I love to read and because of that I want to share some of my favorite books that center around empowering women. I have read a lot of books in my life, most of them fantasy related, but this list has a mixture of all different kinds of literature so hopefully everyone can find something that they will enjoy.
Bad Feminist - Roxane Gay
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay is a collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism. These essays are funny and extremely personal. They have helped me to understand more about intersectionality and how easy it is to fall in to being the stereotypical “white feminist”. The essays in this book span five different topics including an introduction to Roxane Gay, gender & sexuality, politics, gender & race, and then concluding about how this relates back to herself.
The reason that I enjoyed this book so much is because it is wholly different than what I usually read. I am not someone who overly enjoys the essay format in books, I can find it to be boring and at times tedious to read. Bad Feminist was different because it was so personal to Roxane Gay which made it more authentic and fun. This book has helped me grow and learn about what being a feminist means and what that looks like when intersecting with race and sexuality.
A Court of Mist and Fury- Sarah J Maas
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas is the second book in A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. These books were recommended to me by a friend and have become my favorite fantasy series to this day. Even if fantasy is not your thing I strongly recommend these books. The main character is this book is struggling with anxiety and depression and touches on the abuse she faced by someone she was close with. The second book in this series is something I always read when I’m struggling. The journey the main character, Feyra, goes on and how she empowers herself to be a badass heroine is uplifting and inspiring.
This book is the second in a series and is probably my favorite book on this list. Fantasy is not everyone’s cup of tea but this series takes you on a journey and is something to read when you are going through something that you can’t put into words. Sarah J Maas has another series that also focuses on a badass female character that I also highly recommend.
Milk and Honey- Rupi Kaur
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur is a book of poetry divided into four different chapters. I know this is an extremely popular book but I was skeptical when I first bought it to read. Again I like poetry in small amounts but this book completely surprised me. This book of poetry has themes of survival, violence, abuse, love, loss and femininity. Milk and Honey takes the reader through bitter moments of relationships and heartbreak but somehow manages to find sweetness in them.
I loved this book and it was quick to read. Each poem is not to long but when put together creates a very beautiful story. I also am a big fan of The Sun and Her Flowers which is the second book of poetry Rupi Kaur has written. I highly recommend this book because of how simple it is. By the last poem you will also feel like you have healed from a heartbreak.
The Bear and the Nightingale- Katherine Arden
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is another fantasy novel. This is the first book in a trilogy and has become another of my favorite books of all time. Taking place in Russia it mixes Russian folklore with strong female characters in a time where females were not supposed to be heard. The first book in this trilogy follows the main character from childhood into adulthood in a small Russian town. The best part about this book is how different it is from most fantasy. The Russian folklore in this book is absolutely fascinating and made me do a ton of research on my own to learn more about it.
I randomly picked this book up one day in a bookstore and I am so glad that I did. The last book of the trilogy has just come out and I am beyond excited to read it and find out how the main characters story ends. Please give this book a try whether you like fantasy or not.
The Color Purple- Alice Walker
The last book on my list is a classic but was something that I have only just read in the last year. My sister was insistent that I read it and I am so glad that she made me. The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a gem of a book and is something that is beneficial for every person to read. It deals with gender, race, trauma, and sexuality in a way that is haunting and sticks with the reader long after the book is finished. This book shows the connection that sisters have for each other and how strong the bond between females can be.
All of these books have stuck with me long after I have finished reading them and I hope everyone can find something that they will enjoy and empower them!