's work it is startlingly insightful about psychological and physical abuse. It is a haunting, masterful novel.' -Max Porter

Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has for centuries watched over the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries the fates of three women are linked: to this place, to each other.

In the early 1700s, Sarah, accused of being a witch, flees for her life.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Ruth navigates a new…


Book cover of Mistress of the Empire

Rohan Monteiro Author Of Keep Calm and Go Crazy: A Guide to Finding Your Inner Hero

From my list on fantasy that is off the beaten path.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been passionate about Fantasy ever since I found a used copy of the Dragonlance Chronicles in a second-hand book store in India. I was 10 years old and immediately fell in love with the idea of fantasy worlds with magic and dragons. Soon after I read Terry Brooks, Neil Gaiman, Piers Anthony, RA Salvatore, Edgar Burroughs, and a host of other writers from the 1980s. What I like about the books I've chosen is that these characters are memorable. They are stories that can be re-read because the plot doesn't feel like rehashed tropes. The uniqueness of the settings, the challenges they face, and the solutions they engineer are what make them worth reading.

Rohan's book list on fantasy that is off the beaten path

Rohan Monteiro Why did Rohan love this book?

In a magical world, based in Japan, a young girl needs to rely on her wits to survive. A highly political intrigue-filled thriller. This book is easily one of the best examples of Asian fantasy done right. What I like about the book is the way the characters are brought to life. The female lead Mara of the Acoma starts the story in a desperately vulnerable position and finds a way to work within the rigidly hierarchical and misogynistic system she is part of to effect change from within. The challenges she faces don't appear contrived in any way and her solutions are masterfully implemented. 

By Raymond E. Feist, Janny Wurts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mistress of the Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The world on the other side of the rift:  Kelewan, a land seething with political intrigue and deadly conspiracies.  Following the opulent panoply of Daughter Of The Empire and the dazzling pageantry of Servant Of The Empire comes the resounding conclusion to the Empire trilogy.

Besieged by spies and rival houses, stalked by a secret and merciless brotherhood of assassins, the brilliant Lady Mara of the Acoma faces the most deadly challenge she has ever known.  The fearsome Black Robes see Mara as the ultimate threat to their ancient power.  In search of allies who will join her against them,…


Book cover of Echo of Escape: A Novel of Misogyny, Tragedy, and Unconditional Love

Debra Chapoton Author Of A Fault of Graves: YA High School Thriller

From my list on about emotions and suspense.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve lived a life of emotions and suspense; things are either life and death or they’re just an inconvenience. I’ve been writing fiction and non-fiction books (over 50 and counting) for quite a while. I’m an eclectic reader, enjoying all genres and creating my own works in most of them: young adult, adult, suspense, dystopian, time travel, sci-fi, fantasy, coming of age, romance, you name it. Two things I want in everything I read and write are emotional engagement (make me feel something strongly) and suspense (give me a page-turner!).

Debra's book list on about emotions and suspense

Debra Chapoton Why did Debra love this book?

This novel is partly fictional, but also based on the author’s life and traumatic first marriage. There’s suspense for sure and a range of feelings. I cried hard in some parts, smiled in others, and felt sorry, relieved, and even joyful in other sections. I had no idea what would happen next. The story played out like a movie in my head, full of my two favorite things: emotional engagement and nervous fear for the main character. This is a thriller that follows a woman on a daunting personal journey that will pluck at your heartstrings.

By Jessica Michaels,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS MARRYING THE PERFECT GUY, BUT THAT WAS A PERFECT LIE.  
Alyssa Burdick spends her days teaching middle-school and her nights battling the psychological oppression of a misogynist husband. He was her knight in shining armor from the day she met him up until the end of their wedding reception. Now all he does is humiliate her and turn her into a doormat. At least at school she can be herself. 
And after school, behind her closed classroom door ... well, she's humbled, confused, hopeful even, as her department head, Connor, mentors her. Slowly, very slowly, she…


Book cover of The Bass Rock: A Novel

Jane Galer Author Of The Navigator's Wife

From my list on location and place as primary characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a poet more than anything else, and perhaps that is why I'm drawn to books with well-developed landscape and subterranean lines of thought more than plot or human characters. The natural world and the magical universe are intertwined in my writing as a way to convey the importance of our place, or responsibility in the world. I'm always aware of how much work an author has done to know his landscape. When I lived overseas in Iran, I spent the hot summer days reading through my mother’s library. She had been an English teacher and so I had available all of the classics which I read–often at an earlier age than I should have.

