America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash–and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed.

— Nathaniel Hawthorne (1855, to his publisher regarding female authors)

March is Women’s History Month and I’ve nearly missed it, but there’s just enough time for a quick post. I saw that quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne once a few years ago and thought it was hilarious if only because you can almost hear the condescension (and a bit of insecurity) in his voice. Would you expect anything less from the man who penned The Scarlet Letter? Even though his own wife was a published author and illustrator! Anyway…

In recognition of the scribblings innumerable literary contributions that ladies have made (and continue to make) to this world of men, here’s a book list!

500 Great Books by Women has a lot of big names and truly marvelous books. Among them are Jessica Saiki’s From the Lanai and Other Hawaii Stories and Sylvia Watanabe’s Talking to the Dead. I think it’s great that some of Hawaii’s authors are in such good company, I only wish the list included more.

Honestly, I think I’ve only really read about a sixth of these great novels. The only problem with lists like these is that it makes me feel like I’ll never get to read all the things I want to. There are just too many wonderful books in this world. But what better world to live in than one with too many books?

Check out my post from last year’s Women’s History Month. There’s a great book list on influential women of Hawai’i.