The most recommended feminism books

Who picked these books? Meet our 295 experts.

295 authors created a book list connected to feminism, and here are their favorite feminism books.
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Book cover of Triangle

Barbara Artson Author Of Odessa, Odessa: A Novel

From my list on why immigrants leave their country of origin.

Why am I passionate about this?

I barely knew my grandparents who came to this country in 1905 and spoke only Yiddish. Because my mother refused to speak of her life in Odessa I was totally unaware of the persecution she and her family witnessed and experienced. As a psychoanalyst who helps people understand their own family’s history to better understand themselves, my historical novel, Odessa, Odessa helped me piece together what little I knew of my family’s history, and what I gleaned from my research and reading of novels, to render this portrait. Thomas Mann describes, in writing Joseph and His Brothers, putting clothing on the myth. I put the clothing on the history of my mother’s life story. So relevant today!

Barbara's book list on why immigrants leave their country of origin

Barbara Artson Why did Barbara love this book?

This first-person narrative historical novel tells in chilling detail the real-life events of the Triangle shirtwaist fire of 1911 seen through the eyes of one of the few survivors. Over 150 workers, mostly women, died in the inferno due to the management's decision to keep the doors locked so that the workers produced more shirts. You will turn each page feeling the horror, the fear, the rage, the disbelief this tragedy evokes.

By Katharine Weber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Triangle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By the time she dies at age 106, Esther Gottesfeld, the last survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, has told the story of that day many times. But her own role remains mysterious: How did she survive? Are the gaps in her story just common mistakes, or has she concealed a secret over the years? As her granddaughter seeks the real story in the present day, a zealous feminist historian bears down on her with her own set of conclusions, and Esther's voice vies with theirs to reveal the full meaning of the tragedy.

A brilliant chronicle of the event…

Book cover of Men to Avoid in Art and Life

Walburga Appleseed Author Of The Princess and the Prick

From my list on funny feminist books you'll want to gift to all your friends.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I gobbled up Grimm’s fairytales, but I always wondered: Why do the princesses get such a terrible deal? This question gnawed at me. So, when I grew up and became an author, I wrote The Princess and the Prick to set the world right. Feminism can be such a terribly serious topic, but sexism is ridiculous! So, let's laugh at it! The books I've recommended are all short and brilliantly funny. They make fantastic gifts and will have everyone laughing at the patriarchy in no time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Walburga's book list on funny feminist books you'll want to gift to all your friends

Walburga Appleseed Why did Walburga love this book?

Mansplaining is as old as the world, and we have the paintings to prove it! I loved discovering this great gift book in which the authors pair famous paintings with speech bubbles to drive home their point of modern-day sexism.

It has made me look at old paintings in a different way and wonder what the people in there are REALLY thinking.

By Nicole Tersigni,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Men to Avoid in Art and Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Men to Avoid in Art and Life pairs classical fine art with modern captions that epitomize the spirit of mansplaining.

This hilarious book perfectly captures those relatable moments when a man explains to a woman a subject about which he knows considerably less than she does.

Situations include men sharing keen insight on the female anatomy, an eloquent defense of catcalling, or offering sage advice about horseback riding to the woman who owns the horse.

* These less qualified men of antiquity dish out mediocrity as if it's pure genius
* For the women who have endured overbearing men over…

Book cover of Ship of Magic

Lucy A. McLaren Author Of Awakening

From my list on fantasy with a prominent feminist theme.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a fantasy author and professional counsellor, I am incredibly passionate about topics which are relevant not only to mental health, but to us in contemporary society. Feminist themes such as those discussed in my book list comes under than umbrella—we deal with these in our day to day lives. I experience them personally and also see it within my counselling clients. I believe that being able to read about these issues within fantasy stories is really important to allow us to understand and process the difficult thoughts and feelings they can bring up within us.  

Lucy's book list on fantasy with a prominent feminist theme

Lucy A. McLaren Why did Lucy love this book?

