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  • Writer's pictureRachel Smith

5 Must-Read Books Written by Women

Photo Courtesy of Wix

Female authors have used their stories to inspire women from around the world for generations. Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë remain pioneers of female-focused literature, but plenty of incredible books are emerging from our own century. Update your reading list with these five books written by women over the last decade.

1. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (2013)

After years of working as the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg learned what it truly means to be a woman in the professional world. This memoir guides women through the ins and outs of leadership and success in male-dominated industries, empowering them to rise above whoever stands in their way.

2. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (2016)

Yaa Gyasi’s debut historical fiction novel brings you on a journey through time, tracing the lasting impacts of the eighteenth-century slave trade into the present. Following two sisters and their lineage from Ghana in the 1700s to New York in the 2000s, this moving story leaves you thinking (and probably crying).

3. The Power by Naomi Alderman (2017)

If you were a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, you’re sure to be a fan of The Power. This thriller takes you into an alternate world where women replace men as the dominant sex thanks to a certain twist of fate. Ever wondered how different the world would be? Check out Naomi Alderman’s work for a glimpse at the possibilities.

4. Untamed by Glennon Doyle (2020)

If you have time for a book this month, make sure you read Untamed to feel like the empowered woman you are. This memoir of motherhood reminds women everywhere that it is okay to not feel okay. Whether you’re coming to terms with the pressure to be a role model for your kids, picking up the pieces after a divorce or accepting your beautiful body for all that it is, Untamed provides the motivation to get you through.

5. Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson (2022)

Looking to get ahead of the curve? Black Cake is coming to Hulu soon as a series produced by icon Oprah Winfrey. This story unpacks a family’s winding history after two siblings are left to make sense of the clues their mother leaves behind. As they discover the truth of her legacy, they must also come to terms with the downfall of their own relationship. Take a read to find out why Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel has received so much attention.

If you don’t consider yourself a book lover, reading can seem like an unnecessary addition to your never ending to-do list. This Women’s History Month, challenge yourself to pick up a book by one of these female authors – you won’t be disappointed!

Rachel Rebecca Smith is a graduate student at James Madison University. After earning a BA in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication at JMU, she decided to return to the program for her Master’s. She will graduate with her MA in WRTC this May.

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