10 Must-Read Books Written By Powerhouse Women

Everyone loves a good book. It’s the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life and pretend your world isn’t falling apart as you escape into someone else’s drama. But really… For me, a good book needs to actively do something. It needs to teach me something I didn’t already know, delve into my empathetic nature and make me feel things I didn’t know I could feel. It needs to touch a part of my soul, and feed into my being. Or it needs to tell a really damn good story. Whatever it is you’re looking for in your next book, these fabulous women have given us a special part of their minds, and what better way to appreciate that than sharing them with everyone you know and love, and in this case don’t know at all! This list touches on novels old and new, offering something special for anyone and everyone.

1. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte:

Jane has a way of understanding what it is to be a human being. She’s attentive, she struggles with confidence and is way too good for the man she’s in love with. She’s the most interesting female protagonist because she has a way of just making you say “me, AF.” Also, Charlotte Bronte wrote this novel under an androgynous pen name, Currer Bell. Yay for breaking social constructs!

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2. The Last Man – Mary Shelley:

This book is AMAZING. If you’re going to read this fantastic book, you need to know all about the badass woman this author is. Mary Shelley was a woman from the 19th century who believed herself to be intellectually comparable to all of her male counterparts, giving her confidence to write many of her works from the perspective of a male protagonist. She was the daughter of one of the most brilliant early feminist writers and activists, Mary Wollstonecraft, and one of the most iconic philosophical minds of that century, William Godwin. This book combines apocalyptic terror with raw human emotion and psychological inquiry and analysis as you grow to love and mourn every character you come to meet.

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3. Sexing The Cherry – Jeannette Winterson:

What doesn’t this book have? Non-linear time, parallel universes, gender neutrality, asexuality, all in a tale of a 17th-century woman and her adopted son. This is a read-twice kind of novel, as you’ll never get it’s full effect the first time around. Be prepared to read between the lines, make connections, empathize, and keep an open mind. Winterson creates a universe so similar but so different from our own, that the journey of reading will feel all too familiar but mysteriously foreign.

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4. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley:

The original Frankenstein is probably not the Frankenstein you’ve been accustomed to. Dr. Frankenstein is a scientist who obsesses over the idea of creating a life from nothing. I like to think of this novel as less of a horror story and more of a psychological thriller, which I’ve even heard considered the first science-fiction novel. It’s just fascinating, and nothing like what you’d be expecting from a 19-year-old girl on a summer vacation. That’s right, Mary Shelley was friggin 19 when she wrote this bad boy. As if you needed any more proof she was f*cking awesome.

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5. White Teeth – Zadie Smith:

Zadie Smith is as woke as woke can be. This story covers cultural and religious obstacles, puberty and adolescence, political and social strife, you name it. Not to mention, characters that just feel so real. Nothing is sugar-coated, and she tells it like it is. She’s witty, she’s brilliant, just pick up this damn book for yourself.

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