‘Until We Are Free’ by Shirin Ebadi
About the book: The more you read this book, the more you don’t believe that it’s a non-fiction, or at least you don’t want to believe that it is. Ebadi describes the atrocious reality of Iranian women and extensively talk about her fight as a human rights lawyer. Definitely a page turner!
About the author: Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian activist and a human rights lawyer. She received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her admiring work. She was threatened and attacked multiple times for her activism. Currently she is 72 years old and lives in London.
‘The Testaments’ by Margaret Atwood
About the book: Atwood’s most famous novel ‘the Handmaid’s Tale’ has finally awaited its continuation. The sequel of one of the most-read novels was published 30 (!) years after the feminist literary sensation was written. Atwood’s fans have been expecting the story continuation for a long time, but it was worth it. The author doesn’t fail to please her readers and ‘The Testaments’ is harvesting outstanding reviews.
About the author: Margaret Atwood is a Canadian writer. She started to create at a very young age of six and has decided that she wants to be an author in the future. Most of her work is related to feminism, whether it’s by inventing strong, female characters or by creating dystopian worlds, which alarmingly seem to portray our reality.
‘The Water Cure’ by Sophie Mackintosh
About the book: It’s undeniable that it’s a beautifully written novel, however it’s very intense. The plot is quite disturbing yet absorbing, describing the lives of three young girls, who live in separation from the rest of the world in order to avoid diseases, who are supposedly spread by men. It’s not the easiest read, however, definitely a page-turner and a must on everyone’s reading list!
About the author: Sophie Mackintosh is a Welsh author. She’s published multiple short stories for which she received numerous awards, such as White Review Short Story Prize in 2016. “The Water Cure” is her first novel and it’s been longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize.
‘The Multi-Hyphen Method’ by Emma Gannon
About the book: Emma Gannon takes the ‘which career should I choose?’ question to a completely new level. Answer? Don’t choose. Do it all. If you are struggling to limit yourself to one job and feel that you have more to offer, but you don’t know where to start, this book will teach you how. Emma takes an innovative approach to fight with the stigma of having to define yourself by one profession. The author presents us with useful solutions and inspiration to make your life better.
About the author: Emma Gannon is a columnist, writer and published author. She works for many respected publications such as the Telegraph and COURIER. She also hosts a podcast ‘Ctrl + Alt + Delete’, where she discusses topics varying from politics, feminism to fashion. She recently announced that her first fiction novel will be published in 2020.
‘Our Women On The Ground’
About the book: We are used to the fact that media coverage of the Arab world is rather dominated by Western journalists, usually leaving us with a very particular version of the news. If you would like to get to know the other, perhaps more reliable or at least more authentic perspective, this book will be of interest to you. ‘Our Women on the Ground’ is a collection of essays, written by Arab female journalists, who depict the reality behind the scenes of reporting from dangerous and conflicted places of the world. They talk about the bravery, challenges, advantages and breaking stereotypes of Arab women. A must-read not just for journalists. Also, the book contains a foreword by Christiane Amanpour which is already enough of a reason to take a look at it!
‘The Beauty Myth’ by Naomi Wolf
About the book: This book has revolutionized they way in which we perceive beauty and how we look in general. Wolf discusses the amount of focus we put on appearance and how it correlates with female identity. The author depicts the restrictive and controlling social regimes that beauty standards have become. An absolute must-read and an eye-opener!
About the author: Naomi Wolf is a bestselling author, who challenges the patriarchy and sexism around the world. She fights for gender equality not just with her books but with activism as well. She organizes various events and talks to raise awareness and fight for women rights. “The Beauty Myth” is one of her most important books.
‘The Second Sex’ by Simone de Beauvoir
About the book: With no doubt, this is the most iconic and important book in feminist literature. De Beauvoir analyses the notion of what it’s like to be a woman and the concept of “the other”. The most informative and in-depth book about gender inequality. It’s a definite must-read; don’t be discouraged by its length (750 pages!), it’s worth every minute of your time!
About the author: Simone de Beauvoir made a huge mark on feminism, not just through her writing but also her activism. She wrote multiple books as well as short stories. She is considered to be one of the most important feminist icons, who carefully examined women’s oppression throughout her work.
‘My Sister, The Serial Killer’ by Oyinkan Braithwaite
About the book: The novel is a mix of thriller and comedy, exploring a rather unconventional relationship between two sisters: Korede and Ayoola. The latter causes a bit more problems than a regular little sister would – she has a habit of…killing her boyfriends. The sisterly bond, the touch of dark humour and gripping plot are what makes this story unique and intriguing.
About the author: Oyinkan Braithwaite was born in Lagos, however, she spent her childhood in the UK, in London. She graduated from Kingston University, where she studied creative writing and law. She has been working as an editor and freelance writer since graduation. Her novel ‘My Sister the Serial Killer’ has won many prestigious awards, including 2019 LA Times Awards for Best Crime Thriller and being shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019.
‘Orlando’ by Virginia Woolf
About the book: ‘Orlando’ is one of the most revolutionary books in the history of English literature. There is a certain level of complexity yet playfulness, in which the author depicts the issues of gender. It is the first English trans novel, innovative as well as gripping. Despite shifting and challenging gender standards, the book has also been called a love letter to Woolf’s best friend and lover Vita Sackville-West, who is supposed to be portrayed in the main character –Orlando. The plot and the ending leaves the readers hopeful for the promising future of women, which is very much needed now as it was in the 19th century.
About the author: Virginia Woolf was an English writer, considered to be one of the most important figures in feminist and modernist literature. She wrote a number of novels as well as non-fiction essays, touching on crucial issues regarding women and gender equality. Virginia suffered from severe depression and took her own life in 1941, at the age of 59.
‘Ordinary People’ by Diana Evans
About the book: ‘Ordinary People’ is a multi-layered novel, which touches on various topics, from parenthood and relationships to love and the finding your own identity. It follows the lives of two couples, each struggling with their own problems and trying their best to cope with the challenges that life throws at them. It will make you laugh, perhaps even cry and it will definitely make you wonder. Not so ordinary story!
About the author: Diana Evans is an award-winning British author. Her novel “Ordinary People” was shortlisted for Women’s Fiction Prize in 2019. Apart from being an author, Diana is also a journalist and a critic. She wrote three novels as well as multiple short stories.
‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
About the book: It’s not an ordinary love story. It depicts the issues of racism, immigrations, politics and much more. The author manages to write about difficult topic and maintain a moving love story. It’s not only beautiful, but it’s also important. It’s a book of great impact and definitely worth having a read!
About the author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author, who writes novels, short-stories as well as non-fiction. He most notable novels include “Americanah”, “Purple Hibiscus” and “Half of a Yellow Sun”. She also did a TED talk, which is now one of the most viewed TED talks. She is a feminist, who fights with inequality and in 2012 published “We Should All Be Feminists”, which became a multinational sensation.
‘City Of Girls’ by Elizabeth Gilbert
About the book: ‘City of Girls’ is a unique love story, told from the perspective of an elder woman, who is reminiscing her past. Set in 1940’s in New York City, it explores the struggles of being yourself, autonomy and true love. Very gripping and moving, definitely a page-turner. Perfect read for the holiday break!
About the author: Elizabeth Gilbert is an American author, who started her career as a journalist. Her short story “Pilgrims” was published in 1993 and brought her recognition as an author. She received numerous awards for her novels, as well as her memoir “Eat Pray Love”.
‘Stolen Girls’ by Wolfgang Bauer
About the book: Boko Haram has been spreading terror in Nigeria and beyond it for a long time. However, when in April 2014 the members of the group abducted almost 300 young girls, the whole world was shook and outraged. The book consists of reports from Boko Haram survivors, who decided to share their stories. Moving, horrifying and incredibly important and eye-opening book.
