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Colleen DeBaise, executive editor of The Story Exchange, shares staff-selected books that make for inspiring reads right now for women by women authors. (Video credit: Christina Kelly)

Boredom is, admittedly, the least of our concerns as the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the country, and the world.

Still, there is something to be said for keeping our minds sharp and engaged. So for women entrepreneurs who find themselves with all the spare time they could ever want — and then some — we’ve compiled a list of our favorite books by women authors. Some are fiction; some are nonfiction. Some will make you laugh; others will make you cry; and all of them will make you think. And each one comes to us from smart, gifted women authors, many of whom won awards for their work.

[Related: A Fun Feminist Playlist to Cure Your Work-From-Home Blues]

Curl up with our list of suggested reads — then make yourself even comfier as you download or order one of them to enjoy! (We’ve made sure all of these are available for shipping or digital download, to keep our readers safely indoors.)

1. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

This 2018 novel tells two tales at once — that gradually intersect as each story unfolds.

2. “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay

A collection of smart essays from the famed novelist and professor that contemplate love and enjoyment of things that appear to conflict with one’s feminist principles.

3. “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernadine Evaristo

Notes from our staff: “This is one of the best contemporary novels on female/queer/nonbinary identity out there.”

4. “Milkman” by Anna Burns

Notes from our staff: “This is set during the Troubles in Ireland, and is about how an insular community reacts when an older man begins harassing a young girl.”

5. “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” by Lindy West

This 2016 book contemplates stigmas surrounding menstruation, fat bodies, abortions and more. (It was also the inspiration for the Hulu show of the same name starring Aidy Bryant.)

[Related: 7 Powerful Books (By Female Authors) for Your Summer Reading List]

6. “Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust and Infidelity Is Wrong And How The New Science Can Set Us Free” by Wednesday Martin

Notes from our staff: “It’s basically a book about human female sexuality, often relegated to the corner, as we know from our sex tech coverage.”

7. “Ninth Street Women” by Mary Gabriel

An in-depth look at the experiences and lives of five women making names for themselves in the male-dominated world of 20th century abstract painting.

8. “The Friend” by Sigrid Nunez

Notes from our staff: “A beautiful meditation on solitude, among other things.”

9. “Caramelo” by Sandra Cisneros

Notes from our staff: “A series of vignettes reflecting on how one girl’s Mexican culture has influenced her family and life — especially how she and the other women in her family have been treated.”

10. “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder” by Caroline Fraser

A Pulitzer-Prize-winning biography of the author who brought us the “Little House on the Prairie” series about pioneer life.

[Related: The Story Exchange’s Coverage of the Coronavirus Crisis]

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