Passes the "Bechdel Test" Public

Created and curated by Phil in SF

This list contains books that:

  • have at least two women in them,
  • who talk to each other,
  • about something other than a man.

Wikipedia has a decent intro on the origins of the metric:

Beware that this test is very limited in probative value. "The Bechdel test only indicates whether women are present in a work of fiction to a certain degree. A work may pass the test and still contain sexist content, and a work with prominent female characters may fail the test." This is just one thing a person may want to consider in their reading. There are many others.

I ( track this in my reading as a check to make sure I am including reading that includes non-token female characters because American publishing often overly focuses on men's stories, and that is quite often reflected even more strongly in what American men choose to read.

  1. Some Desperate Glory by 

    4 stars

    All her life Kyr has trained for the day she can avenge the murder of planet Earth. Raised in the …

  2. Remain Silent by  (Manon Bradshaw, #3)

    5 stars

    Newly married and navigating life with a preschooler as well as her adopted adolescent son, Manon Bradshaw is happy to …

    Phil in SF says:

    DI Manon Bradshaw and her boss Glenda McBain talk to each other frequently about the course of the investigation.

  3. Upright Women Wanted by 

    4 stars

    Pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.

    “That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn …

  4. Phil in SF says:

    Story is about a generation ship that is crewed entirely by characters who can bear children. Several are non-binary or trans-men, but the largest portion of the crew are women.

  5. The Housekeepers by 

    4 stars

    Mrs. King is no ordinary housekeeper. Born into a world of con artists and thieves, she’s made herself respectable, running …

    Phil in SF says:

    Novel about housekeepers (all women) who plot to steal everything from their employer.

  6. Lessons in Chemistry by 

    4 stars

    Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that …

  7. Emperor of Ruin by  (Burningblade & Silvereye, #3)

    4 stars

  8. Unconquerable Sun by , (The Sun Chronicles, #1)

    4 stars

    Princess Sun has finally come of age.

    Growing up in the shadow of her mother, Eirene, has been no easy …

  9. Vanish by  (Rizzoli & Isles, #5)

    4 stars

    A blessed event becomes a nightmare for pregnant homicide detective Jane Rizzoli when she finds herself on the wrong side …

  10. The Collapsing Empire by  (The Interdependency, #1)

    4 stars

    The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning, New York Times-bestselling …

    Phil in SF says:

    The next Emperox, Cardenia Wu-Patrick chats with her friend and chief of staff Naffa Dolg early in chapter 1.

  11. The Helsinki Affair by 

    4 stars


    Phil in SF says:

    Amanda and Kath are two agents who discuss the case they are working on at length.

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