World Book Day: Empowering Books For Women, By Women

Victorian Books reading list, reading women writers, must read feminist books

Often, when we are sapped of energy or facing a roadblock or trying to heal or simply declutter, we look for incredible books that take us beyond the trite quick-fixes and bring about a shift in the way we think, feel, act, and form opinions. Whether they are thought-provoking essays or the authors’ personal stories or books spun out of research, these empowering books will inspire, entertain, and empower you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a fine place to start.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you are struggling to unleash your creativity, write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, this book exhorts you to face your fears and adopt certain attitudes and habits in order to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within you. Drawing from her own life, and those of the people that have inspired her, Gilbert shares her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity and shows the way to infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness, passion, wonder and joy.

The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom by Suze Orman
This one goes beyond the nuts and bolts of managing money to explore the psychological, even spiritual, power money has in our lives. It offers specific, concrete, and easy-to-follow procedures to get control of our attitudes about money, letting go of anxiety, and mastering the practical elements of financial life: investments, credit, insurance, and estate and retirement planning. Financial freedom, says Orman, is about realising that we are worth far more than our money.

Positive Energy by Judith Orloff
Are you overcommitted, afraid to say no, exhausted and running on empty? Does the onslaught of violence in the news leave you drained? The pioneer behind Energy Psychiatry, a field that addresses the subtle energetic components of health and behaviour, Dr Orloff writes a prescription that blends the practice of mainstream medicine with a scientific understanding of subtle energies. Filled with warmth, humour, and compassion, this book is your tool kit for harnessing an abundance of vibrance, strength, and love.


The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

We all have that voice in our heads that talks down to us, discourages and questions us and makes us believe that we are not worthy. These negative messages thwart our gratitude, acceptance, and compassion—our goodness. The truth is that we are worthy—of self-discovery, personal growth, and boundless love. Based on extensive research on subjects like vulnerability and self-worth, this book is a powerful game-changer which equips you to embrace your imperfections, find courage to overcome fear, and strengthen your connection to the world.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

When faced with grief and an intense personal crisis following her mother’s rapid death from cancer and her crumbling marriage, at twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed made the most impulsive decision of her life: to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America – from the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and into Washington state – and to do it alone. This brutal memoir of survival, grief and redemption offers hope that it’s possible to overcome the seemingly insurmountable.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

What are the true qualities that lead to outstanding achievement? What goes through your head when you fall down? Insightful and original, and with a mix of masterful storytelling and the latest science, GRIT tells how it’s not talent or luck that leads to success but character and perseverance. It’s what you do when you fall and the joyful and fulfilling endeavours that you pursue that make all the difference.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

In a world where most of us are learning to say ‘No’, Shonda Rhimes, an introvert who describes herself as ‘hugging the walls’ at social events, decided to say ‘Yes’. It happened when Shonda’s sister Delorse muttered six little words at her: You never say yes to anything. The words made her face her fear of dealing with the unfamiliar. Hilarious and deeply intimate, this is book is testimony to what happens when you open up to new experiences.

A Simplified Life by Emily Ley

With the demands on your time, energy and space and the clutter piling up at home, at your workplace, on your computer, and in your mind, it’s not surprising that you feel overwhelmed. In this book, you’ll find strategies for living intentionally in 10 key areas—from your home and meal planning, to style and finances, parenting, faith life, and more. Realistic and achievable, this book has simple insights to make space make space for what matters most.

The Places That Scare You by Pema Chödrön
The wisdom to make the right choices is always available to us but we block it with our fears and habits. We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder. Here, Pema provides the tools to deal with life’s problems and difficulties, access the state of openheartedness and tenderness, and awaken our basic goodness.

Women’s Power to Heal: Through Inner Medicine by Maya Tiwari
Maya Tiwari freed herself from “terminal” ovarian cancer at the age of 23. A living testament to the healing efficacy of her teachings, she represents the best in the great Ayurveda and Yoga traditions. Having discovered the absolute power within her, she shares effective techniques, ancient wisdom, recipes, massages, the healing wisdom that literally saved her life, and her vast knowledge of how body and psyche intertwine.

A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson

In this bestselling spiritual guide, Marianne Williamson shares her reflections on A Course in Miracles. Love has the power to lead to inner peace and miracles. It can create wonders in the areas of relationships, career, or health. Williamson focuses on correcting errors in thinking and perception, as well as spending a lot of attention on relationships and healing. Pain, she professes, can be assuaged, by practising love and we can make our own lives more fulfilling while creating a more peaceful and loving world for our children.

Dying to Be Me by Anita Moorjani

Anita Moorjani fought a battle with cancer for four years. As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience (NDE) where she realised her inherent worth and the actual cause of her disease. Upon regaining consciousness, her condition had improved so rapidly that there was no trace of cancer in her body. Here, she shares all she has learned about illness, the miracles in the universe, healing, fear, being love, and the true magnificence of each and every human being.

You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

A powerful, transformational classic, this book offers a strong message of non-judgmental love and support. Hay, a cancer survivor herself, has firsthand information to share about healing. She believes that everyone is responsible for everything in their lives, the best and the worst, and offers profound insights into the relationship between the mind and the body. She explores the way limiting thoughts and ideas constrict us, and is full of strategies to do mental work to heal almost anything.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising by Marie Kondo

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Having tried several methods of decluttering and finally zeroing in on the one that works best, Japan’s expert declutterer and professional cleaner Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method will help you tidy your rooms once and for all with her step-by-step method. With this technique, you will keep only the things you really love and to do it all at once – and quickly. The book promises that by transforming your space, you can feel more confident, become more successful and create the life you want.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What does “feminism” mean today? In this personal and powerful essay, Adichie asks that we begin to dream about and plan for a different, fairer world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. She offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now and why we should all be feminists.

Here are some more titles:
1) Hunger by Roxane Gay
2) Chasing Slow by Erin Loecher
3) Simple Abundance by Sara Ban Breathnach
4) The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
5) The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by
Gretchen Rubin
6) You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
7) Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
8) The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey
9) In the Body of the World: A Memoir of Cancer and Connection by Eve Ensler
10) Women Food and God by Geneen Roth
11) How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking by Viv Groskop
12) How to Be a Bawse by Lilly Singh

Picture Credit: freestocks.org on Unsplash

Also Read: Our Favourite Must-Read Books On Investing

Archana Pai Kulkarni is the Books Editor at SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.