This started out as a Facebook post. I was just going to recommend some books for my friends to start reading today, International Women’s Day, to celebrate themselves/the women in their lives/the women that inspire them every day. But the more books I listed, the more I thought of, and it just became a little excessive for Facebook.
I have a list of both fiction and nonfiction. My list includes books in the young adult genre, books you’d find in the children’s section, graphic novels, and even a book of poetry. Most, but not all, are by female authors. And then because I couldn’t stop myself, I’ve also included a list of books that I haven’t read myself, but that are on my TBR (To Be Read) shelf.
(Two sidenotes: 1. Not all of these books are “about” feminism, thought a lot of them are. What they all have in common in they are about women. 2. I’ve included very little description because I guarantee you can find a better one elsewhere on the internet between Goodreads, Amazon, and other blogs. Plus, this post is long enough already, so I might as well save us all some time, right?
Here are my picks!
1. Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back, by Janice P. Nimura
2. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai
3. Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
4. Mom & Me & Mom, by Maya Angelou
5. My Life on the Road, by Gloria Steinem
6. Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, by Mara Wilson
7. Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded, by Hannah Hart (My favorite YouTuber. Hannah inspires me daily right down to the quote posted on my wall- “Practice Reckless Optimism.” This one made me cry. A lot actually).
8. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, by Jenny Lawson
9. Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
10. Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes
11. Love, Lucy, by Lucille Ball (my absolute icon. My inspiration. My queen).
12. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, by Carrie Brownstein
13. No Matter the Wreckage, by Sarah Kay (no other book of poetry has ever stayed with me like this one).
14. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel (read this and then go see the musical. Or listen to the soundtrack).
15. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi
1. The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
2. Kindred, by Octavia Butler
3. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood (Obvious choice, come on).
4. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini (in my top 5 favorite books.If I hadn’t know the author was a man beforehand,, I would never have guessed. He writes women so well).
5. Difficult Women, by Roxane Gay
6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
7. Girl at War, by Sara Nović
8. Matilda, by Roald Dahl (this will probably be my favorite book for the rest of my life).
9. The Young Elites, by Marie Lu
10. Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan
11. Room, Emma Donoghue
12. The Girl With All the Gifts, by M.R. Carey (I started reading this not knowing it’s basically about zombies… so, it’s basically about zombies).
13. Out of the Easy, by Ruta Sepetys
14. The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins (creepy short story that I’ve been obsessed with since high school, tbh)
15. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
1. Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi
2. The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson
3. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
4. Men Explain Things to Me, by Rebecca Solnit
5. We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
6.Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women, by Sarah Helm
7. Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
8. Talking as Fast as I Can, by Lauren Graham
9. In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from Over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, by Grace Bonney
10. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly
11. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
12. The Mothers, by Brit Bennett
13. Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
14. The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, by Marina Keegan
15. all about love: new visions, by bell hooks
16. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
17. Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
18. How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life, by Lilly Singh
19. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
20. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
21. Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear… and Why, by Sady Doyle
22. The Vegetarian, by Han Kang
23. Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, by Melissa V. Harris-Perry
24. Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, by Janet Mock
25. The Empathy Exams: Essays, by Leslie Jamison
26. All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, by Rebecca Traister
27. Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do About It, by Kate Harding
28. Sex Object, by Jessica Valenti
29. Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
30. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
31. Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf
32. The Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood
33. Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor
34. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
35. Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson
So, now that you’ve made it through my list, what books are on yours? Any other recommendations for me? And what else are you doing to celebrate the women in your lives today?
Talk to ya’ll soon!