Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

My feminist library: 10 books every woman should read

What does it mean to be a feminist? Does it simply mean a belief in equality or are we supposed to sign up to a whole lot of rules too?

Here are 10 books that have played a part in my own journey of working out what being a feminist, and a person, means to me. This isn’t a definitive or exhaustive list and on a different day, I’d pick a different combination, but these books have educated, inspired, reassured and challenged me and some of them have made me laugh or been of real practical help.

I don’t agree with every word in every book, but they have all made me think. I love Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist, which reminds us that trying to always be good, or thinking that must always agree with each other, is yet another trap we fall into. I’m happy to follow her lead and accept that being a bad feminist is better than being no feminist at all.

It’s a complicated business being alive in the modern world. It has never been easier to express and find opinion, but sometimes all that noise makes it difficult to remember the basics of what we believe and who we are. When I want to ground myself I head for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All be Feminists, which breathes compassion and humanity and suggests that a feminist is anyone who sees that there is a problem with the way we perceive gender and wants to get on with fixing it.

As Adichie says, we should all try to dream of and plan for a different, happier world.

Related

books.jpg

The most captivating new reads of June

roald.jpg

Lucy Mangan explores our enduring love of Roald Dahl

iStock_83744213_LARGE.jpg

This bookshop prints your novel in the time it takes to drink a coffee

Baileys.jpg

Stylist meets Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner Lisa McInerney

hbo-girls-lena-dunham.jpg

20 quotes to get you through if you're freaking out about the future

StubHub - Jessie Cave (3).jpg

Hilarious illustrations perfectly capture the joy of staying in

hermione.jpg

JK Rowling hits back at "racists” unhappy with casting of Hermione

winnie1.jpg

Winnie-the-Pooh visits Buckingham Palace

_89781739_famousfive_cover.jpg

Enid Blyton's iconic children series brilliantly reimagined for adults

Comments

More

The new cookbooks to boost your culinary know-how in 2017

Simple ways to update your kitchen repertoire

17 Jan 2017

These are the books that President Obama wants everyone to read

Bookworms, rejoice: President Obama has compiled a reading list for you

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Jan 2017

Are you ready for the Fifty Shades of Grey musical?

Theatre bosses have big plans for EL James’ book series …

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Jan 2017

15 moving books about animals to keep you on the Veganuary wagon

Keep your vegetable-consumption goals on track

by Scarlett Cayford
13 Jan 2017

Meet Daliyah, the four-year-old bookworm who has read over 1,000 books

She goes to the library every single day

by Sarah Biddlecombe
13 Jan 2017

Illustrator depicts how depression really feels in beautiful new book

“You are not alone.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Jan 2017

Watch the chilling first trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale

The upcoming adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel has never felt more relevant

by Kayleigh Dray
09 Jan 2017

Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel confirmed to star in The Handmaid’s Tale

The real-life Rory Gilmore is headed to Margaret Atwood’s Gilead…

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Jan 2017

One book addict’s tale of 40 literary loves and fiction fails

Stylist's Jamie Klingler on the books she devoured in 2016, from the spellbinding to the over-hyped

by Jamie Klingler
05 Jan 2017

Everything you need to know about the 2016 Costa Book Awards winners

by Moya Crockett
04 Jan 2017