Fiction has the unique power to catapult the armchair travelers among us into foreign lands: be they historical, fantastical, or maybe just really nice beaches somewhere. But sometimes, it feels really good to read about a woman with a 9-to-5 who puts office creamer in her coffee just like we do or has to put up with rude customers because they're friends of the restaurant owner.
So why do we like to read about working women even after we clock out for the day? Perhaps it's the same reason we like to read people's Money Diaries: It's minutiae voyeurism. The commiseration and sigh of relief that comes from reading about a woman who had a bad day at the office like you did. We spend most of our awake hours working, and they are ripe with opportunities for storytelling. Career fiction turns the mundane nature of work into something fantastical: where anything can happen, from after-hours coworker hookup triangles to assistant-run money embezzlement schemes. The books about your industry are even more fun to read with industry-specific inside jokes on page, and it's fun to compare how they measure up to real life.
Plus, with corporate America being male-dominated, it's refreshing to read stories about protagonists — coders, writers, assistants — who are (or become) strong, dynamic, not-to-be-reckoned-with women in the workplace. Long gone are the female ingenues of novels past. There's a new generation of fiction depicting women in their careers, juggling work-life balance just like the rest of us.
Ahead, a list of our favorite novels about working women.