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Best Feminist Books

Dive into empowerment and equality with these essential feminist reads, ranked by frequency of recommendations from leading literary sources.

Recommendations from 72 articles, Barack Obama, Rihanna, Selena Gomez and 98 others.
Best Feminist Books
100 books on the list
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We Should All Be Feminists book cover
We Should All Be Feminists
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 2014-07-29 (first published in 2012)
Goodreads Rating
This powerful essay by an award-winning author explores the meaning of feminism today. Drawing on personal experiences, the author provides a nuanced definition of feminism rooted in inclusion and awareness. Her witty and clever prose sheds light on the often masked realities of sexual politics and highlights the harmful effects of gender discrimination for both men and women. A rallying cry for a more just and equal world, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the fight for gender equality.
The Handmaid's Tale book cover
The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood - 1998-04-01 (first published in 1985)
Goodreads Rating
This feminist dystopian novel explores life in the Republic of Gilead - a future United States where a monotheocracy takes the Book of Genesis literally, leading to bizarre consequences for the population. Follow the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids living under the new social order, as she reveals dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade. With scathing satire, a dire warning, and poignant prose, this unforgettable classic is Margaret Atwood at her best.
Recommended by
Emma WatsonJenn Im
Sister Outsider book cover
Sister Outsider
Essays and Speeches (Crossing Press Feminist Series)
Audre Lorde - 1984-06-01
Goodreads Rating
Celebrate the resounding voice of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde through this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches. Tackling sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class through incisive, unflinching, and lyrical prose, Sister Outsider proposes social difference as a key to action and change. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, highlighting the enduring relevance of her brave philosophies today. A writer, activist, and mother of two, Lorde's writing offers messages of hope in the face of struggle, urging us to never close our eyes to the terror and chaos of the rejected and the messy.
Bad Feminist book cover
Bad Feminist
Roxane Gay - 2014-08-05
Goodreads Rating
Discover a witty and insightful collection of essays that explore the journey of a woman of color navigating modern culture. Delving into the state of feminism today, this book offers a sharp commentary on how the media we consume shapes our identity. With humor and honesty, the author inspires readers to do better and be better.
Recommended by
Emma WatsonJohn Green
Men Explain Things to Me book cover
Men Explain Things to Me
Rebecca Solnit - 2014-05-20
Goodreads Rating
This book explores the frustrating phenomenon of men who talk down to women and wrongly assume they know everything. With a comic and scathing approach, the author delves into why this problem arises and the silencing of women as a result. Included are six complementary essays on subjects such as marriage equality and violence against women. A must-read for anyone interested in gender dynamics and feminism.
The Bell Jar book cover
The Bell Jar
A Novel
Sylvia Plath - 2006-01-01 (first published in 1963)
Goodreads Rating
This haunting American classic by Sylvia Plath delves into the psyche of Esther Greenwood, a brilliant, successful, and beautiful woman who slowly falls into the grip of insanity. Plath's intense and realistic writing draws the reader into Esther's breakdown, making her madness palpably real. A deep exploration of the darkest corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is a masterpiece of literature that leaves a haunting impression.
Recommended by
Chloe Grace Moretz
The Feminine Mystique book cover
The Feminine Mystique
Betty Friedan - 2013-09-03 (first published in 1963)
Goodreads Rating
This timeless classic delves into "the problem that has no name" - the societal beliefs and institutions that kept women confined to the home and doubting their own intellectual capabilities. Published in 1963, it captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation of women, and offers insights that continue to inspire today. With fascinating anecdotes, interviews, and a powerful message of reclaiming one's life, this is a must-read for anyone interested in women's empowerment.
A Room of One's Own book cover
A Room of One's Own
Virginia Woolf - 2000-01-01 (first published in 1929)
Goodreads Rating
This extended essay delves into the feminist ideal of providing women with a literal and figurative space in the male-dominated literary world. Based on Virginia Woolf's lectures at two women's colleges in Cambridge, she explores the role of women as writers and characters in fiction through a fictional narrator and narrative. A thought-provoking and poignant read for anyone interested in gender and literature.
Recommended by
Caitlin Moran
The Second Sex book cover
The Second Sex
Simone de Beauvoir - 1989-12-17 (first published in 1949)
Goodreads Rating
A groundbreaking analysis of the Western concept of "woman," this powerful text explores inequality and otherness. This long-awaited new edition features significant portions reinstated from the original French text. Simone de Beauvoir's masterwork remains as thought-provoking and relevant today as it was 60 years ago.
Feminism is for Everybody book cover
Feminism is for Everybody
Bell Hooks - 2000-10-01
Goodreads Rating
Discover the nature of feminism and its positive promise to eliminate sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression in this accessible primer. With clarity and directness, the author encourages readers to see how feminism can touch and change their lives, emphasizing that it is for everybody.
Recommended by
Sally Bergesen
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Women & Power by Mary Beard
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Women, Race, & Class by Angela Y. Davis
Little Leaders by Vashti Harrison
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer
Dear Ijeawele Or A Feminist Manifesto by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Women, Culture & Politics by Angela Y. Davis
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
This Little Trailblazer by Joan Holub
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Francesca Elena, Cavallo Favilli
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
A Vindication of the Rights of Men/A Vindication of the Rights of Woman/An Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution by Mary Wollstonecraft
Circe by Madeline Miller
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Revolting Prostitutes by Molly Smith
Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed
This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins
I Dissent by Debbie Levy
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Down Girl by Kate Manne
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
Ain't I a Woman by Bell Hooks
The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
This Bridge Called My Back by Cherríe Moraga
The Power by Naomi Alderman
the witch doesn't burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace
Not That Bad by Roxane Gay
Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky
Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister
Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
The World's Wife by Ann Duffy Carol
Girl Decoded by Rana el Kaliouby
Headscarves and Hymens by Mona Eltahawy
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
Can We All Be Feminists? by June Eric-Udorie
Asking For It by Louise O'Neill
Here We Are by Kelly Jensen
The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon
She Persisted Around the World by Chelsea Clinton
Little Dreamers by Vashti Harrison
Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein
Slay In Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke
Art of Feminism by Helena Reckitt
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Wayward Girls & Wicked Women by Angela Carter
Men Who Hate Women - From Incels to Pickup Artists by Laura Bates
Whipping Girl by Julia Serano
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont
In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens by Alice Walker
How We Get Free by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Betraying Big Brother by Leta Hong Fincher
The Mercies by Kirin Millwood Hargrave
Don't Call Me Inspirational by Harilyn Rousso
Hunger by Roxane Gay
Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
She Must Be Mad by Charly Cox
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler