There are millions of books in the world, published day in, day out. It is hard to read every one of them in the limited lifespan that we have. But the pro of having so many is that you never run out of books to read. There is always that one book that you have to read. It’s right there on your book list and you can’t wait to get your hands on it. Once you’re done with it, another one mysteriously emerges and thus, the cycle goes on and on.
There were a few books on my list that I absolutely HAD to read. Not that my list is very extensive, but as I read those few books, I realized that they helped me grow stronger as a woman, whatever the definition of stronger might be in your dictionary. Some made me cry and told me that it is okay not to cry, that this world will not always give you what you want, while some others told me that as long as you know what you want and as long as you strive to reach that goal, the struggle is always worth it.
The following books are what, according to me, every woman must read. Some talk about feminism and women empowerment and gender equality, while others teach you a sense of identity and self-belief.
1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Yes, yes, yes. A cliché when it comes to such lists. But you have to admire the independence that the book portrays. You can leave all you know behind, be it for a sense of adventure or to heal yourself or to just look for life in all you do. Who knows, in all your travails, you might just rediscover yourself and find that one reason that can have you falling head over heels in love, either with yourself or with a person who can make you fall in love with yourself. Plus, you get to read about pizza and nature and making mistakes and being kind to yourself – it’s a win-win situation, no matter which angle you look at it from!
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book seems to grab a spot on every book list that I make. I am that affected by it. There are probably a million reasons why I am absolutely in love with this book. One of them is how it shows the futility of regret. You might have heard this a million times, but greatness is not the only objective of human life. Finding happiness, love and content is. This book tells us that we’re losing ourselves in our quest for something greater and there is no better life than this life. We need to treasure what we have. Fight against the odds, but don’t forget to live! Because when you look back on your life, you need to be able to do that with fondness and gratitude, not regret and bitterness.
3. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
Relocating to some place you do not know and fitting in there is an uphill task. Running away from your past sure sounds easy, but it will eventually catch up with you. And when it does, be prepared to have a clear mind to make the decision of what you want. Do you want the past that now suffocates you? Or do you want the present that presents you with a million new ways to see life? Sophie Kinsella’s heroines all make terrible mistakes and sometimes terrible choices. But their story is equally inspiring, the way they bring themselves back together, fighting through their teeth for what is rightfully theirs and for what is right.
4. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Another cliché. Scarlett O’Hara may be a smart yet vain and selfish woman, but she has the strength to not only get through wars and famines but also take care of the people who hold her close. She might not be beautiful, but she has plenty grey matter to use her verbal charms. Loss is not the end. Loss is a brief trough in life.
Agreed, this book is super long, something that many have little patience for. But that’s the whole point, of reading Scarlett’s many ‘defeats’ and seeing how she keeps her calculating mind still working. She’s an unlikeable character and there aren’t many redeeming qualities. But her resilience is one of her few pluses.
5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
This book, I read a couple of years ago and fell in love with it so much that it had to figure on this list. A story written in epistolary format, it conveys so much about friendship and love and strength that it made its way onto my list of must-read books in the first fifth of the book that I read. It is so immersive, so beautiful in its descriptions of Guernsey that it instantly went onto my bucket list of places I want to visit. The sense of community, the friendships, the romance, the books – just the heart of this book which is in the right place, takes up more space in my own heart than I had ever imagined. The mere memory of this story fills me with warmth!
6. 50 Cups of Coffee: The Woes and Throes of Finding Mr. Right by Khushnuma Daruwala
This is not a serious book at all. In fact, it is humorous to the point where you start thinking that the humor in itself is belying a seriousness that you probably couldn’t have digested otherwise. About a woman who is in her thirties and navigating the dating world, 50 Cups of Coffee is light, funny, and makes you wish you were the subject of Khushnuma Daruwala’s writing.
You can read my review of this book here: 50 Cups of Coffee: The Woes and Throes of Finding Mr. Right.
7. The Flawed Duology by Cecelia Ahern
Cecelia Ahern’s Flawed and Perfect are two books that had a major impact on me when I read them. They follow the concept of how society looks upon human flaws and always get it wrong when they try to do something about it. But there is always a way out, as the story shows. You must only be willing to go those extra miles to bring about the change. Yes, it’s easy to talk than it is to take action. But we’ve got to start somewhere in order to even turn that dream into reality.
You can read my review of this duology here: The Flawed Duology.
8. The Hastinapur Series by Sharath Komarraju
The Hastinapur series has 3 books so far and the fourth is scheduled to come out later this year. Sharath Komarraju’s portrayal of the women of the Mahabharata is so beautiful that the series has quickly become one of my favorites ever. The women, as he portrays them, are strong and courageous, unlike the submissive women we see in the original epic. And for that, I cannot stop recommending this series. Or any of Sharath Komarraju’s books, for that matter.
I’ve reviewed quite a few of his books on my blog. Do go check them out and do read his books. They’re great!
There is hardly a day that passes that does not containing posts and articles related to women, be it empowerment, praises or humorous dissing. This is just a post that combines two loved topics into one. Women. And Books.
I will be coming up with an updated article the moment I find more books that us women must read to get new perspectives.
Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! 🙂