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Books by Title: U - V - W


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Buy Vamps and Tramps Now Vamps and Tramps by Camille Paglia
She is a smart, sharp, feminist, and with much to say about the media and cultural evolution and psychology and sociology and how these things affect society's attitudes toward women and women's attitudes toward themselves, etc. See her column in Salon Magazine

Buy Vamps: An Illustrated Hisory of the Femme Fatale Now Vamps: An Illustrated History of the Femme Fatale - by Pam Keesey
Pam Keesey's she takes a long look at the strong woman and how society has treated those who don't bow to society "norms."

In one chapter, she looks at the church and its "documentation" of witchcraft, the Malleus Maleficarum, which stated "All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable." She delves into why rites and rituals associated with Goddess worship were a direct threat to the authority of the church.

In other chapters, she pays tribute to silver screen vamps such as Theda Bara, Sharon Stone, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth and many others.

Buy Venus In Furs Now Venus In Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
The protagonist of this book is a 19th century Eurobitch who gets to have exchanges like this: Hapless admirer - "Have you no pity for me?" Wanda, the Venus in Furs - "'No!' she replied proudly and mockingly, 'but I have the whip'." Some of the writing is execrable (Severin, the narrator, repeatedly refers to himself as a "supersensualist", always italicized), but the payoff in savage quotes and brutal sex makes it worthwhile. The first impression of Wanda is of a merely astoundingly direct woman who immediately informs her new lover that she probably won’t take long to cuckold him ("I don't like deceptions, I am honest, but what man exists who can support the burden of truth"). By the triumphant end, she is a dominatrix so effective that her uber-masochistic slave finally whines, "You are more heartless than I imagined." Ah, that Victorian porn!

Buy The Violin Now The Violin - by Anne Rice
Triana Becker is a woman at the edge of sanity, and then Stephan the Austrian Demon tries to push her over. Instead of succumbing to his torments, Triana fights back. She steals his magic violin, and gains mastery over all his power for herself. With the violin, she becomes a great musician.

Even when Stephan confronts her and attempts to regain his powers, she sends him into the next world and keeps the power for herself.

Buy The Oathbound: Vows and Honor, Book 1 Now Buy Oathbreakers: Vows and Honor, Book 2 Now Buy OathBlood : Vows and Honor, Book 3 Now The Vows and Honor trilogy - by Mercedes Lackey
Tarma and Kethry, the heroines of the Vows and Honor trilogy (The Oathbound, Oathbreakers, and Oathblood) are certainly in control of *their* own destinies. Both overcome hardship--Tarma is raped and her clan destroyed, Kethry sold into marriage to an ambitious and abusive politician--and get back their own, never taking no for an answer, but it's more than rape and revenge. Over and over, the sworn sisters prove that they *are* in control and they don't need to be set up on pedestals or protected by big, strong men. Tarma swears off sex and romance entirely, not because she thinks she's been scarred by her experience but as a pledge to her Goddess, and when a Bard gets the wrong idea and tries to coax the 'sweet warm girl inside' out of her she has him packed off, bag and baggage, to a foreign country with nary a qualm. Kethry, a sorceress, weilds a blade bound to woman's Need, bespells a rapist to look completely like a helpless woman and drops him in the middle of his own men in Artemis's classic style, and when she finds the man she decides is right for her she all but clubs him over the head and drags him off, and settles down--to teach young men and women to use magic or the sword, and not lose one ounce of her inner bitch even after having half a dozen children.

Buy The War Against Women Now

The War Against Women - by Marilyn French
It also contains the quote said by Pauline Bart..."No man ever died of an erection--though many women have."


