2019 Feminist AF Book List

A collage of book covers — michelle obama, tina fey, raven tower, educated, tara westover, lindy west, annihilation,
A collage of book covers — michelle obama, tina fey, raven tower, educated, tara westover, lindy west, annihilation,

Most read books as part of the 2019 Feminist AF Book Bingo

In 2018, along with my friend Alyssa, I started the Women’s Empowerment Book Club aka WERC aka Babes with Books aka The Erotic Book Club (in homage to Big Little Lies). A handful of women in my little town in Wyoming meet once a month to discuss a book written by a woman/nb with an emphasis on choosing books written by women/nbs of color. To date we have read: Little Fires Everywhere Celest Ng, Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Big Little Lies Lianne Moriarty, Becoming Michelle Obama, The Wife Meg Wolitzer, and Educated by Tara Westover.

These are all amazing, best-selling books. But I wanted to dive more deeply into feminist literature or, at least, expose myself to a more diverse collection of books focused on “not-cismen.”

So, in December 2018, I launched Feminist AF Book Bingo 2019 — an open source game for anyone to participate in. Participants could tally the books they read for the game in a Google sheet. Those who finished the entire board by the end of the year (or those who were closest to finishing) would be tasked with coming up with the Bingo squares for 2020.

The Rules

1. One book per description only — if you read a book by a queer woman and it’s also a collection of poems, it doesn’t count for both boxes.

2. When you read a book, write the title and the author(s)

3. Anyone can join.

4. There aren’t any prizes besides bragging rights and the intrinsic feeling that you read books that weren’t just written by cis white het men.


“nb” stands for “non-binary”

A “not cisman” means anyone who was not born male while also still expressing their gender as male. “Not cismen” include women, non-binary people, transwomen, and transmen

The Results

The results were somewhat troubling, and it made me realize that society (publishers) need to make a more conscious effort of bringing to light women/nb/trans stories/words/ideas.

A collection of poems written by a woman/nb

Hey Galaxy — Andrea Gibson

Dog Songs — Mary Oliver

Salve Deus Rex Judæorum — Aemilia Lanyer

The Sun & Her Flowers — Rupi Kaur

Written by a First Lady

Becoming — Michelle Obama (x 7)

A nonfiction book about women outside of the US

Travel Light, Move Fast — Alexandra Fuller

A Well Read Woman: The Life, Loves, and Legacy of Ruth Rappaport — Kate Stewart

A book written by a woman/nb that heals your soul

The Year of Less — Cait Flanders

Prozac Nation — Elizabeth Wurtzel

When Women Were Birds — Terry Tempest Williams

Circe — Madeline Miller

A book recommended to you by your mother or mother-figure

Anne of Green Gables — Lucy Maud Montgomery

A Gentleman in Moscow — Amor Towles

Wild — Cheryl Strayed

The Shortest Way Home — Pete Buttigieg

The House of the Spirits — Isabel Allende

The Alice Network — Kate Quinn

The Cat Who Came for Christmas — Cleveland Amory

Lilac Girls — Martha Hall Kelly

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 — Claire Hartfield

The Hate U Give — Angie Thomas

Piecing Me Together — Renée Watson

Bud, Not Buddy — Christopher Paul Curtis

Book ABOUT a queer not-cisman

Not Your Sidekick — CB Lee

The Great Believers — Rebecca Makkai

An Unkindness of Ghosts — Rivers Solomon

Written BY a queer not-cisman

An Unkindness of Ghosts — Rivers Soloman

Lighthousekeeping — Jeanette Winterson

The Tensorate series — JY Yang

Science fiction novel with a female protagonist

Annihliation — Jeff Vandermeer

The Best of All Possible Worlds — Karen Lord

Uprising — Fletcher Delancey

The Broken Earth series — NK Jemisin

A nonfiction book written by a woman/nb on a topic you know nothing about

Home Grown — Michelle Obama

Out of Order — Sandra Day O’Connor

Those Who Wander: America’s Lost Street Kids — Vivian Ho

A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression — Jane Ziegelman, Andrew Coe

A book from Oprah’s book club

An American Marriage — Tayari Jones

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie — Ayana Mathis

Written by a woman/nb of color

Children of Blood and Bone — Tomi Adeyemi

The Lost Vintage — Ann Mah

How Soon ’til Black Future Month? — NK Jeminsin

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms — N.K. Jemisin

Americanah — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Wave — Sonali Deraniyagala

Little Fires Everywhere — Celeste Ng

The Story of My Teeth — Valeria Luiselli

Binti — Nnedi Okorafor

Any Feminist Book (The “free” square in the middle of the bingo board)

How to Date Men When You Hate Men — Blythe Roberson

Bad Feminist — Roxanne Gay

Educated — Tara Westover

Feminasty: The Complicated Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death — Erin Gibson

How to be a Woman — Caitlin Moran (x 2)

The Husband’s Secret — Liane Moriarty

The Testaments — Margaret Atwood

Good and Mad — Rebecca Traister (x 2)

Graceling series — Kristin Cashore

A play written by a woman/nb

The Heidi Chronicles — Wendy Wasserstein

The Swan — Elizabeth Egloff

YA or MG book with a female/nb protagonist

Little Fur — Isobelle Carmody

History of Wolves — Emily Fridlund

Comics Will Break Your Heart — Faith Erin Hicks

The Sun Is Also a Star — Nicola Yoon

After — Anna Todd

Tree Girl — Ben Mikaelsen

Empire of Sand — Tasha Suri

Award winning book written by a woman/nb

Educated — Tara Westover

A Visit from the Goon Squad — Jennifer Egan

Little Fish — Casey Plett

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine — Gail Honeyman

Cowboys and East Indians — Nina McConigley

Spinning Silver — Naomi Novik

A book with “woman,” “girl,” “female,” etc. in the title

The Wife — Meg Wolitizer (x 2)

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong — Angela Saini

Sawkill Girls — Claire Legrand

The Girl at the Border: A Novel — Leslie Archer

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman — Lindy West

Little Women — Louisa May Alcott

Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger — Soraya Chemaly

A Woman is No Man — Etaf Rum

Girls of Paper and Fire — Natasha Ngan

Re-read a book that shaped your view of femininity in a positive way

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good — Adrienne Maree Brown

Bossypants — Tina Fey

The Inheritance trilogy — NK Jemisin

A book written by a woman/nb you admire

Hunger — Roxane Gay

Evolution’s Rainbow — Joan Roughgarden

Wolf Pack — Abby Wambach

No Walls and the Recurring Dream — Ani DiFranco

Bossypants — Tina Fey

The Song of Achilles — Madeline Miller

Any book with a trans protagonist

The Raven Tower — Ann Leckie (x 2)

Nevada — Imogen Binnie

Written by a man with a female/nb protagonist

Annihilation — Jeff VanderMeer

Story of Your Life — Ted Chiang

Artemis — Andy Weir

The Ocean at the End of the Lane — Neil Gaiman

A biography about a prominent woman/nb from history

Elizabeth Warren — Antonia Felix

Manuela Sáenz, la libertadora del Libertador — Alfonso Rumazo González

A nonfiction book about violence against women/nbs

Stray — Tanya Marquardt

Educated — Tara Westover

I’ll Be Gone In the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer — Michelle McNamara (x 2)

A mystery novel in which the “detective” is a woman/nb

Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead — Sara Gran

Sharp Objects — Gillian Flynn

Three Parts Dead — Max Gladstone

Sun Storm — Asa Larsson

Career of Evil — Robert Galbraith

The Paris Secret — Karen Swan

A memoir written by a female/nb politician

Not a single book was read for this category.

If you liked this article, please give it a “clap.” If you liked it A LOT, you can hold down the clap to give me up to 50 claps!

More from me:

Top 10 Books I Read in 2019

Walkaway Partner Syndrome: It Has Probably Happened to You

Ideasthesia: Why We Shouldn’t Refer to Women as “Girls”

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Author. Playwright. Poet. Activist.

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