Young Feminists’ Reading List Of 13 Appropriate Books

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It breaks my heart to have so many aspiring young feminists who have just begun their journey in learning about equality being ruthlessly mocked by bad actors, antisocial trolls online, and uninformed citizens that regurgitate exaggerated talking points meant to demonize us.

The hostility directed at young feminists online can lead them stray into some fringe, corrupted mock form of feminism. To them, I rather recommend they get offline and read the following books written with young feminists in mind. These books serve as a safe source of knowledge about what feminism is truly about.

#1 The Resilient Woman by Patricia O’Gorman PhD

Which voice will you listen to? Competing voices vie for our attention: societal messages that tell us we aren’t thin enough, pretty enough, good enough—self-sabotaging ‘girly thoughts’ that tell us who we must be, how we must look, and how we must act — and the voice of our inner strength, our resilience, which helps us forge our own best solutions, helping us grow, build confidence, creating our own identify.

Noted Psychologist Dr. Patricia O’Gorman offers a thoughtful analysis of the causes of ‘girly thoughts’ as well as in-depth self-evaluation assessments any woman can use to identify her personal challenges as she learns to use the 7 steps to consciously grow her resilience.

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#2 Conversations With Women by Cebo Campbell

Conversations With Women is a collection of real conversations from real women pieced into a coming of age narrative. Part poetry, part memoir, a boy becomes a man exploring themes of youth, sex, identity, and patriarchy through the wisdom of women. Timeless words in important times.

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#3 The Spy by Paulo Coelho

When I read The Spy, a book I finished reading in hours because of the extraordinary way it’s written, I was inspired to always do my best and to dream. Mata Hari, a spy (although no one knows for sure) was a woman who found herself as a dancer and found love even when it was against all odds. A woman who fought to live while telling her story to the world.

A woman who despite being abused, used, manipulated, continued to be a wonderful human being and try her best to stay happy and positive and make a fortune out of what she loves to do. This is THE book for young feminists, not only because of the empowering fiction that Paulo creates but because of the true story of Mata Hari, a woman lost in history like many others, a reminder to do what we love and never give up.

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#4 Searching for God in the Garbage by Bracha Goetz

Searching for God in the Garbage is an extremely candid memoir based on the actual diary entries of a young feminist Harvard grad who develops and eventually discovers how to recover from food addictions.

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#5 Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World

This collection provides a thorough overview of current feminist issues in the form of short, digestible essays on topics ranging from the history of the word feminism to women’s role in the Black Lives Matter movement. The authors include celebrities like Amandla Stenberg and well-known writers like Roxane Gay, along with a number of young emerging voices.

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#6 I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Malala Yousafzai is an inspiration and sure-fire example of a woman refusing to be silenced in standing up for her right to education. Join her on a journey from Pakistan to the United Nations to be inspired by the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate. If you are looking for a story of a young woman standing up for her beliefs, Malala will not disappoint.

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#7 Wisdom for the Weeping Widow by Brad Gilmore

I personally liked how this book speaks to the common person and is rekindling our love for simple insights that also tackle social phenomena. In the age of different calls for awareness for mental health, I believe this book ignites certain conversations and a permission to talk about it even to men! Brad Gilmore did it well with this anthology.

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#8 Badass Women Give the Best Advice by Becca Anderson

Women’s Studies scholar Becca Anderson has gathered the wisdom from a chorus of fabulous femmes for this one-of-a-kind advice book. From housewives to Hollywood starlets, from standup comedians to startup entrepreneurs, from feminists to Facebook queens, these badass women offer unvarnished and unabashed opinions about love, life, word, men, and sex and share their very frank and forthright thinking on the wild world of relationships.

This delightfully dishy gathering of gal pals is like having a heart-to-heart with 200 of your closest friends. Garrulous girls and loquacious ladies of rom every walk of life unleash their wicked wit in this humorous and enlightening compilation and tell it like it is.

Topics include What the World Needs Now, Love Hurts, Lost Love, and Are Men Really Necessary and cover sex, personal ads, blind dates, break ups, weddings, and the prerequisites for the perfect kiss. Sidebars include quizzes, love and sex bucket lists and topics like Size Really Does Matter, and Cry Me a River, The Weepiest Romantic Movies Ever.

Wait, there’s more–true tales about wild women of yore that entertain as much as they enlighten. From Anais Nin to Lily Tomlin, from Amy Bloom to Dorothy Allison, from Drew Barrymore to Chrissy Teigen and beyond, there’s no shortage of sass, sarcasm, or sizzle and a few shocks along the way!

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#9 Badass Affirmations: The Wit and Wisdom of Wild Women by Becca Anderson

If you affirm yourself every day, you can rule the world. More importantly, you can live a life filled with love, joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction thanks to your own positive self-regard. Badass Affirmations is the ultimate motivating, encouraging, and uplifting book to enjoy and share.

Create your own ideal life and build your self-esteem with these positive daily affirmations. These very wise words have the power to touch our hearts, build confidence, make us laugh, and alleviate our stress―all while realizing the vast potential life has to offer.

Becca Anderson, bestselling author of The Book of Awesome Women, serves up a memorable and inspirational banquet of positive self-affirmations, delicious bon mots, quips, and unforgettable quotes from movie stars, musicians, politicians, and women writers. Everyone from Malala to Madonna to Michelle Obama weighs in on the meaning of life with badass wit and timeless wisdom.

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#10 The Female Gaze: Essential Movies Made by Women by Alicia Malone

Alicia Malone has curated the essential list of films made by women. From Mary Herron’s film American Psycho garnering a reputation as a Classic to Greta Gerwig’s film Lady Bird dominating the Golden Globes and the National Society of Film Critics Awards, it is about time women in film were more thoroughly discussed.

Alicia Malone is determined to grow the conversation about both the lack of women behind the scenes and in the history books through her own book, The Female Gaze. In the mini-essays written by female film critics, discover brilliantly talented and accomplished women filmmakers, both world renowned and obscure, who have shaped the film industry in ways rarely fully acknowledged.

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#11 Bad at Adulting, Good at Feminism: Comics on Relationships, Life & Food by Produence Geerts

A top online illustrator, Prudence Planet Prudence Geerts presents her take on the struggles of adulting and finding your own voice. Bad at Adulting, Good at Feminism is the debut collection from Prudence Geerts. This book will make you laugh at the awkward moments we all go through as we learn to be functioning adults in society, in an effort to make the world a better place.

We all think: Am I the only one who acts like this? Am I the only one who goes through this moment in life? Bad at Adulting, Good at Feminism shows you that you’re not. It laughs with you at the struggles we’re going through as we fight for equal pay, respect and realistic role models. Filled with love, laughter and food, Bad at Adulting, Good at Feminism helps us realize that we’re not so different after all.

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#12 The Feminist Financial Handbook: A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Wealthy Life by Brynne Conroy

Sometimes the best way to stick it to the man is by doing well for yourself. There’s just one problem: it’s hard to do well for yourself when systemic oppression has placed innumerable hurdles between you and your aspirations.

The Feminist Financial Handbook provides real motivation and resources for real women who may be struggling―not only those who have already accumulated wealth. In this book, author Brynne Conroy provides actionable tips for women in business to overcome these obstacles without dulling the visceral experience of the real-life struggles women face as they try to master their money management and their lives.

Because women’s experiences don’t exist in a vacuum relegated to their gender, the handbook explores financial issues with anecdotes and perspectives of women of different races, sexual orientations and abilities. Whether you want to learn more about general financial planning principles, like saving or earning a higher income, or delve into issues that disproportionately affect women, like the wage gap or the long road to economic recovery after experiencing domestic violence, The Feminist Financial Handbook has stories and advice from women who have been there, worked through the struggle, and achieved personal success.

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#13 I Am Number 13 by Andra Watkins

In I Am Number 13, by *New York Times* best-selling author Andra Watkins, Emmaline is an 18-year-old feminist, volunteering with Nicaraguan refugees in Honduras. Through many riveting and suspenseful adventures, Emmaline winds up reconciling with her mother, who turns out to be one of America’s first feminists. Written with grit, wit and lots of heart, according to Jerry Sanford, former First Lady of South Caroline and New York Times best-selling author of Staying True, if you like edge of your seat action and compelling characters, you’ll love I Am Number 13.

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Contributors to this article
Patricia A O’Gorman from PatriciaO’Gorman

Alexandra Avila from Spherical PR

Annie Chopra from She TheQueen

Bracha Goetz from Bracha’s Books

Suzannah Weiss from SuzannahWeiss

Kirsten Trammell from Words with Kirsten

Karla Singson from KarlaStefanSingson

Brenda Knight from Mango Publishing

Andra Watkins from AndraWatkins

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