The Liveship Traders books explore the roles of women in arguably more depth than previous and subsequent books within Hobb’s massive Realm of the Elderlings series. In Ship of Magic, we are introduced to multiple characters including female protagonists Althea and Malta, two members of the Vestrit family who, throughout this series, try to establish their place in a society that very firmly places women within restricted roles. Hobb is a master at character work, and following the stories of these two young women is a journey in itself. We see them evolve, grow, and, ultimately, overcome the oppressions placed upon them by those around them. In the trilogy as a whole, Hobb explores these issues alongside historic abuse and trauma, mental health, and equality. An excellent exploration of feminist issues.  

By Robin Hobb,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Ship of Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'As addictive as morphine' THE TIMES

From the author of the classic Farseer trilogy, SHIP OF MAGIC is the first part of the Liveship Traders. Set in a land bordering the Six Duchies, Robin Hobb begins her epic tale of pirates, talking ships, magic, sea serpents, slave revolts, dashing heroes and bloody battles.

Wizardwood, the most precious commodity in the world, comes only from the Rain Wilds. But only a liveship can negotiate the perilous waters of the Rain Wild River, and liveships are hard to come by. They quicken only when three family members from successive generations have died…

Book cover of Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement

Nancy A. Hewitt Author Of Radical Friend: Amy Kirby Post and Her Activist Worlds

From Nancy's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Historian 1960s generation Historic sites fan Feminist Avid reader

Nancy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Nancy A. Hewitt Why did Nancy love this book?

As a professional historian for 40 years, I enjoy books that transform my understanding of our nation’s past. I also love strong female characters who are not well known but who contributed powerfully to social and political change.

Cahill provides a lively and beautifully crafted story of six women of color who fought for ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment and then continued their efforts as federal and state governments sought to exclude women of color from the ballot box after 1920.

Although these Native American, Spanish American, African American, and Chinese American suffragists embraced common goals, they employed distinct arguments and strategies. Their complex relationships are revealed here by placing them in conversation not only with white suffragists but also with each other.

By Cathleen D. Cahill,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Recasting the Vote as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We think we know the story of women's suffrage in the United States: women met at Seneca Falls, marched in Washington, D.C., and demanded the vote until they won it with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. But the fight for women's voting rights extended far beyond these familiar scenes. From social clubs in New York's Chinatown to conferences for Native American rights, and in African American newspapers and pamphlets demanding equality for Spanish-speaking New Mexicans, a diverse cadre of extraordinary women struggled to build a movement that would truly include all women, regardless of race or national origin. In…

Book cover of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World

Bobbito Garcia Author Of Aim High, Little Giant, Aim High!

From my list on BIPOC Shorties for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a parent who along with my co-parent is raising a Black and Puerto Rican child in a world that is consumed with misunderstanding our communities of people. We seek books that speak volumes to our core, and that can expand our son’s horizons so that he understands himself as well as others.

Bobbito's book list on BIPOC Shorties for kids

Bobbito Garcia Why did Bobbito love this book?

My son and I were blown away by the power of the words and illustrations contained in this book. I learned just as much as he did!

I love when we can both discover histories of women from diverse backgrounds that may otherwise go under the radar in mainstream media.

By Elena Favilli,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?


The third installment in the New York Times bestselling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series, featuring 100 immigrant women who have shaped, and will continue to shape, our world.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World is packed with 100 all-new bedtime stories about the lives of incredible female figures from the past and the present such as:

Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief Carmen Miranda, Singer and Actress Diane von Fürstenberg, Fashion Designer Gloria Estefan, Singer Ilhan Omar, Politician Josephine Baker, Entertainer and Activist Lupita Nyong'o,…

Book cover of My Rock 'n' Roll Friend

Zoë Howe Author Of Barbed Wire Kisses: The Jesus and Mary Chain Story

From my list on music biographies written by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a music biographer, and whenever I’ve hinted that the world of rock biography is a bit of a boys’ club, someone will bark names of famous female musicians who’ve written autobiographies at me. All brilliant, but biography is a different animal. It demands sensitivity, trust, intuition, empathy: the writer is presenting the story of another, wooing a publisher, balancing multiple perspectives, being a detective, asking strange questions, penetrating the skin, probing often forgotten places. Female music writers frequently face assumptions ranging from the dismissive to the salacious before being neatly sidelined, but this is changing – slowly.  I wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate some rare queens of the art here.

