The best books by funny, feminist, truth-telling women

Who am I?

I am a writer, actor, and comedian. I began on the Second City mainstage in Toronto. I was a writer and an actor on the Canadian television series, Call Me Fitz and I won the Gemini Award and the Canadian Screen Award for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for my work opposite Jason Priestley on that show. Let Me Be Frank is my first book and it brings together so much of what I love to write and read: feminism, women, history, underdogs, and humor.

I wrote...

Let Me Be Frank: A Book about Women Who Dressed Like Men to Do Shit They Weren't Supposed to Do

By Tracy Dawson,

Book cover of Let Me Be Frank: A Book about Women Who Dressed Like Men to Do Shit They Weren't Supposed to Do

What is my book about?

Written from a very personal POV, Let Me Be Frank is a sardonic and thoroughly impassioned homage to female ingenuity and tenacity. The women profiled in this inspiring anthology broke the rules to reach their goals and refused to take “no” for an answer. They took matters into their own hands, dressing—sometimes literally,  sometimes figuratively—as men to do what they wanted to do.

“An astonishing collection, Let Me Be Frank is a witty, sometimes infuriating,  wholly inspiring look at the lengths that women had to go to." — Buzzfeed  

The books I picked & why

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We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.

By Samantha Irby,

Book cover of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.

Why this book?

I simply love Samantha Irby’s writing. It was hard to choose which of her books to include on my list! This collection of essays is breathtakingly honest, witty, and at times heartbreaking. Irby’s writing makes me cackle, while also levelling me with her vulnerability. Irby is a fierce and funny truth-teller that I can’t get enough of. Buy this book. Buy the audiobook too! Having Irby in your ear as you walk the dog or run errands is like hanging out with a friend and you will not regret it. 

A Room Of One's Own

By Virginia Woolf,

Book cover of A Room Of One's Own

Why this book?

When re-reading A Room Of One’s Own a couple of years ago, I was reminded of how funny Woolf is. Room is an extended essay of sorts and it is based on a series of lectures  Woolf gave to female students at Cambridge University in 1928. I cannot overstate how much I recommend reading this work. It is slight in size but mighty in its power to inspire, revitalize, and stimulate! It is also biting and laugh-out-loud funny at times and this is simply heaven to me: feminism, phenomenal writing, pointed wit? Yes, please!  Does this text hold up? You bet your arse it does. Please do yourself a favor and read this. Go, do it now!  

The Wreckage of My Presence: Essays

By Casey Wilson,

Book cover of The Wreckage of My Presence: Essays

Why this book?

As cliché as it sounds, I truly did laugh and cry my way through this excellent book of essays by actress and comedian Casey Wilson. Wilson is an excellent storyteller and someone who is just profoundly, naturally funny. But she does not shy away from some heartbreaking and emotionally raw material too, which, quite frankly, is my jam. I did that thing where you get both the book and the audiobook, so when you are walking the dog you can still be reading. I highly recommend following suit because Wilson is such a  delight to listen to. I may have had to pull my car over while listening one day because it was not safe to drive whilst weeping uncontrollably.  

Thick: And Other Essays

By Tressie McMillan Cottom,

Book cover of Thick: And Other Essays

Why this book?

A National Book Award finalist, Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick is a brilliantly written compendium of essays that should be read by everyone. This awe-inspiring collection tackles beauty standards, media, capitalism, and white supremacy all with a fierce wit and through a Black feminist lens. You will count yourself lucky to read these essays by one of the most important thinkers of our time. Cottom is wildly sharp and funny. She is an academic and profound but this book is accessible and readable. If you are like me you will want to read this twice.  

Delicacy: A memoir about cake and death

By Katy Wix,

Book cover of Delicacy: A memoir about cake and death

Why this book?

Katy Wix, the brilliant actress and comedian, has written a memoir about “cake and death” in which she delves into womanhood, body image, disordered eating, grief and addiction. Because Wix is a genius comedian, she is able to paint the deeply human,  painfully honest stuff here while also making us laugh. Again, this is the type of work that I gravitate to! Honest, human, darkly humorous…I simply adore truth-tellers. Ones,  like Wix, that make us laugh, make us uncomfortable, make us look at our own “shit”,  but also help us to heal.  

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in feminism, life satisfaction, and pop culture?

5,716 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about feminism, life satisfaction, and pop culture.

Feminism Explore 178 books about feminism
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Pop Culture Explore 78 books about pop culture

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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