My Top 5 Feminist Reads

It's no secret that I love both books and feminism; in fact, those two topics are largely the basis of this blog. But I've only dipped my toes into the feminist genre of books more recently. In the past, when I thought of "feminist" books, I thought of highly theoretical textbooks with a great many quotes and statistics that I would find boring and difficult to get through. Don't get me wrong - I'm sure there are a great many books in the genre that fit that description, if that's what you enjoy. Personally though, I was happy to learn that the idea in my mind didn't describe every feminist book out there. Since learning that, I've read a ton of books both on the subject of feminism and/or which have overt feminist themes. Today I want to suggest a few of my favorites if you're thinking of giving the genre a chance.

It's been a couple of years since I read Bad Feminist, but it always comes to mind when I try to think of my favorite feminist books. If there's one thing we can all relate to, it's Roxane Gay's writings about trying - and sometimes failing - to be the best feminist we can be. None of us are perfect, but that doesn't mean we can't work hard to do better.

I finished this book over the course of about an hour one day, and kept texting my cousin the entire time I was reading it. The Vagina Monologues is, in case you haven't already read the book or seen the play, a compilation of different women's stories. I guess part of my love of this book is, when else have you ever seen/heard women talk openly about their vaginas?

I've had this book sitting on my shelf for at least a year now, but I just read it for the first time last month. And let me tell you, I can't believe I waited that long to read it. The Handmaid's Tale falls under one of my favorite genres: dystopian, and focuses on a future where women are treated secondary to men, but within a class system that places some women higher up than others. The story is told by a woman, Ofred, at the bottom of that system. Luckily, Hulu is releasing a series based on the book this April, so if you're going to read The Handmaid's Tale, make sure you do it soon.

Shrill is a collection of essays, a memoir format I absolutely adore no matter what the subject matter. I read this book a couple of months ago, and could not have been more in love with it. Lindy West's writing is hilarious, and the stories she tells are both relatable and insightful.

Written by Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry broken into sections on hurting, loving, breaking, and healing. Because Kaur's poems are short - often fewer than five lines each - this collection is a quick read. In Kaur's words, Milk and Honey "is the journey of surviving through poetry."

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