Esquire 80 Books Every Person Should Read - 2016-01-05


Esquire 80 Books Every Person Should Read - 2016-01-05


We invited eight female literary powerhouses, from Michiko Kakutani to Anna Holmes to Roxane Gay, to help us create an updated list of books everyone should read. Each participant made 10 picks. It's a new year, a new We're looking forward to reading and we hope you are, too.

    Michiko Kakutani

    Chief book critic for The New York Times, Pulitzer Prize winner, and perhaps the only person on earth with the guts to call the work of Philip Roth "flimsy" and that of John Updike "cringe-making."

  1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  3. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  4. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
  5. Underworld, by Don DeLillo
  6. Selected Stories Of Alice Munro
  7. Mason & Dixon, by Thomas Pynchon
  8. The Stories Of Vladimir Nabokov
  9. The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
  10. A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

    Lauren Groff

    Author of three novels, including President Obama's favorite book of 2015, Fates and Furies.

  11. Ceremony, by Leslie Marmon Silko
  12. The Collected Stories of Grace Paley
  13. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
  14. Giovanni's Room, by James Baldwin
  15. Autobiography of Red, by Anne Carson
  16. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
  17. The Complete Poems, by Emily Dickinson
  18. Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman
  19. So Long, See You Tomorrow, by William Maxwell
  20. Tristram Shandy, by Laurence Sterne

    Sloane Crosley

    Novelist, essayist, and one of 2015's biggest success stories.

  21. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
  22. Slouching Towards Bethlehem, by Joan Didion
  23. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
  24. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
  25. The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield
  26. The Group, by Mary McCarthy
  27. Birds of America, by Lorrie Moore
  28. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
  29. Things Fall Apart, by Chiunia Achebe
  30. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

    Roxane Gray

    Essayist, novelist, self-professed bad feminist.

  31. Citizen, by Claudia Rankine
  32. Balm, by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
  33. NW, by Zadie Smith
  34. Forgotten County, by Catherine Chung
  35. Play It As It Lays, by Joan Didion
  36. Stone Butch Blues, by Leslie Feinberg
  37. Possessing the Secret of Joy, by Alice Walker
  38. The Round House, by Louise Erdrich
  39. The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton​
  40. The Lover, by Marguerite Duras

    Lizzie Widdicombe

    Staff writer and editor at The New Yorker.

  41. The Neapolitan Novels, by Elena Ferrante
  42. The Leopard, by Tomasi di Lampedusa
  43. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
  44. Heartburn, by Nora Ephron
  45. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark
  46. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
  47. Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson
  48. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  49. To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf
  50. Memoirs of Hadrian, by Marguerite Yourcenar

    Anna Holmes

    New York Times columnist and founder of Jezebel.

  51. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  52. The Liars' Club, by Mary Karr
  53. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
  54. Parting the Waters, by Taylor Branch
  55. Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow
  56. The White Album, by Joan Didion
  57. The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  58. Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen
  59. The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
  60. Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh

    Camille Perri

    Cosmopolitan's at-large books editor and writer of the forthcoming The Assistants.

  61. Just Kids, by Patti Smith
  62. Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  63. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  64. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  65. A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers, by Yiyun Li
  66. Bad Behavior, by Mary Gaitskill
  67. Bastard Out Of Carolina, by Dorothy Allison
  68. The Ballad Of The Sad Café, by Carson McCullers
  69. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
  70. The Best Of Everything, by Rona Jaffe

    Ashley Ford

    Contributor to BuzzFeed, ELLE, and others.The Boys of My Youth, by Jo Ann Beard

  71. The Chronology of Water, by Lidia Yuknavitch
  72. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
  73. Sula, by Toni Morrison
  74. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  75. An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay
  76. Redefining Realness, by Janet Mock
  77. Silver Sparrow, by Tayari Jones
  78. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
  79. Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older
  80. Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech