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You are a Badass

Jen Sincero

Consider this the ultimate confidence booster. Jen Sincero's witty stories about finding her own greatness and the lessons she learned along the way will no doubt inspire you to fiercely chase your goals and create a life you love.

What will it take to make a Woman President

Marianne Schnall

Thought-provoking insights from true leaders (from Maya Angelou to Gloria Steinem to Melissa Etheridge) on what it will take to have a female commander-in-chief should be required reading for everyone.

Difficult Women

Roxane Gay

This collection of short stories is all about women who are a little bit, well, "difficult." Full of raw emotion and chilling words, Difficult Women isn't for the faint of heart, but for those who can stomach it, the stories of tragedy, passion, and quirky human connection make for one incredible read.

To Kill a Mocking Bird

Harper Lee

With beautiful storytelling and devastating honesty, Lee lifts a veil on racism in the deep South during the Great Depression. Read this at least once; it'll stick with you forever.

The Color Purple

Alice Walker

This prize-winning novel has made many required reading lists, all the while being controversial for its violent and sexual plotline. Set in rural Georgia in the 1930s, it follows the life of an African-American girl as she endures abuse and racism and finds strength in her female friendships.

The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank

If you somehow missed this one in school, get it now: The firsthand account of hiding out during the Nazi occupation, suffused with innocence, humor, and bravery, will remind you that even in the darkest times, hope and love can thrive.

Memoirs of a Geisha

Arthur Golden

This historical fiction book will transport you back to Kyoto circa World War II, when one geisha girl had to leverage her charm to gain control over her destiny. Much like the protagonist, Sayuri, the book brims with intelligence, sorrow, and beauty.

The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin

Stunt journalism of the most helpful kind: The author scoured the research and tested out loads of allegedly happifying interventions to see what works. The result is plenty of applicable advice and one big takeaway: The littlest things really can improve your overall contentment.


Toni Morrison

Told with sensitivity and gravitas, this prize-winning novel about an escaped slave explores the psychological scars left by slavery — and what happens when you try to erase the past. If you're a fan of Ta Nehisi Coates, you'd be remiss to skip this masterpiece.

Playing Big

Tara Mohr

After coaching thousands of women (and recognizing what a force female leaders can be), Mohr wrote this uplifting guide to killing it in the career department. From meditations with your "inner mentor" to a checklist of (all too familiar) phrases that sink your perceived credibility, this book is full of inspiration and real-world advice.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children's book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the lives of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.

The Second Shift

Arlie Russell Hochschild

In the late 1980s, women reentered the workforce in droves, and husbands and the government stepped up to support them. Just kidding! Women were left doing double duty at home and in the office, and this groundbreaking work from a Berkeley sociologist was the first to call society out. Read it, fume over how far society hasn't come, and take a stand.

Self Made

Nely Galan

Nely Galan, a Cuban immigrant who rose through the ranks to become a media and real-estate mogul, believes that financial freedom is the cornerstone of women's empowerment. Her book weaves her backstory with practical tips for becoming the master of your own money destiny, too.

A Room of One's Own

Virginia Woolf

Written in the 1920s, this extended essay echoes the same sentiments that Nely Galan hit on in Self Made: that women's empowerment starts with financial freedom. While Woolf is advocating for more space for women writers in a field dominated by men, her vivid prose and thorough examples will have you fired up for women in every field.

We Should All Be Feminists

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adapted from her 2012 TEDx talk, this quick read from award-winning author Chimamanda Adichie provides an updated definition of feminism for the 21st century — one that centers firmly on inclusion and awareness.

The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath

The dark novel, which has glimpses of parallels with Sylvia Plath's own life, follows Esther Greenwood's internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953. She finds herself spiralling into serious depression when people refuse to take her aspirations seriously.

The Beauty Myth

Naomi Wolf

Naomi Wolf's bestselling book looks at the every day pressure on women to conform physically is a constant and all-pervading ideal of what 'beauty' is, touching on the potential oppressive and tyrannical impact it can have.

Bad Feminist

Roxane Gay

In a series of sharp, funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay touches on everything from the state of feminism today, how the culture we consume changes who we are and why we all need to do better, while simultaneously reflecting on her own journey of evolution as a woman.


