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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I’d Recommend to Feminists

This weekly meme was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme is  Top Ten Tuesday REWIND – go back and do a topic you missed over the years or recently or a topic you really want to revisit.

I decided to go with the topic: Ten Top Books we would recommend to X person. And the X person I’m recommending books to are feminists. Because when you are a feminist you might be challenged, and some people may say that feminist is not needed, that’s redundant and women do not need to fight for anything anymore. And then you need a power of arguments to challenge them to think differently about feminism. I haven’t read all of those books yet, but I have them on my bookshelves and I will finally get to them. This list is also for me to inspire me to finally read those books.

The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood

Fiction | Dystopian | fantasy | feminism

38447Pub Date: 1985

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Classic, a must read for everyone. I need to re-read this book, as I feel that I’m in a place where I will be able to appreciate this book more.

My Life on the Road
by Gloria Steinem

nonfiction | memoir | feminism

27782473Pub Date: 2015

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. Every fall, her father would pack the family into the car and they would drive across the country, in search of their next adventure. The seeds were planted: Steinem would spend much of her life on the road, as a journalist, organizer, activist, and speaker. In vivid stories that span an entire career, Steinem writes about her time on the campaign trail, from Bobby Kennedy to Hillary Clinton; her early exposure to social activism in India; organizing ground-up movements in America; the taxi drivers who were “vectors of modern myths” and the airline stewardesses who embraced feminism; and the infinite contrasts, the “surrealism in everyday life” that Steinem encountered as she travelled back and forth across the country. With the unique perspective of one of the greatest feminist icons of the 20th and 21st centuries, here is an inspiring, profound, enlightening memoir of one woman’s life-long journey.

SCUM Manifesto
by Valerie Solanas

nonfiction | LGBTQ | feminism | philosophy

17347730Pub Date: 1967

My Rating: ★★★★★

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First circulated on the streets of Greenwich Village in 1967, the SCUM Manifesto is a searing indictment of patriarchal culture in all its forms. Shifting fluidly between the worlds of satire and straightforward critique, this classic is a call to action—a radical feminist vision for a different world. This is an update of the essential AK Press edition, with a new foreword.

“To see the SCUM Manifesto’s humor, to let it crack you up page after page, is not to read it as a joke. It’s not. The truth of the world as seen though Valerie’s eyes is patently absurd, a cosmic joke. Humor such as this is a muscle, a weapon… It was the truth, and the truth is so absurd it’s painful.” —Michelle Tea

“Unhampered by propriety, niceness, discretion, public opinion, ‘morals’, the respect of assholes, always funky, dirty, low-down SCUM gets around… You’ve got to go through a lot of sex to get to anti-sex, and SCUM’s been through it all, and they’re now ready for a new show; they want to crawl out from under the dock, move, take off, sink out.” —Valerie Solanas

Valerie Solanas was a radical feminist playwright and social propagandist who was arrested in 1968 after her attempted assassination of Andy Warhol. Deemed a paranoid schizophrenic by the state, Solanas was immortalized in the 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol.

How to Be a Woman
by Caitlin Moran

nonfiction | humor | feminism | memoir

10600242Pub Date: 2011

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Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven’t been burned as witches since 1727, life isn’t exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women’s lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.

Men Explain Things to Me
by Rebecca Solnit

nonfiction | feminism | essays

23302490Pub Date: 2014

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Rebecca Solnit’s essay ‘Men Explain Things to Me’ has become a touchstone of the feminist movement, inspired the term ‘mansplaining’, and established Solnit as one of the leading feminist thinkers of our time – one who has inspired everyone from radical activists to Beyoncé Knowles. Collected here in print for the first time is the essay itself, along with the best of Solnit’s feminist writings.

From rape culture to mansplaining, from French sex scandals to marriage and the nuclear family, from Virginia Woolf to colonialism, these essays are a fierce and incisive exploration of the issues that a patriarchal culture will not necessarily acknowledge as ‘issues’ at all. With grace and energy, and in the most exquisite and inviting of prose, Rebecca Solnit proves herself a vital leading figure of the feminist movement and a radical, humane thinker.

The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media
by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, Holly Baxter

nonfiction | feminism | gender

18073578Pub Date: 2014

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Obsessed over your body’s ‘problem areas’?

Killed an hour on the Sidebar of Shame?

Wondered whether to try ‘50 Sex Tips to Please Your Man’?

Felt worse after doing any of the above?

Holly and Rhiannon grew up reading glossy mags and, like most women, thought of them as just a bit of fun. But over time they started to feel uneasy – not just about magazines, but about music videos, page 3, and women being labelled frigid, princesses or tramps.

So, following the amazing success of their Vagenda blog, they wrote this book. Welcome to your indispensable guide to the madness of women’s media.

Bad Feminist
by Roxane Gay

nonfiction | essays | memoir | feminism

18813642Pub Date: 2014

My Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads | Buy: | Amazon.comBook Depository

Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

Fat Is a Feminist Issue
by Susie Orbach

nonfiction | feminism | health | psychology

12689566Pub Date: 1978

Goodreads | Buy: | Amazon.comBook Depository

When it was first published, Fat Is A Feminist Issue became an instant classic and it is as relevant today as it was then.

Updated throughout, it includes a frank new introduction by Susie Orbach that brings this book to a new generation of readers whilst offering a current perspective for its original fans. With an increasingly dominant diet industry, costing the consumer millions of pounds each year, Susie Orbach’s best-selling classic is as important as ever in helping women to love their own body and face the demands of 21st-century living with confidence.

I Call Myself A Feminist: The View from Twenty-Five Women Under Thirty

nonfiction | feminism | essays

26174865Pub Date: 2015

Goodreads | Buy: | Amazon.comBook Depository

Is feminism still a dirty word? We asked twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women what being a feminist in 2015 means to them.

We hear from Laura Bates (of the Everyday Sexism Project), Reni Eddo-Lodge (award-winning journalist and author), Yas Necati (an eighteen-year-old activist), Laura Pankhurst, great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and an activist in her own right, comedian Sofie Hagen, engineer Naomi Mitchison and Louise O’Neill, author of the award-winning feminist Young Adult novel Only Ever Yours. Writing about a huge variety of subjects, we have Martha Mosse and Alice Stride on how they became feminists, Amy Annette addressing the body politic, Samira Shackle on having her eyes opened in a hostel for survivors of acid attacks in Islamabad, while Maysa Haque thinks about the way Islam has informed her feminism and Isabel Adomakoh Young insists that women don’t have to be perfect. There are twelve other performers, politicians and writers who include Jade Anouka, Emily Benn, Abigail Matson-Phippard, Hajar Wright and Jinan Younis.

Is the word feminist still to be shunned? Is feminism still thought of as anti-men rather than pro-human? Is this generation of feminists – outspoken, funny and focused – the best we’ve had for long while? Has the internet given them a voice and power previously unknown?

Rachel Holmes’ most recent book is Eleanor Marx: A Life; Victoria Pepe is a literary scout; Amy Annette is a comedy producer currently working on festivals including Latitude; Alice Stride works for Women’s Aid and Martha Mosse is a freelance producer and artist.

Everyday Sexism
by Laura Bates

nonfiction | feminism

26199237Pub Date: 2014

Goodreads | Buy: | Amazon.comBook Depository

The Everyday Sexism Project was founded by writer and activist Laura Bates in April 2012. It began life as a website where people could share their experiences of daily, normalized sexism, from street harassment to workplace discrimination to sexual assault and rape.

The Project became a viral sensation, attracting international press attention from The New York Times to French Glamour, Grazia South Africa, to the Times of India and support from celebrities such as Rose McGowan, Amanda Palmer, Mara Wilson, Ashley Judd, James Corden, Simon Pegg, and many others. The project has now collected over 100,000 testimonies from people around the world and launched new branches in 25 countries worldwide. The project has been credited with helping to spark a new wave of feminism

Anything from my list that you found interesting? How many books from the list did you read? Is anything going to you TBR list? Any recommendations for feminist books? Especially fiction feminist books – I’d love to add more feminist books to my TBR 🙂


37 thoughts on “TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I’d Recommend to Feminists

        • Ola says:

