The selection of 20 titles – chosen by the public – was unveiled today and culminates the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction’s new #ThisBook campaign, which has been inspiring book lovers to share their favourite, life-changing books by women using the hashtag on Twitter.
Kate Mosse, co-founder and chair of the Women’s Prize for Fiction Board said the project was “a wonderful way to encourage readers to share their #ThisBook stories via social media” and “an exciting opportunity to identify the books that people are actually reading, talking about and recommending to other people right now”.
Of To Kill a Mockingbird, Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti, who has also been announced as chair of the judging panel for next year's Baileys prize, said: "With human rights under attack the world over, the enduring appeal of Harper Lee's great tale gives hope that justice and equality might yet triumph over prejudice."
The top 20 most influential books by women, as voted for by the public:
2) The Handmaid's Tale – Margaret Atwood
3) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
4) Harry Potter – JK Rowling
5) Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
6) Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
7) Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
8) Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
9) The Secret History – Donna Tartt
10) I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
11) The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
12) Beloved – Toni Morrison
13) Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
14) We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
15) The Time Traveller's Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
16) Middlemarch – George Eliot
17) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
18) The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
19) The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
20) The Women's Room – Marilyn French
What do you think of the list? Are there any other books you would have liked to see included?