Books

Books Every Woman Should Read

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There are some books that we power through while travelling and never rethink of reading them ever again…and then, there are books that we buy in hardcover and read till the pages fall out. Nothing is quite as riveting as being engrossed in an amazing story, reading even as your eyelids droop and the clock says it is waaay past your bed time.

But sometimes, they are more than just beautiful stories, they are inspiring to the point of being life-changing. After you have read them, nothing feels the same. You aren’t the same. Such is the power of a great book.

Certain books are so powerful that they remind us that we are all women, striving to be better daughters, sisters, wives, friends, mothers, colleagues and partners despite our apparent differences in color, culture and belief.

These are those books. Grab a bucketful of coffee and prepare to curl up for a very, very long time.

How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

The story of four Dominican sisters, Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia, uprooted from their family home in the time of the Trujillo dictatorship, arrive in New York City in 1960 to find a life far different from the genteel existence of maids, manicures and an extended family. Weaving together different tales of immigration, loss, love, identity and culture in short vignettes, what the sisters lose and what they find is revealed in the fifteen interconnected stories that make up this exquisite novel from one of the premier novelists of all times.

The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary Of A Young Girl is the real diary of a teenage girl that begins on Anne’s 13th birthday (12 June 1942) when she gets a diary. It tells the story of her family who live in Frankfurt, Germany and suddenly have to go into hiding as a result of Hitler and the Nazi Party’s treatment of Jews in Europe during the second world war. They escape to Amsterdam where they go into hiding with other Jews. The diary ends suddenly on 1 August 1944. Anne’s story shows us that just because people may be a different religion or race, doesn’t mean that they should be treated differently. There are many important messages in this book, but the most important message is that all people have the right to live in freedom.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant literary classic that tells the story of Francie Nolan as she grows up in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, from 1902 to 1919. The novel brings to life the world in which Francie lives, yet portrays experiences that kids of any era can relate to – navigating sibling relationships, making new friends and discovering first love. It also deals with more serious subjects, such as the alcoholism of Francie’s father, the death of a loved one, an attempted molestation, and premarital relationship that causes a ruined reputation. The novel is truly heartwarming and magical in ways inexplicable.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women is a beloved 19th century classic that is still read today and loved by all, especially women from all around the globe. The story revolves around four sisters who grow up together, about family love, about sibling rivalries, about searching for your own identity, about love and relationships, poverty, wealth, priorities in life and most importantly, focuses on female independence. Back in that time when a young woman could not compete with her male companions, this novel breaks the stereotype.

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

Hailed as the book that started the second wave of feminism, this is an EPIC, epic tour from the dawn of the human race to the contemporary world of 1940s commerce and culture, addressing the thoughts and prejudices of societies throughout the world. Beauvoir, an ardent feminist, argues compellingly for women’s equality, spelling out all the ways women have historically been second-class citizens — most crucially because they were expected to bear children. Beauvoir’s manifesto about women was way ahead of its time. Feminism was on women’s (and some men’s) minds, but the movement was definitely not where it is today. Still, The Second Sex is a powerful look at sexuality, identity and independence.

Fear Of Flying by Erica Jong

Jong’s mega-bestselling book empowered women and shocked many with it’s honest depiction of a married woman in search of something, anything to give her life some meaning. Fear of Flying holds up, and it’s a great read when you are in search of a little meaning in your own life.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Who said women can’t be humorous? Well, comedian Tina Fey sure knows her way into the world to show that women can be funny. Fey’s book is kind of like a comedic celebrity feminist text for the new millennium. Her stories and advice about crying (or not) at work, female friendships, career and love are must-reads (and they happen to be hilarious, too).

Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Boo is a talented storyteller, a dogged journalist and she has spun an exquisite story, which at times is difficult to believe is a reportage. Very much like India, this book is an assault to the senses, at times overbearing, darkly entertaining, tear-jerking, sadistically humorous, cunningly capricious, bewitchingly bewildering and always at every point deeply soulful.  Her crucial strength is an empathetic imagination. Her book has the closely observed and artfully constructed quality of high fiction.

 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple tells a harrowing tale of an uneducated African-American girl, Celie, through the letters she writes to God and her sister Nettie over a period of twenty years. Subjected to physical violence, exploitation and abuse by her father and then her husband, the book is sometimes bleakly graphic in its depiction of violence at the hands of African-American men. But Celie’s strength and innocence keep us riveted. Wait for the ending, it is rewarding.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou wrote this autobiography in 1969. This novel is a solid example of how a woman can stand strong despite societal and personal injustices. Fighting racism, sexism, and personal trauma, this book shows how easy it is to internalize these negative forces and how powerful a woman can become by resisting.

Also Read: 30 Things Every Book Lover Can Absolutely Relate To!

Tell us about your favorite book in the comment section below.

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