Cheryl Strayed

Following a family tragedy, 26-year-old Cheryl Strayed makes the impulsive decision to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America on her own, despite having no experience of hiking. An inspiring, touching tale that will probably make you want to do something similar.

Lilac Girls

Martha Hall Relly

Inspired by a real World War II heroine, Lilac Girls follows women on a quest to change history for love, for freedom, and for second chances.

How To Be A Woman

Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran's part memoir/part rant is full of titbits and tales from her own life as well as advice for your own, while asking all the questions we want to know the answers to. Examples include, 'Why are we supposed to get Brazilians?' 'Do men secretly hate us?' 'And why does everyone ask you when you're going to have a baby?'

Men Explain Things To Me

Rebecca Solnit

The book that inspired the term 'mansplaining', Solnit's collection of essays includes 'Men Explain Things To Me', as well her fierce opinions on rape culture, sex scandals and issues that a patriarchal culture may not even acknowledge as issues at all.

Hidden Figures

Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures is the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program during the civil right's movement.

The Power

Naomi Alderman

The Hunger Games crossed with The Handmaid's Tale, The Power explains what happens when women all over the world begin to discover they can inflict terrible pain with the flick of their fingers, sometimes even resulting in death. Men lose the control.


Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso went from high-school dropout to founder of Nasty Gal, one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world. Here's her story.

The Virgin Suicides

Jeffrey Eugenides

The five Lisbon sisters are gorgeous, mysterious, eccentric and obsessed over by everyone around them - so why did they all take their own lives? The boys that once loved them from afar are now grown men determined to understand the tragic events that shaped their adolescence in this dark coming of age tale.

The Feminine Mystique

Betty Friedan

This controversial book from 1963 ultimately set Second Wave feminism in motion and begin the battle for equality, which Amazon say remains just as powerful, important and true as it was forty-five years ago.

The Awakening

Kate Chopin

Edna Pontellier struggles to see parallels between her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century American South. First released in 1899, The Awakening is widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism.

The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood

The totalitarian society of Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state, but even a repressive regime cannot obliterate Offred's desire. A brilliant concept that will make you question everything you think you know about expectations of our society.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou's autobiography tells of the discrimination and extreme poverty she has experienced, but is also a book of hope, joy, achievement and celebration. In this first volume of her six book, Angelou tells of her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s, when she suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother's lover.

Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe

Fannie Flagg

A tale of love, laughter and mystery to lift your spirits and above all it'll remind you of the secret to life: friends. A rich and colourful narrative about Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison, who opened a cafe in Alabama during the 1920s.

Girl Interrupted

Susanna Kaysen

This extraordinary memoir tells of 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen's battle with depression on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital renowned for its famous clientele - Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor and Ray Charles.

The Second Sex

Simone De Beauvior

This book caused outrage and scandal when it was first published in 1949, because the case for female freedom had never before been so forcefully and successfully argued. An exploration of the fight for greater equality and economic independence.

Sexual Politics

Kate Millett

A different book to many of the others in this list: Kate Millett's non-fiction work (based on her PhD dissertation) builds a damning profile on English literature's patriarchal myths, looking at the texts of D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Norman Mailer, and Jean Genet and challenges the preconceptions we're led to believe.

Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman

Lindy West

The Guardian columnist takes a candid look at everything from fat-shaming and twitter-trolling to racism and rape culture, and aims to separate the bullshit from the worthwhile, while dishing up a large dose of humour and home truths.

Sister Outsider

Audre Lorde

This collection of 15 essays takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, while reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. Thought-provoking and insightful.

My Life On The Road

Gloria Steinem

Since her childhood, Gloria spent her whole life on the road, and her memoir tells of the more memorable moments from her continuous travel. From her time on Hillary Clinton's campaign trail and her early exposure to social activism in India to the unlikely embracing of feminism, it's an enlightening and profound collection of stories.

Fear Of Flying

Erica Jong

A razor sharp novel about compulsive daydreamer Isadora Wing, who forces herself to keep travelling in a bid to make her dreams happen - risking her marriage and life in the process. A story of achieving freedom and losing fear, which will definitely inspire you to try a little harder to make things happen.

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Irin Carmon | Shana Knizhnik

Notorious RBG, amused the Justice herself and brought to you by its founder and an award-winning feminist journalist, is more than just a love letter. It draws on intimate access to Ginsburg's family members, close friends, colleagues, and clerks, as well an interview with the Justice herself.

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