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Buy Wake Up Now Wake Up, I'm Fat! - by Camryn Manheim & Rosie O'Donnell
Camryn Manheim tells it like it is, being a "fat girl" in today's society that's obbssesed with weight. The book is filled with countless anecdotes about how her life has changed (probably for the better) because of her weight. Her family and friends reactions, (her parents use to bribe her when she was little to lose weight). But the book isn't just about being fat. It's about self-acceptance and not giving a damn when people have a problem with the way you look. It's about saying "Look, this is who I am. It's who I'm going to be for the rest of my life. You have a problem? Deal with it. Everyone else does." P.S. For those of you who might not know, Camnryn Manheim is the actress from "The Practice" who yelled "This is for all the fat girls!" when she won her Emmy)

Buy The Well of Loneliness Now The Well of Loneliness - by Radclyffe Hall
(Novel) - The story of a cross-dressing female known as Stephen, touted as the first American "lesbian" novel. Sex actually hinted at. --HB Bookclub nomininee

Buy West With the Wind Now West With the Wind - by Beryl Markham
Beryl was a remarkable woman. She grew up in Africa and played with native tribe children as she grew, having experiences some of us could only dream of. She learned how to fly a plane and flew trans-Atlantic at one point. What's great about this book is her writing; she writes so colorfully and vividly you imagine yourself there, and she tells a story with such passion. She was so ahead of her time; even Hemingway admired her. It's a great book about a remarkable woman. She had a fantastic life, and she did it all by her own determination, not by the help of some man (though there were some pretty supportive ones in her life).

Buy We The Living Now We The Living - by Ayn Rand
Add this one to your list of Ayn Rand books. Living in Russia at the beginning of Soviet domination, Kira is a student of architecture. As her life is destroyed little by little, she relies on her own strength and does what she must to survive under the communist regime. If you liked Dagny and Dominique, this book is for you.

Ayn Rand considered this to be her most autobiographical novel.

Buy What’s a Girl Gotta Do? Now What’s a Girl Gotta Do? - by Sparkle Hayter
(Detective Novel) From the cover: "Nothing is going right for Robin Hudson, a spunky, sexy, ‘slightly rumpled, third string reported in Rita Hayworth's body.’ Her husband has left her for a prettier and much younger woman; she's been demoted to the tabloidesque Special Reports unit at the All News Network after an on-air faux pas at the White House; and a blackmailer knows some of her worst secrets. To top it all off, Robin becomes a suspect in a brutal murder..." --HB Bookclub nomininee

Buy The Eye of the World/The Wheel of Time Book 1 Now

The Wheel of Time - by Robert Jordan (Fantasy)
Seven books so far (700 pages each av.) and more to come. Not only are women the only people able to use "magic" (the One Power), they are also EQUAL, without question, to the men. Many of the female characters are HBs to the core and every woman in the series has at least some HB qualities. (But, as Mr. Jordan so puts it, all the main female characters are based in his wife... figures :)) The women in the series are used to fighting for what they want (and paying the price if need be). Read about (just to mention a few names here) Siuan Sanche, Nynaeve and Moiraine in the series and tell me if they aren't REAL HBs!

Buy When She was Bad Now When She was Bad - How and Why Women get away with Murder - by Patricia Pearson
Patricia Pearson is a Canadion journalist, who generally focusses on law reports. She quotes a number of case studies, partly cases she has followed herself, including research about women and crime. What actually enrages her is the tendency to excuse women's atrocities, make them 'rather deranged passive little robots' instead of women taking responsibility for their actions. The book is splendid lecture, very intelligently set up, very well written.

Buy Where I'm Still Coming From Now Where I'm Coming From/Where I'm Still Coming From - by Barbara Brandon
Andrews and McMeel, 1993/1994 (ISBN 0-8362-8016-4, 0-8362-8051-2)
These books compile comic strips by the only nationally syndicated black female cartoonist. The dialogue is wonderfully funny, and though some characters might be a bit more enlightend than others, they're all articulate, opinionated, and raucous.

