Girl Crazy: 15 Literary Ladies You’ll Want to Know

Here’s a party game for you: Can you name a “girl” book? Of course you got Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, but there are lots of other girl books that you’ll want to add to your reading list. Whether you like thrillers, literary fiction, or history, these “girls” all have one thing in common—they are compulsively readable. Here’s a list of some of our favorites.

The Boston Girl
by Anita Diamant

Meet Addie Baum, the spirited daughter of Jewish immigrants born at the turn of the twentieth century. Her intelligence and curiosity take her far beyond the tenements of her childhood.

The Summer Girls
by Mary Alice Monroe

Nothing says summer more than being on an island. For three sisters, three months back at the summer home of their youth offers a chance to heal the past and forge new beginnings.

Kiss the Girls
by James Patterson

When his niece gets abducted, police detective Alex Cross finds himself chasing after two serial killers who just might be working together.

Certain Girls
by Jennifer Weiner

Who doesn’t love a mother-daughter story? CERTAIN GIRLS is a charming story about love, loss, and the bonds of family.

The Other Boleyn Girl
by Philippa Gregory

Two sisters, one king. Philippa Gregory brings the glamour, intrigue, and danger of Henry the VIII’s Tudor court to life.

Girl with a Pearl Earring
by Tracy Chevalier

A richly imagined historical novel about the artist Johannes Vermeer and the servant girl who modeled for one of his most famous paintings.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson

Lisbeth Salander is the girl with the dragon tattoo. She’s feral and skittish but also a superhacker, called upon by a disgraced journalist who needs help solving a decades-old disappearance.

The Girls of Atomic City
by Denise Kiernan

This is the unforgettable true story of the top-secret World War II town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the young women brought there unknowingly to help build the atomic bomb.

The Girl You Left Behind
by Jojo Moyes

From the bestselling author of ME BEFORE YOU and ONE PLUS ONE, this novel tells the story of two women, one painting, and the place where their lives intersect.

The Flood Girls
by Richard Fifield

When recovering alcoholic Rachel Flood comes back to her small Montana hometown, it isn’t a grand reception. This sassy novel will have you laughing through tears.

Luckiest Girl Alive
by Jessica Knoll

Her perfect life is a perfect lie. An unreliable narrator at the heart of this page-turner keeps you guessing until the very end.

Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler
by Trudi Kanter

This unusual memoir tells the astonishing story of an Austrian Jew who fashioned hats as a milliner in late 1930s Vienna. This is the story of the courage and resourcefulness that got her and her beloved out of Nazi-occupied Austria.

Funny Girl
by Nick Hornby

Set in 1960s London, FUNNY GIRL is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingénue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters.

The Good Girl
by Mary Kubica

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, THE GOOD GIRL is a propulsive novel that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.

The Girls from Ames
by Jeffrey Zaslow

This moving tribute to female friendship follows a group of young girls from the small town of Ames, Iowa who grow up, move to different states, go to college, get married, date, divorce, and struggle with the loss of loved ones.