All the books in bold have a 4 or 5* rating on my Goodreads.

Books preceded by a – are books I loathed.


Mary S. Lovell’s The Mitford Girls: The Biography of an Extraordinary Family

Muriel Spark’s The Essence of the Brontes: A Compilation with Essays.

Fiona Sampson’s In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein

Lyndall Gordon’s Charlotte Bronte: A Life

Leta Hong Fincher’s The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China

Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish): Getting Under the Skin of Britain’s Race Problem


Tishani Doshi’s The Pleasure Seekers

Leila Aboulela The Kindness of Enemies

Chinelo Okparanta’s Under the Udala Trees

Nell Irvin Painter’s The History of White People

Yrsa Daley-Ward’s Bone

Keeanga- Yamahtta Taylor’s How we get free: Black Feminism and the Combahe River Collective

*Ijeomana Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race



Rachel Holmes’ The Hottentot Venus: The Life and Death of Saartjie Baartman: Born 1789 Buried 2002

Nicola Barker’s Wide Open

Kimberle Crenshaw, Priscilla Ocen & Jyoti Nanda’s Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced & Under Protected

Victoria Brownworth’s From where we sit: Black Writer Write Black Youth

Diane Setterfield’s Bellman & Black

Miranda Kaufman’s Black Tudors The Untold Story

Emily Midorikawa & Emma Claire Sweeney’s A Secret Sisterhood: The Hidden Friendship of Austin, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf

Susan Faludi’s In The Darkroom

Cecelie Berry (ed) Rise Up Singing: Black Women Writers on Motherhood

Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley