The 10 Best Books for Feminist Friends

Some of the best books for feminist friends to read and discuss include a mix of classics and modern titles. Whether you're looking for humorous commentary or something to inspire you into action, these strong women authors will give you some much appreciated knowledge!

The 10 Best Books for Feminist Friends

In the words of Queen Bey, "Who run the world? Girls!" There are so many excellent books for feminist friends on the market today because feminism is taking the world by storm. Young women everywhere (as well as men) are realizing that women are powerful and deserve to be treated as equals in society. It’s important when reading about feminism to take in perspectives from a wide range of authors, both modern and classic. Some of the greatest feminist writers of all time came from decades past, such as Margaret Atwood and Virginia Woolf, however, 21st century women have written amazing feminist books with plenty to say. Their words will surely inspire you and your feminist friends.

We Should All Be Feminists, written by New York Times bestselling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is one of the best books for feminist friends everywhere. In this essay, Adichie defines feminism in 21st century, pop cultural terms, but she also defines it through her personal story. As one of the famous feminist writers of the 21st century, Adichie uses this book as an inspiring speech that will make every young woman and man understand why being a feminist is so necessary and so meaningful.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a classic feminist novel, which has become even more famous recently because of the hit Hulu TV series, which was based off the book. While you may not see on the surface the feminism in this tale, many have argued that given our political climate, The Handmaid's Tale isn't too far fetched. Offred is a clear feminist trying to escape the patriarchal society she is being forced into. She is willing to risk her life over and over again to get away from this awful place, find her daughter and husband, and live in freedom once again. The strength of a woman is unmatched.

In All the Lives I Want, Alana Massey compiles a collection of essays on some very significant women in pop culture and society, including names such as Sylvia Plath, Britney Spears, Scarlett Johansson, and beyond. These essays explore the lives of celebrities, the sex industry, mental illness, and how all of this relates to views of feminism on a larger scale. This is one of the most interesting books for feminist friends to read together and discuss, because it is clear that these famous people and their influence play a big part in feminist views everywhere.

Taking a more personal route, Tracks, by Robyn Davidson is a memoir which details Davidson’s 1,700 mile trek across the Australian Outback. This is one of the most inspiring books for feminists who want to feel empowered. Similar to the well-known book and movie Wild, this book will make women feel that they can accomplish any dream, goal, or adventure they set their mind to. Being a woman doesn't mean that you can't go out on your own and explore the unknown. Don't be afraid.

In There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, Morgan Parker writes a collection of poetry that details the experience of being a black woman in society today. This is on the list of books for feminist friends to read because it is so important that feminists understand other aspects of being a woman. Yes, it is great to glorify beautiful and empowered women like Beyoncé who are up on stage, making money, and doing their thing. But that is not every woman. Most women are living ordinary lives. They do not like look Beyoncé. Yet, they are still beautiful and still equal. That is the point of feminism.

Bad Feminist is a collection of essays by New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay. In these essays, Gay is humorous, critical, and observant as she talks about her own personal story as well as the state of feminism today and society as a whole. This book is well worth a read and definitely worth recommending, as it's one of the classic feminist books you should read.

In You Play the Girl, Carina Chocano gives great commentary on everything society tells us about feminism and being a woman. There are so many mixed messages we receive that it becomes hard for women to know how to behave, what is or isn’t right, etc. Chocano delves right in from childhood through adulthood and gives us her honest opinion on it all. This is one of the best books for feminists who want an uncensored look at feminism.

Nasty Women, by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, is an excellent book about feminism written after the Trump election. The definition of feminism has changed tremendously since Trump has been elected, because this president has threatened women’s rights more than any other president before. Women have been forced to come together and take a stand. Mukhopadhyay and Harding assess the situation and comment on feminism from a political and social viewpoint in relation to Trump’s America.

The Bell Jar is a classic feminist book written by Sylvia Plath, which discusses mental illness through the main character of Esther Greenwood. The feminist aspects in this book are what make this one of the best books for feminist friends to read and discuss. These aspects need to be pulled out and thought through. Esther struggles with issues of power, the common double standard of sexuality in women, and the need to find herself. These are things that define feminism whether mental illness is involved or not.

Men Explain Thing to Me by Rebecca Solnit is an awesome feminist book, which collects conversations between men and women and hilariously tries to translate the miscommunication. Men often assume they know more than they do and assume women know less. Solnit refers to this as a “gender war.” There are many interesting and entertaining essays in this book, which will keep you laughing and informed on feminism today and why we need it.

There are books for feminist friends of all types, whether your friends are looking to gain knowledge, have a good laugh, or get inspired to make a change. These titles will be sure to get your mind working towards a good cause!

book reviews
Read next: The State
Morgan E. Westling

Avid Reader, Freelance Writer/Editor, and Lifestyle Blogger

See all posts by Morgan E. Westling