Library Services


Book list for Women’s History Month

10 March 2022

We asked you to share your book recommendations to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Student studying, wearing a face mask

The Library’s Liberating the Collections group have created a list of book recommendations made by students and staff at UCL to celebrate the achievements of women and challenge inequalities in the UK and around the world.

Have you read them all? What are we missing? Join us on Twitter or Instagram and share your own recommendations, or fill in the form.

Your recommendations

The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye

A great book. I urge everyone in UCL to read this book.

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

It's an extraordinary rollercoaster journey through the multiple lives of a poet cutting across continents, eras and genders. Wonderful descriptions of places and people throughout time and also of the central figure's inner life. It also has the great advantage for me in a novel of being quite short.

Guy Robinson

Olga Tufnell’s 'Perfect Journey' edited by John D.M. Green and Ros Henry (UCL Press)

Olga was a kick-ass woman doing archaeology in a time when it was all men.

Zenobia: Shooting Star of Palmyra by Nathanael Andrade

Zenobia was a powerful Syrian queen who broke free of Roman hegemony in the East and created a large empire. I have not read this book yet, but I plan to treat myself over March.

Oh! What a lovely war by Joan Littlewood

Joan Littlewood is a fascinating woman. Her work in the Theatre Workshop and at the Theatre Royal at Stratford was seminal. She broke the bias of post-war Britain and challenged the prevailing status quo. This musical is more topical than ever. Funny, shocking and anger-invoking in equal measures.

Adam Bede by George Eliot

Less read today than Middlemarch or Mill on the Floss, it was Eliot's big book in the Victorian period. It works on several levels. Astonishing.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

It is a beautifully written story of family, addiction, spirituality, science, loss and love. The characters and their experiences are so compelling and I couldn’t put it down.

Emma Cardinal-Richards

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb won the World Fantasy Awards Lifetime Achievement award in 2021. The fantasy genre is often stereotypically associated with male authors and readers, and she has carved a space for herself there at a time when this was unusual. Her characters are incredibly written and her storytelling and world building are amongst the best in the genre.


A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

It resonates currently both in terms of women trying to find, or fight to have, a place in the world, and the fact that it takes place following WWI and constantly refers to the loss, pain and consequences of war.

Emma Gutteridge-Xu

Square Haunting by Francesca Wade

A group biography of five important women who lived in Mecklenburgh Square at key points of their lives: Jane Harrison, H.D., Virginia Woolf, Eileen Power and Dorothy L Sayers. You get to know the five women and their lives. A reappraisal, a revaluation, a real gem of a book.

Simon Bralee

Salt Slow by Julia Armfield

Brilliant short story collection which is creative, creepy and very very funny. My favourite story in the collection is 'Stop your Women's Ears with Wax'.

Julia Wagner

Assembly by Natasha Brown

A short, beautifully written and devastating book about a young black woman going to a garden party at her boyfriend's house - and so much more.

Julia Wagner

I hope this finds you well by Kate Baer

It is a collection of poetry that is so accessible and yet profound. Baer's erasure poems are very moving.

Julia Wagner

UCL Library Services Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Photo of Steps to Progress exhibit in UCL Main Library
Library Services are dedicated to supporting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for our users and staff. We have produced a Library Equality, Diversity and Inclusion implementation plan, enhanced CPD opportunities for staff, and developed a set of race equality pledges for the department.