Books that Celebrate Powerful Women for Women’s History Month

Posted: March 23, 2020 at 11:04 am

illustration of a white woman with glasses and brown hair reading a book

Books, books, books! I can lose myself for hours in a good book. With all the COVID-19 measures in place, now would be a good time to start a book that you have always wanted to read. Need some recommendations? You can celebrate Women’s History Month from the comfort of your bed by reading a book about strong women leads.

1. House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

cover of the house of impossible beauties

Based on the documentary “Paris is Burning,” the novel introduces us to the Harlem ball scene where we meet extraordinary characters. They learn to navigate the challenges of their lives with their traumatic pasts. The House of Impossible Beauties is a tragic story of love, family, and the dynamism of the human spirit.

2. The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn

collage of multicolored books

Set between 1813 and 1827, the Bridgerton Series is a collection of eight novels, each featuring one of the eight children of the late Viscount Bridgerton. What’s special about these books is that the author paints the female characters as brave, strong-willed and the heroes of their own story. Historical romance novels don’t always have to be about a damsel in distress!

3. Surpassing Certainty by Janet Mock

cover of janet mock's surpassing certainty

This autobiography by Janet Mock is a coming of age story as she navigates her relationships and life as a trans woman of color. Although this book was a tear-jerker for me, particular sections resonated with me as she talks about her experience as a college student. This book echoes intersectionality.

4. The Handmaid’s Tale

cover of the handmaid's tale

Everyone has surely heard of the Handmaid’s Tale now that it is on television. I would recommend reading this dystopian novel that might give you goosebumps during various parts.

It is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was the United States. I definitely recommend reading the book before watching the TV show!

5. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

cover of bad feminist

The book is a New York Times bestseller and contains a collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation. Order a copy off of Amazon or download the online version to read about various perspectives.

6. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler

cover of gender trouble

Although this book might come across as hard to read, it contains a wealth of information. Read about Butler’s critique of feminist theory. She tackles the patriarchy, class and the construction of gender. If you’ve taken a Women and Gender Studies class before, you’ve probably come across her work.

7. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

cover of the help

The Help is a 2009 novel by American author Kathryn Stockett. The story is about African Americans working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s. This book really examines the intersections between race and class during the 1960s.

8. Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis

cover of Women, Race, and Class

This book is a powerful study of the women’s liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders.

Read away Patriots!

 

Write to Nikita Fernandes at nferna11@masonlive.gmu.edu