John Waters once said, “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them,” but what if you go home with a guy and all his books are written by dudes? Just give him some good recommendations! Here are five amazing books by female authors to recommend to your literary lothario that he’ll say he just “couldn’t get into” without giving any further explanation!
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Didion’s fiercely honest autobiographical account of the year following her husband’s death is a beautifully raw portrait of how we process grief. Your babely bookworm will get through the first chapter before he tells you, “It just didn’t grip me the way The Catcher in the Rye does every time I read it.”
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Scarily relevant today, Atwoood’s 1985 novel masterfully imagines a not-too distant future where complete control of women’s minds and bodies is the political foundation of society. After a few pages, your well-read fella will tell you this book isn’t bad, but reading A Clockwork Orange in high school pretty much changed his life and ruined all other dystopian fiction for him forever. It’s not his fault!
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Plath’s classic novel follows a young woman navigating her collegiate and professional life while struggling with mental illness and the societal pressures placed on women in 1950s America. Your bookish guy will read a few sentences and say, “This feels really dramatic” before cracking open his dog-eared collection of Charles Bukowski’s poems because those are good and that is bad.
You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
Klein’s recently published collection of personal essays is hilarious and full of heart. She’s witty, intelligent, and her observations about our cultural preoccupation with femininity are on point. After reading only the back cover, your erudite dude’s reaction will be, “It just didn’t make me laugh. I know there are funny women out there, but I don’t get this one.”
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Originally a TED Talk Adichie gave in 2012 detailing her journey to feminism as a Nigerian woman, this fervent, impassioned 48-page essay is a quick and powerful read. Your full-grown man won’t even need to open this book. He’ll see the title, get weirdly defensive, and tell you he’s obviously already a feminist because he’s dating you!
These female-authored books are all stunning triumphs of prose that your man should definitely read! Sadly, he just won’t be able to get it up for anything that isn’t written by a white man or maybe Murakami. Perhaps someday he’ll explore writing by the other half of the population, but right now he’s really focused on what he can learn from his seventh time reading Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.