One of my personal goals from this year was to read more feminist literature, especially written by women of color. There are so many exceptional books out there, but here are a few feminist books that I (or someone on our team!) have really enjoyed:
Hunger, Roxane Gay
I can’t say enough good things about this book. I never expected to resonate so strongly with a book that is seemingly about the author’s journey with weight, but, ultimately, it’s about so much more than that. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin, about navigating wanting to be seen or unseen, about taking command of your own space. She also shares her experience with rape, and her thought process around this victimization is raw, emotional, and easily the most I’ve ever identified with someone’s writing on this topic. This is the first time in years that I haven’t been able to put a book down-- I highly recommend, just be ready for an emotional journey.
Becoming, Michelle Obama
Of course Michelle Obama had to make this list. It’s a longer read, about 400 pages, but totally worth it! You get an inside look on her upbringing, life in the White House, relationship with Barack, and so much more. Pro tip: the e-book version is read by Michelle herself!
The Feminist Manifesto, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This short book is actually a letter to the author’s friend, written with 15 different points of how to raise her new daughter as a feminist. Don’t let the word “manifesto” scare you; it can be a great introductory book to feminism, too!
Any Man, Amber Tamblyn
Amber writes a powerful and page-turning novel on a man’s experience being raped by a woman. It’s written as a mixture of prose and poetry, and it gives insight to how rape cases are treated/mistreated. Quick but recommended read.
Educated, Tara Westover
Recommended by Anna, this book is the author’s account of growing up living in a super-isolated Mormon community in rural Idaho. With no formal education, she ends up persevering with fellowships at both Cambridge and Harvard. A good take on the rural divide in the United States.
Jubilee, Margaret Walker
Recommended by Taylor, this book is about a mixed-race woman who was born on a plantation at the end of the Civil War. Written by the protagonist’s great granddaughter, this book is based on a true story of exiting slavery and learning how to fit into society.
The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur
Poetry lovers be ready: this book will have you in tears. In her signature style of short poetry plus sketches, this book takes you on a journey of heartbreak, immigration, and growth.
The Power, Naomi Alderman
Recommended by Taylor, this book explores how strength plays into power dynamics, and what would happen if women had more strength than men. Do women create a world that’s just as corrupt?
This Is Just My Face, Gabourey Sidibe
Most known for her role as Precious in Precious, Gabourey talks about her early childhood as a survivor, her issues with her body, and her rise to fame in Hollywood. Recommended by Anna.
Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is the book currently on my nightstand. I haven’t actually started reading it yet, but I’ve had many recommendations from friends, so I can’t wait to get into it. It’s about being black in the 21st century, as well as a “novel on immigration and dislocation.”
Might we recommend you find these books at your local library or feminist bookstore?
What other books should we add to our list? Let us know!