‘Think’ Books Every Woman Needs to Read

They're provocative, moving or just plain unpredictable—here are our favorites, and why Philosophers will love them.
History of a Pleasure Seeker
Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D

History of a Pleasure Seeker

288 pages; Knopf
South African Richard Mason is the rare novelist who can write a very sexy book that never quite turns prurient. His History of a Pleasure Seeker (Knopf) is the sophisticated tale of a handsome Dutchman who signs on as a tutor for the son of a wealthy family in 1907 but ends up doing his best ministering to his charge's sex-starved mother. Lives change when his dalliance is discovered, but not in the ways you might think, thanks to Mason's complex, ultimately decent characters. This book about pleasure is a provocative joy.
— Sara Nelson