Buy Where the Girls Are Now Where the Girls Are - by Susan J. Douglas
"Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media" is both a comical and critical look at how the media has represented women for the past 50 years and highlights feminist triumphs over such sexist stereotypes existing in music, advertising, television, and movies. Douglas is a smart, funny writer and this book is a must-read for anyone interested in feminist pop culture.

White Oleander -by Janet Fitch
This expanded version of a short story follows the intertwining lives of mother and daughter. It portrays a young girl, Astrid, and her ensuing life-struggles after the imprisonment of her mother, Ingrid Magnussen. Without giving away too much of the plot, I would like to STRONGLY recommend this book to any HB. It will draw you in, and you find yourself for rooting for young Astrid as the obstacles in her life force her to draw out the inner bitch. As the story will reveal, she hasn't cornered the market, and it was her mother's ice-queen, Norse-woman legacy for her. Both main characters are extremely well-written, right up to, and through their inevitable confrontation. Truly a thought-provoking, inspirational novel about a young woman finding her inner strength, and being true to herself in the end.

Buy Whoredom in Kimmage Now Whoredom in Kimmage : The Private Lives of Irish Women - by Rosemary Mahoney
From "Rosemary Mahoney traveled to Ireland in response to the growing feeling that changes were taking place, and that those changes directly involved women. Her ideas are animated in brilliantly crafted scenes, taking the reader from Dillon's tiny pub in Corofin to a lesbian pub in Dublin, from a Legion of Mary meeting to a classroom full of boisterous schoolgirls determined to drive their teacher, S'ta Keatin', over the edge. Here, too, are scenes with Ireland's first woman president, Mary Robinson, and the country's preeminent woman poet, Eavan Boland. But most memorable, and perhaps most prescient of the recent enchantment with literature about the Emerald Isle, are Mahoney's pitch-perfect ear for Irish bluster and warmth, her eye for detail, and people so real and unforgettable you'd think they were having a cup of tea with you."

Buy Whores of the Court Now Whores of the Court- By Margaret A. Hagen
The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of the American Justice System. Even if you don't agree with everything this experimental psychologist has to say, you can't deny that she's a total, razor sharp Heartless Bitch. If you ever felt skeptical of psychotherapy or psychiatry, here's a book that will move your skepticism into the realm of rightous condemnation. If you've ever felt somewhat dissatisfied with therapy, now you'll know why. And if you think psychotherapy will save everyone from the depressed to rapists and killers, here's your wake-up call. This book reminds us of the scientific method, and how psychotherapy has never even come close to becoming a scientific practice, no matter what therapists want us to believe.

She makes beautiful distinctions between what she calls "Arrested Feminists" and the rest of us. Arrested Feminists think that women are eternal victims that must be sheiled from society and blame everything on all the mean daddies in the world. Mature Feminists make sure sexism doesn't keep us from our goals as human beings. She also shreds the hell out of Battered Woman's Syndrome - her point is that women who kill their batterers are willfully destroying the enemy when the government refuses to protect them - they don't have a "mental disorder."

Buy Who Stole Feminism? Now Who Stole Feminism? : How Women Have Betrayed Women - by Christina Hoff Sommers
Sommers debunks many of the myths perpetrated by the extreme gender feminists, and sheds light on why so many women have difficulty in embracing the concept of "feminism" as popularized in the media. If we're going to change things, we need to do it with the truth, not through false statistics and hyperbole. I thought this book was a great eye-opener.

Buy Wicked Now Wicked - by Gregory Maguire (highly recommended)
"Wicked" is about the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West. When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her archnemisis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil? A little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

Buy The Wild Girls Club Now The Wild Girls Club : Tales from Below the Belt - by Anka Radakovich
Former sex-columnist for Details magazine, Anka takes on a wild foray into life in the singles and dating scene. From "":
"A collection of essays, articles, and observations provides a hilarious, audacious study of men, relationships, and sex in the 1990s, covering topics ranging from aphrodisiacs and phone sex to the male anatomy and personal dating traumas."

