Our Favorite Books for Women's History Month
It’s Women’s History Month, and what kind of book besties would we be if we didn’t tell you about some of our favorite books by, for and about women? (On basically the last applicable day, because procrastination is our brand).
Seriously, though - you’ll see a lot of titles by women on Book Babes, and that’s not an accident. If you know us, you know that we’re proud feminists, and we love supporting other babes (and reading the work of badass ladies who inspire us).
A disclaimer, and some self-criticism: this list includes probably too many books by straight white ladies! Like many of you, we’re trying to be more thoughtful about what we read in 2019 and actively seek out more diverse authors. We’d love to hear your recommendations.
Here are some of our favorite recent reads for Women’s History Month, in no particular order. What are your faves?
Yes Please by Amy Poehler: Memoir, musings and life and career advice from one of the funniest ladies of all time, including one of our forever favorite quotes: “Treat your career like a bad boyfriend.”
We are Never Meeting in Real Life and Meaty by Samantha Irby: A recommendation from a sister of the Babes, these collections of essays from comedian, author and Twitter personality Irby are hilarious and relatable. (She’s also a writer on Shrill!). Irby is unabashedly explicit in her writing (seriously nothing is off limits - poop, sex, she spares no details), which is a great reminder that women can be gross, too!
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham: Lena Dunham is a polarizing figure everywhere, including here at Book Babes. But Not That Kind of Girl is worth a read, for its essays about mental health, sex, ambition, body image and more.
My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg: If you’re looking for a juicy personal memoir from your hero RBG, this ain’t it (I made that mistake when I bought it, too). But it’s still fantastic - excerpts of the coolest Supreme Court Justice’s writing and speeches, prefaced by biographical details from that time in her life.
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple: Maybe not a traditional pick for Women’s History Month, but it’s a novel that will make you feel like it’s okay to occasionally be a mess - even if you’re constantly telling yourself you’re going to change. The lesson of this book: it’s fine. You’re fine.
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer: A fantastic novel (with an even better cover) about feminism, female friendship and mentorship - it’s rare to see a book so focused on women’s careers, ambitions and professional relationships.
Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton: If you think Abby hasn’t read all of Hillary Clinton’s books, you’re wrong (and obviously didn’t spend much time around us circa 2015-2016). This is the best one, though, all about her time as Secretary of State. And whether you’re a Clinton fan or not, you’ll put this book down in awe of how badass she is.
Spinster by Kate Bolick: Journalist, cultural critic and self-proclaimed “spinster” Kate Bolick examines the lives of five pioneering women (and spinsters in their own right) of the last century: journalist Neith Boyce, essayist Maeve Brennan, social reformer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and novelist Edith Wharton. She makes a pretty good case for the joy and passion of creating a life of one’s own (aka, she don’t need no man!).
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxanne Gay: This book is an intimate and brave account of the author’s experience of a traumatic sexual assault and subsequent coping to make sense of her world. Roxanne Gay provides an insightful look at what it’s like to navigate society in what is deemed to be an “unwieldy” body. It’s a difficult book, but an important one.
The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace: If you’re in the mood to be engulfed in feminist rage (and let’s face it – we always are), check out this evocative collection of poems by Amanda Lovelace. One of the best quotes (and a particularly relevant one to this blog): “women are libraries about to burst.”