          It’s definitely not odd. I just wanted to know more about the topic. But reading those books may make you so angry at society and sometimes you don’t want that when you want to read to relax. You don’t have to read feminist books to be a feminist, but I recommend you to read feminist books. It’s ultimately very rewarding and you will learn so much while reading them, names of amazing women that you never learned about during history lessons for example.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Holly says:

    I LOVE The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s relevant on so many levels to the discussion of so many topics, and I definitely think that everyone should read it. As unsettling as the story was, it really hits home how crazy gender inequality can make our society. Great list! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kimmiegg says:

    I really want to read The Handmaid’s Tale! It’s been on my TBR for a while, and I just keep seeing raving reviews about it. How To Be A Woman was also on my TBR, but a couple people were pretty negative about it… What did you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ola says:

      I haven’t read it yet, it’s waiting on my on my bookshelf. However, I dnf’ed it when I was younger… So I’m interested to see what I’ll think of this book now .


  3. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews says:

    I love this!!! The Handmaid’s Tale, Bad Feminist, Everyday Sexism and I Call Myself a Feminist are on my TBR, but when I get on my laptop later I’m definitely going to go check out all the others listed here!

    Since you said you’re looking for more recommendations. I’m not sure if you’re aware of it already but there’s a feminist book club on GR, which has helped me discover a ton of books I want to read!


    • Ola says:

      I highly recommend Bad Feminist – Roxanne Gay is amazing, and she has another book coming out soon, about a topic dear to my heart – body, weight and self-esteem (I cannot wait to read it).
      I didn’t know this book club! The only feminist book club on GR I’m in is Emma’s – Our Shared Shelf, which is also a great source of book recommendations. I think that two or three books from my list were selected for Our Shared Shelf. But I always need more feminist book recommendations so I’m joining The Feminist Orchestra Bookclub (btw, what a cool name!). Thanks Lauren!


  4. Laila@BigReadingLife says:

    Great list! Handmaid’s Tale is a classic, everyone should read it. I’ve been wanting to reread it, actually, since it’s been so long. I loved Bad Feminist too. Roxane Gay was coming out with a book this year (Hunger) but I read that it’s been pushed back till next year – boooo!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Briana says:

    I admit I tried to read The Handmaid’s Tale a few years ago and just quit because I was so bored. :p I know people love it, but I just could not get into it! I think it’s also harder for it to stand out now that dystopians are such a fad.

    I have heard great things about Men Explain Things to Me but have not read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ola says:

      Maybe in a future you’ll get back to it and you’ll find it interesting, tastes change so who knows 😉 I highly recommend Man Explain Things to Me, it’s quite short but intense and packed with information and serious ideas to consider. I will be rereading it soon.


  6. Akilah says:

    I love this. I did something similar for a freebie topic way back in 2014. You can see it here.

    I have only read A Handmaid’s Tale, but I do have Bad Feminist on my TBR. There are too many good books I want to read, ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Daphne Lee says:

    Thank you for dropping by my blog. I am so glad you did as it meant me noticing your Top Ten books you’d recommend feminists. Love this list and it’s inspired me to compile my own 🙂 Will be following your blog now 🙂 Thank you!


  8. Daphne Lee says:

    P.S. I love Caitlin Moran, esp How to Build a Girl, which I wish I could have read when I was 13 – I am now 49! 🙂

    And I like Susie Orbach’s work.

    Other feminist books I’ve enjoyed and been inspired by, although I think some of the authors can be somewhat dodgy in the way they behave at times, are The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolff, The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer, Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia, Gender Trouble by Judith Butler, Feminist theory: from margin to center by bell hooks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ola says:

      I read ‘Vagina. A new biography’ by Naomi Wolf, and I hated it, it wasn’t feminists at all. So I don’t know if I will be picking up any other book by her. I need to check out bell hooks books, thank you for recommendations! Xx


  9. Minelli Eustacio says:

    I’m seriously slacking on these great books, I’ve had The Handmaid’s Tale, Men Explain Things to Me, and How To Be a Woman on my TBR for a while, maybe this will be the push to get back to them. 🙂 I’ve read Bad Feminist and really enjoyed it, Roxane Gay is hilarious and tells too much truth.


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