Ten books about feminism to read

A family sat on a blue veltet couch reading a book

Although social media is a great source of information on many subjects, when speaking about political terms, discussions can often be misleading or false. It is important for both men and women to be educated on the topic of feminism so we can move forward to improve society. We have accumulated a list of ten books about feminism which we believe will give you an insight into this topic. 

  1. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Based on her famous TED talk which has the same title, this essay is short, comprehensive and engaging, making it perfect if you are new to non-fiction feminist writing! The essay is based on her personal experiences of sexism throughout her life, leading her to become a feminist author and the backlash she received as a consequence. Fiction books by Adichie include her collection of short stories The Thing Around Your Neck and novels Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus.

  1. Women and Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

Using expels from Ancient Rome, Greece and her own experiences, the renowned classicist Mary Beard has created her own feminist book. With her defiant attitude and historical wisdom, she is able to assemble examples from the past and reflect on changes that need to be made for the future of our society.

  1. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

A sequel to her book Milk and Honey, this five part poetry collection explores the journey towards self-love and acceptance of past trauma. The chapters: ‘Wilting,’ ‘Falling,’ ‘Rooting,’ ‘Rising,’ and ‘Blooming,’ each represent a different element in this journey. The minimalistic first person style of writing means that this collection is relatable and engaging to all women.

  1. The Power by Naomi Alderman

In this novel, Alderman subverts gender roles in a fictitious society to create conversation around feminism. A dystopian society is described, where women have the power to give men electric shocks from their fingers. The chapters flip between the experiences of a range of individuals in different countries around the world and how they come to deal with this power that women have. Despite descriptions of female violence, this novel is feminist because it forces us to consider a world where women have power and ultimately whether true equality of the sexes can ever be reached.

  1. Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

This book by activist, influencer and illustrator Florence Given explores themes of misogyny, consent, gaslighting and more. Her aim is to stimulate discussion around our capitalist and patriarchal society, which benefits off the insecurity of women to look a particular way. Given’s is popular on Instagram, so is familiar with the criticism and hate online in our social media age. The reader is forced to reflect on personal experiences through a series of questions, making this book an engaging introduction into the topics discussed.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This novel explores a dystopian society where women are viewed and treated as property belonging to the state. The reader witnesses how people succumb to a totalitarian regime, turning a blind eye in times of oppression. This classic feminist novel initially received much backlash for its graphic descriptions, but has now become a favourite, both in the classroom and for adults. The novel has now successfully been turned into a series too. 

  1. A Room Of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

This essay explores the different experiences of the genders in educational institutes historically. The semi fictional essay focuses on an Oxbridge college and the encounters of a woman in this environment. Furthermore, Woolf talks about the disadvantages women in literature face. In order to convey her argument she constructs the character of Judith Shakespeare, the fictitious sister of the famous playwright. Through Judith, Woolf presents the idea of wasted potential. Although this essay is used academically, it is short, easy to follow and provides an essential insight into feminist theory.

  1. What A Time To Be Alone by Chidera Eggerue

In this book, Chidera Eggerue, also known online as ‘The Slumflower,’ teaches us self-empowerment and self -confidence. The reader is told not to fear the idea of being alone and this time is described as valuable for personal growth and finding your own purpose. The colourful pages and illustrations in this book, along with the inspirational quotes make this perfect for a gift.

  1. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

Evaristo follows the experience of different women of colour in Britain and the hardships they face through their lives. Key themes of the journey to womanhood and discrimination are also explored. If you are looking to further your understanding of intersectional feminism, this is the perfect fiction novel for you!

  1. The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

This collection by the former poet laureate explores the wives of famous men in history and literature, giving them agency and the ability to tell their own story. Examples include ‘Mrs Darwin,’ ‘The Devil’s Wife,’ ‘Pygmalion’s Bride’ and ‘Mrs Tiresias.’ In the short poem ‘Mrs Darwin,’ it is suggested that she was the one that pointed out the similarity between monkeys and man, leading him to develop his theory of evolution. The witty tone of this poem pokes fun at the way many women throughout history have been robbed of credit. Although it may not be entirely accurate, it causes the reader to reflect on how many cases through the years there may be of women who have not been able to express academic observations and opinions.

Many view feminism as a controversial topic, and therefore steer away from it in conversation. In reality, if we are properly educated on the subject, we are likely to understand how feminism benefits all and will lead to greater equality in society.

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