Jane's book list on location and place as primary characters

Jane Galer Why did Jane love this book?

Evie Wyld writes atmospheric and eerie stories that always have an edge, a threat of danger about them, and this wonderful book is almost gothic in its atmosphere of place. The rock itself actually exists, I’m not sure if the house in question does, but the rock and the house and the remote Scottish location bind us into a feeling of constant danger like no single character ever could. The story unfolds in a series of tales told across time periods, back and forth (a tricky format to pull off, but Wyld does it brilliantly). The central character is the great old house, in some disrepair,  and how it has been occupied over time by women who have been, to one degree or another imprisoned by their circumstances. I don’t want to spoil the story, but I guarantee that from the first few pages you will be drawn into the…

By Evie Wyld,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A modern gothic triumph' Max Porter

The Bass Rock has for centuries watched over the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries the fates of three women are linked: to this place, to each other.

In the early 1700s, Sarah, accused of being a witch, flees for her life.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Ruth navigates a new house, a new husband and the strange waters of the local community.

Six decades later, the house stands empty. Viv, mourning the death of her father, catalogues Ruth's belongings and discovers her…


Book cover of T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life

Willard Spiegelman Author Of Nothing Stays Put: The Life and Poetry of Amy Clampitt

From my list on the lives and works of English and American poets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent my life both in the classroom (as a university professor) and out of it as a passionate, committed reader, for whom books are as necessary as food and drink. My interest in poetry dates back to junior high school, when I was learning foreign languages (first French and Latin, and then, later, Italian, German, and ancient Greek) and realized that language is humankind’s most astonishing invention. I’ve been at it ever since. It used to be thought that a writer’s life was of little consequence to an understanding of his or her work. We now think otherwise. Thank goodness.

Willard's book list on the lives and works of English and American poets

Willard Spiegelman Why did Willard love this book?

Every English major in the 20th century (maybe even in the 21st!) came to grips with T.S. Eliot. 

People remember J. Alfred Prufrock and his love song. And The Waste Land has just passed its 100th birthday and readers are still scratching their heads over it.

T. S. Eliot was the man—along with several others—who made modern poetry “hard” and complicated, and he was quite a complicated figure himself.

Lyndall Gordon gives us Eliot in all his complexities and shows how he became our age’s Dr. Johnson.

By Lyndall Gordon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked T.S. Eliot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this "nuanced, discerning account of a life famously flawed in its search for perfection" (The New Yorker), Gordon captures Eliot's "complex spiritual and artistic history . . . with tact, diligence, and subtlety" (Boston Globe). Drawing on recently discovered letters, she addresses in full the issue of Eliot's anti-Semitism as well as the less-noted issue of his misogyny. Her account "rescues both the poet and the man from the simplifying abstractions that have always been applied to him" (The New York Times), and is "definitive but not dogmatic, sympathetic without taking sides. . . . Its voice rings with…


Book cover of Not Now, Not Ever: Ten Years On From the Misogyny Speech

Iris Carden Author Of Family Lies and Other Stories

From Iris' 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Retired minister Former journalist Mother Grandmother

Iris' 3 favorite reads in 2023

Iris Carden Why did Iris love this book?

Eleven years ago, Australia’s then Prime Minister Julia Gillard verbally tore apart the misogyny of opposition leader Tony Abbott and the entire political system. She gave an eloquent, passionate speech that resonated with women all around the world.

This book was published on the tenth anniversary of the misogyny speech. It looks back to that day and that speech and at the decade that followed. It includes the full speech and the little note Ms. Gillard used for her prompts.

Women who are leaders in their fields give their stories of the impact the speech had. They assess progress since then in a variety of areas of society. I had mixed emotions reading this. There’s a lot to inspire hope, but we still have very far to go.

