We appreciate a movie marathon more than anyone, but we’re reserving the month of March to binge on books that break down barriers. This reading list, a curated collection of feminist fiction, memoirs, poetry and essays about equality, celebrates and examines women in society.
Provocative, honest, hilarious, shocking or sad, these texts all tackle topics from everyday sexism to the history of the women’s rights movement. Some are classics, while others are from fresh young writers — either way, these reads champion women through the written word, creating a balance on your bookshelf. None of these authors are affiliated with Special K; we just love their work!
Our list is certainly not complete, but hopefully serves as inspiration for further exploration. Now, pardon us as we book it to the library (yes, we still go there). Sorry about the pun.
Girl Up, by Laura Bates
A great first feminist read for young girls and teens today, Laura Bates boldly address topics such as sexism in schools to social media’s role in women’s rights with her signature wit and humor. Prepare yourself for the cheeky illustrations.
STRONG, by Zanna Van Dijk
Like Special K, personal trainer and Instagram star Zanna Van Dijk has moved away from fad diets to focus on strong foods. In STRONG, she outlines her holistic approach to health, that includes balanced nutrition, exercise and wellness. Her mouthwatering recipes are the bonus of the book.
I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai
Attacked at the age of 15 for pursuing and championing the right to an education, Malala made a miraculous recovery and rose to inspire girls everywhere. Just one year after, at age 16, she became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala’s tale takes readers on the remarkable journey she’s made from remote areas of Pakistan to the United Nations.
Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
If you have any preconceived notions about what it means to be a feminist – throw them out. This spirited account lets readers make up their own minds on how good it can feel to be a “bad feminist.”
We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This easy-to-read essay (you can read it in about 20 minutes!) focuses on how feminism and equal rights is not only crucial for women, but for young boys and men too. The passionate advocate and Americanah author challenges the role of gender in simple, direct language. Much of the world first heard portions of Adichie’s essay when Beyoncé included segments in her 2013 hit song “Flawless.”
How to Be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran
One of Emma Watson’s — actress, UN ambassador and fellow bibliophile— personal recommendations, How to Be a Woman is a modern, hilarious and raw read from a strong British voice.
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
If you haven’t read this 1982 classic about the life of African-American women in the southern United States in the 1930s, you’ve probably seen Steven Spielberg’s award-winning film adaptation featuring Oprah Winfrey. The original is an absolute must-read. Warning! It can be hard to read.
Bossypants, by Tina Fey
A memoir that solves the long-standing debate on whether women can be funny or not (how was this ever questioned in the first place?). In her book, the talented Tina Fey reveals everything from childhood memories to her incredible career as a comedian, writer and producer.
A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf
An eloquent examination of creativity and gender — and a response to every reading list with male-dominated literature and authors (unlike this one).
The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan
A 1963 classic that has been re-printed more times than we can count, Betty Friedan explores the era of discontented American women in the 1950’s who were trapped by societal limitations and expectations.
My Life on the Road, by Gloria Steinem
She’s been an icon for women’s rights since the 1960’s and has never stopped championing change. In her own personal account, meet another side to the renowned activist and advocate Gloria Steinem.
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