Life has its beach book and trashy magazine moments, but sometimes, a woman needs to connect to a truly meaningful book that revives her soul and lays some hard truths and wisdom on here. Here are ten books that will help you reach that “aha” moment.
1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Both the film and original novel are phenomenal tellings of uneducated African American girl Celie, via letters written to God and her sister over 20 years. Filled with abuse from her father and husband, this book can sometimes be graphic, but the protagonist’s innocent nature and supreme strength make it hard to tear our eyes away. The uplifting ending makes it worth it.
2. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
This famous book is often referred to as the catalyst of feminism’s second waves. It takes us from the beginning of human brings to the bustling world of 1940s commerce, reflecting upon society’s biases and thoughts. All of her long-winded research is an attempt to answer why women are seen as less than men, aka, “the second sex”. More relevant than ever, today.
3. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The famous dystopian title has probably crossed the minds of most, due to Atwood’s astoundingly successful TV series. It’s ultimately a science fiction work about totalitarian evangelicals taking over the government. In it, women aren’t allowed bank accounts, jobs, or reading materials, and fulfill various disturbing roles in which they must fight for their freedom.
4. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
It’s hard to believe that this masterpiece is an autobiography of the regal Maya Angelou’s actual life. It’s just part 1 of her seven part series of autobiographical novels which explore Angelou’s journey in trying to break away from the prison of sexist and racial oppression, via constructive critique and a message of hope.
5. I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This by Kate White
Written by a former Cosmopolitan Editor in Chief, Ms. White gives advice on everything from achieving success in your career, getting a job, networking, and dealing with the sticky issue of office gossip. All told with hilarious humor and incredible anecdotes. A must for working women of all ages.
6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Ok, we get that this might be a bit of a cliché classic compared to some of the powerful books on this list, but Pride and Prejudice has become underrated recently and we want to take it back. It was published in 1813 and deals with issues of marriage and morality in England during the 19th century, through the eyes of a woman whose mother is obsessed with marrying her off. Instead, she meets a man who must overcome his pride as she must her prejudice.
7. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
If one thing is sure about this novel turned blockbuster, it’s that it will make you wanna travel the world ASAP. It’s about one woman’s post-divorce soul search journey through Bali, Italy and India. Elizabeth Gilbert’s story might inspire you to leave your unsatisfying life behind in search of a more profound meaning.
8. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Famous Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote the famous book “Lean In”, and it changed the perspective of working women all over. She discusses how male value systems dominate the workplace, and Sheryl tells us exactly what to do about it, as well as helping us master the work life balance.
9. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
This best-seller by Rachel Hollis tackles everyone’s insecurities – literally. Founder of thechicsite.com realizes that sometimes, people feel unworthy and insecure. Hollis goes through all the lies we tell ourselves, from self-confidence destroyers to self-perceived flaws. It’s honest but blunt, and the first legit self-help book that doesn’t make us roll our eyes.
10. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This is definitely not a lighthearted beach read, but every woman needs to read this brave, harrowing account of 13-year-old Anne Frank’s diary which was written while she was hiding out in Nazi-occupied Holland. To consider her bravery at such a young age is a story of inspiration for many women.