Baileys Prize judges on their favourite books

At the Baileys Prize Book Bar, at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road, we brought together a line-up of Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction judges past and present, including 2017 judge and co-founder of The Pool Sam Baker, author and journalist Grace Dent, broadcaster and journalist Bidisha and author Elif Shafak, hosted by Kate Mosse, to discuss what makes a great book.

Read on to find out which two books each of the panelists picked as their favourite books by women, plus head to the @BaileysPrize Instagram for a chance to win all eight incredible reads!

Grace Dent

Grace’s choices were:

Outline by Rachel Cusk

‘I think it’s one of the greatest books of all time’
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

‘I was incredibly moved by this’


Bidisha’s choices were:

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

‘Go and get it, you will laugh and cry’


Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Elif Safak

Elif’s choices were:

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

‘This book stayed with me for a long time’
Virginia Woolf’s Orlando

‘It’s a book that defies gender boundaries and class boundaries’

Sam Baker

Sam’s choices were:

Where’d you go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

‘Julianne Moore was my preferred choice but I can live with Cate Blanchett’ 2017  Baileys Prize judge Sam Baker on the upcoming film of her beloved Where’d You Go Bernadette
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

‘Anne Brontë – the least known of the Brontë sisters and the best’

For a chance to win all 8 brilliant books, as chosen by Baileys Prize judges past and present, head to the @BaileysPrize Instagram now!


The Women's Prize Podcast

Tune into host Vick Hope and a line-up of incredible guests on our weekly podcast full of unmissable book recommendations.