By Julia Gillard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not Now, Not Ever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ten years on from the speech that stopped us all in our tracks – Julia Gillard’ s misogyny speech. Where were you then? And where are we now? This is a barnburning piece of Australian feminist history in the making. MATILDA, BETTER READ THAN DEAD Then it was done. After staying silent, I’ d had my say. At no time did I feel worked up or hotly angry. I felt strong, measured, controlled. Yet emotion did play its role in the energy of the speech. The frustration that sexism and misogyny could still be so bad in the twenty-first century.…


Book cover of Mr. Fox

Kimberly J. Lau Author Of Erotic Infidelities: Love and Enchantment in Angela Carter's the Bloody Chamber

From my list on fairy tale adaptations with verve and edge.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I became a “fairy tale scholar,” I was keenly aware of the ways that fairy tales saturate our cultural landscape. Given their ubiquity, who isn’t? But my awareness was always a discomfiting one, an unnerving at the fairy tale’s insistent cheeriness; it was this unnerving that made me fall deeply in love with The Bloody Chamber, the collection that so beautifully flays the fairy tale to reveal its dark and sordid heart. In researching The Bloody Chamber, I saw ever more clearly that the fairy tale’s grim underbelly involves not only twisted ideas about gender and desire and love but also about race, and this discovery has motivated my research over the past decade.

Kimberly's book list on fairy tale adaptations with verve and edge

Kimberly J. Lau Why did Kimberly love this book?

Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr. Fox is a complex, enthralling pastiche of a novel. Interweaving adaptations of Bluebeard, Fitcher’s Bird, Mr. Fox, and the ballad of Reynardine, Mr. Fox invites readers into a vertiginous wonderland where Oyeyemi’s adaptations interrogate the workings of gender and race, romance and desire, imperialism and geopolitics. Moving slipstream-style across the twentieth century, Mr. Fox offers a transnational circuit of stories and characters that connect gendered and raced cultural conventions with the misogyny and violence of the Bluebeard tradition, ultimately challenging readers to consider (and reconsider) European literary and artistic traditions as well as their underlying ideological structures.

By Helen Oyeyemi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction
One of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists

From the prizewinning young writer of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, Gingerbread, and Peaces comes a brilliant and inventive story of love, lies, and inspiration.

Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don't get complicated. In this book, the celebrated writer Mr. Fox can't stop himself from killing off the heroines of his novels, and neither can his wife, Daphne. It's not until Mary, his muse, comes to life and transforms him from author into subject that his story begins…


Book cover of Spilled Water

Justine Laismith Author Of Secrets of the Great Fire Tree

From my list on to see the hidden side of Chinese culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being half-Chinese and half-Peranakan, I grew up in a mixed cultural environment but went to secondary school with a strong Chinese culture. I became aware of my inferior knowledge, not just of the language, but also Chinese culture and history. Hence I immersed myself in the Chinese environment. But there is so much in this long and illustrious history of one of the oldest civilisations that my initial motive to learn was soon replaced by a genuine interest. Now I am always on the lookout for anything related to China, its history, and the Chinese culture.

Justine's book list on to see the hidden side of Chinese culture

Justine Laismith Why did Justine love this book?

Winner of the 2004 Smarties Award for fiction 9 – 11, it is a well-deserved award as it describes a difficult topic at an appropriate level for its readers. 

I read Spilled Water as it has a similar theme to my own book. It gives insight into the unseen ugliness of economic success in China. In addition, this story informs our target audience of the existence of child labour and misogynism in this part of the world, where poverty forces family to treat their daughters like ‘spilled water’ and employers regard them as property.

By Sally Grindley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spilled Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

When her husband dies, Lu Si-yan's mother is encouraged to sell her young daughter into domestic service. Lu Si-yan is just eleven when sold by her uncle. Nearly two years will pass before she can get back home to her mother and brother. In this powerful and compelling novel Sally Grindley portrays the life of a young girl in China, a young girl whose life is said to be like 'spilled water'. With a brilliant first-person narrative and a powerful description of time and place, this novel is gripping, heart-wrenching and utterly mesmerising.