Zoë's book list on music biographies written by women

Zoë Howe Why did Zoë love this book?

Musician and author Thorn places Go-Betweens drummer Lindy Morrison in the spotlight in this warm, often fiery book which, as a sometime drummer, I loved and related to very keenly. It is a love letter, as so many biographies are, albeit as much to a friendship as it is to an artist. But it is also a reflection on how women interact, how women navigate the music industry, how creative, clever women (like female biographers!) are often dismissed, trivialised, undermined, even silenced. Women will get great strength from My Rock ‘n’ Roll Friend, and as for men, well, the world would probably be a better place if more chaps connected with this book.

By Tracey Thorn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Rock 'n' Roll Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Entertaining, affectionate and righteous' Guardian
'Says so much about being a woman' Cosey Fanni Tutti


In 1983, backstage at the Lyceum in London, Tracey Thorn and Lindy Morrison first met. Tracey's music career was just beginning, while Lindy, drummer for The Go-Betweens, was ten years her senior. They became confidantes, comrades and best friends, a relationship cemented by gossip and feminism, books and gigs and rock 'n' roll love affairs.

Morrison - a headstrong heroine blazing her way through a male-dominated industry - came to be a kind of mentor to Thorn. They…

Book cover of More Than a Woman

Emma Chapman Author Of First Light: Switching on Stars at the Dawn of Time

From my list on escape from the darn kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an astrophysicist. I am a mother. I am an author. I am a cleaner of dishes, a cooker of meals. I am a daughter, a friend on the end of the phone, a reader of bedtime stories, and the one who hugs away the tears and kisses it better. But I am also just me. Emma. And the books I read are always to escape or understand the internal fight I have between identities and the feeling that pursuing one is failing all the others. Lift yourself above it all, breathe, and read yourself into a different world.

Emma's book list on escape from the darn kids

Emma Chapman Why did Emma love this book?

Despite the title, I think that any gender can draw something from this book. It is the sequel to her phenomenally successful book “How to be a woman”, which quite frankly changed my life and made me decide to have children. This new book can be read as a stand-alone and charts Caitlin’s thoughts on her late 30s and 40s. It begins with her usual hilarious and irreverent tone, speaking about the pressures put on you by children, parents, work, best friends, basically everything. It suddenly becomes very serious in a way I didn’t expect though, and the message of balance is one that is important for anyone to read in this way. I rarely say this and mean it but… it made me laugh and it made me cry.

By Caitlin Moran,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked More Than a Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Exceptionally brilliant and powerful' Marina Hyde

'This book is a hilarious memoir, a passionate polemic, and a moving manifesto on how to be a decent person and try, in the face of countless stresses, to live a full open-hearted, joyous life' Sunday Times

A decade ago, Caitlin Moran thought she had it all figured out. Her instant bestseller How to Be a Woman was a game-changing take on feminism, the patriarchy, and the general 'hoo-ha' of becoming a woman. Back then, she firmly believed 'the difficult bit' was over, and her forties were going…

Book cover of The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror

Yvesdot Author Of Something's Not Right

From my list on LGBT-friendly SFF you absolutely should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

It took me far too long to realize that I, childhood absorber of all things fantastical, counted as an SFF fan; all the books I saw listed as “popular” or “classic” SFF were cis/het white dude parties. But SFF at its best uses the fantastical as metaphor for the mundane; imagines better (or worse) worlds; does something different, in screaming color! Who can do that better than the books lost on the fringes? To that end, I’ve organized this list based on rough reverse popularity, so if you don’t find something new by the beginning, you’ll almost certainly get it by the end. Happy reading!