The Wild Mother - by Elizabeth Cunningham
The story of Adam, Eve, Lilith and her children in a more modern setting. Lilith is a wild woman grown up in a land solely inhabited by strong women all descended from the Lilith. Adam has an affair with her, and they have two children. When things turn messy she leaves. Adam becomes utterly obsessed with having her and controlling her, and tricks her into coming back by dangling her daughter (who is has Lilith blood in her), in front of her nose. He traps her and submits her to humiliation, but she finds some interesting ways to get back, and ultimately escape. Not a complete heartless bitch, but nevertheless entertaining and inspiring.

Buy Uppity Women of Ancient Times Now Buy Wild Women: Crusaders, Curmudgeons, and Completely Corsetless Ladies in the Otherwise Virtuous Victorian Era Now

Wild Women: Crusaders, Curmudgeons, and Completely Corsetless Ladies in the Otherwise Virtuous Victorian Era - by Autumn Stephens
(Conari Press; ISBN 0-943233-36-4)
Uppity Women of Ancient Times - by Vicki Leon
(Conari Press; ISBN 1-57324-010-9)
These feature a whole bunch of very cool, bite-sized bios of women both famous and shoulda-been famous.

Buy Wild Words from Wild Women Now

Wild Words from Wild Women - compiled by Autumn Stephens
(Conari Press; ISBN 1-57324-038-9)
>From the Cover: "An Unbridled Collection of Candid Observations & Extremely Opinionated Bon Mots..... >From tart to terrorist, stripper to senator, B-girl to big name VIP, these down and dirty dishers exclaim on love, sex, politics and the benefits of a frankly macha mouth."


Wilt, The Wilt Alternative, Wilt on High by Tom Sharpe
The Wilt books are about a wimp. His wife, Eva, is the HB character here. She is scatterbrained, illogical, prude and more than a bit bourgeois - but what Eva wants, she states. And at a pinch (there are many pinches in Tom Sharpe's plots) she comes into her own, plows through any resistance and rescues her beloved wimp.

Buy Wired Women: Gender and New Realities in Cyberspace Now Wired Women: Gender and New Realities in Cyberspace - edited by Lynn Cherny and Elizabeth Reba Wise
Seal Press, 1996 (ISBN 1-878067-73-7)
This collection of essays by women involved in all aspects of the cyberspace biz is terrific; topics range from fandom and female geekdom to online "romance" to issues of censorship and pornography.

Buy Writing a Woman's Life Now Writing a Woman's Life - by Carolyn G. Heilbrun
From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Jesse Larsen -
"In this concise and eloquently written feminist classic, Carolyn Heilbrun examines English-language fiction, biography, and autobiography written by and about women, confirming her suspicion that the truths of female experience have been altered to assure that literature conforms with a predetermined and narrow definition of woman. Prior to 1970, "biographies of women made certain facts unthinkable," facts like the existence of anger, rage, an open desire for power, or deeply felt sexual passion of any kind. According to Carolyn Heilbrun, when people with drive and ambition have no models, no exemplars, no stories to guide, they must make choices outside "safety and closure, which have always been held out to women as the ideals of female destiny, [but] are not places of adventure, or experience, or life." Some women have dressed like men, others have taken men's pen-names like George Sand/Aurore Dudevant and George Eliot/Marian Evans. Countless others have made choices which deny both personal and social truths about what it means to be a woman and condemn themselves to the "ultimate anonymity, to be storyless." This book is about more than just literature however; it's about the pain caused when human desire and drive are denied, and about the choices all women have to make to find the courage to be fully alive people with stories."

Buy Equal Rites Now Buy Lords and Ladies Now Buy Maskerade Now Buy Wyrd Sisters Now The Witch Books - by Terry Pratchett.
(Equal Rites --sometimes also spelled Equal Rights for some reason)--, Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords and Ladies and Maskerade), include some of his best (female) characters ever. The two oldest witches (bitches?) are brilliant HBs, and even the soppy Magrat discovers her inner bitch in Lords and Ladies. For all of you HB's who haven't read Pratchett yet, I only ask what kept you so long???

Buy Wizard's First Rule Now

Buy The Stone of Tears Now

Wizard's First Rule & The Stone of Tears - by Terry Goodkind (Fantasy)
A really nasty bitch in this one captures the main male character, Richard, by using his power against him, and breaks him. The main female character, Kahlan, is an especially powerful woman and dispenses a wicked justice on her rapists. In the second book she leads an army of young men to defeat an enemy with tenfold their experience and numbers.

Buy Woman on the Edge Now Woman on the Edge of Time -by Marge Piercy
An engrossing story about a hispanic woman in the 1970's. Connie Ramos is able to communicate with the year 2137, although she lives in the 1970's. The future contains 2 totally different worlds, one good and pure; the other a rigid form of our society. She is thrown into a mental hospital and struggles to defeat the doctors that are trying to force her into a brain controlling operation.

The book is absolutely wonderful, it speaks out on so many levels. It touches the treatment of women in society, minorities, mental patients, the environment, there does not seem to be anything missed!

buy Women and Desire
Women and Desire: Beyond Wanting to be Wanted - by Polly Young-Eisendrath

Provocative and vital, this groundbreaking book delves into the complex world of female desire and discovers that, sadly, women often want to be wanted rather than to be fully engaged with life.

Instead of being able to know what they really want or who they really are, women have been conditioned to accept images -- the good daughter, the nice friend, the ideal boss, the perfect mother -- to define themselves through reflections from others. As a result, self-direction, self-determination, and self-confidence are undermined from adolescence through old age. A double bind comes to surround female desire: a woman is damned as "the bitch" if she is direct and self-determining; but she is confused and indirect if she plays the Object of Desire.

Dr. Young-Eisendrath shows us how to break out of this double bind so that we can encounter the challenges of choice and responsibility for our own desires. She wisely uses mythological and personal stories to help us take control of our sexual, relational, material, and spiritual lives. If you feel confused, resentful, or trapped in a life that does not seem to be fully yours, then you can find a clear path to your true self, once and for all, with the help of Women and Desire.

Buy Women & Madness Now Women & Madness - by Phyllis Chesler
Written in 1972, Chesler, a qualified psychologist and concerned feminist, brings and impassioned indictment against a century of psychiatric theory and practice. She calls upon the personal and moving testimony of women of all ages and social backgrounds who have been institutionalized or privately treated. The book poses many thought-provoking ideas about the causes of "female" mental disorders, and the general state of a society which (STILL!) allows women a much narrower range of "acceptable" behavior than it does men.


The Women Men Don't See - By Dr. Alice Sheldon, writing as James Tiptree, Jr.
Dr. Alice Sheldon was a psychologist (or psychiatrist? i'm never sure) who wrote science fiction under the pseudonym of James Tiptree, Jr. Sheldon, like many early women writers, deliberately concealed her identity because she feared an unfavorable reaction to her work, and not without reason. As James Tiptree, jr., she won many awards for her work, both hugos and nebulas (popular SF awards given to writers judged by a panel of their colleagues). At one such presentation, where Robert Silverberg (I believe) was granting the awards, someone remarked that James Tiptree jr., was actually a woman writing as a man. Silverberg asserted that no woman could have written the magnificent piece that won that particular award.

The following year, Dr. Sheldon turned up in person to receive her award.

The story "The Women Men Don't See" is chilling. required reading for all feminists.