About the author: Wolfgang Bauer is a German journalist and reporter, who has received multiple awards. He published multiple reportages and he spent weeks with survivors of Boko Haram terror and wrote down their experiences and what they have been through.
‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge
About the book: Started as a blog post, to later become one of the most important and eye-opening books about racism in Britain. The author explores the issues of politics, white privilege, non-inclusive feminism and class. Her insights are brilliant, challenging, timeless and – essential.
About the author: Reni Eddo-Lodge is a British journalist, blogger and writer. She focuses mainly on topics such as intersectional feminism, racism and equality. ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ is her only novel.
‘How Do You Like Me Now’ by Holly Bourne
About the book: Tori is a bestselling author of a self-help memoir, she’s in a happy relationship and she is inspiring millions of women with her perfect life. However, her success is a lie. She is not happy, she no longer resembles the woman she wrote about in her book and her relationship is falling apart. Exceptionally honest, moving, funny and emotional novel.
About the author: Holly Bourne started her career as a journalist and as an editor. She started writing young fiction novels after volunteering for a youth charity where she was helping young people with mental health. ‘How Do You Like Me Now’ is her first adult novel.
‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama
About the book: The inspiring, moving and mesmerizing memoir, full of reflection, stories and incredible experiences of Michelle Obama. She deeply explores her childhood, career, motherhood and being the First Lady of the United States. She describes her successes and her failures in the most compelling and personal way. Such a wise and important read!
About the author: There is no need to introduce this woman. An amazing, inspiring and most iconic person of our times. Former First Lady of the United States, advocate for women and girls and an author, Michelle Obama changed and keeps on changing lives for better.
‘VOX’ by Christina Dalcher
About the book: You are a woman. And because of that you can’t speak. Ever. Well, you are limited to 100 words a day and if you exceed that limit, the bracelet that was forced on your wrist will electrocute you. The author creates a scary world, in which women are deprived of their rights, including the right to talk. A science-fiction book, that, as the author shows, could easily become our reality.
About the author: Christina Dalcher is an author, writer and a former researcher at City University London. ‘Vox’ is her first novel, which became multinational phenomenon. In April 2020, her second novel ‘Master Class’ is coming out.
‘Notes To Self’ by Emilie Pine
About the book: One of the most honest, vivid and heart-breaking collection of essays out there. The author courageously reminisces her past and unpacks trauma, touching on topics such as addiction, abuse, love and feminism. Her essays are raw, painfully honest and, most importantly, extremely beautiful. You will definitely shed a tear!
About the author: Emilie Pine is a professor in Modern Drama at University College in Dublin. ‘Notes to Self’ is her first non-academic book. Her literary debut became the No.1 bestseller. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the International Memory Studies Association and regularly writes academic pieces.
‘Conversations With Friends’ by Sally Rooney
About the book: A complicated tale about two friends and…ex-lovers. Through performing their spoken-word poetry together, they get involved with a married couple. Soon, they will realise that their new friendship will turn their lives upside down. Moving, intelligent and exceptionally perceptive, the book is a pleasing read and definitely a page-turner.
About the author: Sally Rooney is an Irish author. She wrote numerous essays and short stories and appeared in many publications. ‘Conversations with Friends’ is her debut novel and became a global success. Her second novel, ‘Normal People’ was published in 2018, a year after her debut.
‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier
About the book: Mysterious, beautiful gothic novel. A young woman marries a wealthy widower and she cannot believe her luck. However, she soon realises, as they move to their new home, that their life is far from perfect and mysteries unravel one after another…
About the author: Daphne du Maurier was an English author and playwright. She created numerous novels and short stories, most notable being ‘Rebecca’, ‘My Cousin Rachel’ and the legendary ‘The Birds’.
‘All The Bright Places’ by Jennifer Niven
About the book: Violet is grieving after the loss of her sister. Finch is constantly thinking of the ways to kill himself. Together, they support each other through the dark times and learn how to enjoy the good ones. Beautiful, gripping and heartbreaking story.
About the author: Jennifer Niven wrote numerous fiction and non-fiction novels. She also wrote a screenplay for the movie adaptation of her most famous book ‘All the Bright Places’.
‘Men Explain Things To Me’ by Rebecca Solnit
About the book: Fantastic essay, in which the author depicts conversations between women and men. She rises important questions on gender, silencing of women and inequality. A cherry on top is the examination of Virginia Woolf’s work. It’s an important and impactful read.
About the author: Rebecca Solnit is an American author. She writes about feminism, politics and environment. She works on various human rights campaigns and has received numerous awards.
‘One Last Thing Before I Go’ by Jonathan Tropper
About the book: Silver’s life didn’t turn out as he expected. He failed his career as a drummer, his marriage and his daughter. When he finds out that he needs a heart surgery to save his life, he decides to make amends – to become a better man and work on the relationship with his daughter. In the meantime he considers if his life is even worth saving. Moving, beautifully written and a gripping read.
About the author: Jonathan Tropper is an American author, known for his novels ‘Everything Changes’, ‘The Book of Joe’ and ‘This is Where I Leave You’. He also teaches writing at the Manhattanville College.
‘The Flatshare’ by Beth O’Leary
About the book: Tiffany and Leon move in together. They share everything in the flat, including the bed, even though…they’ve never met. Incredibly funny, moving and heartwarming story, a perfect light read to get in a great mood!
About the author: Beth O’Leary is an English author, based in London. She works in children’s publishing house. ‘The Flatshare’ is her first novel.
‘Expectation’ by Anna Hope
About the book: Three best friends are young, vibrant and ready for whatever the life brings. Or so they think. After years, they somehow are not where they hope would be. They all have different struggles, but the same question – how to have a meaningful life.
About the author: Anna Hope is a British writer and actress. Her most remarkable and famous novel is ‘Wake’. She lives and works in London.
‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith
About the book: Art, love and rock n’ roll. ‘Just Kids’ is a beautiful and gripping biography of an amazing artist. Patti Smith takes us through her childhood and then youth in New York where she experienced all the ups and downs of its artistic scene. As we’re getting to know her life, we also get to experience a beautiful love story. Moving and fascinating read!
About the author: Patti Smith is a singer, writer and visual artist. HEr music and poetry revolutionized the rock scene in the 1970’s. Her music as well as books and poems have been awarded and recognized worldwide.
‘Girl, Woman, Other’ by Bernardine Evaristo
About the book: The novel follows the lives of 12 characters. Women of colour tell stories of their struggles and black-British experiences. Vibrant, gripping and on ode to womanhood. Fascinating read!
About the author: Bernardine Evaristo is a Nigerian-British author. She’s received numerous awards for her literary accomplishment. For ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ she’s received the Booker Prize in 2019.
‘Annihilation’ by Jeff Vandermeer
About the book: A thrilling beginning of an incredible trilogy. Science fiction novel talks about the Area X, that has been secluded from humanity for decades. Expeditions are being sent to explore the unknown, but the findings are more twisted than expected…
About the author: Jeff Vandermeer is an American author. He wrote numerous novels and he’s received multiple awards for his incredible writing. He writes fiction and non-fiction literature.
‘The Regulars’ by Georgia Clark
About the book: Three best friends, each dealing with their own problems, their own insecurities and dreams. Ordinary, regular young women come upon not so ordinary potion that can make their lives perfect… or so it seems. Hilarious novel, touching on serious problems and highlighting what’s really important in life.
About the author: Georgia Clark is an Australian writer, living in New York. She wrote four novels, ‘The Regulars’ bringing her most recognition. Her upcoming book ‘It Had To Be You’ is coming out in 2021.
‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas
About the book: 16-year-old Starr Carter is young, but learns how to be mature very quickly. Seeing her friend being shot by the police just because of the colour of his skin, doesn’t let her not to act. Her bravery and the injustice that she experiences inspires her to fight for what’s right. Moving, upsetting yet beautiful novel about racism and hope.
About the author: Angie Thomas is an American author. ‘The Hate U Give’ is her debut novel, which brought her a vast recognition. There is also a movie based on the story.
‘A Woman Is No Man’ by Etaf Rum
About the book: Deya is forced to get married at the age of 18. She is being raised by her grandparents, who leave her with no choice but to abide by their strict rules. A story of three generations of women, unravelling family secrets and their community. Moving and emotional read, portraying the lives of Arab women in America.
About the author: Etaf Rum is a Palestinian-American writer. She was born in Brooklyn in a traditional family and got married at a very young age. ‘A Woman Is No Man’ is her debut novel.
‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara
About the book: Four friends, four heart-breaking stories. We experience decades of their friendship, relationships and their darkest moments. Willem, JB, Malcolm and Jude are all struggling with their own realities, as we learn their deepest and darkest secrets and miseries. Beautiful, but at times devastating read about intense relations as well as trauma, fear and challenges.
About the author: Hanya Yanagihara is an American writer. After graduating from university she worked as a publicist. ‘A Little Life’ was published in 2015 and became a bestseller as we as being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
About the book: ‘The Bluest Eyes’ is bold, moving and heart-braking. Eleven-year-old Pecola dreams of blue eyes – so she can be beautiful and desired, just like white, blue-eyed girls. She is aware of her ‘ugliness’ and she prays for a change. HEr life is filled with pain and tragic events. One of the most devastating, but important and unforgettable novels.
About the author: ‘The Bluest Eyes’ is Toni Morrison’s first novel. She is an American author and editor. She won a Nobel Prize in 1993 in literature. In 2001 she was named one of ‘The 30 Most Powerful Women in America’.
About the book: Deeply personal and deeply hilarious – that’s the best way of describing Sedaris’ stories. The author shares his observations on being middle aged and mortality, making sure to keep it entertaining and extremely funny. Opening up about his relationships, family and personal experiences, David makes his readers laugh more than ever.
About the author: David Sedaris is an American author and humorist. He’s received numerous awards and is well known for his specific sense of humour.
About the book: Absolutely thrilling and mesmerising novel. The narrator, Lin, escapes prison and aims to disappear. His journey takes him to a place where he can do that – Bombay. Full of extreme emotions, passionate and moving, an excellent and exciting read.
About the author: Gregory David Roberts is an Australian author. He was a heroin addict, escaped prison and fled to India. His novel ‘Shantaram’ is based on his personal experiences.
About the book: As heart-breaking as hilarious – Bourne’s novel at first seems like a ‘light’ read, but eventually reveals itself to be incredibly important and serious. The main character struggles with dating life, still facing the demons of her past trauma. Yet the novel is about much more than ‘men’ issues – it’s all about self-acceptance, dealing with unresolved problems, moving on and, ultimately, being yourself. Absolutely beautiful and crucial read.
About the author: Holly Bourne started her career as a journalist and as an editor. She started writing young adult fiction novels after volunteering for a youth charity where she was helping young people with mental health. She created a lot of YA fiction and then wrote ‘How Do You Like Me Now’, which is her first adult novel.
About the book: Lydia and Freddie are a perfect couple. Soon to be married, nothing seems to be able to burst their love bubble. Until it does. On Lydia’s 28th birthday Freddie dies. Her whole world turns upside down, as she’s trying to live without him. But then she realises she doesn’t have to – finding a way of staying connected to her old life with Freddie, she can’t let him go. Gripping, moving and a beautiful novel.
About the author: Josie Silver is an English author. Her first novel ‘One Day in December’ was an international bestseller. ‘The Two Lives of Lydia Bird’ is her second novel.