The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Academic Book Week: 20 Books by Women that Changed the World

20 Books by Women that Changed the World

From Malala Yousafzai’s I am Malala, to Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women, and from Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own to Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, academics, booksellers, publishers and librarians have come together to reveal their top 20 books by women that changed the world ahead of Academic Book Week next week (23-28 April 2018). Spanning subject areas as varied as politics, feminism, race, fiction and photography, the list includes titles by authors such as Bell Hook, Mary Beard, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Mary Shelley and Anne Frank.

A public vote is open from Friday 20th April until 2pm Thursday 26th April, to find the book that has been most influential:

The winning title will be unveiled during Academic Book Week.

Top 20 books by women that changed the world:

A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) by Mary Wollstonecraft    
Ain't I A Woman? (1981) by Bell Hooks    
The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) by Anne Frank    
The Female Eunuch (1970) by Germaine Greer    
Frankenstein (1823) by Mary Shelley    
Gender Trouble (1990) by Judith Butler     
The Hite Report (1973) by Shere Hite    
I am Malala (2013) by Malala Yousafzai    
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) by Maya Angelou
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010) by Rebecca Skloot    
Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Bronte
No Logo (1999) by Naomi Klein    
On Photography (1977) by Susan Sontag    
The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) by Hannah Arendt    
A Room of One's Own (1929) by Virginia Woolf    
The Second Sex (1949) by Simone de Beauvoir    
Silent Spring (1962) by Rachel Carson    
The Unwomanly Face of War (1985) by Svetlana Alexievich
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race (2017) by Reni Eddo-Lodge    
Women & Power: A Manifesto (2017) by Mary Beard

This year Academic Book Week, a week of celebration and debate around the current and future role of academic books, is being run by the Booksellers Association.

Mary Beard commented: "Women have always had to fight to be heard. But the fact is that women's writing has changed the world. That goes right back to Sappho of Lesbos, the only female poet from the ancient world whose work survives in any quantity. She challenged the heroic male ideal and forged an idiom for women who love women."

Alan Staton, Head of Marketing & Communications, Booksellers Association, said: “This is a fantastic list of titles that have shaped academic and popular thinking over the past two centuries. We look forward to seeing which title the public chooses as the most influential book written by a woman to mark Academic Book Week, and the centenary of women’s suffrage.”