Started by the Suffragettes in the early 1900’s, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911. The theme of this year’s IWD is #PressForProgress – to help women and girls achieve their ambitions; challenge conscious and unconscious bias; call for gender-balanced leadership; value women and men’s contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures.
The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report tells us that gender parity is over 200 years away, and that just isn’t good enough. Global activism for women’s equality has been fuelled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more. Now, more than ever, is the time to #PressforProgress.
With that in mind, here are some recommendations for fiction and non-fiction reads for International Women’s Day!
International Women’s Day Non-Fiction Recs
- Bad Feminist (4.5/5*) – I read this book a couple of years ago, and it awakened my inner feminist! Fantastic, accessible read. Full review of Bad Feminist | Get Your Copy
- Hot Feminist (4/5*) – Polly Vernon tackles the difficult questions surrounding modern-day feminism with sarcasm, insight, and wit. Full review of Hot Feminist | Get Your Copy
- The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success (4/5*) – While not marketed directly to women, this book touches on many of the qualities deemed necessary to get-ahead, that women tend to struggle with, in their battle to be assertive and remain “liked” in the workplace. Full review of The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success | Get Your Copy
- I Call Myself A Feminist (3.5/5*) – Is “feminism” still a dirty word? This book contains short essays from 25 women under thirty, dissecting what feminism means to them. Get Your Copy
- Full Frontal Feminism (3/5*) – While this isn’t a favourite of mine, there are interesting and useful nuggets of information in this text. A good introduction or all-rounder, it wouldn’t be my go-to recommendation, but it does add to the conversation. Get Your Copy
- Lean In – I shamefully started, but have yet to finish this one. From what I’ve read it’s full of eye-opening anecdotes and facts, and it’s definitely the kind of book you need to read with a pen and paper handy to take notes! Get Your Copy
- Why Women Don’t Ask – I’m in the middle of this read, and it’s another great one that looks at the innate differences between genders, and how these can be overcome, as well as how to work within the constraints of societal perception, for women to succeed in the workplace! Get Your Copy
- I Am Malala – One that is on my bookshelf, and I have yet to get to. If ever there was an inspirational woman, Malala Yousafzai is she. Get Your Copy
- Everyday Sexism – Another I have on my TBR. What started as a TED Talk and anonymous online forum, has now become a phenomenon, and published text. This book argues that sexism has been normalised. And it’s time for change. Get Your Copy
International Women’s Day Fiction Recs
- The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh (5/5*) – One of my favourite books of 2016, this novel is based on the true story of Mother Ross, a brave and fierce Irish woman. When her husband is taken as a soldier, Kit enlists in the Duke of Marlborough’s regiment, disguised as a man, to follow him across war-torn Italy. And that’s just the beginning! Full review of The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh | Get Your Copy
- Through the Barricades (4.5/5*) – This is a story of friendship, love, war and revolution. She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country. He was willing to sacrifice everything for her. Full review of Through the Barricades | Get Your Copy
- Asking For It (4.5/5*) – A brutal, important, relevant, and emotional novel, based on true events. A book all ages and genders should read. I was compelled to write #NotAskingForIt upon finishing the book. Full review of Asking For It | Get Your Copy
- Only Ever Yours (4/5*) – Supposedly reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, this debut novel will make you stop and question the society around you. eves are designed, not made. The School trains them to be pretty. The School trains them to be good. The School trains them to Always be Willing. Full review of Only Ever Yours | Get Your Copy
- The Handmaid’s Tale – I was surprised by, and really enjoyed, this novel set in a future world where women’s rights are completely revoked. Is the truth stranger than fiction? Get Your Copy
International Women’s Day Blogger Recs
- Chantelle from Oh The Stories recommends the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn.
- Amy Lord from Ten Penny Dreams recommends The Power by Naomi Alderman and Wide Sargrasso Sea by Jean Rhys.
- Becky from A Fool’s Ingenuity recommends All The Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister and How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran.