7 Books A Feminist Should Read

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Even with all the toxicity and outdated cultural norms we find in the media each day, we can also from time to time find a work of literature that clearly deals with equality, the struggle for it, and the rise of the female to achieve equal standing with the male within its pages. And you can thank feminism for that.

Insulate yourself from all the stereotypes and worn-out tropes still existing within the literary world that only gives us a very limited perspective of what both genders can achieve. Make sure to update your reading list with these feminist-friendly books.

#1 The Imperial Alchemist: A Novel by A. H. Wang

The Imperial Alchemist is a supernatural thriller by Australian author A.H. Wang. It follows the adventures of archaeologist Dr. Georgia Lee as she searches through thousands of years of Asian history for a secret people will kill for– immortality.

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#2 Vernacular Modernism: The Photography of Doris Ulmann by Sarah Kate Gillespie

This book was the first one to look at the photographer’s full career and present as, in some ways, a predecessor to more famous male photographers. A New Yorker, Ulmann traveled through the coastal South and Appalachia in the early 1930s, photographing people and crafts there with sensitivity. Her books predated ones like James Agee and Walker Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men but because she was a woman her work was often dismissed.

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#3 The Unexpected Connection by Dena Levin

While sitting poolside near her grandmother’s West Palm Beach condo, young millennial Vanessa overhears a strange conversation: What, you want to have phone sex?

Accustomed to little more than old folks with their card games and early bird dinners, Vanessa is shocked-but intrigued-and soon makes the acquaintance of Michelle. As it turns out, Michelle is a widow trying online dating, while Vanessa is single and still recovering from tragic loss.

Separated by decades in age, the two women are extremely similar in many other ways and become fast friends. Surviving life is a challenge, but to thrive, young Vanessa must find her authentic self, all with the help of a serendipitous friendship by a Florida pool.

The Unexpected Connection is filled with timely stories, insightful reflections, and humor that readers can relate to as they witness the inner struggles and ultimate growth both Michelle and Vanessa experience throughout the book.

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#4 When to Do WhatWhen to Do What: A Step-by-Step Guide to the College Process by Joann Korte Elliott

When to Do What is a great book for teens (and parents) who want a guide to walk them through the college admissions process. Straightforward and an easy read, WTDW helps students answer questions like When should we start talking about college? to What can I do in high school to get ready for college? and even What if I don’t know my major?.

After those questions are addressed, the book provides step-by-step instruction for each part of the college admission process including timelines, worksheets, and resources. It covers every topic from testing to visiting, finding scholarships, and when to apply.

It’s like having a college counselor at your kitchen table walking you through every step of the process without the expense. A great resource for the oldest child, first-time parent, and for rural or home-schooled students who may not have access to college counselors through their high schools.

It’s also a great resource for those students in large high schools who feel like they have little access to their school’s college counselor. A great resource every student can use. The book grows with them from 8th grade to 12th as they maneuver the sometimes daunting college process!

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#5 The Feminist Financial Handbook 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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#6 Backwards and in Heels by Alicia Malone

Women have been instrumental in the success of American cinema since its very beginning. One of the first people to ever pick up a motion picture camera was a woman-as was the first screenwriter to win two Academy Awards, the inventor of the boom microphone and the first person to be credited with the title Film Editor. Throughout the entire history of Hollywood women have been revolutionizing, innovating, and shaping how we make movies.

Yet their stories are rarely shared. This is what film reporter Alicia Malone wants to change. Backwards and in Heels combines research and exclusive interviews with influential women and men working in Hollywood today, such as Geena Davis, J.J. Abrams, Ava DuVernay, Octavia Spencer, America Ferrera, Paul Feig and many more, as well as film professors, historians and experts. Think of Backwards and in Heels as a guidebook, your entry into the complex world of women in film. Join Alicia Malone as she champions Hollywood women of the past and present, and looks to the future with the hopes of leveling out the playing field.

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#7 Bad at Adulting, Good at Feminism 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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Contributors to this article
Cecelia Isaac from F-BOM

Hillary Brown

Courtney Vasquez from Lavidge

Joann Elliott from College Counseling Tutoring, LLC

Brenda Knight from Mango Publishing

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