Who said reading can’t be competitive? Every few months, we’ll be challenging you to read a list of selected books. Print out the challenge and cross the titles off as you go. Show off how much you’ve read by taking a picture and tweeting @penguinrandom or Instagramming (@penguinrandomhouse) with the hashtag #challengeyourshelf.
We Should All Be Feminists
The highly acclaimed, provocative New York Times bestseller from the award-winning, bestselling author of Americanah
In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from the much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first... Read more >
Mrs. Dalloway chronicles a June day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway–a day that is taken up with running minor errands in preparation for a party and that is punctuated, toward the end, by the suicide of a young man she has never met. In giving an apparently ordinary day such immense resonance and... Read more >
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
Within the origin of one of the world’s most iconic superheroes hides a fascinating family story—and a crucial history of feminism in the twentieth-century.
“Everything you might want in a page-turner … skeletons in the closet, a believe-it-or-not weirdness in its biographical details, and something else that... Read more >
My Life in France
The bestselling story of Julia’s years in France in her own words—and the basis for the film Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.
Although she would later singlehandedly create a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The... Read more >
From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers—featuring cover art by type superstar Jessica Hische
It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and gift-worthy hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously... Read more >
My Life on the Road
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | ONE OF O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE’S TEN FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Harper’s Bazaar • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Publishers Weekly
Gloria Steinem—writer, activist, organizer, and inspiring leader—now tells a story she has never told before, a... Read more >
A provocative and wide-ranging conversation between two distinctive women—one American and one French—on the dilemmas, rewards, and demands of womanhood.
Lisa Alther and Françoise Gilot have been friends for more than twenty-five years. Although from different backgrounds (Gilot from cosmopolitan Paris, Alther... Read more >
The Paying Guests
The “volcanically sexy” (USA Today) bestseller about a widow and her daughter who take a young couple into their home in 1920s London.
It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa—a... Read more >
This “richly textured biography” (Chicago Tribune) inspired the mesmerizing documentary, Letters from Baghdad, soon to air on public television.
Here is the story of Gertrude Bell, who explored, mapped, and excavated the Arab world throughout the early twentieth century. Recruited by British intelligence during... Read more >
On November 14, 1889, Nellie Bly, the crusading young female reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s World newspaper, left New York City by steamship on a quest to break the record for the fastest trip around the world. Also departing from New York that day—and heading in the opposite direction by... Read more >
“[A] shimmering and rather wonderful biography.” —The Guardian (London)
When Queen Victoria died in 1901, she had ruled for nearly sixty-four years. She was the mother of nine and grandmother of forty-two and the matriarch of royal Europe through her children’s marriages. To many, Queen Victoria is a ruler... Read more >
Joan of Arc
Kathryn Harrison gives us a Joan of Arc for our time—a shining exemplar of unshakable faith, extraordinary courage, and self-confidence on the battlefield, in the royal court, during a brutally rigged inquisition and imprisonment, and in the face of her death. In this new take on Joan’s story, Harrison deftly... Read more >
The magnificent Pulitzer Prize–winning work that brought the wrenching experience of slavery into the literature of our time, enlarging our comprehension of America’s original sin.
Upon the original publication of Beloved in 1987, John Leonard wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “I can’t imagine American literature... Read more >
This is the inspiring story of a modern American icon, the first comprehensive account of the life and times of Michelle Obama.
With disciplined reporting and a storyteller’s eye for revealing detail, Peter Slevin follows Michelle to the White House from her working-class childhood on Chicago’s largely segregated... Read more >
A New York Times Notable Book
A Time Magazine “Best Comix of the Year”
A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.
In powerful black-and-white comic strip images,... Read more >
Fear of Flying
A striking deluxe edition commemorating the 40th anniversary of Erica Jong’s groundbreaking classic
Before Hannah from Girls, Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey, and Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, there was Isadora Wing, the uninhibited, outspoken protagonist of Erica Jong’s revolutionary novel.... Read more >
The Liars' Club
#4 on The New York Times’ list of The 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years
The New York Times bestselling, hilarious tale of a hardscrabble Texas childhood that Oprah.com calls the best memoir of a generation—now with a foreword by Lena Dunham in celebration of its twentieth anniversary
“Wickedly funny and... Read more >
Motorcycles I've Loved
“What the PCT is to Cheryl Strayed, the open road is to Brooks-Dalton.”—Cosmopolitan
A powerful memoir about a young woman whose passion for motorcycles leads her down a road all her own.
At twenty-one-years-old, Lily Brooks-Dalton is feeling lost; returning to New England after three and a half years traveling... Read more >
The award-winning, nationally bestselling translation, by Lydia Davis, of one of the world’s most celebrated novels
Emma Bovary is the original desperate housewife. Beautiful but bored, she spends lavishly on clothes and on her home and embarks on two disappointing affairs in an effort to make her life everything... Read more >
The visionary author’s masterpiece pulls us—along with her Black female hero—through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now.
Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched... Read more >
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
A stunning new clothbound edition of Mary Shelley's infamous work of horror fiction, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith. These delectable and collectible Penguin editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile... Read more >
The Second Sex
Simone de Beauvoir’s essential masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of “woman,” and a revolutionary exploration of inequality and otherness. Unabridged in English for the first time, this long-awaited edition reinstates significant portions of the original French text that were cut in the first... Read more >
An engrossing, unadulterated biography of “Bloody Mary”—elder daughter of Henry VIII, Catholic zealot, and England’s first reigning Queen
Mary Tudor was the first woman to inherit the throne of England. Reigning through one of Britain’s stormiest eras, she earned the nickname “Bloody Mary” for her violent... Read more >
With this revelatory and painstakingly researched book, Martha Washington, the invisible woman of American history, at last gets the biography she deserves. In place of the domestic frump of popular imagination, Patricia Brady resurrects the wealthy, attractive, and vivacious young widow who captivated the... Read more >