10 feminist books you need to read!

Written by: on September 5, 2017
Tags: Books, Feminist

We love a good book at InnovateHer, particularly when it’s written by an inspirational woman or features any of our role models. Lately it seems we’ve read nothing but feminist literature (no surprises there!) both classics and modern tales alike, peppered with some autobiographies. So after MUCH debate here at our HQ, here’s our collective top ten picks of the books we’ve read lately (in no particular order):

Books on shelf

Maya Angleou – I know why the caged bird sings

The first part of her seven part autobiographical series, Maya led a unique and colourful life. It is almost easy to mistake it for a work of fiction. This first part recounts her childhood in the deep south of America, battling against prejudice and segregation. Despite the hardships, her writing is positive and optimistic and her descriptive prose is a joy to devour. An absolute ‘must read’ for any feminist. Be warned, you will be addicted from first page!

Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale

Recently televised by channel four and starring Elisabeth Moss, it seems that the Handmaid’s Tale has been back in style lately. The book is a classic and the TV show has departed from it in so many ways, so if you’ve watched the show then we would urge you to try the book too! Set in a dystopian future where very few couples can procreate, the protagonist (our handmaid) is suffering at the hands of a totalitarian regime. It is undoubtedly very easy to imagine the circumstances under which this type of society would come to fruition under and the novel is gripping from the start. There are simply so many layers to this book, it’s the best for discussing with your girl gang.

Ann Chen – Bad girls throughout history

Ada Lovelace illustration

This is a work of non-fiction and is a wonderful collection of female role models accompanied by some glorious illustrations from Ann. ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ remains a true statement and this collection of ‘sheros’ should be shared widely by all of us. Give it to your younger sisters and your mums.

Caitlin Moran – How to be a woman

DO NOT READ THIS while sitting on a bus, train, or doing anything in public. Everyone around you will think you’ve lost it. Serious giggle warning. Caitlin boldly goes where no other feminist has gone before, with hilarious results. Love her or hate her, ‘it’s feminism. But not as you know it.’ A handbook for life.

Angela Saini – Inferior; How science got women wrong

Inferior explores the science of gender difference, starting with Darwin right through to theories from more modern times. Saini wrote the book so that we could fight gender bias back, with strong evidence. Chapters are long and packed with a lot of scientific information so grab a coffee, lock yourself away from everyone and enjoy!

Sonali Deraniyagala – Wave: A Memoir of Life After the Tsunami

Not a feminist title, but more of a book filled with bravery and survival from a woman who lost her entire family during the 2004 Tsunami. This is one of the most heart breaking books we’ve ever read and put everything about life and how to live it into perspective.

Lilly Singh – How to be a BAWSE

Written by the ultimate hustler; Lilly Singh, if you have watched her video’s then you will know how hilarious she is but in this book she gives some valuable life lessons. Our favourite lessons included;

“You’re a bawse now, and you need to spend less energy stalking your ex on instagram and more energy making phenomenal first impressions”, 

“Be unapologetically yourself”, 

“You’ll never truly know if you can accomplish something or be great at something if you don’t commit”.  


Roxanne Gay – Bad Feminist

While feminism strives for equality between women and men, we shouldn’t ignore the inequalities between women. Roxanne Gay’s collection of essays uses humour, personal anecdotes and notes on contemporary culture to explore the intersections of gender, race and sexuality. Train stops have been known to have been missed while engrossed in this engaging and entertaining must-read.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists

An easy-peasy introduction to feminism, Adichie has that rare aptitude of being able to take complex subjects and break them down in to easily relatable and understandable information. So buy copies for your daughters and your sons, your friends and your colleagues.

And if they still don’t want to tackle this short read, they can watch Adichie’s TED talk of the same name here >>

Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar

While it isn’t the most overtly feminist text on this list, reading Plath’s sole novel as a teen left a profound effect. The Bell Jar explores what it means to be a woman with the challenges of gender explored alongside the challenges of growing up. Identity, self-hood and pain, this isn’t a happy text yet it is compelling and highly readable.

Where can you get hold of these books?

You can buy all of these wonderful titles at our local radical and community bookshop, News From Nowhere on Bold Street. If they don’t have a title in stock, they will order it for you!

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