Feminist readers, are you up for a little change this year? (The good kind of change, not the kind that makes you want to sit in the corner of your closet with the door shut until 2020.) I know that I am — I want positive change for our country and the world, sure, but I also want some change for myself. This year, I’m really invested in becoming a better feminist — and, as all feminist book-lovers know, one of the best ways to do this is by diving into some powerful feminist books.
But in addition to adding more feminist titles to your TBR pile this year, really think about adding feminist books that could actually change your entire outlook. My own feminist reading goals for this year include learning more about the history of the issues I care about most, discovering how to be a better and more inclusive sister to those feminists around me, and really cultivating the most powerful feminist language to say what I mean and mean what I say — no more dropped jaws or awkward grins when the trolls catch me off guard.
If you’re eager to achieve some of your own feminist aspirations this year, then be sure to check out these 11 feminist books that could change your year.
'Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive' by Kristen J. Sollee
As women, we’re subject to a whole lot of labels in this world: witches, sluts, and feminists to name just a few. In Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive, Kristen J. Sollee unpacks some of the identities that face millennial women, tracing “witch feminism” through popular culture while also exploring the historical persecution of women perceived as “witches” — and illuminating what empowered female sexuality has to do with all of it.
'Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America' edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding
Featuring a round-up of feminist writers you’re already obsessed with, Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding is a collection of essays on all things “nasty woman” from grappling with the 2016 election to issues that faced women long before Trump was in the White House: racism, classism, reproductive rights, the labor movement, gender discrimination, religion, waging the resistance, and more.
'The Extra Woman: How Marjorie Hillis Led a Generation of Women to Live Alone and Like It' by Joanna Scutts
Looking at the cultural history of the single woman from the early 1920s to today, The Extra Woman: How Marjorie Hillis Led a Generation of Women to Live Alone and Like It by Joanna Scutts is an utterly compelling blend of history and biography. Using the story of ahead-of-her-time self-help book writer Marjorie Hillis, who empowered women of her generation to achieve and sustain financial independence and showed how the then-taboo single life could be totally fabulous, Scutts celebrates the single woman in all her fierce, feminist freedom.
'This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America' by Morgan Jerkins (Jan. 30)
Plenty of signs at this year’s Women’s March read “feminism without intersectionalism is just white supremacy” — and feminists are definitely getting the message. This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins is a collection of linked essays about everything from pop culture, feminism and black history, to misogyny, racism, and the writer’s own experiences of being a 20-something woman living in the world today.
'A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America' by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong (Feb. 6)
Arriving just in time to add another collection of voices to the #MeToo conversation, A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong is an extension of the journalistic-duo’s Pulitzer Prize-winning article about a serial rapist and the woman who was accused of falsely reporting his crime.
'Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship' by Kayleen Schaefer (Feb. 6)
We’ve all heard it, and said it to our best gal pals after a night out: “Text me when you get home.” Profiling the evolution of female friendship — one moving in the direction of strength and solidarity instead of the kind of chaos you’ll see on, say, The Real Housewives, Kayleen Schaefer’s Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship celebrates the power of what women do when we come together.
'The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love' by Sonya Renee Taylor (Feb. 13)
A testament to radical self-love and celebrating the female body in all it’s perfectly imperfect manifestations, The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor is all about strength: recognizing the innate strength in the body, recognizing the strength in celebrating that strength, and fighting against a system that has too-long shamed women for all the diverse forms our bodies take.
'Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower' by Brittney Cooper (Feb. 20)
As women, we’re told our entire lives not to be angry: you can be a feminist (if you must be) but an angry feminist — that’s just going too far — seems to be the message. For women of color in America, being angry can transform from simply “unappealing” to downright dangerous (police brutality being just one example.) In Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, Brittney Cooper explores black feminist traditions while exploring rage as a source of power.
'A Girl's Guide to Joining the Resistance: A Feminist Handbook on Fighting for Good' by Emma Gray (Feb. 27)
A Girl's Guide to Joining the Resistance: A Feminist Handbook on Fighting for Good by Emma Gray is a book for feminist newcomers and seasoned activists alike, featuring the author’s own experiences as an advocate for women alongside interviews with some of the most prominent thought leaders and activists today — offering advice on everything from how to get quality information and ways to contact elected officials, to some essential self-care practices for staying active without burning out.
'My Body, My Words' edited by Loren Kleinman and Amye Archer (Mar. 1)
A gorgeous and powerful anthology exploring all things body image, My Body, My Words edited by Loren Kleinman and Amye Archer will take you on a journey thorough experiences of fear, hate, love, and evolution that women of all ages, body types, and backgrounds experience with their bodies, while calling for a self-love and a body positivity revolution.
'Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture' by Roxane Gay (May 1)
Edited by feminist writer powerhouse Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture is a timely and can’t-miss anthology of original and previously published essays about rape and rape culture, misogyny, and more — and especially about living in a world where harassment, assault, and rape happen regularly, but where those who speak up about it are still not always believed.
'Trans Like Me: Conversations for All of Us' by CN Lester (June 19)
You can’t talk about feminism without also talking about justice and equality for the trans community too. In Trans Like Me: Conversations for All of Us, writer CN Lester explores some of the most important and high-profile narratives surrounding the trans community today — unpacking what it means to live in a world where we’re all defined, to at least some measure, by gender, and how much progress the trans community has really seen in recent years.