I came across an article the other day titled something like “x books people pretend to read but actually haven’t” and it made me laugh. There are so many must-read book lists in your life, but many of those books usually get checked out when you check the shelves of your local bookstore. however, there is a bit of magic in those dusty old classics.
You are reading: Books all women should read
Still, instead of giving you a list of books your advanced English teacher would have recommended, let’s take a look at the pile of books every woman should read at least once in her life.
we should all be feminists by chimamanda ngozi adichie
americanah is one of my favorite books of all time, but if I’m going to include a “must read” selection for our female audience, it has to be that we should all be feminists. It was adapted from her fabulous ted talk into a personal essay discussing the importance of awareness and inclusion in modern feminism.
kate chopin awakening
Published in 1899, this book was ahead of its time. It is almost impossible to imagine the number of women whose own feminist awakenings were stimulated by Kate Chopin’s groundbreaking classic. The story follows Edna Pontellier, a young mother struggling for sexual and personal emancipation in the oppressive environment of the post-war American South.
no one belongs here more than you by miranda julio
Being a woman is weird. And in this quirky collection of short stories, Miranda July tackles the utter and utter weirdness of womanhood: the neuroses that turn into obsessions, the bizarre sexual tension between seemingly platonic friends, and the pain of everyday disappointments. It is a must read for all women.
sylvia plath’s bell jar
The Bell Jar is known for its raw and honest portrayal of mental illness. But plath’s autobiographical account also offers a glimpse into the lives of women in the 1950s, primarily their struggle for identity, exploration of sexuality, and the enormous pressure to conform to society’s sexist conventions. Originally published in 1963, the intensely emotional novel continues to resonate with women today.
I know why the caged bird sings by maya angelou
please, if you have never read this book before, do so immediately. Maya Angelou wrote seven autobiographical works during his lifetime, and this first installment is a harrowing memoir that explores his struggle to break the chains of racial oppression and sexism. While offering constructive criticism, the acclaimed poet also delivers a message of strength and hope.
roxane gay bad feminist
Roxane Gay is known for her equally entertaining and thought-provoking writing style. is the perfect combination of fierce and fun. In this collection of essays on feminism, class, and race, Gay eloquently describes the underlying contradiction of being a feminist who likes hip hop music and kitschy reality shows that the sisterhood might not approve of.
a woman is not a man by etaf rum
This book was one of my favorites last year. is an incredible look at the daily lives of women from other cultures and what society expects of them. I love this quote: “Where I come from, we have learned to silence ourselves. we have been taught that silence will save us. Where I come from, we keep these stories to ourselves. telling the outside world is unheard of—dangerous, the ultimate shame.”
elevator moment: how women’s empowerment changes the world by melinda gates
Before you dismiss this as another social justice book written by a wealthy white woman, don’t. Gates’s book is an intelligent, thoughtful, and passionate look at the issues behind inequality among some of the world’s most marginalized populations. The overall message of the book is that we must lift women and children, especially girls, above the many unbearable obstacles they face and give them the power to shape their lives. in turn, women who have the power to make their own decisions pay for it in their communities, helping everyone lead happier, healthier lives. she backs all of this up with enough science and data to satisfy even the most suspicious critics.
erica jong’s fear of flying
in 1973, erica jong introduced the world to isadora wing’s liberating quest for self and sexuality. Jong’s narrative tends to be internal and intense, following Isadora through disappointing and awkward relationships and sexual realizations as she navigates personal struggles, sexual desires, and the men in her life. everyone should read this book strictly for how it broke new ground in the 1970s for its controversial issues in women’s liberation.