1) The Sun and Her Flowers and Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
2) Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family By Anne-Marie Slaughter
3) Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Great commentary on race and gender politics.
4)The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
One of the funniest, most quotable books I have read in a long time.
5)Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I know it’s been 200 years, but Elizabeth Bennet is still the best, she’s intelligent, witty and independent in a time that independence for women was not really discussed. Austen’s social commentary is still biting, and Darcy is the best model of a romantic hero I can think of, because he listens to people, reflects, changes and grows, which is a rare and beautiful thing in romance stories.
6) Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Maillot
This book is tiny, but its beautiful and almost impossible to put down, and Maillot is unapologetically herself.
7) The Power by Naomi Alderman
This one is a really tough read, but the idea of women developing electronic powers, and subsequently turning society on its head is an interesting one. Its a confronting story, but has some very interesting commentary on gender dynamics.
8) The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
A searing indictment of reproductive freedom and choice.
9)The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Beautifully written, deeply flawed character in a story that highlights love, loss and compassion for others,
10)Eggshell Skull: A Memoir about standing up, speaking out and fighting back by Bri Lee
Following Bri Lee’s journey through the Australian legal system, she illustrates how justice is difference for women, and the injustice that Bri witnesses and is enraged about pushes her to confront her own personal history. I cried through most of this book, but its beautiful and important.
11) Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
A collection of seven essays that launched the word ‘mansplaining’, it’s a beautifully written book that covers everything from violence against women to the #metoo movement.
12) Hunger by Roxanne Gay
A devastating memoir dedicated to her body, Hunger is raw and extremely difficult to read, and it discusses food, weight, self image and trauma.
13) How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
Humorously written with the intention of making feminism more approachable and show how important it is, Moran uses stories of his own life in this funny memoir. Through the tales from her teenage years and late thirties, she blends the good and bad parts of her life to drive home the idea that feminism isn’t necessarily about radicalism- it’s about equality
14) I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
As the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala has lived a difficult and inspiring life. It was eye opening and humbling to read about the pain and reality that she thrived and survived in, its a read to get inspired by.
15) The Will to Change: men, masculinity and love by bell hooks
bell hooks writes one of the most insightful books on masculinity I have ever read, and it changed how I perceive men, and particularly male anger.
16) The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
This is a brave memoir that discusses love, gender, gender theory, having children, death and writing. It’s beautifully written hard to summarise.
17) The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
Following forty years of Celie’s life, it covers real traumatic issues and discusses race, gender and family.