Yvesdot's book list on LGBT-friendly SFF you absolutely should read

Yvesdot Why did Yvesdot love this book?

The Merry Spinster falls into my big bucket of fairytale retelling faves, but it hardly sticks to tradition: rather than simply following old plots, Lavery draws on the tone and style of classic fairy tales to create a gender-warped world where daughters use he/him pronouns and mermaids are sort of, but distinctly not, girls. Even better, the playful attitude towards gender now seems to foreshadow Lavery’s own coming out and transition, both occurring after he published this book—something that fills me with a special kind of trans-author love. Reading this for the first time, I had the sensation of slipping pleasantly into an utter dreamworld of gender/sexuality beauty, like a warm bath: I recommend you fall in, too.

By Daniel M. Lavery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Merry Spinster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales"--Front flap.

Book cover of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger

Kim Imas Author Of Beast Mom

From my list on women and anger.

Why am I passionate about this?

We talk a lot about the big public events that expanded the #MeToo movement so astronomically, like the election to the US presidency of a man who bragged about assaulting women, and the allegations made against Harvey Weinstein. But I think most American women have other, more personal beefs that originate from their being a woman. I, for one, was shocked at how unnecessarily difficult it was to be a new mother in the US. Other places support this vulnerable group much more than we do here, and living that disparity angered me—like, for example, when my husband exhausted what little parental leave he had available before our twins were even released from the NICU.

Kim's book list on women and anger

Kim Imas Why did Kim love this book?

This 2018 release had particularly good timing: By the end of the previous year, the #MeToo movement had exploded into a global phenomenon and women the world over were pissed. I was one of them, and I was doing a lot of soul-searching about the growing rage inside of me.

Good and Mad helped me understand the broader context of what I was feeling: why and how women have been taught that anger is unbecoming and unacceptable, how society holds us to that standard, and how some brave women—like Mamie Till—have turned this reality into an opportunity to create change.

By Rebecca Traister,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Good and Mad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Journalist Rebecca Traister's New York Times bestselling exploration of the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement is "a hopeful, maddening compendium of righteous feminine anger, and the good it can do when wielded efficiently-and collectively" (Vanity Fair).

Long before Pantsuit Nation, before the Women's March, and before the #MeToo movement, women's anger was not only politically catalytic-but politically problematic. The story of female fury and its cultural significance demonstrates its crucial role in women's slow rise to political power in America, as well as the ways that anger is received when it…

Book cover of The Half-Sisters

Katie Lumsden Author Of The Secrets of Hartwood Hall

From my list on surprisingly feminist Victorian.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Victorian literature after reading Jane Eyre when I was thirteen years old. Since then, I’ve worked my way through Victorian book after Victorian book, and my own novel, The Secrets of Hartwood Hall, is a love letter to Victorian fiction. One of my key interests within Victorian literature has always been its exploration of gender and gender roles. There are so many fantastic Victorian proto-feminist novels, and while some are still remembered and read, many more have been largely forgotten. These are just a few of my favourite proto-feminist Victorian novels, all of which are very underrated and very much worth a read!

Katie's book list on surprisingly feminist Victorian

Katie Lumsden Why did Katie love this book?

Published in 1848, The Half Sisters is the story of two sisters, Alice and Bianca, who grow up without knowing of the other’s existence.

Alice is middle-class, legitimate, and respectable, and goes on to have the life Victorian women were meant to have – namely, marriage. She is also bored and unhappy. Meanwhile, her sister Bianca, who is working-class, illegitimate, and definitively not respectable, chooses a different path.

Keen to make a career for herself, she becomes an actress, and throughout the novel passionately defends women’s right to work. The novel is engaging and accessible, though often forgotten now, and I love how it fantastically examines the different options open – and, indeed, closed – to women in the Victorian period.

By Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Half-Sisters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the "public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank…