1.The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce – A classic high fantasy quartet, and one of, if not the first, major "kick-ass heroine with a sword" in the genre. The Song of the Lioness follows Alanna's journey from pretending to be a boy as a page, through her adventures as a Lady Knight.
2.The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K LeGuin – Revolutionary when it came out and still relevant today, LeGuin explores a world where people are de facto androgynous, but can chose either gender for the purposes of sex.
3.A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle – A completely deserved classic. Even though it's a children's book, it still holds up for adults, and awkward, math genius Meg Murray is still both an incredible and relatable heroine for children and adults alike.
4.Sunshine by Robin McKinley – A vampire novel that is definitely more Buffy than Twilight, but with a coffeehouse baker, Rae (nicknamed Sunshine), as the protagonist. It's only major flaw – being a stand-alone novel rather than the start of a series.
5.The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood – Atwood's chilling portrayal of a theocratic future where women lack not only rights, but sometimes even names. A must read and well-deserved classic.
6.The Maddaddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood – Much as The Handmaid's Tale is about the US as a theocracy, this series is a terrifying vision of a world run by corporations. Admittedly, the third novel in the series falls a bit flat, but the rest of it, from churches that glorify oil to genetic engineering of new animals and people, feels like a future that is only a stone's throw away.
7.The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – A love story that is at the same time so much more. It turns time travel into a genetic condition that both saves and destroys the lives of the two main characters.
8.East by Edith Pattou – A brilliant and entertaining retelling of a Norwegian fairy tale. It's like Beauty and the Beast meets Eros and Psyche but with Trolls, way more adventure and less Stockholm Syndrome. Add multiple-point-of-view narration, and logical, fleshed out motives for all characters involved (including the bad guys) and you have a great book.
9.Harry Potter by JK Rowling - Obviously you've already read and obsessed about these, but you should clearly reread them before Cursed Child comes out at the end of July (squee!)
10.The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley – The tale of King Arthur, but told from the perspective of and focusing on the women, primarily Morgana le Fey (Morgaine in the novel), and also from a Celtic pagan perspective, rather than a Christian one.
11.The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce – Technically the 9th book, and certainly the most adult and politically focused, in her Circle of Magic world which focuses on four 'ambient' mages. You can arguably read this as a stand-alone novel, but you'll probably appreciate it more if you read the others first.
12.The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger – Urban fantasy meets steampunk meets PG Wodehouse. The best part of these novels, even beyond the humor, is the characters, which include a parasol-wielding spinster as our heroine, a dandified vampire spy-master, and a cross-dressing inventor/hat maker, among others.
13.Dreamblood Duology by NK Jemisin – In a city which worships the Goddess of Dreams and peace is the only law, terror and nightmares exist just below the surface. A fascinating look at the nature and cost of peace and the power of dreams and the subconscious.
14.The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs – One of the best urban fantasy series out there today, the series features a smart tough half-Native American coyote shifter. The series starts strong and just gets better and more involved as it continues.
15.The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker – Set in turn-of-the-century New York City, this novel explores the city, immigrant experiences of two different cultures, fate love and some much else through two supernatural creatures, an Eastern European golem, who was awaken to be an immigrant's wife, and a Syrian jinni, who was released after his lamp came to New York.
16.The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo –The author said she had wondered why Chinese ghosts were so much more terrifying than Western ones. The result is a brilliant novel that is often tragic and haunting about a woman trapped between the waking and spirit worlds in late 19th century Malaysia and steeped in Chinese-Malaya mythology and folklore.
17.A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – Imagine if Charles Darwin was a woman and focused on traveling the world studying dragons. The Memoirs of Lady Trent do precisely that, being written as the memoirs of a famous (and sometimes infamous) female naturalist in something similar to early 19th century Britain. Witty, fun and filled with all sorts of dragons.
18. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel – While magical realism may or may not be considered fantasy, this novel has magic through cooking, recipes and a strong female protagonist trying to shape her life against the dictates of her family. It's a short novel, but a powerful one.
19.Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley - A classic and one of the earliest sci-fi novels written. The sympathetic monster, his creator and the potential dangers of scientific progress remain just as relevant today as they were over a hundred yeas ago.
20.Kushiel's Legacy by Jacqueline Carey – Don't base your decision on this series on the cover blurb – it makes it sound like simple BDSM erotica. While that is certainly part of it, it is equally about political intrigue, a high fantasy hero's journey, and turning perceived weaknesses into strengths.
21.Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark – Set during the Napoleonic Wars, the novel explores the rebirth of magic in England, brought about by the deeds (and misdeeds) of two very different magicians.
22.Sultana's Dream by Rokeya Hossain – A short story written by an Indian feminist in the early 20th century, in which the purdah of Indian society is reversed and men are kept secluded and unable to cause harm while the women run a utopia (on solar power!)
23. The Paradox Trilogy by Rachel Bach - A space opera told by a female mercenary on a very odd "trading ship." If you liked Jayne from Firefly (and his attachment to his guns) you will love Devi.