Buy Women on the Margins Now Women on the Margins : Three Seventeenth-Century Lives - by Natalie Zemon Davis
(History) Martin Guerre author "here retrieves individual lives from historical obscurity. Equally remarkable though very different, the three women profiled here--one a Jewish merchant and mother of twelve, one a Catholic mystic visionary, and one a Protestant painter and naturalist--left behind memoirs and writings that make for spellbinding tales." --HB Bookclub nomininee

Buy The Woman's Book of Revenge Now The Woman's Book of Revenge - by Christine Gallagher

A collection of mostly true and delicious tales of how our fellow sisters were able to humiliate, denigrate and annihilate their fallen Romeos. This celebration of the time-honored tradition of revenge also includes guidelines for planning revenge and how to access wonderful revenge products and services.

Buy The Woman Source Catalog Now The Woman Source Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women - by Ilene Rosoff (Editor)
A jam-packed source book reminiscent of The Whole Earth Catalog that delves into almost everything we do, use, think, and say as women. Here are resources to help you fix leaky faucets; celebrate being female; meditate on culture, race, gender and society; or overhaul a humdrum life. The book is a gold mine of feminist publications, tools, and toys linked to hundreds of topics, including food, dwellings, homelessness, work, women's lives and achievements, money, music, sickness, spirituality, parenting, and laughter. Wonderfully brassy, bellicose, and thought-provoking--if sometimes didactic--this far-reaching guide offers a great selection of mainstream and alternative tools for life.

Buy The Women Who Hate Me Now

The Women Who Hate Me- by Dorothy Allison
--very angry poetry

Buy Women Who Run With the Wolves Now Women Who Run With the Wolves - by Clarissa Pinkola Estes phD
This is a book that should be issued to all females over the age of ten. It provides a really great in depth annalysis of the female role in folklore, and how many mores about sex and life in general for women came about, and the damage they have caused. It's a handbook for getting touch with your inner lobo.

Buy The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets Now The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets - by Barbara G. Walker
HarperSan Francisco, 1983 (ISBN 0-06-250925-X)
This is an extremely cool reference book, with over 1,000 pages of intriguing and well-written entries on topics ranging from Artemis to vagina dentata and beyond. Great for browsing or for research.

Buy The Women's Room Now The Women's Room - by Marilyn French
The story of one woman's life, from her oppressed childhood to her failing marriage and finally her divorce. The protagonist, Meera, leaves her husband after he cheats on her but unfortunatly loses custody of her children. She goes back to school (after having left University because of getting pregnant), and meets some other pretty spactacular women with similar problems. This book deals with issues such as women's sexuality, racism, homosexuality, rape, "girl power," divorce, difficulaties with children, losing friends to suicide and drugs...the list goes on. It covers just about every major and contraversial topic

This book is relevant to HB because even though the main character has been through so much shit in her life, she still manages to succeed and find happiness and teach her daughter to value herself.

Buy Women, Sex, and Rock 'n' Roll Now

Women, Sex, and Rock 'n' Roll: in their own words - edited by Liz Evans (non-fict)

Buy The World Split Open Now The World Split Open : How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America - by Ruth Rosen Viking
For anyone who wants a thorough introduction to the modern American women's movement, this is it: a rousing story of the revolution by a history professor who participated in its struggles. Ruth Rosen introduces her book by reminding readers of discriminatory practices that were common in pre-1960s America: "Harvard's Lamont Library was off-limits to women for fear they would distract male students. Newspaper ads separated jobs by sex; bars often refused to serve women; some states even excluded women from jury duty; no women ran big corporations or universities, worked as firefighters or police officers." She then proceeds to delineate the changes that make such discrimination seem unthinkable today. Her research takes in popular books, magazines, newspaper articles and television, the details of politics and law, and the individual liberation stories of not only famous feminists and thinkers but many lesser-known women as well.

Buy Written on the Body Now Written on the Body - by Jeanette Winterson
(Fiction) "Winterson chronicles the consuming affair between the narrator, who is given neither name nor gender, and the beloved, a complex and confused married woman. At once a love story and a philosophical meditation." (--New York Times Book Review.) --HB Bookclub nomininee

Tell us about more books we should add to this list. Be sure to add some kind of short review or commentary about the book as well as the title and author!

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