To all the strong women out there in the world. Boss ladies. Women who know what they want and go after it with passion. To all you amazing, awe-inspiring ladies, here is a list of books to boost your confidence and lift your spirit. Books that feature strong women that you can get inspiration from.
Wild Swans by Jung Chang
It tells the story of three generations of women in China. It starts in imperial China, graduates to communist China and later the aftermath. As I read this novel I felt as if I was receiving an education in modern history of China. A marvelous sweeping adventure.
Unless by Carol Shields
One of my most favorite novels in the world. It tells the story of a mother whose daughter disappears and later is found sitting on a street corner with a sign around her neck. It tells the story of a woman who as a result of her daughter’s bewildering behavior begins to doubt everything in her life. What do you do when your children grow up and behave in ways that you can’t comprehend? What are you supposed to do?
The Diviners by Margret Laurence
Margret Laurence never disappoints. Almost everything she has ever written is fantastic. The Diviners is no exception. A brilliantly written novel about a stubborn woman who continues to defy social conventions. Just when you expect her to cave in, give up and conform. She persists in her pursuit. A lead character after my own heart. A testament to not letting reality break your spirit.
Heartburn by Nora Ephron
Yes! Nora Ephron of Harry Met Sally fame wrote this novel before getting involved in the movie business. It’s a thinly disguised fictionalized version of Nora’s own divorce. If anybody can make heartbreak and divorce funny, Nora Ephron is here to show the way. This is the story of taking painful circumstances and finding a way to have a laugh at yourself never the less.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
This tells the story of one woman’s adventure in the Amazon forest. Nature, hostile indigenous tribe and a giant anaconda can’t stand in the path of this strong lead character.
Graffiti Hack by Elen Ghulam
This tells the story of woman on a mission to make the internet beautiful. The internet was designed mostly by men for men. So this one foolish young woman decides to make it her business to feminize it. Imagine if Banksy was a woman graffiting the internet.
The First Bad Man by Miranda July
I was first introduced to Miranda July through her movies which are very indie art house. The novel has the same vibe as the movie. Halfway through the book I found myself wondering if I was reading the female version of The Fight Club. As the story involves woman on woman violence. The type of violence that is disturbing but also funny. And then you feel guilty for thinking its funny. A testament to weird, fantastical and sometimes disturbing inner life of women.
The Bette Davis Club by Jane Lotter
This is a super hilarious story of a woman in her fifties having a delayed adulting. Instead of taking control of her life in her twenties she is doing it thirty years later. Better late than never. This novel is engaging, fun to read and thought provoking.
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
Today Will Be Different is a beautiful story that spans a single day. During which the lead character deconstructs and rebuilds her whole life. She is a mother, a wife and clearly a brilliant creative person. This is a story of the balancing act that modern day women have to perform to just to get through a single day. At the end of the book I felt the urge to stand up and give all women of the world a salute.
The Last Girl by Nadia Murad
The last girl is a biography. It tells the story of a woman who is a member of the Yazidi community in northern Iraq. It describes the life of a small town. And then ISIS fighters arrive and all turns dark. Death and violence of all sort follows. Nadia survives all, manages to escape and eventually become an advocate for the Yazidi community. Her efforts have garnered her the Nobel Peace Prize.
I turned the list into the following video.